In this fascinating book, Knohl shares his understanding of how the Torah was edited into its final form. He bridges the gap between ancient Israel (c.1400-586 B.C.E.) and Second Temple times (c.536 B.C.E.-70 C.E.) by showing the continuity between these eras and the gradual evolution of the biblical worldview, which formed the foundation of later rabbinic Judaism. The book focuses on the editing of the Torah, interpreting the textual evidence, most notably contradictions and redundancies, to show that the idea of a pluralistic understanding of Revelation can be traced back to the editing of the Torah itself. Knohl's interpretation of biblical composition challenges a popular trend in contemporary biblical scholarship: the idea that ancient Israel never existed as a historical reality, but was invented and "retrojected" back in time by later Israelite priests as part of their national myth.
Israel Knohl is chair of the Bible Department of Hebrew University and on the faculty of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Sanctuary of Silence and The Messiah Before Jesus. Knohl brings to his book an impressive background in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, research in messianism, and a thorough grounding in Rabbinics--a breadth of expertise rare among academics.