Oldest Complete Torah Found?


oldest-torahThe AP reports:

An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts said Wednesday he has discovered the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the University of Bologna library, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.

The find isn’t the oldest Torah text in the world: the Leningrad and the Aleppo bibles – both of them Hebrew codexes, or books – pre-date the Bologna scroll by more than 200 years. But this is the oldest Torah scroll of the Pentateuch, the five Chumashim, according to Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the University of Bologna’s cultural heritage department.

Two separate carbon-dating tests – performed by the University of Salento in Italy and the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – confirmed the revised dating, according to a statement from the University of Bologna.

Read more here.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. What the Italian means, is that it is the oldest COMPLETE Torah. The Leningrad and Aleppo Bibles are both incomplete.

  2. Carbon dating is an accepted method of dating objects made of organic material. It is more accurate the more recent the object is. The problem with it is that once we get to periods of time more than one or two thousand years ago and certainly earlier, the formulas used to determine the dates are based on guesswork and imagination and are obviously impossible to verify.

  3. It’s the oldest complete scroll. The Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex (which is complete) are codices. Look it up.

    Those codices have vocalization (vowels), cantillation (trop), and masoretic notes in the margin.

    The Italian scroll has only the consonantal text, like our Torah scrolls.

  4. Carbon Dating uses nuclear physics to see how much radioactive activity is left in a biological sample. depending on the results, they can tell how old the manuscript is.

  5. Why should it be stolen?
    And even if it is, the sefer torah is Passul, so we can’t read from it, and it is probably too delicate to fix.

  6. Hopefully, it will be put on line. The Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex are both available on line. The internet isn’t all bad.