M Y S T E R I E S O F T H E B I B L E
The mystery : Where is the Ark of the Covenant ?
The Ark of the Covenant is a container described in the Bible as containing the tablets of stone on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments as well as Aaron’s rod and manna. The ark was kept in Jerusalem until the Babylonians plundered and destroyed the temple. From then, the Ark entered the domain of legend as it vanished forever.
Modern excavations near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have found tunnels, but digging beneath the Temple Mount is heavily restricted.
One of the most important Islamic shrines, the Dome of the Rock, sits in the location where the First Temple of Solomon is alleged to have stood. According to the Bible, King Solomon, when building the temple, had the Ark of the Covenant put on a platform which could be lowered down into a tunnel system if the Temple were ever overrun.
The mystery : Where is the Garden of Eden ?
The Bible gives directions to the location. This has led to many attempts to locate the garden. The creation story in Genesis relates the geographical location of both Eden and the garden to four rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates), and three regions (Havilah, Assyria, and Kush).
There are hypotheses that place Eden at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates ( northern Mesopotamia ), in Iraq ( Mesopotamia ), Africa, and the Persian Gulf. While the true location is a mystery, there is a particularly fascinating twist to this tale: Ethiopia is mentioned as being near or surrounding the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:13 ( “And the name of the second river is Gehon : the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia.”)
The mystery : Where is Noah’s Ark ?
Ark searchers have had little to guide them to the Ark beyond Genesis’ mention of the “ mountains of Ararat ”. By the middle of the 19th century, archaeologists had identified a 1st-millennium BC kingdom and region of Urartu, contemporaneous with the Assyrian empire and the early kingdoms of Judah and Israel, located in the mountains of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey.
Not until the 19th century was the region settled enough, and welcoming enough for Westerners, to make it possible for significant expeditions to search for the Ark. By the beginning of the 21st century, two main candidates for exploration had emerged: the so-called Ararat anomaly near the main summit of Ararat ( an “ anomaly ” in that it shows on aerial and satellite images as a dark blemish on the snow and ice of the peak ), and the separate site at Durupınar near Dogubayazit, 18 miles ( 29 km ) south of the Greater Ararat summit. the most recent discovery is of petrified timber thought to be part of one of the walls of the boat.
The mystery : Who was the Beloved Disciple ?
One of the biggest mysteries in biblical scholarship concerns the identity of “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” According to the Gospel of John, this was the disciple who leaned on Jesus during the Last Supper, and the only male disciple present at the crucifixion. In addition, John 21:24 implies that the entire Gospel of John is based on this disciple’s memories. Yet, oddly, it never gives his name.
The other three gospels don’t give his name either. In fact they never even mention this “Beloved Disciple” (as he is often called). They also say nothing about any disciple leaning on Jesus during the Last Supper or witnessing the crucifixion. Their total silence on the matter only adds to the mystery
A number of scholars have argued that the Beloved Disciple was Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany, and the man that Jesus raised from the dead. The reason for this is the fact that when the sisters summoned Jesus to help Lazarus, they said: “ Lord, the one you love is sick. ”