Born in 1963, Prochowice, Poland, he graduated from the M. Copernicus high school in 1982 in Lubin. He took his first religious vows in 1983 in the novitiate of the Salesian order in Kopiec, district of Czestochowa. There followed philosophical and theological studies at the Salesian seminary in Cracow (1983-1990), together with pastoral training (1985-86) and a two-year period of theological and biblical studies in the Salesian seminary in Cremisan, Israel (1986-88).

Having successfully finished his master’s degree in the field of biblical theology under the guidance of rev. prof. Ryszard Rubinkiewicz SDB at the Catholic University in Lublin (1990), he was ordained to priesthood on June 12, 1990, and then spent one year in pastoral work in Sosnowiec (1990-91). Then for almost a year he studied Modern Hebrew at the Jerusalem Ulpan Beth Ha-Am (1991-92) and in 1992 began licentiate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, which he successfully finished in 1996 (S.S.L., 28.11.1995). In 1996 he started his doctoral year at the PBI together with additional biblical studies at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem (élève titulaire, 1996-98). Another period of study at Harvard Divinity School (Resident Graduate 1998-99) were dedicated to the study of Semitic languages and pseudepigraphic literature of the OT; there followed a two-year stay in Cambridge, Mass., (1999-2001), dedicated to finishing the written dissertation. In the fall of 2001 he began teaching the Old Testament at the Salesian seminary in Cracow, Poland, and then the defense of the dissertation took place at the Biblicum in Rome (S.S.D., 18.02.2003). The same year he started teaching at the Pontifical Academy of Theology (2003-2005), Cracow, and Jagiellonian University in the Department of Jewish Studies (2003-2005). The public discussion of the dissertation took place on February 18, 2003 at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Having published his dissertation, on April, 14, 2004, the Institute issued the diploma and granted him the title of doctor de re biblica. On January 31, 2005, the title was recognized by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The year 2004 saw the publication of the dissertation by Brill, the distinguished Dutch publishing house, in the series Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism. The publication entitled An Aramaic Wisdom Text from Qumran: A New Interpretation of the Levi Document contains a critical edition of a Jewish priestly composition from the third c. BC. whose Aramaic manuscripts come from the Qumran scrollery and the Cairo genizah of the Ezra synagogue. A Greek version of a part of the document is attested in a Mt. Athos manuscript. The critical edition of this important priestly composition together with its paleographic description, reconstruction of the text, historical and literary commentary constitutes the starting point for further research on Jewish priesthood of the Second Temple period.

In the fall of 2005 he began teaching at the Catholic University of Lublin in the Institute of Biblical Studies that makes part of the Faculty of Theology, where he served as secretary (2005-2007). In the year 2007-08 he stayed in the USA at the two academic institutions where he held the status of ‘invited scholar.’ The first semester (2007) he spent in the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. The second semester and most of the summer 2008 he conducted research in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. The year spent at these two universities concentrated on the Aramaic Astronomical Book from Qumran and led to the critical edition of the four Aramaic manuscripts accompanied by a detailed commentary. The work was published in 2011 by Oxford University press under the title The Aramaic Astronomical Book (4Q208-4Q211) from Qumran: Text, Translation, and Commentary. A new understanding of simple astronomical calculation concerning lunar elongation allowed a more precise location of this Jewish tradition within the context of Mesopotamian astronomy/astrology. The publication received the prize for excellency in scientific research granted by the Minister of Science and Higher Education.

For the last several years the research led by Drawnel concentrated on the Aramaic manuscripts of the pseudepigraphic book of Enoch. Since 4Q201, 4Q202, 4Q204, 4Q205, 4Q206, 4Q207, and 4Q212 were not included in the Discoveries of the Judaean Desert series, their critical edition still does not exist. The work on that project began in 2014 and was brought to a conclusion in 2017. At present (2018) the whole monograph with the edition of the Aramaic manuscripts is in the editorial process undertaken by Oxford University Press. Concerning the Qumran research in Poland, it is worth mentioning that within the context of his work in the Institute of Biblical Studies at the KUL, Drawnel organized an international conference (24-26.10.2017) dedicated to Qumran scrolls on the seventieth anniversary of their discovery. The conference drew together a host of renown scholars working in the field.