Bible Review 7:5, October 1991

The Abisha Scroll—3,000 Years Old?

Does the Samaritan community in Nablus have a Torah Scroll written by Aaron’s great-grandson?

By Alan D. Crown

A small group of Samaritans—they now number fewer than 300—continues to live in ancient Shechem (modern Nablus on the West Bank) at the foot of their holy mountain, Mt. Gerizim. They claim to have the oldest Torah (the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses) in existence. It was written, they say, by Abisha,a the great-grandson of Aaron (1 Chronicles 6:50 [6:35 in Hebrew]), 13 years after the Israelite conquest of Canaan—more than 3,000 years ago!

And they can prove it. An almost unforgeable cryptogram embedded in the ancient text—known as the Abisha scroll—validates their claim.

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