Friday, June 26, 2009

Ark of the Covenant Story was Bad Translating, Hype

World Net Daily reported late Wednesday that Patriarch Pauolos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church would reveal to the world the true Ark of the Covenant today, Friday, June 26. Pauolos is reported to have said in Rome, excerpt:
Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

The announcement is expected to be made at 2 p.m. Italian time from the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome. Pauolos will reportedly be accompanied by Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Sellassie and Duke Amedeo D'Acosta.

It is currently about 7:00 p.m. in Rome and no ark.

I've been trying to track down whether and to what extent this is a hoax. The World Net Daily article is based on a report from from a news agency in Italy, Adnkronos. The first problem with the WND report is that what they report as the Patriarch's words is actually only the original Italian article's lede:
Roma, 17 giu. (Adnkronos) - Presto il mondo potrà ammirare l'Arca dell'Alleanza descritta nella Bibbia come il contenitore delle Tavole della Legge che Dio consegnò a Mosè e al centro, nei secoli, di ricerche e studi.

Secondly, the Italian article is dated June 17, so the forthcoming Friday was June 19, not today.

Patriarch Pauolos actually did have a press conference June 19 where according to Adnkronos, he backed off saying:
Non sono qui per dare delle prove che l'Arca sia in Etiopia, ma sono qui per dire quello che ho visto, quello che so e che posso testimoniare. Non ho detto che l'Arca sarà mostrata al mondo. E' un mistero, un oggetto di culto.

Or roughly:
I am not here to give evidence that the Ark is in Ethiopia, but I am here to say what I saw, what I know and I can testify. I did not say that the Ark will be shown to the world. It is a mystery, an object of worship.

Hat tip to blogger Richard Bartholomew for finding the second report from Adnkronos.

The original World Net Daily story was a matter of bad translation and not even looking at datelines. The story got legs, Bartholomew reported in previous posts, because of Christian Zionists eager to hasten the Second Coming. I would also note that WND was hawking a two DVD set on the ark along with the story.