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by RONALD RAMSEY
The Dunham Bible Museum recently expanded its collection to include a new copy of the Torah.
The museum, located in the Morris Cultural Arts Center, received the copy on March 13 from Zoltan Olah, a Hungarian bookbinder who now lives in Houston. Dr. Diana Severance, museum director, said it was an honor to receive a manuscript from a bookbinder as experienced as Olah.
The donated version of the Torah, titled “A Majamuni Kodex,” dates back to the 13th century and is a facsimile, a reproduction of an original document. Severance said this version of the Torah accurately illustrates the writings in the Mishneh Torah, a version of the Torah authored by Maimonides in the 12th century.
“The beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah from the David Kaufman collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is one of the most splendidly decorated of medieval Hebrew manuscripts,” she said.
“A Majamuni Kodex” was published in Hungarian, although it contains minor Hebrew details, and is written unlike typical Bibles, using no quotes, verses, chapters or punctuation marks.
Although this version lacks current elements of style, the wording still remains accurate, and the manuscript features many pictures and drawings.
Freshman Lindsay Knippel said she was impacted by this distinctive Torah.
“If I had a Bible like this, it would be more interesting to read on a daily basis,” she said. “Every page looked different, because the pages were pretty, utilizing different colors, pictures and larger print.”
Senior Sally Grimes, a student worker for the Dunham Bible Museum, said the Torah is a special addition to the museum because most of the collection is based on English and American Bibles.
“The Torah will add to the diversity of the collection, and allow renewed interest to this important Old Testament text,” Grimes said.
Severance said she is very grateful for all of the biblical literature on display at the Dunham Bible Museum and encourages all students to enjoy what the museum has to offer.