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4.4 out of 5 stars28
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2004
Having studied history at university, I realised that this book would be one of those that always upsets historians. It is speculative and involves a number of leaps of faith. Nevertheless, it contains some really extraordinary discoveries. Graham Phillips not only convincingly argues that the biblical Mount Sinai is really Jebel Madhbah in the kingdom of Jordan; he also traces what happened to the Ark of the Covenant after it disappeared from Jerusalem around 600 BCE. However, what really had me hooked on this book was the way that the author records his investigation in an exciting, first-hand journey of discovery. It would make a great feature film.
Although The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant is unlikely to appeal to academics, I am sure it will become a controversial classic for those interested in mysteries of the Bible: Graham Phillips claims to have found what may be one of the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
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on 7 January 2005
There is a great deal to learn from this book regarding the mystery of the Ark of the Covenant. In fact, it is something of an essential reference book for anyone interested in the enigma. However, this does not mean that it is slow or laborious reading. Indeed, it is precisely the opposite. This is a thoroughly entertaining and riveting personal quest by the author to discover the truth behind the legend. Believers in the Bible will be delighted to read of the evidence that the Ark not only existed but may well have had the power the Old Testament describes. It also goes without saying that the modern craze for treasure-hunting stories will have its appeal to the popular market as there are a wealth of historical clues and coded messages involved.
I found the Templar link particularly interesting as it focuses on one specific group of this secretive order of Crusader knights, throwing light on what I regarded as an unlikely postscript to their enigmatic existence during the Middle Ages. I had not previously given much credence to the notion of the Templars' treasure. I realise that the Templars were ultimately outlawed and persecuted and so had reason to hide whatever strange and priceless relics they possessed. However, as there is so much evidence that this huge medieval organisation went underground and survived the chances of such a treasure not having being recovered seemed slim. Graham Phillips provides a convincing and intriguing new suggestion to account for this. He proposes that it was only one particular Templar lodge that hid the treasure and that they were wiped out by the Black Death.
I recently heard someone describe historical mysteries as the new Rock and Roll. With books like this on the shelves, I'm not surprised.
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on 14 February 2005
The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant is a truly unique book. I have never read anything like it before. In the Bible it says that the Ark of the Covenant (not to be confused with Noah's Ark) was a golden chest which contained the Ten Commandments and had the power to produce divine fire which could be used as a holy weapon. The book examines archaeological evidence to show that what many people thought was a myth was in fact an historical artefact. If the author is right, this remarkable object really existed: he even consults scientists who suggest that it was a device, years ahead of its time, for harnessing the power of lightning. Graham also discovers that the Ark was claimed to have been found by crusaders in the 1180s and that they returned with it to England. Here they eventually hid it and left a series of elaborate clues in a church in Warwickshire to reveal its location.
After a fascinating adventure to decipher the cryptic message and a series of encounters with the unexplained, Graham and colleagues eventually discover the remains of an old holy well where they believe the Ark was hidden. Regrettably, it seems that the Ark had been moved. However, they do unearth a stone tablet which experts think may have been one of the stones on which the Ten Commandments were written. What happened to the Ark? Who took it and to where? The research is ongoing, but Graham provides all the clues he has found in his book and asks others to help in this thrilling, real-life adventure that it seems anyone can join in. A great read!
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on 1 February 2005
I have read most of Graham Phillips' books and this is my favourite. Here he cleverly interweaves an historical investigation with a hands-on quest of discovery. I love the way in which he manages to bring history to life. There is a great deal to be gained from this book in both as a learning experience and as a riveting read. It is the sort of book that makes you want to go out and do some historical detective work yourself.
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on 21 November 2006
The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant is different from most books in the alternative history genre, in that it is a personal investigation by the author told in the first person. I am pleased to say that the historical research does not suffer because of this, although the ending takes a bit of swallowing. All in all, one exciting read.
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on 21 November 2004
I never thought that such an adventurous and extraordinary quest could still take place in today's world. This marvellous book reads like a true-life Da Vinci Code. The author follows a trail of historical clues left in paintings and an old stained-glass window to lead to an extraordinary encounter with a truly astounding revelation - one that will keep biblical scholars talking for years. This has to be the book of the year. It not only solves some of the most important unsolved mysteries of the Old Testament, it provides physical proof of biblical miracles.
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on 21 December 2004
This is a book that has just about everything to appeal to the mass market. It's an Indiana Jones style quest to search for the lost ark. Like the Da Vinci Code, it's a code-breaking mystery involving the Knights Templar. And, like National Treasure, it's an enigmatic, clue-solving treasure hunt. It's a well-written, racy and thrilling adventure. And - astonishingly - it's a true story. With the year ending, this has got to be the book of 2004.
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on 26 November 2004
Historical code solving has become something of a fad in recent months, started by Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Graham Phillips is one of the original historical code breakers and has been delighting his readers with such mysteries for 25 years. He has investigated King Arthur, the Holy Grail and the secret life of William Shakespeare. This time he looks into the legend of the lost Ark and once again he goes on a thrilling quest of discovery, uncovering a trail of ancient clues leading from Israel to England. There are a number of historical mystery books out at the moment but this is one of the best. I couldn't stop turning the pages.
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on 31 March 2013
Three stars overall...it's well researched and documentation included but I'd give it 0 stars based on the title of the book and its description as it has VERY LITTLE to do with Templars. The author did a fantastic job in his research and documentation in an attempt to prove biblical passages as factual vs metaphorical. So if you've got an interest in learning more about biblical fact from fiction, this book is for you. If you're a Templar researcher/fanatic etc, don't count on this book giving you any revelations about them or ah-ha moments about their "lost treasure" or reason for being an order etc. The Templars are mentioned on page 1 then briefly again during the authors journies and only 1 chapter is devoted to the Templars, or more specially, one man who was a Templar, and this chapter leaves me wondering how vaild the "evidence" is becauase, if you know much about Templars, if they left the organization, they were supposedly to retire to a monestary and devote their lives to prayer etc. This particular Templar left the order (or that's what's inferred....to me anyway) and was exceedingly wealthy (following his time in the Crusades), bought land, built a magnificient home, got married etc. Very un-Templar-like. So I'm not even convinced that what little bit about "the Templars" actually in the book is valid.

Graham Philips, in my opinion, is an excellent writer and researcher and I will probably read more of his books. However, the title of this book to me is extremely misleading and should have been something a lot more simple like "The Search for the Ark of the Covenant" with a different, more appropriate to the content of the book, description.
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on 9 February 2012
The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant is without doubt a must read for any legend hunter. Like many of his books, the reader follows Phillips on a journey across land sea and history, as he attempts to solve the mystery regarding the biblical ark of the covenant. Missing since the time of the first Temple of Solomon, Phillips attempts to piece together fragments of ancient clues ranging from passages in the bible, ancient documents, records from the crusades, and even a few things closer to home. As usual, Phillips brings a breath of fresh air to an old subject and spins a thrilling narrative worthy of an Indiana Jones film. If indeed Cove-Jones' discovery of immense importance is the ark, this could be one of the most thrilling stories ever told.
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