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Temple Treasures in Monastery?

30th October 2006

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article claiming that the treasures from the (second) Jewish Temple are sitting in a Greek Orthodox monastery near Bethlehem. Right…

The article, “Ancient Jewish treasures in monastery, book says Ancient Jewish treasures in monastery, book says Gold, silver vessels reportedly in West Bank caves” (how’s that for a concise and captivating title!), is reporting claims made by Sean Kingsley in his book, God’s Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem (2006).

Here’s an excerpt of the article:

British archaeologist Sean Kingsley said he has traced the journey of the legendary vessels from the first time they disappeared from public view more than 1,500 years ago to their current location in this walled monastery east of Bethlehem in the West Bank. He said the items include “the central icons of biblical Judaism” — a seven-branched gold candelabra, the bejeweled Table of the Divine Presence and a pair of silver trumpets.

But many people, including Israeli government officials, believe the treasures are hidden somewhere in Vatican vaults. In 1996, Israeli Religious Affairs Minister Shimon Shetreet officially asked the pope to return them.

But Kingsley contends they were taken from Rome when it was sacked by the Vandals in A.D. 455. He bases his theory on new archaeological sources and contemporary accounts by ancient historians.

In his new book, “God’s Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem,” just published in Britain this month and due in U.S. bookstores in the spring, Kingsley describes the odyssey of the priceless haul from Jerusalem to Rome and back again via Carthage and Constantinople, to its final resting-place at Mar Theodosius.

“I am the first person to prove that the temple treasure is no longer in Rome,” he said.

Right… (PaleoJudaica has commented on the temple treasures a number of times)

(HT archaeologica news)


3 Responses to “Temple Treasures in Monastery?”

  1. David Says:

    It has always fascinated me the quest for the temple treasures. I have heard both accounts that you mention, and one other that you did not about the Ethiopian Orthodox church maintaining the cache with the Ark of the Covenant as well in a special temple reserved for it all, with a single monk who stands guard in the temple and armed monks on the outside. Any further thoughts on that location?
    Blessings,
    David Camphouse

  2. Mike Landfair Says:

    Joel Rosenberg’s new book, The Copper Scroll, is all about the search for the Temple treasure and is based on the prophesies in Ezekiel.

  3. Kevin P. Edgecomb Says:

    Actually, the Kingsley book sounds about right about tracking the menorah and the ziz (the gold headplate for the Jewish high priest). They did eventually end up in the Anastasis in Jerusalem. BUT, they were no doubt swiped by the Persians in 614 AD, not hidden away. Why this? Because the Persians most certainly did take the most precious item in the church, the remnants of the True Cross. Why would the hierarchy not have hidden their most precious thing, while going out of the way to hide some items that were likely kept around as trophies of the triumph of the Church over the Temple? It doesn’t sound likeley.

    Another story of a nifty treasure to seek: somewhere in Constantinople are the bronze doors to the “Beautiful Gate” of the Jerusalem Temple. Samaritans took them from the Jerusalem ruins to use in a synagogue in Neapolis (Nablus). They remained in use there for a long time, until the Turks took a fancy and carted them off for the sultan. Neato!