74 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Raiders of the lost Ark?,
This review is from: Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant (Paperback)
"Hey, Indy I've found something", Oh, wait, that's a line from the movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' isn't it? and 'The Sign & the Seal' is a serious historical, archaelogical account of the search for, and supposed discovery of the biblical Ark of the Covenant. Yes, one is fantasy and the other non-fiction, although after reading some parts of the book, don't be surprised if you find yourself flipping to the backcover to check on the publishing category. For your reference it's 'history/religion/archaeology'
That the book reads like a great adventure novel makes it enjoyable. That it purports to have solved the mystery of not only what happened to the Ark, but also that Hancock says that he knows where it is, makes this a book that deserves serious attention. The author spent considerable time researching this subject and his quest took him to Jerusalem, Egypt, the Chartres Cathedral in France and finally Ethiopia. He read widely and interviewed many people and discusses a wide variety of topics. The Kebra Nagast (the ancient Ethiopian history of the Queen of Sheba), the Templars, the Holy Grail, the biblical story of Solomon and the Babylonian Exile of the Jews all have some bearing on the wherabouts of the Ark. Hancock weaves it all together with style.
Research, genuine interest, enthusiasm and writing style however are insufficient in overcoming the critical flaw of the book. Unlike a movie which can end however it chooses, an investigative history book must prove it's thesis. Hancock neatly dodges producing proof by telling us that the guardian of the Ark won't let anyone see it. In recalling the conversation Hancock remembers saying 'this is a great disappointment for me', to which the guardian philosophically replied 'there are worse things in life than disappointment', to which I say, there are many movies that could use good endings like this but a history book should not be allowed to get away with it.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 13, 2011 8:02:12 PM PDT
R. Milius says:
An investigative history book doesn't have to prove it's thesis if there is no way for it to be proven. Graham did a wonderful job providing tons of facts and evidence, along with a timeline and credible story of how it ended up in Ethiopia. Asking for "proof" in a subject such as this is foolhardy. If the Ark does exist today, Graham has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it is there. Until someone can get inside the chapel to see it, we'll never have "proof." Anyone who is interested in the subject will benefit from reading it.
Posted on Jul 23, 2012 9:59:25 AM PDT
Thanks for your review. As for your last line, however, it's OK because The S and the S isn't a history book. It's about a piece of mythology that a certain part of the world either believe or pretend to believe. History is something else.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2012 9:55:43 AM PDT
J. Bauernschmidt says:
I thought Ron Wyatt already discovered the Ark in a cave outside of Jerusalem:
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 2:08:15 PM PDT
L. Harrison says:
Pictures or it never happened.
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