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The oldest complete book of the Torah was discovered in the warehouses of the University of Bologna

Prof. Mauro Frani, a Hebrew expert from the University of Bologna performed carbon tests on the Torah book after suspecting that according to its wording it must be ancient

A Torah scroll at least 850 years old that was discovered in Italy. Photo: University of Bologna
A Torah scroll at least 850 years old that was discovered in Italy. Photo: University of Bologna via the BBC

In the library of the University of Bologna in Italy there is a complete Torah scroll, apparently the oldest of its kind whose age is estimated to be at least 850 years
The Torah scroll arrived at the university library in 1889, but the librarian, Leonlo Modona who examined it assumed that it was written in the 17th century and so he labeled the book. The book has been kept in the library's warehouses ever since.


After carbon testing, the university said yesterday that it may be over 850 years old, the hypothesis is that the book was written between the second half of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century (1155-1225).


The university's Hebrew researcher Mauro Frani said that this is therefore the oldest complete Torah book known to date.

Prof. Frani's suspicions arose when he noticed that the book was written in the style of the Babylonian tradition and not the European one, and therefore it had to be ancient. Another reason is that the book contained many formations that were forbidden in later copies by the instruction of Maimonides in the 12th century.

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For news at the BBC

10 תגובות

  1. Some small notes:
    A. It is not about changing the text, but about changing the form of writing (font), which Rambam forbade.
    B. It is likely that the book was never used as a "Torah scroll", but rather as a manuscript of the Torah, due to many errors throughout the text, and corrections made in its margins, things that show that the parchment was not given importance. And if so, the book is not the oldest in the world, it doesn't even come close to the Aram Tsuba crown and the Leningrad manuscript.

  2. Even if I had a comic, 850 years old on the shelf, I would consider it my most important book.

  3. Father, you don't have to respond to every nonsense a child comments on your site. People confuse what is nonsense and what is not.

  4. I did not understand the complaint, I am not talking about what is written in the book but about the very preservation of such an ancient book.

  5. Avi ,
    Is there a more detailed reference on the differences? Which books are missing/added in this Bible compared to the edition known today?
    What are the editorial differences between this Tanakh and the Dead Sea Scrolls?

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