Matthew Goff

Professor of Religion
Director of Graduate Studies
Dr. Matthew Goff

Contact Information

Religions of Western Antiquity
Office Location
116 Dodd Hall
Resume / CV


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

  • With Dennis Duke, “A Response to Eshbal Ratzon,‘Methodological Issues Concerning the Astronomy of Qumran,’”Dead Sea Discoveries 23 (2016): 79-87. 
  • “Heavenly Mysteries and Otherworldly Journeys: Interpreting 1 and 2 Corinthians in Relation to Jewish Apocalypticism,” in Paul the Jew: Rereading the Apostle as a Figure of Second Temple Judaism (eds. C.A. Segovia and G. Boccaccini; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016), 133-48. 
  • “The Hellenistic Period,” in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Ancient Israel (ed. S. Niditch; West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2016), 241-56
  • “A Seductive Demoness at Qumran? Lilith, Female Demons and 4Q184,” in Das Böse, der Teufel und Dämonen – Evil, Devil, and Demons (WUNT 2.412; eds. J. Dochhorn, S. Rudnig-Zelt and B. Wold; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), 59-76 

Research and Teaching Specializations

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


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Recent Courses

Spring 2017
REL3224: 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: SEminar on 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.