Messiah in Judaism and who really killed Jesus. Miriam Alster/Flash90

Who Killed Jesus?

Top Israeli scholar explains why some Jews had it out for Jesus, while others still see him as relevant to Judaism


(image) Prof. Israel Knohl (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Professor Israel Knohl, who recently retired from the Hebrew University, and who is now teaching at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, is a well-known Israeli scholar. Among his important works on messianism are The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Messiahs and Resurrection in ‘The Gabriel Revelation.’ 

Knohl’s latest book, The Messianic Controversy, published last September in Hebrew, lays out what he believes to be the two ways ancient Jews understood the Messiah in the Bible, the Apocrypha, and in the New Testament. 

The messianic controversy, Knohl believes, reflects two views of messiah that have existed since the time of the prophet Hosea, who was the first to speak about God’s displeasure with kings and to hint at extending the Davidic covenant to the people of Israel. 

Before going any further, it should be noted that Knohl, himself…