Monday, August 03, 2015

Review of the Indy Exhibition

A RAMBLING REVIEW: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Jews (Menachem Wecker, The Forward).
Museums don’t typically take public, unequivocal stands on the question of the literal truth of the bible. But a National Geographic announcement of its exhibit “ Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology ” (on display through Jan. 3, 2016) refers to both the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail as “famous, fictional relics.”

But theological seminary scholars are hardly the only experts to believe the ark existed. Baruch Halpern , a University of Georgia Jewish studies professor, has said that the ark seems to have been “ a real article ,” and in an interview, Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, says, “There was certainly an ark in Solomon’s Temple. What was in it is another question.

I agree that there probably was an Ark in the First Temple. It was probably taken as loot for the gold by the Babylonians when that Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE. That said, certainly a lot of fiction has been produced about it. And I do agree with the exhibition that the Holy Grail is a fictional relic. The review moves from the Zohar to the Ark prop from the movie, which is on display in the exhibition. And a number of scholars are interviewed. More on the exhibition is here. And there are many, many past posts on the Ark of the Covenant here and links.