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Dr. Teddy Bitner, Chief Academic Officer of Calvary University (far left), and Dr. Gary Gromacki, Director of the PhD Program in Bible and Theology at CU (far right), holding the Torah scroll gifted to CU by Ken & Barb Larson (middle) of God’s Ancient Library, based in Minneapolis, MN. 

Pasul Torah scroll given to Calvary University by Ken and Barb Larson and God’s Ancient Library

On April 10, 2019, Dr. Teddy Bitner and Dr. Gary Gromacki from Calvary University received the gift of a pasul Torah scroll from Ken and Barb Larson and God’s Ancient Library. The word pasul means that the Torah is disqualified for use in the synagogue.

The Torah scroll is identified as written by Ashkenazi Jews which originated from Eastern Europe around 1900. It survived the Holocaust along with the Jews who brought it to Israel.

A blue stamp on the back of the last Deuteronomy panel discovered by Dr. Gromacki indicates that the Torah may have gone to Kiryat Shmonah (a town in northern Israel next to the Lebanon border). From there the Torah scroll went to the house of ben David in Jerusalem.

The scroll was purchased by Ken and Barb Larson and brought to the United States, and is now located at Calvary University in Kansas City.

Dr. Scott Carroll of the Manuscript Research Group gave several lectures about the Torah in Minneapolis, MN, during the gifting event.

Each Torah is written in unpointed Hebrew letters by a sofer on kosher animal skins (like calf or goat).  The sofer uses a quill from a kosher bird (either goose or turkey) and writes with black ink made from a special recipe.

There are 304,805 letters in a Torah. None of the Hebrew letters are permitted to touch. The words of every Torah are identical because they are copied exactly. Elongated Hebrew letters are used to justify the left margins in the columns.

Some stylistic ways of writing Hebrew in the Torah are found in the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15), the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), the curses read from Mt. Ebal (Deuteronomy 27), and the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32).

The Torah given to CU is 97 feet long and 19 and a half inches high. It contains 52 panels with 196 columns. It was written by two individuals as indicated by a change of hand found at Leviticus 10:16b. The Torah will be used to help students learn Biblical Hebrew.

Other schools that received a gift of a Torah from the Larsons included: Cedarville University, Midwestern Seminary and Kuyper College.

The Torah scroll donated to CU last week was written by Ashkenazi Jews which originated from Eastern Europe around 1900. The Torah scroll survived the Holocaust along with the Jews who brought it to Israel.

Dr. Gary Gromacki, Director of the PhD Program in Bible and Theology at Calvary University, with Dr. Scott Carroll of the Manuscript Research Group. Dr. Carroll gave several lectures about the Torah during a Torah gifting event in Minneapolis, MN, last week. 

Drs. Teddy Bitner and Gary Gromacki, of Calvary University, examined several Torah scrolls last week when they traveled to Minneapolis, MN, to receive one of those scrolls as a gift to be housed permanently at CU. 

Calvary students got a first look at the scroll in the Bible and Theology assembly this week with Dr. Gary Gromacki, Director of the PhD Program in Bible and Theology at Calvary University. Dr. Gromacki said, “This scroll will not just sit in a glass case somewhere. It will be used to help students learn Biblical Hebrew.”

The Torah is written in unpointed Hebrew letters by a sofer on kosher animal skins (like calf or goat).  The sofer uses a quill from a kosher bird (either goose or turkey) and writes with black ink made from a special recipe.

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