Is Jebel al-Lawz the Mount Sinai of the Bible as Bob Cornuke of BASE Institute Asserts?
Several years ago, we at Tentmaker
Ministries and Publications did an extensive investigation into the claims
of deceased Ron Wyatt with Wyatt Archaeological Research. He claimed that
he discovered the actual locations of Noah's Ark, the Ark of the Covenant,
Sodom and Gomorrah and several other significant archaeological discoveries.
One of his supposed discoveries was the actual location of the real Mount
Sinai which, according to Wyatt, was Jebel al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia. Our investigation
concluded that Mr. Wyatt was a professional con man. We wrote that his "discoveries"
were false. The article and some of the documentation can be found at:
Within the last year we received correspondence from someone asking us to do more research on the Jebel al-Lawz site. They felt that this site was indeed legitimate and that our report on Wyatt was tainting a legitimate organization that had done some extensive research on the Jebel al-Lawz site. They came to the conclusion that this site was indeed the real Mount Sinai of the bible. They felt that the archaeological work done by BASE Institute, headed by Bob Cornuke, was valid - therefore we should remove the Jebel al-Lawz site from the list of Wyatt's bogus discoveries.
Even though I didn't have the time to dig into another biblical archaeological matter (the Wyatt research took two weeks of my time), I felt obligated to see if there was any serious archaeological evidence that Wyatt may have lucked into a legitimate discovery. I started by looking at the information that BASE Institute provided on their internet site located at: http://www.baseinstitute.org/
The BASE institute site had some quotes from respected archaeologists which seemed to support the idea that Jebel al-Lawz was a good candidate for Mount Sinai. However, when I contacted some of these individuals, they assured me they never made such statements, neither did they feel Jebel al-Lawz was the real Mount Sinai. (Some of the information they posted at the time of this investigation, like the quotes from acknowledged archaeologists and scholars that suggest they supported the Jebel al-Lawz site have been removed from their site since then. The quotes may be dug up using waybackmachine.org for the year 2003.) It became quickly obvious that some of the information on the BASE Institute site was not legitimate.
Then I ran into a few people on the internet who had tried to have some serious questions answered by Bob Cornuke regarding this archaeological site. Their account of how they were treated by Bob Cornuke, his associates and lawyers let me see that I was NOT dealing with a legitimate archaeological organization, but something else.
After reading some material from various sources about which mountains in the regions were possible candidates for Mount Sinai and why and some of the material on the internet site which gave points against Jebel al-Lawz, I put together a list of questions for the BASE Institute team to answer. The person who did most of the answering at BASE was a Ken Durham. His answers, as far as I was concerned, was a bunch of double-talk. I proceeded further with my questions. At this point, he told me his writings to me were copyrighted. In other words, I couldn't use his answers to my questions in my report. Well, that settled it for me. Archaeologists simply don't behave in this kind of manner. Those who have something to cover up do.
I came across some other people who tried to ask Bob Cornuke and his team some reasonable questions. They got the same run-around and eventually were threatened with legal actions if they persisted.
During my research into Bob Cornuke's claims, I came across a gentleman who also was asking a lot of questions of Base Institute's claims that Jebel al-Lawz is the location of the biblical Mount Sinai. He has done far more research into this than I have, and he also has been given the run-around. Below is a link which lists some questions Gordon Franz has posed to Bob Cornuke and Base Institute's "experts." Don't hold your breathe waiting for verifiable answers. This open letter from Gordon Franz to Robert Cornuke also contains some links to articles Mr. Franz has written which I believe present some serious problems with Jebel al-Lawz being the true Mount Sinai of the Bible, problems which the experts of Base Institute do not seem to be able to overcome with archaeological evidence -- therefore they use threats of law-suits and double-speak to cover up their lack of answers.
By the way, many of these quasi-archaeological religious institutions claim that they are in existence merely to spread the gospel and to increase faith. They say they are not in it for the money. Well, just for your information, some of these speakers command $1500 to $4,000 honorarium when speaking in conventions and churches. Furthermore, they sell videos, books, and audio tapes. But they also can generate even greater sums of money by seducing wealthy folks, especially older wealthy folks to invest in their organization so they can further substantiate their "discoveries" or go on new missions. Ron Wyatt received many thousands of dollars from wealthy Christians who could take a tax write-offs to help "promote" these scams billed as biblical archaeology.
The Scriptures say that the "Jews seek a sign." Well, it seems many Christians have such a lust as well. Without this lust, these kinds of organizations wouldn't exist.
"STUDY to show yourselves approved of God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 1 Tim. 2:15
"Little children, keep yourself from idols." 1 John 5:21
(Many of Gordon Franz's questions to Mr. Cornuke deal with the locations of other sites which tie in to the location of Jebel al-Lawz. In Mr. Cornuke's writings and videos, he laid out what he believed was the trail Israel took from Egypt to Mount Sinai. There were certain places they came to which are listed in the bible. The proper location and distance between these places is vital regarding the location of the actual mountain on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. Gordon Franz says that Cornuke's trail simply cannot fit the biblical pattern.)
An Open Letter to Mr. Robert Cornuke
By Gordon Franz
Is Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia?
By Gordon Franz
Why Mount Sinai is not Jebel al-Lawz
in Saudi Arabia. By Gordon Franz