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Dr. Rivka Nir

Personal Details

The Open University The Dorothy De Rothschild Campus One University Road P.O.B. 808 Ra’anana 43107, Israel
Office:972-4-6399873 Fax:972-9-7781393 Email: rivkani@openu.ac.il

1997
Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, School for Jewish Studies (with highest honors)
Dissertation: The Destruction of Jerusalem and Eschatology in "The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch"
Supervisors: Prof. Joshua Efron and Prof. Aryeh Kasher
1986
M.A., Tel Aviv University, School for Jewish Studies (with highest honors)
Thesis: The Image of John the Baptist
Supervisor: Prof. Joshua Efron
1980
B.A. (History of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel), Tel Aviv University (with honors)
2010
Head of antiquity courses in the History, Philosophy and Jewish Studies department in the Open University.
2008
A member of degree four in the Open University.
2008
Member, Committee for the Accreditation of Prior Studies, The Open University of Israel
2008
Member, Humanities Subcommittee, The Open University of Israel
2005-2007
Member, Academic Committee, The Center for Research on Eretz Israel and its Yishuv, Yad Ben Tzvi and the Open University of Israel
2004-present
Academic advisor, History, The Open University of Israel
2000-2002
Member, Humanities Subcommittee, The Open University of Israel
1978-present
Course developer and coordinator, Department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies, The Open University of Israel
1996-1999
External instructor, History of the People of Israel, Haifa University
1984-1986
External instructor, Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University
1984-1986
Teaching assistant, History of the People of Israel, Tel Aviv University
1991
ISEF Foundation scholarship for excellence, The Open University
1998
Rothschild Fellowship, "Yad Avi Ha-Yishuv"
1999
The Yaniv fund for Scholars in the Humanities, Tel Aviv University, School for Jewish Studies
1999
The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation Fellowship
2006
Open University Research Authority grant
2006
Proposal submitted to the ISF: Aseneth is the "Type of the Church of the Gentiles", The Conversion of Aseneth in a Christian Context; grade: "very good"
2007
Open University Research Authority grant (sabbatical grant)
2013
Open University Research Authority grant (sabbatical grant)

2011 Associate editor in 4 Enoch: The Online Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins.

2008 - 2014 Zmanim, A Historical Quarterly (Hebrew) 

2011 Membership in the MCJcenter of the Open University and a founder of research group with the topic of: Paring of the ways – text, context and subtext.

The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Idea of Redemption in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, GA, 2003. Reviewed in:
  • M. Henze, RBL, 06/2004
  • L.L. Grabbe, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 28, 5 (2004), 214
  • G. A. Anderson, The Journal of Religion, 85, 155-157
  • L.Ingeborg Lied, Journal of Semitic Sudies, 50 (2005), 403-405
  • S. Ruzer, Cristianesimo nella storia, 27 (2005), 553-557
  • C. Gianotto, Apocrypha, 17 (2006), 281-283
  • J.R. Davila, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha: Jewish, Christian, or Other? (Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2005), pp. 130-131
  • L. Ingeborg Lied, "Recent Scholarship on 2 Baruch 2000-2009", Currents in Biblical Research 9 (2011), pp. 238-276 (261-263).

Early Christianity: The First Three Centuries, Raanana: The Open University, 2009.

Joshua Schwartz, RBL, 15/5/2010.

Joseph and Aseneth. A Christian Book. Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2012. (Hebrew Bible Monographs, 40). Reviewed in:
  • Thomas J. Kraus, RBL, 02/09/2014
  • B. Wilson, Biblical Theology Bulletin

John the Baptist – The First Christian Believer. Was sent to a peer review. (Hebrew).

“The Sacraments in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch,” in Y. Hoffman (ed.), Teuda XVI-XVII, Studies in Judaica, Tel Aviv 2001, pp. 421-473 (Hebrew).

“The Hiding of the Vessels of the Temple in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch - A Jewish or a Christian Tradition?,” in Ohev Shalom, Jerusalem 2005, pp. 111-141 (Hebrew).

“Paraleipomena of Jeremiah-A Jewish or a Christian Composition,” in M. Mor, J. Pastor, I. Ronen and Y. Ashkenazi (eds.), For Uriel, Studies in the History of Israel in Antiquity Presented to Professor Uriel Rappaport, Jerusalem 2005 (Hebrew).

“Aseneth as the ‘Prototype of the Church of the Gentiles’,” in C. A. Evans & D. Zacharias (eds.), Early Christian Literature and Intertextuality, Volume 1: Thematic Studies, Edinburgh: Continuum, 2009, pp.109-137.

“Josepus’s Account of John the Baptist - A Re-examination,” in J. Geiger, H. M. Cotton G.D. Stieble (eds.), Israel's Land, papers presented to Israel Shatzman on his Jubilee, Raanana 2009, pp. 157-186 (Hebrew).

“Aseneth - Jewish Proselyte or Christian Convert?,” in Y. Shahar (ed.), Te'uda XXV, Israel and the Diaspora in the Time of the Second Temple and the Mishnah, Aryeh Kasher Memorial Volum, (Tel Aviv University, 2012), pp. 391-412 ( Hebrew).

“John the Baptist's Geographic Arena - History and Theology,” Ut Videant et Contingant Essays on Pilgrimage and Sacred Space in Honour of Ora Limor, Y. Hen And I. Shagrir (eds), Raanana 2011, pp, 101-124 (Hebrew).

Y. Shahar and R. Nir, "The Scholarly Contribution of Aryeh Kasher to the Study of Eretz-Israel and Diaspora of the Second Temple Period", in Y. Shahar (ed.), Te'uda XXV, Israel and the Diaspora in the Time of the Second Temple and the Mishnah, Aryeh Kasher Memorial Volum, (Tel Aviv University, 2012), pp.19-24.

"Good Tidings" of Baruch to the Christian Faithful (The Epistle of 2 Baruch 78-87)," in: Interpreting 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, G. Boccaccini and J.M. Zurawski (eds.), (London and New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014), pp. pp. 72-93.

"Sexual Desire in the Book of the Watchers and the New Testament Exhortation to Sexual Abstinence". Forthcoming in a collection of articles based on Enoch Seminar, Camaldoli 2013: Enochic Influences on the Synoptic Gospels. L. Stuckenbruck ed.

“This is not the city which I have carved on the palms of my hands: The heavenly Jerusalem in II Baruch,” Zion 65 (2000), pp. 5-44 (Hebrew).

“The aromatic fragrances of Paradise in the Greek life of Adam and Eve and the Christian origin of the composition,” Novum Testamentum XLVI 1 (2004), pp. 20-45.

“The Struggle Between the ‘Image of God’ and Satan in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve, SJT (Scottish Journal of Theology) 3 (2008), pp. 327-339.

“The Flusser School in Early Christianity Research,” Cathedra 125 (2008), pp. 154-157 (Hebrew).

“Qumran and its influences on the research of the Jewish people in antiquity,” Cathedra, 132 (2008), pp. 176-180 (Hebrew).

“John the Baptist in the Image of Elijah – Aspects of a Christian Tradition” Cathedra, 139 (2011), pp. 55-78.

“Josephus’s Account of John the Baptist - A Christian Interpolation?,” JSHJ (Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus), 10 (2012), 32-62.

The Appearance of Elijah and Enoch ‘before the judgment was held’ (1 Enoch, 90: 31) - A Christian tradition?,” Hen, 33 (2011), pp. 108-112.

"It is not right for a man who worships God to repay his neighbor evil for evil" Christian Ethics in Joseph and Aseneth (chapters 22-29)." JHS, 13 (2013), article 5 (pp. 1-30).

'And behold, lambs were born of those white sheep' (1 Enoch 90:6) – The Color White and Eschatological Expectation in the Animal Apocalypse.' Hen, 35 (2013), pp. 50-69.

John the Baptist: The First Christian Believer", Zmanim 120 (2012), pp. 30-39. (Hebrew).

R. Nir and Y. Teppler, "Introduction: Birth of a New Religion", Zmanim 120 (2012), pp. 16-19. (Hebrew).

"Did Adam and Eve Have Sex in the Garden of Eden? The Pseudepigraphic-Apocalyptic Tradition Between Judaism and Christianity," Hen 36/1 (2014), 1-14.

"John the Baptist in the Fourth Gospel: Ideal Witness to Jesus, God and  Man",  Cathedra, 158 (2015), pp. 28-50. (Hebrew).

Review of Warren Mcwilliams, Where Is the God of Justice?: Biblical Perspectives on Suffering (Hendrickson, 2005), Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org/].

Review of Maria Leppäkari, Apocalyptic Representations of Jerusalem (Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2006), Enoch (2007), Hen, 30 (2), (2008), pp. 168-173.

Review of J.R. Davila, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha: Jewish, Christian, or Other? (Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2005), Hen, 30 (1), (2008), pp. 144-151.

“The Flusser School in Early Christianity Research,” Cathedra 125 (2008), pp. 154-157 (Hebrew).

“Qumran and its influences on the research of the Jewish people in antiquity,” Cathedra, 132 (2008), pp. 176-180 (Hebrew).

Review of Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson, The Lost Gospel, (New York and London: Pegasus Books, 2014).  Forthcoming in  JSHJ (=Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus).

From Exile to Independence
First edition, 1978: Development team member
Units 1-7: Academic consultant

Jewish History during the Second Temple: Judea and Rome
First edition, 1981: Development team member
Unit 4: Sections dealing with John the Baptist, Jesus and the early Christian community in Jerusalem (Author)
Unit 11 (second edition, 1999): "From Yehuda to the Galil" (Author)

Jerusalem Throughout the Ages
Development team member
Unit 1 (1984): "From Jebusit town to the capital of the Jewish people" (Author)

The Bar Kokhba Revolt
Units 1-5 (first edition, 1988): Author and Developer
Units 1-5 (second edition, 2009): Author and Developer

From Cyrus to Alexander: The History of Israel during the Persian Empire
Development team member

The Jews in the Roman Empire 70-220: From Rabban Johanan Ben Zakkai to Rabbi Judah the Patriarch
Author and Developer

The Beginnings of Europe: Western Europe in the Early Middle Ages
Unit 1: Academic consultant

Early Christianity
Early Christianity: The First Three Centuries: Author and Developer
Collection of essays (2008): Editor

Reviews: Joshua Schwartz, RBL 05/2010, Rivka Nir, ed.Early Christianity: The First Three Centuries [Hebrew], Raanana, Israel: The Open University of Israel, 2008.

The Bar Kokhba Revolt
Unit 1-5 (2009) New edition: Author and Developer
Collection of essays (2009): Editor

Chapters in Units 2-3 of the Revised Course Jerusalem through the Ages 2014: The Temple and Jerusalem as a Rock of Dispute between Fractions and Classes During the Hashmonean Period. 2014.
Jerusalem and the Temple in Early Christianity. 2014.

Chapters in the revised course: Jewish History during the Second Temple: Judea and Rome. 2014.

“A Jewish World without Apocalypse,” Erez Aheret, 46 (2008), pp. 102-106 (Hebrew).

A Review of Joshua Efron, The Origins of Christianity and Apocalypticism, Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2004, Haaretz 20.5.2005.

“The Sacraments in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch,” The World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1997.

“Did Adam and Eve Have Sex in Paradise? The Theological Background of the Pseudepigraphic-Apocalyptic Tradition,” International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

“The Struggle Between ‘The Image of God’ and Satan in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve,” International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

“The Conversion of Aseneth in a Christian Context,” International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

“Aseneth is the ‘Type of the Church of the Gentiles’,” The Thirty Sixth Conference of the Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies, 2007.

“Aseneth as the ‘Prototype of the Church of the Gentiles’,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Diego, 2007.

Josephus on John the Baptist-A Christian Interpolation?,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, 2008.

The Image of John the Baptist between Judaism and Christianity" Israelite and Jewish Identity during the Biblical and Second Temple Period: Tribalism, Nationhood and Religion, Bar-Ilan University, 26 June 2008.

“The Appearance of Elijah and Enoch ‘before the judgment was held’ (1 Enoch, 90: 31) - A Christian tradition?,” Fifth Enoch Seminar: Enoch, Adam, Melchizedek: Mediatorial Figures in 2 Enoch and Second Temple Judaism, Naples, 14-18 June 2009.

“What do we really know on the Historical Image of John the Baptist?,” The Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, 2009.

“John the Baptist's Geographic Arena - History and Theology,” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans 2009.

"It is not right for a man who worships God to repay his neighbor evil for evil" - Christian Ethics in Joseph and Aseneth (chapters 22-29). Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

"What did the Christians find in the Letter of Baruch that attracted them?" Sixth Enoch Seminar: 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra. Milan, 26-30 June 2011.

'And behold, lambs were born of those white sheep' (Enoch 90:6) – The Color White and Eschatological Expectation in the Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch',  SBL, International Meeting in London 4-7 July 2011.

'A Response to Maria Haralambakis' Review of Rivka Nir, Joseph and Aseneth A Christian Book, Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2012', SBL, International Meeting in Amsterdam, July 2012.

'Good tidings' of Baruch to the Christian Faithful (The Epistle of 2 Baruch 78-87),  SBL, International Meeting in Amsterdam, July 2012.

"After All, The Ways of Judaism and Christianity Did Part", Inter-Cultural Exchange: Jews, Christians, Muslims, The Second International Conference, JCMcenter, December 26-27, 2012.

"Sexual Desire in the Book of the Watchers and the New Testament Exhortation to Sexual Abstinence". Enoch Seminar, Camaldoli, 2013.

"The Reliable Witness: John the Baptist in the Fourth Gospel". The 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies. Jerusalem 2013.

"John the Baptist in the Fourth Gospel: An ideal witness to Jesus, God and man", SBL, International Meeting in Vienna, July 2014.

" John the Baptist – a Jewish or Christian Martyr", JCMcenter conference, December 2015: Religion and Government: Jews, Christians, Muslims.

"Shepherds in the Nativity Story: a symbol of pagan believers in the early Christian community". The 45th Conference of The Israel Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies. June 2016.

Fields of Research

  • The History of the Jewish People during the Second Temple Period
  • Early Christianity
  • The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  • Apocalyptic Literature
  • New Testament and Early Christianity