Israel Knohl

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Israel Knohl (Hebrew: ישראל קנוהל‎‎; born 13 March 1952) is the Yehezkel Kaufmann Chair of Biblical studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He served as a visiting Professor at Berkeley, Stanford and Chicago Divinity School.

Knohl is best known for his theory that Jewish culture contained a myth about a messiah who rose from the dead in the days before Jesus of Nazareth.[1] Those theories are expounded in the book, The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls (University of California Press, 2000).

He is known also for his The Sanctuary of Silence, a book concerning his theories about the dating of the Priestly Source. In this, Knohl proposes that the Priestly Source (P) dates from a much earlier period than it is usually dated to, and consequently that the Holiness Code (H) represents an addition to the law code of P, rather than the standard interpretation which is the reverse. Knohl suggests that H might have been inserted into P in order for the Temple priesthood to respond to the growing Prophetic movements.

In 2007, Knohl was noted for his research on the Gabriel's Revelation, an ancient document which appears to give details on early messianic beliefs about a death and resurrection of a messianic leader after three days.


  • The Conception of God and Cult in the Priestly Torah and in the Holiness School, (Doctoral Dissertation, 1988).
  • The Sanctuary of Silence: The Priestly Torah and the Holiness School, (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1992. Hebrew. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995. English).
  • The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Jerusalem: Schocken Press, 2000. Hebrew. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. English).
  • The Divine Symphony: The Bible's Many Voices, (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003).
  • Biblical Beliefs: The Borders of the Biblical Revolution, (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2007). Hebrew.
  • Where Are We From?: The Genetic Code of the Bible, (Tel Aviv: Dvir Press, 2008). Hebrew.
  • Messiahs and Resurrection in the 'Gabriel Revelation, (London: Continuum, 2009).
  • Ha-Shem: The Secret Numbers of the Hebrew Bible and the Mystery of the Exodus from Egypt, (Tel Aviv: Dvir Press, 2012). Hebrew


  1. ^ Schäfer, Peter (2011-02-21). The Origins of Jewish Mysticism. Princeton University Press. pp. 151–. ISBN 9780691142159. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 

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