Isaac Oliver

Assistant Professor

Bradley Hall 289
(309) 677-2443

Ph.D., Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan
M.A., Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan
M.A., Religion, Andrews University
B.A., Religion Andrews University


Isaac W. Oliver earned his PhD at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan in 2012. He has also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as in France, Argentina, and Austria. He speaks English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Modern Hebrew, and is a citizen of the US and Brazil. At Bradley University, he teaches courses on the New Testament, the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism as well as a course on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the fall of 2014, Oliver received Bradley’s First Year Faculty Award.

Oliver’s field of expertise is in Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman world. His current research focuses particularly in reading the New Testament and other early Christian writings within their Jewish and Greco-Roman matrices. Oliver is also committed to the study of Second Temple Judaism, early rabbinic literature, and the historical inquiry of early Islam, particularly in light of Jewish and Christian texts that were written before the Quran. His recent book, Torah Praxis after 70 CE: Reading Matthew and Luke-Acts as Jewish Texts (Mohr Siebeck), focuses on the question of Sabbath keeping, kashrut (dietary laws), and circumcision in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as well as the Acts of the Apostles.

Oliver is the editor of the Reviews of the Enoch Seminar (RES), a digital book review committed to the publication of book reviews on Jews and Christians in Antiquity. He also serves as the secretary of the Enoch Graduate Seminar, a biannual conference on Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins, and is co-editor of the Peter Lang monograph series, Apocalypticism: Cross-disciplinary Explorations. In 2015, Oliver participated in the first Early Islamic Studies Seminar (EISS) - Nangeroni Conference.


  • RLS 300 – Hebrew Bible
  • RLS 302 – New Testament
  • RLS 332 – Religions of the World II: Abrahamic Traditions

Topic of RLS 332 in January, 2013: Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Topic of RLS 332 (2013-2014): Food and Identity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Topic of RLS 332 (2014-2015): Women in the Bible and the Quran

Topic of RLS 332 (2015-2016): Homosexuality in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

  • RLS 350 – Topics in Religious Studies, Second Temple Judaism: The Jewish Apocrypha
  • Forthcoming course: Early Rabbinic Literature



  • Torah Praxis after 70 CE: Reading Matthew and Luke-Acts as Jewish Texts. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 355. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, December 2013.

Selected Articles

  • Isaac W. Oliver and Veronika Bachmann. “The Book of Jubilees: An Annotated Bibliography from the First German Translation of 1850 to the Enoch Seminar of 2007.” Henoch 31.1 (2009): 123–64.
  • “Simon Peter Meets Simon the Tanner: The Ritual Insignificance of Tanning in Ancient Judaism.” New Testament Studies 59.1 (2013): 50–60.
  • “Forming Jewish Identity by Formulating Legislation for Gentiles.” Journal of Ancient Judaism 4.1 (2013): 105–32.
  • “Jewish Followers of Jesus and the Bar Kokhba Revolt: Re-examining the Christian Sources.” Pages 109 –27 in The Psychological Dynamics of Revolution: Religious Revolts. Vol. 1 of Winning Revolutions: The Psychology of Successful Revolts for Freedom, Fairness, and       Rights. Edited by J. Harold Ellens. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO Praeger, 2014.
  • “Luke’s Eschatology and Genealogy in Light of Enochic Tradition.”  Enoch and the Synoptic Tradition. Edited by Loren T. Stuckenbruck, Matthias Hoffmann, and Gabriele Boccaccini (London: Bloomsbury, Forthcoming, 2015).
  • “The ‘Historical Paul’ and the Paul of Acts: Who’s More Jewish?” Paul the Jew: A Conversation between Pauline and Second Temple Scholars. Edited by Carlos Segovia and   Gabriele Boccaccini (Fortress, Forthcoming, 2015).
  • “Matthieu est-il plus juif que Luc?” Judaïsme ancien /Ancient Judaism (Forthcoming, 2016).