Princeton Man Sheds Light on Bible Mystery

“The Torah Shrine in the Ashburnham Pentateuch” by Joseph C. Sloane Jr. of Princeton University is the leading article in the July issue of the Jewish Quarterly Review, publication of the Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, edited by Dr. Cyrus A. Adler. Other contributors to the present number include Prof. Solomon Zeitlin of Dropsie College, Prof. Louis Finkelstein and Paul Chertoff of the Jewish Theological Seminary; D. S. Blondheim and Prof. Bernard Heller of Budapest.

In view of the recent discoveries of a fresco in the antique synagogue at Dura Europos depicting the shrine in which the scrolls of the Law were kept, Mr. Sloane sheds light on the mystery surrounding the origin of the Ashburnham Pentateuch which now reposes in the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale. With illustrations and finely drawn schematic relationships the writer evolves a theory regarding the date of the manuscript which has long puzzled students of medieval literature and iconography.

Among the critical notices in the new issue there are discussions of an attempted systematization of rabbinic theology; an exposition of the history of Halakic literature; Jules Bauer’s “Ecole Rabbinque de France” with a foreword by Israel Levi, Chief Rabbi of France; an analysis of Joseph Felten’s effort to trace the origin of Christianity thorugh a history of the Jews through the reign of Hadrian and a hearty commendation of Ginzberg’s Legend of the Jews as a contribution toward the establishment of the relationship between the Aggada and Hellenism and the Church.

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