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God's Gold: A Quest for the Lost Temple Treasures of Jerusalem Hardcover – Jun 2007

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Amazon.com: 12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Nice Read, Not Much New Under the Sun Though 14 Sept. 2010
By Ronn Berrol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sean Kingsley has written a pleasant, easily readable book with lots of promise, but very little payoff. It is written in a very self-indulgent style, but not in an offensive way. For those with a deeper knowledge of history, there will be almost nothing new, but he does cross many different time periods nicely and weaves the time-line of the temple treasures possible journey in a very accessible fashion. For those with less of a background in the pertinent histories I think you will find enough historical facts and information from the post biblical period of Jerusalem, through the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., with relevant discussions of the Dead Sea scrolls, and Imperial Rome. His Journey will also take you to the early Byzantine era and up to the start of the Muslin ear in the Levant. There the journey rather spectacularly ends, with a rather weak conclusion and false idealistic rationalization.

Kingsley, narrates his travels to many different lands were the Temple treasures may have lain themselves, but as you go with him the reader is almost always left with the feeling that the journey was unnecessary and simply justification to find filler for the book. . The author tries to imply that his journeys break new ground and revelations about the Temple treasure, but each time he then suddenly finds a historical passage from ancient historians that one could easily find on Google, Wikipedia or the local library that tell him where to go next

For example, in one chapter Kingsley goes to Rome and visits many important archaeological sites so that he can get his mind around where the Temple treasures may have been taken by conquerors and victors. The writing is crisp and the descriptions of ancient Rome are informative and accurate, but in the end he simple sites Josephus's writings form his book, "The Jewish War", 7.158-161, which tell him that the Temple treasures were taken to the Temple of Peace by Vespasian and Titus. All his travels essentially have taken him back to the primary historical source, with no new information to further expound on the validity of Josephus. This pattern of travel, visit the important archaeological sites to dig for the truth, and then returning to easily accessible historical sources for the answer (and then taking these sources for fact) are repeated over and over throughout the book.

Still I must admit that I enjoyed Kingsley's style and easy way with bringing history to the written page, but there isn't much new here and his conclusions are as stated above, rather disappointing and self-serving. Towards the end of the book his attempts to imply the danger he is in by exploring the subject matter at hand, or by his travel to easily accessible regions of the West Bank are almost comical. In many ways this book is like the magazine, Minerva, where Kingsley has worked as managing editor. Filled with promise and glitz, lots to look at, but very little for the history buff who wants to look deeper.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, educating, and fast moving 12 Oct. 2007
By Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book to read a man's personal quest and theory about the Lost Temple Treasure. That is exactly what I got and enjoyed every bit of it. I have a degree in History and professionaly have found that Kingsley has done a lot of research and investigating- that's worth a lot.
If you are picking up this book because you think that the end will lead you to the POT OF GOLD, then don't bother, because anyone in this field knows that we do not know what happened to the treasure- you should stick with Indiana Jones for a feel good ending. However if you want to see a learned man obsessed with the past (as I have personally been there before) and taking all the steps that he knows to reconstruct a time gone by, than by all means enjoy this trip to far away lands in far away times-and who knows, maybe he's got it right.
A Pleasant Countryside 21 Nov. 2007
By D. Hocking - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Reading Kingsley's book is like taking a run through a pleasant countryside for hours on end only to find you've covered less than a mile. It's pleasant reading, but the author is in no hurry to get to the point. This is a work of popular archeological speculation. There is real evidence here and the archeological detective tracks God's Gold intact for over 500 years across the world to Byzantium. After that the proposed path it took rests entirely on speculation. He is tracking a real treasure that, if found, would shake the world with its implications and it could be where he says it is.
Interesting book 22 May 2014
By Jay Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written book easy to read.
Learned a lot of history. Interesting theory on present whereabouts of treasure. Got a lot of ideas for further reading on the subject and on history in general.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A very enjoyable ride 6 Aug. 2010
By Ro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book that traces the journeys of the Jewish Temple Treasure (consisting of silver trumpets, the menorah, and the table of showbread) in its circuitous journey across the Mediterranean in antiquity. Kingsley is not merely chasing rainbows - his travels to each destination are backed by mentions of the treasure's fate in ancient Roman & Byzantine sources. Thus the book is an amalgamation of the testimonies of ancient historians, archaeology & interpretation, and Kingsley's own personal perceptions and bittersweet emotional responses to his quest. I learned many new and fascinating things from this book: for example, did you know that an ancient gate of the Roman Colosseum held traces of a 1st century inscription, and when it was finally translated it read that the construction of the Colosseum was financed with the war-spoils of Jewish gold? Or that the Qumran ruins, which have long been assumed to belong to the Essenes, have been hypothesized to be a Roman-era villa and that the surrounding land to the west of the Dead Sea was almost completely given over to date and balsam plantations, which brought in huge profits in the 1st century? I never knew this, and I am reasonably knowledgeable about the ancient history of this region. Interesting detours such as these are peppered throughout the book, but always relevant to the author's quest of uncovering the fate of the temple treasure.

Although I find the ancient mentions of the treasure's fate to be incredibly tantalizing, it is Kingsley's own personal journey and emotional engagement with his quest that really pulls me in. Moreover, because the author chases the temple treasure through time and space, following the ancient sources to retrace the treasure's journey, the book is also something of a travelogue. I was very impressed by the author, he writes in a very beautiful and compelling style, and I hope to read more works by him. An excellent read.
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