By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News—
A once thoroughly debunked theory that the two Jewish Temples did not stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is currently gaining traction in the Christian world.
A new “Cry for Zion” video explains why we know the Temples were on the Temple Mount and that it is essential for Christians to connect with the Jews’ holiest site.
Cry for Zion, a nongovernmental organization of Jews and Christians advocating Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, features Doron Keidar, the founder of Cry for Zion, and John Enarson, the organization’s Christian Relations and Creative Director. Their motivation for producing the video was generated in reaction to Robert Cornuke’s best-selling book titled “Temple: Amazing New Discoveries that Change Everything About the Location of Solomon’s Temple,” published in 2014. According to Cornuke’s theory, both Jewish Temples stood further south in an area now known as Ir David (the City of David). Instead, a massive Roman fort stood on what is now known as the Temple Mount.
Cornuke presents a theory that sheds doubt on the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount. Coupled with the UNESCO resolutions that designate the Temple Mount as an exclusively Muslim holy site, Keidar fears the Jewish claim to its holiest site is under threat.
Cornuke’s theory was criticized for having no archaeological basis and for contradicting Temple- era historical accounts, such as that of Josephus Flavius, a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar who cited the Mount as the location of the Second Temple. Despite being definitively debunked by archaeologists and Biblical scholars, the alternate Temple location theory continues to have a following within some segments of the Christian community.
“Subconsciously, the Christians want to believe that the Jews are wailing at the wrong wall,” Enerson, a Christian studying at the Scandinavian School of Theology, told Breaking Israel News. “They want to think that the Jewish people were wrong and maybe the Christians know something the Jews don’t.”
As a Jew, Keidar sees this criticism of the Jewish tradition differently.
“There is a common misconception among Christians that Jews abandoned the Temple Mount after the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE,” Keidar explained. “This opens up the possibility that the Jews don’t really know where the Temples really stood.”
Keidar admits he believed this theory to be true. Curiosity led him to investigate the historical credibility of this belief that the Jewish tradition was broken and the knowledge of the Temple’s location suspect.