The Jordan Codices are an ancient set of seventy lead tablets that could change the world's view of Biblical history. In the first half of the program, religious scholar and Egyptologist David Elkington joined Dave Schrader (email) to discuss new evidence that suggest the 2,000-year-old tablets are genuine, and include the earliest portrait of Jesus Christ (related article). Some critics have called into question the origin of the Codices but lab data and other tests demonstrate they are authentic, Elkington revealed. "If the books are fakes, what are they fakes of," he challenged.
The Codices were found at a cave site in northern Jordan after a massive rain storm uncovered them, Elkington continued. The cast lead books contain iconography and language which seems to indicate they were made by early Hebrew Christians, he explained, noting the Codices can be dated with confidence to the first and second century. Elkington described the Codices as unlike anything previously discovered as they are largely ritualistic, based in the tradition of the Temple, and contain lost aspects of Temple worship. "These books... offer a huge amount of hope as well as insight into [early] Christianity," he said.
The Ark of the Covenant has to be one of the most extraordinary artifacts in history. In the latter half of the show, historical detective Graham Phillips presented evidence that this remarkable relic really existed and was discovered by the crusader knights, the Templars, during the Middle Ages and brought back to Europe and Phillips now believes he knows where it's located. "I think there's enough information, enough evidence that there was an historical artifact that was considered holy by the ancient Israelites," he said. Phillips detailed the biblical story of the origin of the Ark, which was purportedly built by the Israelites to house the Ten Commandment tablets.
According to Phillips, something similar to the Ark was found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb. This may have been where Moses got the idea, he suggested. The Ark remained in the Temple in Jerusalem for four hundred years, but was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah before the city was sacked by the Babylonians, Phillips explained. Many centuries later the Knights Templar claimed to have located a golden chest in Jordan which they believed was the Ark of the Covenant, he continued. Phillips pointed to clues in Templar artwork about the possible location of the Ark. He also reported on a 2,000-year-old cup that could be the Holy Grail. The people who own it have lived long and healthy lives, a possible side effect of their proximity to the cup, he noted.