Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lost Ark of the Covenant” as Want to Read:
The Lost Ark of the Covenant
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Lost Ark of the Covenant

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  160 ratings  ·  30 reviews
After 2,500 Years of Mystery, the Truth About the Ark of the Covenant Is Revealed

The Lost Ark of the Covenant is the real-life account of an astounding quest—professor Tudor Parfitt's effort to recover the revered artifact that contained the Ten Commandments, sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. With painstaking historical scholarship, groundbreaking genetic science
...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published February 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lost Ark of the Covenant, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lost Ark of the Covenant

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 287)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Marie
The author is quite the scholar--a Welshman who specializes in the lost tribes of Israel (and learned Hebrew and gads of other languages along the way) and becomes obsessed with figuring out what the Ark of the Covenant actually was and where it might be today. His inquiry takes him to Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Papua New Guinea among other locations. We get to know several fascinating characters also interested in the Ark, and Parfitt's droll descriptions are someti ...more
Peter
For an academic, Parfitt spins a pretty good yarn. In fact with a few minor changes it'd make a decent novel; with a few more changes I think it'd make a fun film script.

It's difficult to take Parfitt to task with his knowledge of Jewish studies - after all he is a professor of Jewish studies at London's School of Oriental and African Studies as well as a fellow of the Oxford Centre of Hebrew and Jewish studies. Yet, even to my much less-than comprehensive knowledge, I spotted one 'howler'.

Nev
...more
Fiona Ingram
Tudor Parfitt's epic twenty-year quest for the lost Ark of the Covenant is a real page-turner! According to the Bible, the Ark contained the Ten Commandments given to Moses and possessed a divine, awesome power. It was used by the ancient Israelites in battle and, by Bible accounts, had the devastating powers of a modern-day weapon of mass destruction. Regarded as the holiest object in the world by the Jewish and Islamic faiths, the Ark suddenly disappeared from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem ove ...more
Julie
Feb 10, 2011 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
Shelves: own, non-fiction
While Mr. Parfitt’s claims of finding a representation of the legendary Ark of the Covenant seem somewhat inconclusive, this book and his journey is more about the symbolism of the Ark and its lore throughout the world and the ages. He did a great job illustrating the context of the legend from a number of religious and historical texts. He also questions what the Ark itself is/was specifically. There are references of it as a box carrying sacred objects such as the Ten Commandments, a drum or a ...more
Jenny
Truly remarkable and fascinating storytelling! This book of historical quality could have been told in a stuffy and dull fashion, particularly because of the content, but the author is truly the adventurer and brings this to life in his written words (and the people he has met along this foggy path). Open this book and from start to finish, he includes you in his adventure of seeking the truth about just what the Ark of the Covenant is, what it represents to humankind.

Anyone who is more interest
...more
Adam
For once, the press is right. This is a well-paced work of nonfiction that really does read like an adventure novel, complete with a cast of eccentric (if not particularly likeable) characters. The story is interesting, though it meanders a bit, and his conclusions aren't especially convincing. Recommended for adventure fans.
John
I had a choice - this later one on audio, or the earlier Journey to the Vanished City in print. Although this one contains (somewhat) "spoilers" for that one, Graeme Malcolm as a narrator did such a good job that I'm looking forward to reading the other. The physical search doesn't really begin until the second half though - there's a lot of talking and planning to get through first, but it's worth the wait - there's an ending straight out of Hollywood!
Parfitt is actually pretty funny for an aca
...more
Jeff
Kind of a slog in parts, but a fun book overall, like reading the real-life Indiana Jones. Fascinated by learning of groups of people around the world you'd least expect claiming to be part of the House of David. The analysis of the history and culture of Zimbabwe's Lemba tribe, and their claims of Jewish ancestry in African bodies (backed up by DNA), was fascinating. And more diaspora in...Papua New Guinea?!

Nile River floating, campouts in Yemen, spellunking in South Africa, dodging assassins
...more
Steve
Interesting in subject matter and that it reads quickly and like fiction. Engrossing and informative though it was, the skeptic in me kept screaming, "How does he have direct quotes from conversations long past?" And, naturally, our doughty professor is the hero of the tale. The research and reasoning sound plausible enough as to what the ark may have been, but while the conclusions are scholarly conjecture, they are still conjecture. Still, it was educational and well-written, so that's always ...more
Caitlin
Parfitt takes his readers on a wild goose chase throughout the world to find the fabled ark of the covenant. It is very interesting and Parfitt has a wonderful, tolerant, scholarly personality. His findings are controversial, but they really make you think. Why is it that no one has found the lost tribes of Israel? Rumors of them have turned up in far off places such as Kashmir, Africa, and in the islands of the Pacific. While he never finds the tangible ark, he comes to thought provoking conclu ...more
Julian Walker
A travelogue. An adventure story. And a real life adventurer.

A cracking read from many perspectives and even if he pays scant regard for religions and beliefs, and manages to effect some amazing coincidences in his quest, this is unquestionably a book for you if you want a an exciting Indiana Jones type of escapism, only to realise that this is fact not fiction.

Well written, pacey and enjoyable – this is a book to be savoured.
Nancy Jurss
Tudor Parfitt's books explores the quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. Throughout his exploration, he finds different interpretations on what that is, finds links between the Jews and some tribes in Africa. And lots of leads that go nowhere. An interesting travelogue even if you don't subscribe to all of his theories.
Pauline
Plodding through it. Indiana Jones like stories should be watched on a screen as they don't translate as well in print, at least not with this author. Too bad because it makes an interesting story a tough read. Kind of a mix between Casa Blanca and Raiders of the Lost Ark based on real research. I cannot do a spoiler and tell the surprise ending but it's a deflating experience.
John Paterson
An interesting book to read after Graham Hancock's The Sign and the Seal: Quest for the Ark (1992). In that book Hancock claims to have located the Ark in Ethiopia. Parfitt follows the trail further south. He is Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and founding director of SOAS's Centre for Jewish Studies.
XR
Els integrants d'una tribu (negra) surafricana diuen que no són negres, sinó blancs i, específicament, jueus. De passada, tenen amagada l'Arca de l'Aliança.
Bàsicament, resulta ser cert.
L'autor ha publicat treballs sobre el tema, definitivament demostrat per les anàlisis d'ADN, en publicacions com Nature, o sigui que res de pseudoinvestigació estil Von Daniken. Impactant.
Heather
May 17, 2009 Heather rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: the featured shelf at the library
bit of a let down. i liked this - enough to give 2 stars - because it covered a topic very interesting to me, and a lot of territory was covered en route.

and maybe the main problem IS territory -- it meandered so much that it had trouble keeping my attention, and took me weeks to finish. what's sad is a kickass editor probably could've gotten this to 4 stars.
Ana Silva Rosa
Took me a while because some parts bored me to death.
Pete daPixie
I gave Mr Parfitts book two stars because I enjoyed the history behind this 'lost ark' mystery. Did the keepers of this treasure salt it away before the Babylonian hordes invaded Jerusalem in 586bc? I'm sure they should have done. However, it's Indiana Parfitts journey of discovery I couldn't buy a ticket for.
Maneki
A very interesting read! When starting, I initially thought it was fiction, but it's a real life story. It has funny anecdotes throughout, and you'll be surprised where he ends up in his search for the Ark! And it all sounds rather plausible, unlike most other Ark theories.....
Owlseyes
Parfitt searches in several nations (Zimbabwe,Israel,Ethiopia...)the Ark of the Covenant.Also some allusions on the genetic relation between Ethiopian Falasha and the Jews; and the Lemba people: the black Jews of Southern Africa. Still looking for.Carry on Parfitt.
Angie
This guy thinks a lot of himself...reminds me of one of those self-styled Colonial-Era gentleman-explorers. Seriously, ego runs throughout, even though the subject matter is interesting. Heard about this one on NPR -- he did an interview. Not impressed.
Jared
An autobiographical travelog of a British adventurer. Thin on science, heavy on character and odd details. A strangely compelling read.
Tobie
could it be true?the arc so far from where it is originally thought?is there more then one?so many questions...who can answer?
Katie Christian
Really, really well written. I loved the surprise twist ending! Are we *sure* this is non-fic? :) Loved it!
Susan
Written in such a way you could sympathize when his searches failed & can congratulate his success
Avi
Easy read and pretty entertaining, but a bit repetative at times. a 7 on a scale of 1-10
Andy
Kind of like a program on the History Channel. The science was pretty light.
Grumpus
Listened to the audio download from [www.Audible.com]
Edward Barnett
Good Reading can't put it down.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years
  • Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith
  • The Friar and the Cipher: Roger Bacon and the Unsolved Mystery of the Most Unusual Manuscript in the World
  • Left Hand of God, The: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
  • A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages
  • Caligula (Emperors, #4)
  • Codebreaker: The History of Codes and Ciphers, from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography
  • Spitzen
  • Arthur's Britain
  • Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults
  • The Wars of the Ancient Greeks
  • Whose Bible Is It?: A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages
  • For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
  • The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China
  • The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia
  • The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome
  • Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence
  • It's All Greek to Me!: A Tale of a Mad Dog and an Englishman, Ruins, Retsina--and Real Greeks
Journey to the Vanished City: The Search for a Lost Tribe of Israel The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth Black Jews in Africa and the Americas Operation Moses: The Untold Story of the Secret Exodus of the Falasha Jews from Ethiopia The Thirteenth Gate: Travels Among the Lost Tribes of Israel

Share This Book