Hypothesis Hurdles

Needless to say, this hypothesis and research that I was about to begin would be—by its very definition—unorthodox; and I must confess that embarking upon the journey was as disconcerting as it was exciting. After all, I strongly suspected that there would be nobody—dead or alive—that could show me the path, and even if I did succeed, those entrenched in the religious establishments were almost certain to doubt and even discourage me along the way. After all, in the world of expert theologians, I’m officially an untrained and uncredentialed nobody. Moreover, apart from Moses’ account, there would be no historical archives upon which I could rely, and what I was about to attempt was completely without precedent—at least in modern times among religious institutions and academic circles. Thus, even if I could prove everything from science and Scripture, tradition and institution alike would logically be reluctant to accept proof or argument contrary to the status quo.   

Apart from potential opposition from schools and scholars, the historical artifacts and literature that have survived from Jerusalem’s first and second temple periods are relatively few and far between (the existence of the Temples themselves is even subject to ongoing debate), and relative to that more recent era, the amount of archaeological evidence dating back to the Exodus and Tabernacle times (around 1440 BC) is all the more scarce and scientifically inconclusive. Thus, lacking authentic Tabernacle remains or other physical evidence, historians and archaeologists without hard data will ultimately find themselves at the mercy of religious tradition, such as Josephus’ dimensional description of a rectangular Tabernacle, which obviously could not have been obtained by means of a personal observation. After all, given the ten century gap of time between Josephus and the Tabernacle, it stands to reason that Josephus’ writings were gleaned from other fragmented second-hand accounts of unknown origins and questionable sources, particularly as they contradict Moses’ instructions in several places. Nevertheless, because a source is from the ancient world and in agreement with present day traditions, scholars tend to presume that it must be true, and would be reluctant to treat Josephus’ regurgitated account as if it is mere conjecture or hearsay.

Similarly, it would be unlikely for scholars to consider that Josephus' record is a byproduct of a thousand years of other influences, including urban architecture, catastrophic exile, bad scholarship or careless inference.

Of course to the contrary, history is replete with round building precedents. Apart from the Bible, indigenous and nomadic people alike on every continent have a heritage of dwelling in round structures, be they igloos, grass huts, or nomadic tents, dating back thousands of years. Curiously, the Hebrew word גר meaning “to sojourn” and pronounced “ger” is phonetically identical or at least similar to the word used to describe a round tent in multiple languages spanning continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe (typically called a yurt, ger, or gert). Hence, simple etymological correlations and ancient construction practices also keep the round Tabernacle hypothesis from sounding like a ridiculous or far-fetched idea—even though such reasonable arguments cannot be presented as anything but circumstantial evidence.

Proof of Concept Scale Tabernacle Modeling

Not long after returning from my Israel trip, three different engineers (two civil and the other mechanical) contacted me after hearing about my research from Rob Skiba, who did a follow-up video covering Adam’s Breaking Israel News article. Brian, the first of the two to contact me, was curious as to the scope and content of the “Exodus Engineering Exegesis” drawings that I was advertising on my website. As I made efforts to respond to Brian’s request for clarification, it became evident that Brian had interest in building a physical model. As Brian and I talked, it was clear that we had a good rapport, and shortly thereafter, I explained to Brian that I had developed a completely different set of prints that I had created six months prior that was intended for the explicit purpose physical model fabrication, as well as for the erection procedure.  

After receiving my extended stack of fabrication and erection plan drawings, Brian was impressed, and offered to help fund a “Home Depot” version of the Tabernacle model. When I say a “Home Depot” version of the model, I mean a model that could be constructed from materials that were readily available at local lumberyard and/or hardware store. As it turns out, some of the materials, such as 2x4’s, could be locally sourced; however, some of the materials (e.g., dowels and metal rods) needed to be ordered specially because they were not quite popular consumer grade materials. As we began to discuss optimization of materials, credible fabrication processes, and substitution requirements, we eventually settled on a fractional scale model prototype design that was about 7 feet high and 22 feet in diameter. This size enabled us to base an economical model upon modified 2x4’s; however, the economy of the initial materials became a trivial factor in the overall effort relative to the labor and special tooling required to fabricate the parts according to specification.