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Professor Michael Knibb

Samuel Davidson Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies


After studying in London, New York and Oxford I was appointed Lecturer in Old Testament Studies at King’s in 1964. I remained at King’s throughout my career, and at the time of my retirement in 2001 I was Head of the School of Humanities. I held a British Academy Research Readership from 1986 to 1988, and in 1995 I gave the Schweich Lectures of the British Academy on the topic ‘Translating the Bible: The Ethiopic Version of the Old Testament’. i was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1989.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Ethiopic Bible
  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Dead Sea Scrolls

My research has been focussed on two main fields of study, the literature of the Second Temple period and the Ethiopic Bible. My interest in the the writings of the Second Temple period led me to publish a number of studies on the Ethiopic Book of Enoch, and on related writings in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as an edition of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. But my concern with the Ethiopic text of Enoch led to a more general interest in the Ethiopic Bible, which has been the primary focus of my research in recent years. 

Selected publications

  • The Ethiopic Book of Enoch. A New Edition in the light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Fragments (2 vols.), 1978.
  • Translating the Bible. The Ethiopic Version of the Old Testament, 1999.
  • The Septuagint and Messianism, 2006. [Contributor and Editor]
  • Essays on the Book of Enoch and other early Jewish Texts and Traditions, 2009.
  • The Ethiopic Text of the Book of Ezekiel: A Critical Edition, 2015.