The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a pseudepigraphic apocalyptic work ascribed to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe of Jeremiah. Its overt content concerning the last days of the First Temple period disguises a description of the fall of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Contrary to the general scholarly view, this book attempts to show that the internal structure and central ideas of II Baruch must be understood in a Christian context. This theological identity is reflected mainly in traditions which describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the three apocalyptic visions which depict the coming of the Messiah and the eschatological redemption. The author’s conclusion may shed light on the Christian character of other Pseudepigraphic and apocalyptic books.
Rivka Nir is Teacher and Researcher in the Department of History at The Open University of Israel in Tel Aviv.