David N. Bivin

David N. Bivin

David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew University until 1969 specializing in Jewish history and literature under professors Menahem Stern, David FlusserShmuel Safrai and Yechezkel Kutscher, and in archaeology under professors Yigael Yadin, Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah. During those six years, and for many years afterwards, Bivin also studied the Synoptic Gospels with Jerusalem scholar-pastor Dr. Robert L. Lindsey.

Bivin has written and co-authored more than two hundred scholarly and popular articles. Recent academic articles include the entry “Hebraisms in the New Testament” in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2013), 2:198-201, and the article “Jesus’ Petros-petra Wordplay (Matt 16:18): Is It Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew?” in The Language Environment of First-century Judaea: Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels 2 (JCP 26; ed. Randall Buth and R. Steven Notley; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2014), 375-394. Bivin has presented scholarly papers at U.S. and international meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Together with Joshua N. Tilton and Lauren Asperschlager, Bivin is working on a projected 5,000-page commentary on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, currently being published at JerusalemPerspective.com.

Bivin’s popular book, New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus (Holland, MI: En-Gedi Resource Center), appeared in 2005.

Bivin is a member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, a think tank made up of Jewish and Christian scholars dedicated to better understanding the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). In the early 1980s, before the School became a legal entity, he coined its name. For many years following the School’s registration in Israel as a nonprofit research institute in 1985, he served as its director and Executive Board chairman.

During the years 1970 to 1981 Bivin directed the Hebrew Language Division of the American Ulpan, and the Modern Hebrew Department of the Institute of Holy Land Studies (later renamed Jerusalem University College) on Mt. Zion. During those years, he authored the video language course, Aleph-Bet: A Beginner’s Introduction to Reading and Writing Hebrew, and co-authored, with the late Robert Goldfarb, Fluent Biblical and Modern Hebrew, a home-study language program.

For twelve years (1987-1999) Bivin published Jerusalem Perspective, a print magazine that presented the life and teachings of Jesus in their original cultural and linguistic settings. In 1999 the magazine evolved into a website, www.jerusalemperspective.com.

Active in Israeli life, Bivin served as a sergeant in an Israeli army reserve infantry unit from 1974 to 1991. He is a member of Jerusalem’s Narkis Street Congregation, where he served as an elder under the pastorate of the late Robert Lindsey. He and his wife Josa (née Keosababian) met and were married at the Narkis Street Congregation in 1969. The Bivins live on the moshav of Yad Hashmona near Jerusalem.

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