(1956 -, Dutch).
Has taught at University of Utrecht and Leiden, now at University of Amsterdam as professor of Religions and Society. From 2006-2011 he was chairman of the board of the University of Amsterdam.
Focuses on the Hebrew Bible in its cultural context. Since 2011 his research has shifted to religions of the contemporary world. Important publications: Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible (2007) in which his general theory is that a scribal elite connected with the Jerusalem temple formed, and in many isnatnces composed the text of the Hebrew Bible several centuries BCE. More well-known perhaps is the handbook Deities and Demons of the Hebrew Bible of which van der Toorn was the co-editor, and contributed with numerous articles.