World’s Oldest Complete Torah Scroll Discovered in Italy

The University of Bologna reports that an 850-year-old Jewish Scroll, written in the Babylonian tradition, had been mislabeled by a librarian in 1889.

An Italian university has found what it claims to be the oldest complete Torah scroll known to exist, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

torah scrolls, Hebrew

A Torah scroll – Photo: Dreamstime

The scroll, which was found at the library of the University of Bologna, was believed to be no more than a few hundred years old, the report said. But recent carbon dating tests suggest it was written some 850 years ago, making it the oldest complete Torah ever found, Mauro Perani, the university’s Hebrew professor said.

According to the university, the ancient text was not lost, but was mislabeled in 1889 after one of the university’s librarians dated it to the 17th century.

After re-examining the scroll, Perani determined it belongs to the Babylonian tradition. Perani also recognized in the writings features that were forbidden in later versions of the Torah.


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