A few days ago, a couple of us were taking an interest in a US Evangelist's idea of selling biblical manuscripts for pious profit. Roberta Mazza points out that their website is "down for maintenance". Oh yeah? They promise it will be up again on Feb 25th. Watch this space.
Dr Mazza has ('Marketing the Word of God', Faces and Voices Feb 14, 2015) has identified the scrolls which I did not in my earlier post. It is quite an interesting list:
1) 31 March 2014, Bethel University, St Paul Minnesota. 17th century Torah said to come from Baghdad.
2) 4 September 2014, Multnomah University, Portland Oregon. "somewhere in Eastern Europe during the Reformation"
3) 18 September 2014: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL. A Torah scroll originally from Germany and dating to the late 1400s or early 1500s
4) 30 September 2014: The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley CA. 18th century Torah scroll from Yemen
5) 8 November 2014: Veritas Evangelical Seminar, Santa Ana CA. Torah. Reportedly bought from 'a collector' in Israel but "with scribal characteristics common to those in Germany and in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th century".
6) 5 December 2014: Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas TX. Torah scroll from Morocco but bought in Israel.
7) February 2015: Trinity Western University, Langley Canada. 16th century Torah from Morocco.
It seems therefore that we have a scroll from war-torn Iraq (how and when did it leave?), three which seem to be of central European origin (how and when did they leave the region?) one from Yemen, a country currently in meltdown (how and when did it leave?) and two from Morocco (well-known in collecting circles as a source of illicit meteorites and flint tools as well as fossils - so how and when did these two scrolls leave the country?). Did the recipient institutions obtain a full set of documentation detailing the collecting history of the objects identifying them as licitly-obtained? As I pointed out earlier, it is singularly interesting that as far as we can see, there has not been a single comment from the students and staff of these seven institutes about where the objects left the source country and how they entered North America. Perhaps North American Christians do not consider such issues concern them. Now what are they going to do with those sacred scrolls? Pray to Jesus over them?
All the donations linked with Ancient Asset Investment and Scott Carroll seem to have the sponsors in common: Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla.,.
An interesting online article (Donald Libenson, in Capital Gazette, 21 October 2014) is shedding some light on the motivations behind Mr Larson’s donation. It explains that Mr Larson “credited a friend who’s an author and speaker with inspiring the gift. Larson described him as ‘an apologist,’ a defender of Christianity based on historical evidence and other philosophical arguments. ‘He told me he had purchased an ancient Torah and he found it to be helpful in his speaking and teaching.One wonders if this is not referring to Josh McDowell who has a scroll somehow removed from Łódź, Poland.