Oldest Torah Scroll Found
Researcher in Bologna, Italy, finds it in university library
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2013 4:25 PM CDT
The scroll found at the University of Bologna.   (AP Photo/Alma Mater Studiorum Universita' di Bologna)

(Newser) – An Italian researcher has found what is believed to be the oldest scroll from Judaism's most important text, and he didn't have far to look. The professor at the University of Bologna found the 850-year-old Torah scroll in the school library, where it had been mistakenly labeled a century ago, reports the BBC. That long-ago cataloguer thought the scroll dated back to the 17th century, but Hebrew professor Mauro Perani immediately recognized the error as he was doing some re-organizing of the library. Carbon-dating confirmed his hunch.

"It is fairly big news," a Cambridge expert tells the AP. "Hebrew scholars get excited by very small things, but it certainly is important and clearly looks like a very beautiful scroll." The manuscript is 40 yards long and 25 inches high. Further study will be done to see whether it yields any new information from the period it was written, somewhere around 1155 to 1225.

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May 30, 2013 4:56 AM CDT
You 'torah' my scroll you a pay for it.
May 30, 2013 4:30 AM CDT
If I'm wrong, I'm sure one of the 'enlightened ones' on NEWSER will tell me. But, if I recall, doesn't the Torah only deal with the first four books of the bible and for it tobe a 'true' Torah, isn't it suppose tobe hand copied, word for word from an older version of the Torah. If that is the case, what would change over 850 years or even 5,000 years?
May 30, 2013 2:19 AM CDT
Jews like to tout their overarching value of the preservation of historical/religious knowledge as one of their greatest, most superior virtues (really, just ask one, they'll tell you)... yet they misplaced the oldest copy of their most important book? Something's not kosher.