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Matthew Goff

Professor of Religion
Director of Graduate Studies

for more on the department's graduate program, see here

Departmental Area: Religions of Western Antiquities
Research Areas : Wisdom Literature; Apocalypticism; The Dead Sea Scrolls; Second Temple Judaism

Address: Department of Religion
641 University Way / P.O. Box 3061520
The Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1520
Office: 116 Dodd Hall
Email: mgoff@fsu.edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays 4-5 (Fall 2016)

Curriculum Vitae


I joined the faculty of the FSU Religion Department in Fall 2005. I offer courses in Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism. I completed an M.T.S degree in 1997 at Harvard Divinity School and I finished my Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2002. I studied under John Collins and wrote a dissertation on 4QInstruction, the longest wisdom text of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This document is the best example available of a sapiential text with an apocalyptic worldview. Working on this composition developed my interest in the intersections between the wisdom and apocalyptic traditions in early Judaism.

I was awarded a grant from the Humboldt Foundation (Forschungsstipendium für erfahrene Wissenschaftler) and spent the 2013-14 academic year at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, working on a book on giants in ancient Judaism.

Recent Books

Recent Articles

Research and Teaching Specializations

  • Wisdom Literature
  • Apocalypticism
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Second Temple Judaism


Recent Courses

Spring 2017

REL 3224   The Hebrew Prophets
This course analyzes the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekel, and the twelve minor prophets. The course examines the role of prophecy elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible (as in the Elijah stories) and situates the biblical prophets within the broader context of prophecy, as a religious and social phenomenon in the ancient Near East. Meets Liberal Studies: Cultural Practice (LS-CUL).

RLG5297    SEM: Biblical Studies:  Prophets/Prophecy 2nd Temple
This class will examine prophets and prophecy in ancient Judaism.  Significant attention will be devoted to how the Dead Sea Scrolls contribute and revise our understanding of prophecy and the interpretation of prophetic books in this period.  This relates to how major issues in ancient Judaism should be understood, such as the status of scripture, the theologization of history, and sectarianism.  We will also consider prophecy in ancient Judaism in its wider Hellenistic milieu.

Fall 2016

REL 3209       The Dead Sea Scrolls 
In this course, students will analyze key manuscripts of the Qumran corpus, with a focus on issues such as the history, beliefs and praxis of the Jewish sectarian movement that is associated with the scrolls, the archaeology of the Qumran site and the significance of the scrolls for understanding Second Temple Judaism and the origins of Christianity.  Meets LS Cultural Practice (LS-CUL) and Scholarship-in-Practice (SIP).

REL4214        The Book of Genesis 
This course offers a close and critical reading of the Book of Genesis in terms of its composition, history of its interpretations, its Near Eastern context, its narrative artistry, as well as its relevance for ethics and theology. Please Contact Instructor for Permission.