WEEK IN RELIGION

Recent advancements in non-invasive imaging and processing software has allowed biblical scholars to “unwrap” and read the almost 2,000-year-old Ein-Gedi scroll, which was discovered in the 1970s. Discovered in the Holy Ark in the Synagogue of Ein Gedi, an ancient Hebrew town that was burned down in 600 A.D., the ancient Torah scroll was thought to be unreadable because the scrolls were rolled up, crushed, fused and charred. Using his “virtual unwrapping” software, University of Kentucky professor Brent Seales was able make the inscribed text legible for biblical scholars to study. Scholars eventually identified the text as Leviticus 1:1-9 and Leviticus 2:1-11, and found that the text is identical to the Hebrew Masoretic Text still used today. Radiocarbon dating results indicated that the scroll was copied by scribes in the third or fourth century and researchers found that the subject of the 18 lines of text had not changed in at least 1,700 years. Apart from the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, the Ein-Gedi scroll is now the oldest known Pentateuchal scroll, which is text that contains the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

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STUDY SAYS

Americans believe God accepts all religions

The majority of Americans believe that God accepts the worship of all religions, according to a new study. In LifeWay Research’s 2016 State of American Theology Study, researchers found that 64 percent of Americans believe that all religions — including Christianity, Judaism and Islam — are accepted by God. The study also found that only 48 percent of those identifying themselves as evangelicals share the belief that God accepts all forms of worship.

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GOOD BOOK?

“The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian” by Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren, a leading voice in contemporary religion, argues that — notwithstanding the dire headlines about the demise of faith and drop in church attendance — Christian faith is not dying. Rather, it is embarking on a once-in-an-era spiritual shift. For millions, the journey has already begun. Drawing from his work as global activist, pastor, and public theologian, McLaren challenges readers to stop worrying, waiting, and indulging in nostalgia, and instead, to embrace the powerful new understandings that are reshaping the church.With his trademark brilliance and compassion, McLaren invites readers to seize the moment and set out on the most significant spiritual pilgrimage of our time: To help Christianity become more Christian.

— Convergent Books

THE WORD

basilica: A church to which special privileges have been given by the pope.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Hungary is:

— Roman Catholic: 37.2 percent

— Calvinist: 11.6 percent

— Lutheran: 2.2 percent

— Greek Catholic: 1.8 percent

— Other: 1.9 percent

— None: 18.2 percent

— Unspecified: 27.2 percent

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