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Rebecca Harris

Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies



717-796-1800, X2129

Interest and areas of expertise
  • Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Time and Space in Early Jewish and Christian Literature
  • Ph.D., 2019, Rice University
  • M.Phil., 2017, Rice University
  • M.A., 2013, Hebrew Union College
  • M.A., 2010, Regent University
  • B.A., 2004, Bethany University
Classes I teach

As an educator, I enjoy helping students gain a deeper understanding of the Bible through knowledge of the historical and cultural contexts behind the text.  My research and writing focus on the later texts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, early Jewish literature (especially the Dead Sea Scrolls), and the Jewish contexts of Jesus and his earliest followers.

Prior to joining the faculty of Messiah, I studied and worked as a graduate instructor at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  Originally a California native, I have lived as far north as Minneapolis, Minnesota, as far east as Norfolk, Virginia, and as far south as Houston, Texas.  I also spent five years serving as a full-time children’s pastor in Sacramento, California, before pursuing a graduate education.

My husband, JR, and our two kids, Lylah and Nehemiah, help keep life balanced and fun.  We love exploring all the great parks, farms, and local markets here in central Pennsylvania!


“Torah and Transformation: the Centrality of the Torah in the Eschatology of 2 Baruch,” Journal of Ancient Judaism (forthcoming, 2019)

Co-authored “Aramaic Levi,” in Early Jewish Literature: An Anthology (vol. 2; ed. Brad Embry, Ronald Herms, and Archie T. Wright; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017), 652-670.