A.B. Harvard (cum laude), 1950; A.M., 1951; M. of Hebrew Lit., Jewish Theological Seminary, 1955; d. of Hebrew Letters (hon.) 1987; Ph.D., Columbia, 1959.
Instr. Columbia, 1960-2; prof. U. Iowa, 1962-97; Fulbright Scholar, Israel, 1959-60; fellow, Am. Acad. for Jewish Research.
"The Letters of Demosthenes" (Columbia, 1959).
“The Syriac Bill of Sale from Dura-Europos,” JNES 25 (1966) 1-16; The Letters of Demosthenes (ed. & trans.) (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968). REVS: CW LXII 1968 138 Kennedy | QJS LV 1969 195 Zacharias | AHR LXXIV 1969 1593-1594 Brown | CJ LXV 1970 224-225 Diller | Phoenix XXIV 1970 265-267 Pearson | AJPh XCI 1970 503-505 Rowe | G&R XVII 1970 226 Sewter | CR XX 1970 322-324 MacDowell | REA LXXI 1969 488-490 Brunel | Athenaeum XLVII 1969 340 Levi | ASNP XXXIX 1970 123-132 Perlman | RFIC XCIX 1971 72-77 Braccesi | RPh XLVI 1972 124-126 Weil | Gnomon XLIV 1972 339-346 Conomis | Maia XXIV 1972 72-78 Salomone | Mnemosyne XXV 1972 308 Schenkeveld; “The Messianic Triumph. Portrayal of Jewish Eschatological Beliefs in the Paintings of the Synagogue of Dura-Europos,” AJA 74 (1970) 195; “Demosthenes' Fine and Its Payment, 323-322 B.C.,” CJ 67 (1971) 20-1; “Solon's Law for an Activist Citizenry,” Historia 21 (1972) 538-45; “The Testament of Moses: Its Content, Its Origin, and Its Attestation in Josephus,” in Studies on the Testament of Moses, ed. George W.E. Nickelsburg, Jr., Septuagint and Cognate Studies 4 (Cambridge, MA: Society of Biblical Literature, 1973) 44-52; “Tales of the Tobiads,” in Christianity, Judaism, and Other Greco-Roman Cults: Studies for Morton Smith at Sixty, ed. Jacon Neusner (Leiden: Brill, 1975) 3:85-123; “The Apocryphal Book of I Baruch,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 46-7 (1979-80) 179-99; “Jewish Acceptance and Rejection of Hellenism,” in Jewish and Christian Self-Definition vol. II: Aspects of Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period, ed. E.P. Sanders with A.I. Baumgarten & Alan Mendelson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981); “The Date of the Book of Jubilees,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 50 (1983) 63-86; “The Central Composition of the West Wall of the Synagogue of Dura-Europos,” JANES 16-17 (1984-5) 99-141; “The Historical Setting of the Uruk Prophecy,” JNES 47 (1988) 43-6; “How the Authors in I and II Maccabees Treated the ‘Messianic’ Promises,” in Judaisms and their Messiahs, ed. Jacob Neusner, William S. Green, & Ernest Frerichs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) 69-96; Semites, Iranians, Greeks and Romans: Studies in Their Interactions, Brown Judaic Studies 217 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990). REVS: JECS 1 1993 85-86 P. Flint; Goldstein, Jonathan A. “The Judaism of the Synagogues (Focusing on the Synagogue of Dura-Europos),” in Judaism in Late Antiquity. Part Two: Historical Syntheses, ed. Jacob Neusner, Handbook of Oriental Studies: The Near and Middle East (New York: E. J. Brill, 1995) 109-57; The Jews of China (ed.) (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000); Peoples of an Almighty God: Competing Religions in the Ancient World(New York: Doubleday, 2002). REVS: ThLZ 2004 129 (2): 143-145 Rick Strelan.
A gentle man and a great scholar, Jonathan Goldstein spent almost his entire career as a professor of history and classics at the University of Iowa. He was the author of five important books. I Maccabees and II Maccabees provide a new translation and commentary of these two books in the Old Testament apocrypha for the Anchor Bible reference library.
Throughout his career Jonathan was interested in how the ancient peoples reconciled their religious beliefs with historical realities. He taught this to students by encouraging them to read the original sources in translation (often his own). In the teaching of classical languages he preferred to emphasize the social rather than the military history, and to treat the textual puzzles of such texts as Tacitus’s Germania, rather than describe war and battles. In larger history courses, although preferring the non-military topics, he felt he must also teach military matters, but did so with particular emphasis on movements of revolution and resistance. He was an expert on the rebellion of the Hasmoneans against Antiochus recorded in the books of the Maccabees and celebrated at the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. From his earliest article, “The Syriac Bill of Sale from Dura-Europos” to his 1995 article, “The Judaism of the Synagogues (with a focus on Dura-Europos).” Jonathan maintained a wide-ranging interest in uncovering religious interactions not only from the writings of the ancient peoples in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, but from the archaeological remains. His final book, Peoples of an Almighty God, treats the Israelites, Babylonians, and Egyptians, as well as Zoroastrians, Iranians, and Persians under Alexander the Great.
Constance H. Berman, APA Newsletter (December 2004) 12-13; WhAm 59 (2005) 1737-8; DAS 8.