Question:

Hi Jeff,

Today a co-worker and I were discussing Ron Wyatt's discovery of the ark of the covenant and when the earth shook, whether it was before Jesus said "it is finished" or after. He also quoted the crossing of the Red Sea discoveries of the Israelites and how accurate his findings are. Immediately red flags went off. I had never heard of Ron Wyatt before today. How could Ron Wyatt be so spot on with archeological discoveries? (Rhetorical question.)

I found the article on the church's website regarding "The Crossing of the Red Sea" to help clear up some of the questions I had regarding the crossing of the Red Sea discovery and Ron Wyatt.

My co-worker stated that Mr. Wyatt found the ark of the covenant. It was found buried in a cave under Golgotha, directly under the place where Jesus was crucified. Once the earth shook, the blood from the cross made its way under the ground and into this cave to the ark. When the blood hit the ark, Jesus stated: "It is finished." This statement gave my co-worker chills, and he was telling other coworkers the same story.

I was left speechless with this story and not with chills. I asked "where are the pictures and why haven't they brought it up into the light for everyone to see? He said, "They are on YouTube.  Do you remember the last time someone tried to touch the ark? Currently, priests are being trained to bring the Ark up for everyone to see."

I also pointed out that the earth shook after the events of Jesus saying "It is finished" (Matthew 27:50-54).  He said he needed to look at that again but either way, Jesus's blood got to the ark which was buried under Golgotha.  My immediate thought after he left my desk was, "How could you miss the whole book of Hebrews?"

My question to you, Jeff, is have you come across this discussion previously or heard the same story?  What are your thoughts on counteracting this?

Thank you,

Answer:

"He who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit" (Proverbs 12:17).

It would seem obvious, but Solomon makes an important point that is lost on many people. Truthful people tend to consistently tell the truth. Liars tend to tell more lies.

While researching your question, I found that Ron Wyatt has been involved in many fraudulent archeological claims. He has claimed to have discovered:

  • Wyatt claimed to have found the Ark of the Covenant in 1982, located in an underground maze beneath Jerusalem.
  • The tablets of the Ten Commandments, bound by golden hinges. A friend of Wyatt claims to have them in his garage and will bring them out when the time is right. (Really?)
  • The real site of the crucifixion, apparently above the cave containing the Ark of the Covenant, so that Christ’s blood would drip on to the Mercy Seat.
  • An actual sample of Christ’s blood, with chromosomes allegedly still visible under the microscope, showing that there was no human father. He said it contained 24 chromosomes - 23 from Mary and 1 from God instead of the normal 46 chromosomes that humans have. Placed in a growth medium, the cells began dividing, says Ron.
  • Where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aqaba.
  • Chariot wheels and other relics from Pharaoh’s drowned army at the bottom of the Red Sea. Not surprisingly, no relic has ever been made available for analysis. There is a Jonathan Gray video purporting to show these on the bottom of the Red Sea. In one part, Gray claims that a “British Admiralty chart” he is holding shows a “sand bridge” with great depths either side.  The problem is that the British Ministry of Defense has identified the chart as being produced by the United States and that there is no sand bridge on the chart or on the British charts of the area. The Ministry also said, "The naturally lit video footage of the sea floor could not possibly have been filmed anywhere near the spot claimed by Gray, as insufficient light would penetrate at that depth." But no problem, Wyatt and Gray then claimed that the British Ministry of Defense has vindicated their claims and show a heavily edited version of their rebuttal.
  • Wyatt claims the real Mt Sinai is in Saudi Arabia
  • He claims to have found the rock that was split at Horeb.
  • Another claim is that he found the true site of Korah’s earthquake.
  • Wyatt also claimed to have found the location of Sodom and Gomorrah, with building outlines still standing as piles of sulfur-fried ash. Analysis of samples sent to a lab concluded that they "were not consistent with what would be expected from incinerated ancient buildings, or rock ash of any sort. Instead, they clearly indicated an [evaporite] deposit of gypsum-type minerals."
  • He claimed to have found Noah’s Ark 1992. Dr. John Baumgardner, a geophysist, analyzed the site and concluded that it was a natural formation and not the remains of Noah's ark. [D.F. Fasold, “Bogus ‘Noah’s Ark’ from Turkey exposed as a common geologic structure,” Journal of Geoscience Education 44:439–444, 1996.]
  • He also said he found the anchor stones used on the ark. "Wyatt has argued that the standing stones he has found are anchors, while Terian is aware of similar stones outside the Durupinar site area that were pagan cultic stones later converted by Christians for Christian purposes."
  • Even more amazing, he said he found Noah’s house, and the graves of Noah and his wife, together with millions of dollars worth of her jewelry. Wyatt claims they were then stolen from him (how inconvenient).
  • Wyatt claims the site of the tower of Babel is in southern Turkey.

Sources:

The evidence is strong that Wyatt was nothing more than a sensationalist who used his claims as a money-making operation. In a 1997 interview, Dr. John Baumgardner stated, "that Wyatt’s claims about himself were as 'bogus' as Wyatt’s claims about the 'Ark site'" ["Has the Ark of the Covenant Been Found?" Answers in Genesis, 1 March 1999]. Gary Amirault, who has accumulated evidence of fraud against Ron Wyatt and his foundation known as Wyatt Archaeological Research (WAR), stated, "I will tell you enough here to hopefully convince you WAR is a Christian con game. Ron Wyatt is either very psychologically ill or one of the greatest liars I have ever come across" ["A Great Christian Scam," Tentmaker, February 2013].

Regarding the Ark of the Covenant, the following quote is actually found on a Wyatt supporting website:

"The Council of the Garden Tomb Association (London) totally refute the claim of Wyatt to have discovered the original Ark of the Covenant or any other biblical artifacts within the boundaries of the area known as the Garden Tomb Jerusalem. Though Wyatt was allowed to dig within this privately owned garden on a number of occasions (the last occasion being the summer of 1991) staff members of the Association observed his progress and entered his excavated shaft. As far as we are aware nothing was ever discovered to support his claims nor have we seen any evidence of biblical artifacts or temple treasures." ["Update: Ark of the Covenant,"  Anchor Stone International, 28 March 1999.]

Instead of being concerned about the conclusion, the supporters quote this to say, "See! He was there!" Humorously, the update concludes: "Hopefully very soon, but at the time appointed by God, the Ark of the Covenant will be revealed to the world and the tables of stone with God’s law written on them by His own finger, will be put on display. Then the world will know that there is still a God in Israel." It is now 21 years later with no trace of the alleged find to be shown.

One group speculates that Wyatt might have found an ossuary, a burial box. ["Other Views: Ron Wyatt," Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies, 28 January 2020.]

There is a book called Holy Relics or Revelation by Russell R. Standish and Colin D. Standish, published in 1999, that gives detailed, documented proof that Ron Wyatt's claimed discoveries were bogus.

Sadly, Wyatt's claims are still popularly followed despite the evidence showing he was a fraud. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths" (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Response:

Hi Jeff,

I loved this article. It’s really neat to find so much counter-evidence out there. It sounds like even the archeologists don’t take him seriously.

Thank you so much!

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