By Jonathan Gray, of beforeus.com • April 13, 2014 • See comment section for added info on Robert Deutsch’s complicity?
THE DISCOVERY THAT LED TO ATTEMPTED MURDER
They called it a hoax, till one man went to prove it so… The unexpected truth shocked me… It will shock you too. For 800 years, the Ark of the Covenant was the most sacred object in the world. In 586 BC, with other precious items from Solomon’s Temple, it vanished. At that time Jerusalem was surrounded by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
According to Jewish tradition, the temple vessels were taken and hidden in a cave by Jeremiah and the temple priests. Their location was kept secret, then forgotten. They remained lost for 2500 years.
ARTEFACT FOUND JAN 1992
When American archaeologist Ron Wyatt, after a 3 year dig, claimed to have discovered the Ark of the Covenant under Jerusalem, he presented one object from the same cave to the Israeli authorities.
This convinced them that he had indeed found some items from the First Temple.
The object was an ivory pomegranate head of the priestly scepter from Solomon’s Temple – positive confirmation that vessels from Solomon’s temple had indeed been found. He was promptly ordered by the host government not to reveal certain information.
I personally set out with a briefcase full of objections against Wyatt’s claims. However, intense investigation, repeated visits to dig sites, and privileged viewing of evidence and artefacts left me totally convinced. But one problem was to arise. It concerned the ivory pomegranate.
DISAPPEARS AND REAPPEARS 1995
The object disappeared. But later in the 1990s it reappeared. The museum bought the pomegranate from an anonymous collector for $550,000, with the money deposited into a secret Swiss bank account at the time. Then the pomegranate was placed on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Here we photographed it.
The museum authorities had placed a sign next to it stating that it is “a sensational discovery of great significance to the history and archaeology of Ancient Israel…the only known object from the First Temple, built by King Solomon in Jerusalem“.
In 1995, I showed this to the world so that no critic should feel secure.
DECLARED A FORGERY 2004
On December 29, 2004, Associated Press reported that the item had been declared a fake. The report said:
“Israeli authorities indicted four antique dealers and collectors Wednesday on charges of running a sophisticated forgery ring that created a trove of fake biblical artifacts, including some hailed as among the most important archaeological objects ever uncovered in the region.
“The forged treasures include an ivory pomegranate touted by scholars as the only relic from Solomon’s Temple, an ossuary that reputedly held the bones of James, Jesus’ brother, and a stone tablet with inscriptions on how to maintain the Jewish Temple, officials said.
“According to the indictment, the members of the ring took genuine artifacts and added inscriptions to them, falsely increasing their importance and greatly inflating their value.
“After forging the inscriptions, they would paint the items with a coating designed to emulate the patina that would accumulate on the object over thousands of years, the indictment said.
“The work was so sophisticated that it fooled top antiquities experts, and some of the fake artifacts sold for huge sums, authorities said.
“The indictments came less than a week after the Israel Museum announced that the ivory pomegranate, one of its most prized possessions, was a forgery.”
MY COMMENT AT THE TIME
When this announcement was made, I wrote: “This does not necessarily cancel the genuineness of Ron Wyatt’s find. But the crime may well have been the forging of the inscription that is on it.”
ATTEMPT TO BLOCK IMPARTIAL EXPERTS FROM EXAMINING IT
In August, 2007, paleographer Robert Deutsch announced from Tel Aviv:
“Are there no limits to hypocrisy?
“Why weren’t leading Israeli paleographers allowed to participate in the conference to discuss the authenticity or forgery of the first temple Ivory Pomegranate and present their opinions based on their expertise?
“Leading paleographer such as Prof. Yosi Naveh (my teacher at the Hebrew University), Prof. Gabi Barkay (my teacher at the Tel Aviv University) and Dr. Ada Yardeni, who probably has the best eye for ancient letter forms (she even invented the fonts which have been given her name). Is their exclusion because some parties ‘Fear the Truth’”?
“WHY is the evidence ignored?
“As a paleographer I have handled and published more than 1000 West Semitic inscriptions, including seals, seal impressions, ostraca, weights, arrow-heads, decanters, jars, impressed handles, coins etc.
“The first rule for me was to authenticate the items by investigating it under microscopic conditions and only then publish them.
“Some fakes observed in private collection were omitted, or published accordingly clearly titled: ‘Questionable or Forged’.
“In my capacity as a paleographer I contacted the Israel Museum for permission to check the pomegranate.
“I was refused!
“It was only after my lawyer appealed to the museum’s director was I allowed to visit the museum and examine the pomegranate.
“The museum informed me that I would not be allowed to use their microscope. Knowing this before my visit I arrived with my personal microscope and its camera.
“Once at the museum the laboratory personnel told me they do not have a table on which I can place my microscope and only after 10 minutes of a dispute they provided me a table, but no chair!
“Finally, the pomegranate was brought into the room but I was immediately informed that I would not be allowed to touch it!
“Therefore, they asked the chief restorer to be present and to move and turn the pomegranate according to my requests (as one can see from the pictures provided by Mr. Shanks, the attendants of the meeting had the pomegranate for free inspection, they handled it with bare hands).
ALLEGED “FAKE” CONFIRMED TO BE AUTHENTIC
“In any event, I spent more than an hour and a half checking the inscription on the pomegranate and taking several excellent photographs of the letters.
“My conclusion is unequivocal: the letters were engraved in antiquity, and many letters maintain a fine genuine patina.
“There cannot be any doubt whatsoever, that the fragmentary letters that were damaged, were engraved before the ivory was broken.
“Moreover, the smooth edges of the broken letters, proves that the artifact continued to be used in antiquity even after the damage!
“My conclusions, together with the new pictures photographed at the museum, were presented a few weeks ago at the International Convention of the Society of Biblical Research, July 2007 at the University of Vienna.
WHY WAS GENUINE ARTEFACT DECLARED TO BE A “FAKE”?
“One can only speculate what is the exact motivation of ‘honest’ Prof. Yuval Goren and his ‘rubber stamp’ team, to declare a perfectly genuine inscription as a fake?
“I think I can offer a crystal clear answer to this question:
“Prof. Youval Goren, as also his two colleagues, Prof. Shmuel Ahituv and Prof. Aaron Demski were witnesses who testified in the maliciously called ‘The Ring of Five Forgery Trial’.
“Prof. Goren was supposed to be the prosecution’s key witness, who declared several other un-provenanced genuine artifacts, as fakes.
“Therefore, Hershel Shank’s attempt to discover the truth is an exercise in futility; Yuval Goren simply can not admit mistakes, or afford to change his view, simply because his prestige is in question and his testimony in court would collapse as unreliable!
“But what else is new under the sun?”
REASONS IT WAS LABELLED A “FAKE”
The big problem here is religion and ideology (both political and disciplinary). I have had these discussions with native Israelis, archaeologists, anthropologists and others. Here is what I have learned:
1. A THREAT TO PEACE:
Some members of the Jewish government (including some archaeologists) who are more ‘minimalist‘ in their view of the Bible and its historicity see solid archaeological evidence that upholds the historicity of the Hebrew Scriptures as a threat to Arab/Israeli peace.
They feel that undermining Israel’s history in the Holy Land will enhance prospects for peace.
2. WILL UNDERMINE ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST:
Other Israelis, who are more theologically conservative or ‘maximalist‘ in their view of the Hebrew Bible, see an item like the ‘brother of Jesus’ ossuary as a threat to Israel’s right to exist by way of ‘Christian Super-sessionism’, meaning that any find that significantly ‘proves’ the New Testament will undermine Israel’s right to exist.
This came out in discussions when the James ossuary was only being examined by Israeli but not Christian scholars. Pretty amazing seeing that so many conservative evangelical Christians are now somewhat Zionist in their outlook politically.
3. NON-RELIGIOUS ANTI-BIBLE BIAS:
Since many (not all) archaeologists are materialistic in their outlook and less likely compared with the past, to be religious in nature, there is often a presumption or bias toward sacred texts, and any kind of evidence in the archaeological record that confirms Scripture is treated with great skepticism.
A little skepticism is healthy but it is fairly dogmatic in the archaeological circles I have traveled in over the last 20+ years.
Not a small number of faculty I knew at the University of Minnesota did not even believe there was such a person as a historical Jesus. Anything related to the Bible was right up there with Grimm’s Fairy Tales or entirely borrowed from neighbors like Egypt.
On December 16, 2008, Biblical Archaeology Review wrote, under the heading “Leading Israeli Scientist Declares Pomegranate Inscription Authentic”:
“An Israeli scientist employed by the defense in the Jerusalem forgery trial has concluded that the inscription on the famous ivory pomegranate (“[Belonging] to the Temple of [Yahweh], consecrated to the priests”) is authentic.
“If the inscription is authentic, the pomegranate is probably the only surviving artifact from Solomon’s Temple.
“Professor Yitzhak Roman of the Hebrew University examined the pomegranate under a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to reach his conclusions. In the 1990s he was the academic director of Hebrew University’s SEM.
“A committee led by Tel Aviv University’s had previously concluded that the inscription was a forgery because three critical letters adjacent to an ancient break stopped before the break.
“The forger was apparently fearful of breaking off more of the pomegranate if he went too close to this fracture.
“The pomegranate itself is admittedly genuine.
“However, Professor Roman’s examination showed that the three critical letters, contrary to Yuval Goren’s finding, did in fact go into the ancient break.
“This was the same conclusion reached by an examination of the pomegranate at the Israel Museum sponsored by the Biblical Archaeology Society on May 3, 2007: The three letters clearly go into the break.
“In addition, Professor Roman examined the patina inside the letters of the inscription.
“The committee that found the inscription to be a forgery had concluded that this patina was somehow glued into the surviving letters of the inscription.
“Professor Roman found 11 different elements (some just trace amounts) in the natural patina. But he found no evidence that the patina had been glued.
“Whether anyone will ask Professor Goren for his reaction to Professor Roman’s devastating report is not yet known.”
OTHER SKEPTICAL QUESTIONS
Of course, this is not the only controversy surrounding the discovery 20 feet (6 meters) below the streets of Jerusalem.
Other questions that have arisen include these:
1. How could Ron Wyatt the amateur succeed – under the noses of an indignant archaeological world?
2. When I, Jonathan Gray, revealed his findings, why did some people try to “eliminate” me?
3. Should political pressures continue to keep this discovery underground?
UNLIKE ANY OTHER REPORT
I just had to write this up into a 600-page report. And in case you want to know, this is a well-documented, spellbinding work, based on cutting -edge research and on-site excavation. Apart from the main news on the search and discovery, the report reveals:
- Forgotten voyages
- Secret tunnels
- Prophecies uncanny in their fulfillment
- Acts of intrigue – and
- Fabulous treasures
In fact, this report is unlike any other I have ever had the privilege to write. It is so interesting – and important – that a prominent Australian radio and TV personality chose to spend every day for a whole week reviewing it – and, not surprisingly, all the shops sold out.
He called it “the second best book ever written”. Now I am not here to boast to you – because I was only the reporter of the events. But yes, it is important… and just how important, you will discover as you read it.
IT’S TIME TO SPEAK UP
Anyway, , something has to be told. So, after much consideration, I’m about to rip apart a curtain of silence about the Ark of the Covenant.
Yes, yes… I know. The Ark’s been reported in Ethiopia… in Jordan… in Egypt… and a dozen other places. Indeed, over the centuries replicas have been made. But originals? There can be only one. And that’s what we’re talking about.
You won’t want to miss this incredible true story. Here are revealed the down-to-earth inside secrets about a lost treasure… a dangerous search… and an almost unbelievable discovery claim. And yet, when you face all the strands of evidence, what else could it be?
Danny and Ronnie Wyatt back in Israel: Zedekiah’s cave
Talking about the door leading to the Ark. And a little about their fathers character. “The only reason my father did this excavation was to show THAT THE BIBLE WAS TRUE! HE NEVER DID ANYTHING FOR MONEY!!!!”
I wish that all of God’s apologists were like that, NOT to do it FOR MONEY OR BOOK-SALES, BUT (like us) just TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT! I believe that if they would just trust God for their income and needs, and give the message away for free on a website (or books at least for cost & expedition price), that God would be able to REACH TEN THOUSANDS OR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MORE PEOPLE, than just through their book-sales! IT IS A LACK OF FAITH! Worrying about money! Donations? Fine! That is more by faith than selling!
When we look back in Heaven, we will realise how small our faith was, while Jesus TOLD us that IF we would “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things (food, drink, clothes) will be added unto you!” Matt 6:33 Hint?
JERUSALEM MAP OF THE EXCAVATION SPOT NEAR GOLGOTHA & GARDEN TOMB
Danny and Ronnie Wyatt back in Israel: The Ark PART 1
Danny and Ronnie Wyatt back in Israel: The Ark PART 2
Danny and Ronnie Wyatt back in Israel: The Ark PART 3
Ron Wyatt talking about JESUS blood sample
Ron Wyatt Against False Accusations By Israel Antiquity
SOME EXTRA GLEANED INFO:
from a Spanish interview with the Wyatt family.
Ron Wyatt was a 7-Days Adventist, many of whom believe Ron’s finds, although the leadership are purportedly embarrassed by the fact that Ron didn’t have an archaeological degree or training, and that they offered him a pastorate in exchange for him giving the honour of the discoveries to a 7-Day Adventist archaeologist named Mr. Shay!
The Israelis don’t want this news to get out, because it is a political and religious embarrassment, as the location of the Ark is in Palestinian area, East Jerusalem, and they obviously don’t want Israelis to find out that a Christian discovered “their” Ark by a miracle, as well as the crucifixion spot and the laboratory analysis of the Saviour’s 24 chromosome blood, as that may cause a few brave Jews to convert to Christ. Nor do they don’t want Israelis to know that the 6 “Levite priests” they sent to take out the Ark, were all struck dead by instant stroke from the Lord’s protective angels.
The blood of Christ had DNA from Judah, not from Levi!
Israeli authorities officially deny knowing Ron, although Ron has a picture of him and the Antiquities Authorities representatives, and he did many years excavation in secure Israel under their eyes. Also he turned in many cases of discovered artefacts to the authorities. For details see the above video.
4 thoughts on “Inscription & Ivory Pomegranate Authenticity Directly Related to Ron Wyatt’s Controversial Find of Lost Ark of Covenant”
This is a tragically misleading opinion on some of the more publicized aspects of the trial of Oded Golan, Billionaire & Israeli Antiquities Collector. Golan is just ONE of FOUR men accused (and eventually acquitted) of heading a global forgery ring, forging biblical antiquities, damaging antiquities and 15 other counts.
Robert Deutsch, an Inscriptions Expert and then-professor at Haifa University, whom the author of this article cites as an “expert” whose request to participate in an “independent” forensic analysis of the pomegranate (purportedly to help assess its authenticity), was “mysteriously” denied access by the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
Is that about right?
Here’s the elephant in the room (and where this author undermines not only his own credibility, but goes on to stain that of Ron Wyatt, whose merits I am in no way questioning here):
Robert Deutsch, the “independent” expert is one of the four men INDICTED on charges of forgery, along with Oded Golan, Shlomo Cohen and Faiz al-Amaleh!!
Deutsch was one of the accused!!
YET HE WANTS TO “INDEPENDENTLY” INVESTIGATE ITS AUTHENTICITY??
Hypocrisy is right.
Where the author aimed that word is all sorts of wrong. Look in a mirror!
I pray your malfeasance with this writing was due to negligence and not that of criminal libel and deliberate lies.
Stephanie, take a deep breath. The writer – my bad for forgetting so long ago – is Jonathan Gray, of beforeus.com and you can take it up with him. Normally Gray is pretty factual, and so IF what you say is indeed factual, show me some sources and I will make a correction insert to the article. For now your comment will be the balance. Glad you defend God’s archaeologist Ron Wyatt.
Cheers Love & Peace to you too, sis.
When I read Stephanie’s reply to the article first I felt sort of hoodwinked, but for some reason I thought that does not add up to me or this author sure has a pair and really gambling on the assumption people today are dumbed down not taking time to research and or fact check. I immediately next read the reply from Paradise Post and then to fact check on my own. I quickly discovered the 5 names of the accused in the case of 2004 Israeli indictment it names Oden Golan, Robert Deutsch, Schlomo Cohen, Raphael Brown, and Fayez al-Amaleh allegedly who conspired and participated in the forging and/or sale of artifacts.