My name is Michael Johnson, and I’m a postdoctoral researcher at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Jewish Philosophy. I specialize in early Judaism, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Jewish literature of the Second Temple period (515 BCE-70 CE). My teaching interests include the poetic, sapiential, and apocalyptic literature from the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish writings, archaeology and the Bible, and biblical languages. I’m currently residing as an associate fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in East Jerusalem, where I facilitate academic programming and field trips.
In 2019 I defended my dissertation, “Reassessing the Genres of the Hodayot (Thanksgiving Psalms from Qumran).” It examines the categories that scholars have developed for the psalms in the Hodayot tradition (Teacher Hymns and Community Hymns) and offers a revised categorization schema based on the genre of the psalms rather than the persona of the author or speaker.
I recently finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the material reconstructions and programmatic sequencing of previously unknown psalms in the Dead Sea scrolls 1QHodayota and 4QHodayota. The revised reconstructions of these manuscripts form the basis for a fresh exploration of where the manuscripts fit among the corpus of liturgically-oriented texts discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they tell us about the emergence of liturgical practices already in the Second Temple period.
I have recently begun a new postdoctoral position at Tel Aviv University working with Eshbal Ratzon on the material reconstruction of Dead Sea scrolls with calendrical, cosmological, and astronomical content.
Please feel free to explore my research blog or check my calendar for upcoming events.