Getty Museum buys illuminated 700-year-old Bible

“The Rothschild Pentateuch will be the greatest High Medieval Hebrew manuscript in the United States," says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

July 12, 2018 10:04
1 minute read.
Getty Museum buys illuminated 700-year-old Bible

RABBI ELIEZER ADAM works on the Sefer Torah at Washington’s Museum of the Bible last week. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The J. Paul Getty Museum announced the acquisition of the Rothschild Pentateuch on Wednesday. Brining to the United States one of the greatest illuminated Jewish manuscripts to have survived from the Middle Ages.

Dated from 1296, the text is a brilliant departure from the common convention Jewish art is more textual than visual due to a tradition of avoiding the painted image, the artist who created the Rothschild Pentateuch was inspired to paint vivid, brilliant works depicting animals and humans that blend with outstanding Hebrew caligraphy.

“The Rothschild Pentateuch will be the greatest High Medieval Hebrew manuscript in the United States, and one of the most important illuminated Hebrew Bibles of any period,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

“Its richly illuminated pages – a great rarity in the thirteenth century – make it a work of outstanding quality and importance that represents the pinnacle of artistic achievement of its day. It will be one of the most signal treasures of the Department of Manuscripts and indeed of the Getty Museum overall.”

The Rothschild Pentateuch will make its debut at the Getty Center in Art of Three Faiths: A Torah, a Bible, and a Qur’an on view August 7, 2018 to February 3, 2019, an exhibition showcasing the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Three spectacular examples from the Getty’s permanent collection, including a Christian Bible and a Qur’an together with the newly acquired Torah, will be featured in this spotlight show.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
May 23, 2019
Poll finds moderate Right opposes immunity for Netanyahu