Many of us recognize Robert Cornuke as the man whom many believe discovered the real Mt. Sinai. He is also president of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute, and has been featured on major television networks including ABC, FOX, CNN, National Geographic, and the History Channel; he received his PhD from Louisiana Baptist University.
What I especially appreciate about the author is that he begins with complete confidence in the Scripture. If accepted tradition contradicts Scripture, Cornuke’s game is afoot.
Dr. Cornuke, in a few pages, argues convincingly that the Temple was built in the old City of David—as he documents the Bible avows—rather than atop what has been wrongly dubbed the “Temple Mount.”
Cornuke quotes a number of passages that equate Zion with both the Temple and the City of David. Since the “Temple Mount” sits outside the old City of David, Zion and the Temple Mount cannot be one and the same.
What we call the Temple Mount, he argues, is actually the plateau built by the Romans for the Fortress Antonia. The Romans built their fortresses at the highest elevation possible, building a plateau akin to the “Temple Mount.”
He argues a convincing case, offering a variety of evidences from the biblical texts, formally recorded history (especially Josephus—whom those who accept the Temple Mount as the true location—believe erred), ancient eyewitness accounts, and both older and very recent archaeological findings (2013).
Herod’s Temple was so thoroughly destroyed that all traces of it have vanished. Ancient pilgrims postulated that the Temple had been built on the highest part of the city, and thus dubbed that location the “Temple Mount.”
Cornuke garners convincing evidence that the Temple was actually located to the southwest of the Temple Mount on a smaller piece of real estate, within the Old City of David and with access to the Gihon Spring.
Although Herod’s Temple was destroyed without a trace—as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:2—apparent remnants of Solomon’s Temple are evident underneath the suggested City of David location. The book actually contains a few photos of this subterranean archaeology.
This is not just an attempt at sensationalism, but a generally logical, thoroughly argued case that will appeal to readers open to consider this possibility. The evidence leads me, personally, to embrace Cornice’s conclusion.
To those of us who believe the Temple will one day be rebuilt—and that this rebuilding is associated with the End Times—the issue is more than just historical.
Getting back to the book itself, part one is both the real meat and bulk of the book: “The Temple.” Although not all arguments in this section are equally compelling, a number of them are quite so. Parts 2 and 3 (the future Temples and the Ark of the Covenant) make a few logical leaps, although I agree with his basic outline.
Dr. Cornuke does a good job summarizing the historical possibility that the Ark of the Covenant is now housed in Ethiopia, but the author stretches the Scriptures to teach that the Ethiopians will one day return it to the Temple for Jesus to use the Mercy Seat (Ark of the Covenant’s top) as His throne during the Millennium.
Make no mistake about it: this book is monumental. Its tight and compelling case for locating the Temple in the City of David (not the Temple Mount) is persuasive and positioned to become a popular viewpoint.
The author does repeat himself quite a bit, but this reinforces his points and will help readers who might otherwise find the subject confusing. The average layperson can readily understand this book. It is fascinating and the type of book that could become a “game changer.”
Ed Vasicek was raised as a Roman Catholic in Cicero, Illinois. During his senior year in high school (1974), Cicero Bible Church reached out to him, and he received Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Ed earned his BA at Moody Bible Institute. He has served as pastor of Highland Park Church since 1983. Ed and his wife, Marylu, have two adult children. Ed has written many weekly columns for the opinion page of the Kokomo Tribune, published articles in Pulpit Helps magazine, and posted many papers at his church website. Ed has also published the The Midrash Key and The Amazing Doctrines of Paul As Midrash: The Jewish Roots and Old Testament Sources for Paul’s Teachings.