Ada Yardeni, “A New Dead Sea Scroll in Stone,” BAR 34:01.


The Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark and Luke—tell a generally parallel account, frequently in haec verba, of Jesus’ life.



See Martha Himmelfarb, “Sefer Zerubbabel,” in David Stern and M.J. Mirsky, eds., Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990), pp. 67–90.


Howard Clark Kee, “Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,” in James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1 (New York: Doubleday, 1983), p. 826.


The possible connection between the Testament of Benjamin and the Messiah son of Joseph was already noted by G.H. Dix, “The Messiah Ben Joseph,” Journal of Theologic Studies 27 (1926), pp. 135–136, and by J. Jeremias, Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament 5, pp. 685–686.


Pesikta Rabbati 36, translated from the Hebrew by W.G. Braude, (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1968), pp. 678–679.


See Azaria dei Rossi, Meor Eynayim, ed. David Cassel (Vilna: Romm, 1864–1866), p. 230; I. Levi, Revue des etudes juives 24, pp. 283–285, Cf. R. Abraham b. Azriel, Arugat Habosem, ed. E.E. Urbach, Jerusalem 1939, p. 265. More recently, see Magnus Zetterholm’s introduction to Magnus Zetterholm, ed., The Messiah in Early Judaism and Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), when he argues that the Jesus movement added a new element to the Jewish concept of messianism: a messiah of Israel who will suffer and die. This is now refuted by “Gabriel’s Revelation,” which had not yet been known when Zetterholm wrote.


S. Liebermann, Shkiin (Jerusalem: Wharman Books, 1970), p. 58.


See Israel Knohl, “On ‘the Son of God,’ Armilus and Messiah Son of Joseph,” Tarbiz 68 (1998), pp. 13–38 (Hebrew with English abstract).


Rudolf Bultmann, (History of the Synoptic Traditions [Oxford: Blackwell, 1968], pp. 66, 136–137) has argued that the account is not historical but reflects the denial of Jesus’ Davidic ancestry in a limited circle within the early church. However, as was rightly noted by Bruce Chilton (“Jesus ben David: Reflections on the Davidssohnfrage,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 14 [1982], p. 102), in light of the broad consensus in the New Testament that Jesus was the son of the David, it is difficult to accept that such a circle ever existed within the early church. See further the objection of W.D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, ICC, vol. 3 (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996), p. 250.


For further details, see Israel Knohl, “ ‘By Three Days Live’: Messiahs, Resurrection and Ascent to Heaven in Hazon Gabriel,” The Journal of Religion 88, no. 19 (2008), p. 152, and Israel Knohl, The Messiah Before Jesus, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 17–50.