Did Jesus Have to Die?

Dr. Israel Knohl

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“Had Jesus’s judges been Pharisees rather than Sadducees, Jesus would not have been condemned to death, convicted, and crucified.” -- Dr. Israel Knohl


Dr. Israel Knohl is the Yehezkel Kaufmann Professor of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. His several books include The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls and most recently The Messiah Confrontation: Pharisees Versus Sadducees and the Death of Jesus. In this absorbing conversation with Dr. Yeshaya Gruber of the Israel Bible Center, Dr. Knohl expounds his provocative thesis that the Pharisees would never have wanted Jesus put to death – and that it was in fact a tiny minority that managed to arrange this verdict at trial over and against the viewpoint of the majority.

See also Dr. Knohl's Roundtable Talk on "Messiahs in Judaism and Christianity."

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Dr. Israel Knohl

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