Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia Receives Gift of Torah Scroll
Larsons Have Donated More than 40 to Various Institutions
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 14, 2017 – Westminster Theological Seminary will unveil a priceless copy of the Torah, a scroll containing the first five books of the Bible, donated by Christian philanthropists Ken and Barbara Larson at ceremonies on campus in suburban Philadelphia on Sept. 27.
“This is the first time that Westminster has been blessed with such a scroll in our almost 90 years of ministry,” said Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster. “We are deeply thankful to the Larson family for making this remarkable educational contribution to the Westminster community.”
This Torah, made of calf skins, is 100 feet long. It was copied by a Jewish scribe in the original Hebrew in the 18th century in Germany and miraculously survived the Holocaust, when thousands of Torahs were destroyed by the Nazis.
The Larsons, who live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, donated their first Torah in 2014 to nearby Bethel Seminary for their 50th wedding anniversary. When they found out that many similar institutions did not have access to a Torah, they decided to purchase Torahs so they could donate them to seminaries, universities and other institutions committed to biblical truth.
The Larsons have given more than 40 Torahs to institutions in North America and around the world.
“The Torah is at the core of Jewish life,” Ken Larson said. “It’s at the roots of our faith. The first reference to Christ or a messianic being is in Genesis 3:15 when God promises to bring a Messiah. The plan of redemption…is all centered in the Torah.”
The Larsons said they hope the scroll will serve as a reminder of the precious nature of Scripture and the need to preserve it, as well as an invaluable tool for Westminster faculty and students as they study God’s Word.
The Torah will be named the Robert Dick Wilson Scroll, in honor of Westminster’s first Old Testament professor. The dedication ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Westminster’s Rust Auditorium, followed by a colloquium or seminar at 1 p.m. at the Montgomery Library featuring Dr. Scott Carroll, a leading expert in rare, biblical papyri and scrolls.
Both events are open to the public. For more information or to attend, please visit https://www.wts.edu/events/westminster-dedicates-historic-torah-scroll/.
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