PORTLAND, Ore. — Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla., are giving a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah University.
The Torah is a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written. The Larsons purchased several scrolls, all of which are hundreds of years old, in Israel.
Ancient Asset Investments, a brokerage firm dealing in rare biblical artifacts, is assisting the couple with the donation process. Todd Hillard, the firm’s owner, said the Larsons had a vision for placing the Torahs in leading seminaries. “The Larsons have a deep passion for seminary education,” he said. “They want history to influence future scholars.”
Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings said the gift will further ignite students’ passion for God’s Word. “This is an incredible and generous gift,” he said. “It will bring an added dimension to their educational experience that will last for many years.”
Although the scroll is more than two centuries old, Hillard said it’s durable enough to be used frequently for decades to come. “All Torahs are innately priceless,” he said. “This one is in perfect condition.” He added that the scroll — which is two feet tall and 100 feet long — was likely used in synagogues.
University President Dr. Craig Williford said the artifact will help sharpen students’ interpretation skills while enhancing their appreciation for the Bible’s reliability. “Having direct access to such an important historical copy of the Torah will enable them to connect to the rich heritage of biblical transmission and translation work,” he said. “This will affirm their appreciation of the Scriptures as God’s inspired, authoritative word.”
The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted on campus and is tentatively set for early November.
About Multnomah University
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.