I appreciate the careful work that Gordon Franz has done over the past several decades in exposing shoddy scholarship by those who make sensational claims in support of the Bible’s accuracy. Ron Wyatt was the long-time leader of fraudulent archaeology until his death in 1999. One of those who picked up the baton was Robert Cornuke, a one-time policeman who now alleges to have discovered the location of Mount Sinai, the ark of the covenant, Noah’s ark, and Paul’s shipwrecked vessel on Malta. Indeed, he discovers more on a two-week summer trip than any trained archaeologist discovers in a lifetime! What accounts for his popularity among evangelical Christians? Two things: he tells them what they want to hear in the way they want to hear it. Bible believers want to hear of great discoveries that support their faith, and if you package that in a charismatic presentation or a well-written paperback, you need not bother yourself with truth. Gordon Franz is serving the church by investigating Cornuke’s claims and writing critiques to help believers navigate these waters. Franz has recently created a convenient entry point for the articles he has written on Cornuke’s work over the years. Some of those articles include: Mount Sinai is NOT at Jebel al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia Part 1 Yahweh Inscription Discovered at Mount Sinai! Does “The Lost Shipwreck of Paul” Hold Water? Was the Ark of the Covenant Taken to Ethiopia? The full list is here. You may want to bookmark this link for future reference. For critiques of other dubious “archaeology,” see Franz’s “Cracked Pot Archaeology” section.
Critiques of the Work of Robert Cornuke
- Tagged Analysis, Pseudo-Archaeology
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The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.
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5 thoughts on “Critiques of the Work of Robert Cornuke”
For sure, Gordon knows his stuff and does his homework. Its worth paying attention when he speaks.
Bob Cornuke's theory for St Paul's shipwreck on the Munxar Reef is not only ridiculous, showing someone who has no idea of what he is talking about, but is also damaging our national heritage.
Frustrated by the increasing number of people being duped by his DVD, I challenged him to a public debate. He accepted but with various impossible conditions that show that he is not prepared to debate the subject.
I had no option but to organise a 'Symbolic Public Protest'. His website gave the impression that the ship coming to Malta would be carrying 700 passengers on his version of 'On the footsteps of Paul', but his tour consisted of a party of only 47!!!
During the protest we carried placards protesting against what Cornuke is doing to our national heritage. We also gave passengers disembarking from the ship free copies of the Malta Independent newspaper which carried my article… http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=147620
The day before, on condition of anonymity, someone who had occupied high office had sent me a letter of apology, signed by Bob Cornuke in front of a Public Notary. In this letter he had sent to the government of Malta, Cornuke had apologised, quote, 'for all errors, mistakes, omissions and misrepresentations that may occur in my book.'
The outcome of the protest may be viewed in my final article to the same newspaper… http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=148410
All the major TV networks covered the protest in the evening news. Two TV channels even reported in their news that they tried to contact Cornuke for his views but he was unavailable for comment. So much for someone who is convinced of his theory.
Todd, thanks for highlighting Gordon Franz's important work in "outing" the false and downright stupid "finds and discoveries" of Cornuke. It saddens me that so many believers are duped by these charlatans (Wyatt and Cornuke). The yearning for justification is so strong, it overcomes common sense. Many times when I’ve completed a talk on true and scholarly archaeological apologetics, a person comes up to me with a gleam and wants to speak about the wonderful discoveries of Wyatt…and now Cornuke. Thanks again.
As a Pastor who yearns for people to be strong in their faith, I often include apologetics in my teaching in order to show the validity of the Bible. All to often I am asked questions about Cornuke or others who make big claims and big money by taking advantage of Christians. They do so by preying on their desire for validation coupled with their ignorance of the speaker/writer and their corrupt data and ethics. How sad it is that such frauds only serve to undermine valid faith and valid claims rather than support it. For this reason, I am deeply grateful to men like Gordon Franz (and too few there are) who have the valid credentials and vast knowledge along with the courage to bring truth to the claims table. He has repeatedly exposed the fraud for all who are willing to put their emotions to rest and their brains to work. Truth (of the Word) is never validated by lies (of a fraud). We must stop inviting such frauds to churches, conferences and campgrounds. Instead we should be exposing them for what they are to the Christian community. Instead of condemning those who purify our ranks, as some have done with Gordon, we should be grateful for those who use their gifts and abilities to keep such wolves in sheep's clothing at bay. By true scholarship, we will expose the false prophets of archaeology (and the real profits they reap) and build Christ's Church on solid ground. Thank you, Gordon and God bless your vigilant stand for the Truth.
I am one that when I rented the dvd on Robert Cornuke and the Wyatt one, it wasn't that I was deceived or duped, but uneducated about archaeology and how it works. It isn't like being deceived about God's word. It is really no different than watching the news and listening and believing everything the media is reporting.
But if in fact it is a hoax God will bring that to the attention of His children like He did me.