This idea occurred to me when reading the thread about Israel rebuilding the Temple. This is just a thought experiment. Let’s assume that the following happens:
#1) The Ark of the Covenenant is found. In this hypothetical, wherever and however it is discovered is not particularly politically controversial. IOW, its discovery doesn’t involve something like Israel razing the Dome of the Rock and searching for it. THAT could very well result in WWIII, and if it happened none of us might be around to debate it. :eek: I’m thinking here something like its discovery is similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were happened upon by accident by some young Bedouin shepherds in a cave. Or maybe some archaelogists happens to figure out where it is, etc.
#2) The Ark exhibits no apparent magical or divine properties at this point. From my understanding, based on holy texts which hold that it once did hold a presence of God, that presence may have left it long ago. Thus its lack of such properties wouldn’t necessarily invalidate any religious faith.
#3) Based on the totality of the evidence, it is quite convincing that the object discovered is indeed the Ark the Jews carried around long ago. This wouldn’t necessarily be hard to do. What the true Ark looked like is fairly well described in the ancient Hebrew texts. By various means, including science, the Ark that was found could be dated to the appropriate time period. And, there just isn’t any good reason to think anyone way back then was making bogus copies of the Ark. Particularly with gold being part of the construction. IOW, it isn’t like the situation where phony pieces of the “true cross Christ was crucified on” were sold to naive suckers by con men. And those pieces of the “true cross Christ was crucified on” amounted to enough wood to have been used in the crucifiction of hundreds of men.
When considering this hypothetical, note these points. It could be discovered in a place where Jews rule, Muslims rule, or Christians now rule. It is quite reasonable if the Ark still exists, wherever it is now could be in many possible places. I’m assuming here that the Ark did once actually exist. Ignore for a moment this issue of the alleged contents, or if those contents were something of a divine nature. It seems historically plausible to me that the Jews long ago carried around a box that was generally presumed to contain sacred items. And that long ago they hid it somewhere to avoid desecration. The Ark if found would be considered a sacred object by 3 different faiths, 2 of them quite prominent in the world today. That it currently was in possession by people of one of these faiths could be quite upsetting to some members of the other 2.