The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone: Genuine Or Hoax? -- By: Mark Perkins

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 14:2 (Fall 2009)
Article: The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone: Genuine Or Hoax?
Author: Mark Perkins


The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone: Genuine Or Hoax?

Mark Perkins

and Titus Kennedy

Mark R. Perkins earned a B.A. from Azusa Pacific University and M.Div. from Talbot School of Theology. He is pastor of Front Range Bible Church in Denver, CO. You may reach Pastor Mark at frontrangepastor@gmail.com.

Titus Kennedy earned a B.A. from Biola University, M.A. from the University of Toronto in Near Eastern Archaeology, M.A. in Biblical Archaeology from the University of South Africa, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Biblical Archaeology at the University of South Africa. You may reach Titus at titusm@gmail.com.

Introduction

Howard Carter dug out Tutankhamen’s tomb, Muhammed edh-Dibh fell into the first Qumran cave, and Schliemann followed Homer to Troy. Our adventure started with Tony Hillerman’s The Best of the West, a collection of essays and stories edited by the great creator of Leaphorn and Chee, fictional Navajo detectives. In Dixie Perkins’s essay, “New Mexico’s Mystery Stone,” she describes a stone inscribed in Ancient Near Eastern languages, found in the desert west of Los Lunas, New Mexico. 1

I (Mark) was surprised I had not heard of this before, and wondered whether there was anything to it. And so, with a bit of spare time on a wintery day, I sifted through a handful of Google search results on the matter. There wasn’t much to go on. A few amateur archaeologists were quite excited about it, but aside from the professor from the University of New Mexico with a history of manufacturing evidence who first publicized the stone, there has been silence. Even the Mormons, normally eager to embrace any evidence of the Ancient Near East in the Modern American West, were not touching this stone with a ten foot

chisel. Yet it sounded intriguing, and my archaeologist friend, Titus Kennedy, was coming to Denver; besides, Chafer Theological Seminary in Albuquerque is a mere 45 minutes from the stone. Better adventures had started on much, much less. Only a road trip remained between us and our quest for the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone.

The Quest

Joining Titus and me in Albuquerque were Dr. George Meisinger, president of Chafer Theological Seminary; Dr. Glen Riddle, Chafer Professor; and Nate Purtzer, CTS student. Titus and I drove from Denver to Albuquerque on a beautiful April Sunday afternoon. After spending the night at the Meisingers’ home, we five would-be Indiana Joneses (William F. Albrights?) headed for Los Lunas in search of the stone. Our first challenge was to find the stone. We had conflicting reports...

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