Judaic Studies

Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Aryay B Finkelstein

Aryay B Finkelstein

Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies , A&S Judaic Studies

3510 French Hall


Professor Finkelstein is a historian of Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. His main research focuses on the use and function of Jews and Judaism in the works of Christians and pagans in Late Antiquity. His current book project, provisionally titled “Emperor Julian and the Jews: the Use of Jews in the Making of a Pagan Empire”, based on his doctoral dissertation, examines how Emperor Julian (361-363) triangulates Jews with Christians and pagans in order to produce a pagan empire and to delegitimize Christianity. He has also written on Pseudo-Philo and Ezekiel the Tragedian. Other academic interests include Greco-Roman history, Greco-Roman thought and law, early Christianity, biblical reception, post-colonial studies, and semiotics.  He also has two law degrees from McGill University.
Research Support

Grant: #OH-R13-086 Investigators:Finkelstein, Aryay 09-01-2013 -08-31-2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Pursuing Justice: Jewish Law in the 21st Century Role:PI $3,000.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #URC Faculty Award 2014-2015 Investigators:Finkelstein, Aryay 01-23-2014 -01-22-2015 UC's University Research Council URC Faculty Award 2014-2015 Role:PI $8,000.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Grant: #QU14-071 Investigators:Finkelstein, Aryay 09-01-2014 -08-31-2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Foodaism: Do Jews Make Food or Does Food Make Jews? Role:PI $3,500.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #URC AHSS Faculty Research stipend FY18 Investigators:Finkelstein, Aryay 05-01-2018 -05-31-2018 UC's University Research Council URC AHSS Faculty Research stipend FY18 Role:PI $16,275.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Preferred Information

Assistant Professor, Judaic Studies, Finkelstein, Ari Ph.D., 513-556-6546, French Hall, Room 3510

Headshot of Matthew A Kraus

Matthew A Kraus

Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Director of Hebrew Program , A&S Judaic Studies

3508 French Hall


Professor Kraus studies the history of biblical interpretation and Judaism in Greek and Roman antiquity. Most recently, he is the author of Jewish, Christian, and Classical Exegetical Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Exodus:  Translation Technique and the Vulgate (Brill, 2017), "Rabbinic Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Numbers,” Journal of Biblical Literature, and "Wisdom of Solomon" for the Jewish Annotated Apocrypha (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).  Editor of How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World (2006 Gorgias Press), he has also published on Philo, the Gospel of John, and on the Old Latin version of the Bible. His courses include Women and the Bible, The Dead Sea Scrolls, History of Biblical Interpretation, Introduction to Judasim, Chanukah Through the Ages and Modern Hebrew.

Ph.D., University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, 1996 (Classics Doctoral Dissertaion "Jerome's Translation of the Book of Exodus Iuxta Hebraeos in Relation to Classical, Christian and Jewish Traditions of Interpretation," Sabine MacCormack, Director)

Rabbinic Ordination, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Cincinnati, OH, 1991 (Masters of Hebrew Letters, 1990 "Josephus' Paraphrase of the Book of Numbers, Chapters 1-18," unpublished Rabbinical Thesis, Adam Kamesar, director.)

Special Student, International Christian University Tokyo, Japan, 1986

B.A., Harvard-Radcliffe University Cambridge, MA, 1985 (Classics)

Research Support

Grant: #OHC #R12-100 Investigators:Kraus, Matthew 10-01-2012 -09-30-2013 National Endowment for the Humanities Are The Dead Sea Scrolls Dead? (UC Lichter Lecture Series 2012) Role:PI $2,500.00 Active Level:Federal

Abbreviated Publications
Book Chapter

"New Jewish Directions in the Study of the Fourth Gospel" in New Currents Through John:  A Global Perspective. Edited by  Francisco Lozada Jr. and Tom Thatcher.  Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

"The Late Antique Context of Jewish Exegetical Traditions in Jerome's Targum of the Bible," in Midrash in Context: Proceedings of the 2004 and 2005 SBL Consultation on Midrash.  Edited by Lieve Teugels and Rivka Ulmer.  Gorgias Press (2007).

Encyclopedia Article

“Hebraisms in the Latin Versions of the Bible,” commissioned for the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Brill Publishers.

Hebrew Loanwords into Latin,” the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Brill Publishers 

Peer Reviewed Publications

"Philosophical History in Philo's In Flaccum," Society of Biblical Literature 1994 Seminar Papers, Eugene H. Lovering, Jr., ed. (Scholars Press, 1994)

"Hebraisms in the Old Latin Version of the Bible,"  Vetus Testamentum, 53.4 (2003) 487-513

"Christian, Jews and Pagans in Dialogue:  Saint Jerome on Ecclesiastes 12:1–7," Hebrew Union College Annual, 70/71 (1999-2000), 183-231.  

"It's the Economy Schmendrik:  An Economic Approach to American Judaism.”  The Reform Jewish Quarterly, Fall (2016), 91-105.

 "Rabbinic Traditions in Jerome’s Translation of the Book of Numbers.”  Journal of Biblical Literature 136.3 (2017), 539-563.

“The Vulgate and Christian-Jewish Dialogue,” Vulgata in Dialogue 2 (2018), 1-14 (https://ojs2.uni-tuebingen.de/ojs/index.php/vidbor/article/view/35).

“Renewing Abram’s and Sarai’s Unconditional Covenant or Why Be a Reform Jew?,” The Reform Jewish QuarterlySummer (2018),131-143.

Popular Magazine Article

"A Chanukah Proposal,"  Tikkun, November-December, 2003, pp.85-87, 90.


Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World by Louis Feldman, CCAR Journal, Fall 1996.

Columbia Papyri XI (3rd to 7th century papyri relating to Christianity).  Bryn Mawr Classical Review, February, 2000

History, Apocalypse, and the Secular Imagination: New Essays on Augustine's City of God edited by Mark Vessey et al., Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July, 2001.

Diaspora:  Jews amidst Greeks and Romans by Erich S. Gruen,  New England Classical Journal,  30.3 (August, 2003) 176-179.

Japheth in the Tents of Shem:  Studies on Jewish Hellenism in Antiquity by Pieter W. van der Horst, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, February, 2004

Jews and Gentiles in the Holy Land in the Days of the Second Temple, the Mishna and the Talmud, Menachem Mor, Aharon Oppenheimer, Jack Pastor, Daniel R. Schwartz, edd., Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March, 2004

Remains of the Jews:  The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity by Andrew S. Jacobs, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September, 2005.

The Cultural Turn in Late Ancient Studies: Gender, Asceticism, and Historiography edited by Dale B. Martin and Patricia Cox Miller, BMCR, June, 2006.

Susan Weingarten, The Saint’s Saints:  Hagiography and Geography in Jerome; Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity, Henoch (2007).

The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism, edited by Dana Evan Kaplan.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2005, Journal of the American Jewish Archives 58 (2006).

Tessa Rajak.  Translation and Survival: The Greek Bible of the Ancient Jewish
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, February, 2009.  H-Judaic, February, 2010.

Review of Jordan Rosenblum, Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism.(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), BMCR, May 2011.

Review of Ishay Rosen-Zvi. Demonic Desires: Yetzer Hara and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity. Philadelphia  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, H-Judaic, November 2012.

Review of Andrew Cain, Jerome’s Epitaph on Paula:  A Commentary on the Epitaphium Sanctae Paulae, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013), Review of Biblical Literature, 2015(http://www.bookreviews.org)

Review of Dana Kaplan, The New Reform Judaism: Challenges and Reflections, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2013, American Jewish History, 99.1 (January, 2015)108-110.

Review of Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism,volume XXVI, 2014. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014, BMCR, September, 2015

Review of Jacob L. Wright,David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory.  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) in Politics and Religion. 8.4 (2015), 844-847

Review of Honora Howell Chapman and Zuleika Rodgers, edsA Companion to Josephus. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2016), Bryn Mawr Classical Review(2016.11.52).

Review of Michael Herren, The Anatomy of Myth: The Art of Interpretation from the Presocratics to the Church Fathers.   (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2017), Bryn Mawr Classical Review(2018.01.51)

Review of William L. Krewson. Jerome and the Jews: Innovative Supersessionism (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2017), inStudies in Christian-Jewish Relations13:1 (2018). 1-4

Invited Presentations

Matthew Kraus (09-2004. )Judaism and Homosexuality .Rockdale Temple, Level:Local

(10-2004. )Judaism and Greco-Roman Culture: Does Japheth Dwell in the Tents of Shem or Does Shem Dwell in the Tents of Japheth .Kinus Bogrim, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Level:University

(01-2005. )"Zechariah's Blood and the Destruction of the Temple: A Contextual Reading of Lamentations Rabbah 23." .Open History Seminar, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Level:University