Finnish Exegetical Society

The Finnish Exegetical Society (Suomen Eksegeettinen Seura) was founded in 1938.

The society organizes yearly an Exegetical day on current topics. Next Exegetical day will be organized 8th of February 2024.

Chair of the society is prof. Petri Luomanen since 2022.

For more information on the membership of the Finnish Exegetical Society and the Exegetical day, please contact secretary of the society Lauri Aila (e-mail: lauri.aila [at]; address: PO Box 3, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland).

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society

The Finnish Exegetical Society publishes yearly two to four volumes in its series Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society (PFES; Suomen Eksegeettisen Seuran julkaisuja).

For more information on the publications, please contact secretary of the society Lauri Aila (e-mail: lauri.aila at; address: PO Box 3, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland).

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society are distributed by the Federation of Finnish Learnded Societies bookstore Tiedekirja (; The web bookstore serves also in English, but notice that edited volumes can be found only after the title of the book, not the editor.

Tiedekirja, Snellmaninkatu 13, 00170 Helsinki, Finland; tel. +358-9-635177, e-mail:;

List of publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society see ”kaikki julkaisut” (all publications)

Recent publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society in English

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 123

Anssi Voitila, Niilo Lahti, Mikael Sundqvist, Lotta Valve (eds.)

From Text to Persuasion. A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Lauri Thurén on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday.

Helsinki 2021, 314 pp.

28 €

Altogether fourteen essays in honour of Professor Lauri Thurén contribute to developing and applying methods for the study of the Bible and its world. In particular, many contributions focus on the biblical text as narrative, on rhetorical research and text’s means of persuasion, which are special interests of the celebrant. The authors also explore various aspects of how the biblical texts were read in subsequent centuries, first in the Early Church and then in nascent Protestantism.

The Festschrift encourages methodological innovation and precision. The Introductory article offers a retrospective on Prof. Thurén’s own work. The authors make new suggestions and applications of the concepts of prototype and exemplar, retrodiction, relecture and redaction, among others. Epistolography is put into dialogue with ancient rhetorics, and intersectional analysis is offered of ancient book production. 0ther examples of the essays include reading the archaeological remains of ancient synagogues as texts, and analysing the rhetorics of blame from Jesus to President Trump.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.


Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 118

Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme & Kirsi Valkama (eds.)

Approaching the Dead: Studies on Mortuary Ritual in the Ancient World .

Nord Print 2020, 179 p.
ISBN: 978-951-9217-73-4
Hinta: 28,00 €

The volume Approaching the Dead: Studies on Mortuary Ritual in the Ancient World is about the social interaction of the living with the dead, as reflected in the textual and archaeological records of ancient societies. The authors examine different aspects of mortuary ritual practices, their praxis, pragmatism, palpability, and politics. The examples cover a variety of places and historical periods, from the Late Bronze Age city of Ugarit in modern-day Syria to Late Iron Age Scandinavia. The majority of the studies, however, are focused on mortuary culture in the Levant in the long first millennium BCE.

Even beyond death, the dead play an import part in the lives of the living. The memories of the deceased leave traces in the minds of their fellow humans, in their behavior, the built environment, and material culture. Ironically, these efforts are directed at absent beings – the objects of this intense attention are ultimately dead and gone. Indeed, their departure from this life and the lived reality is the condition that triggers a flurry of activity and responses, a chain of mourning, practices of remembrance, and monumentalizing. Much of this activity can be categorized as mortuary ritual, a diverse set of strategic practices that aim at addressing the death of an individual and negotiating the personal, philosophical, and social challenges that this death creates.

Contributors: professor emerita Diana Edelman (University of Oslo), senior lecturer Dr. Fredrik Ekengren (University of Lund), professor Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme (University of Oslo), Dr., docent Raz Kletter (University of Helsinki), Dr. Joanna Töyräänvuori (University of Helsinki), Dr. Kirsi Valkama (University of Helsinki).

“This is a small but interesting and well-designed interdisciplinary collection of six studies on mortuary practices based on archaeological and textual sources. The evidence is mainly drawn from the ancient Near East, from the Late Bronze through the Roman period, but the volume also includes a contribution discussing a 5th century CE grave in Sweden that fits perfectly with the methodological scope of the collection. The studies consist of illustrative case studies of ancient mortuary practices, which are approached from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives and thus serve to update the study of mortuary rituals and practices, especially with regard to theory and source criticism.” –Professor Martti Nissinen, University of Helsinki


Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.


Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 113 

Kaisa-Maria Pihlava

Forgotten Women Leaders: The Authority of Women Hosts of Early Christian Gatherings in the First and Second Centuries C.E.

Nord Print 2017, 239 pp.
ISBN 978-951-9217-68-0, ISSN 0356-2786

EUR 28 € – now 15 €

While once essential agents in early Christian communities, in centuries to come women hosts were forgotten. Kaisa-Maria Pihlava, Th.D., sets out to trace literary representations of women hosts in early Christian sources. She also discusses what we know of early Christian communities, women property owners, and heads of households in antiquity. She argues that women hosts had authority in their early Christian communities because of the domestic setting of these communities and the authority that hosts had irrespective of their gender. The authority that women hosts gained was not countercultural. Instead, socioeconomic hierarchy resulted in the authority positions of women hosts of early Christian gatherings. In Pihlava’s study, women hosts are written into the narratives of early Christian beginnings.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 108

Mika S. Pajunen and Hanna Tervanotko (eds.)

Crossing Imaginary Boundaries: The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Second Temple Judaism

Nord Print, 278 pp.
ISBN 978-951-9217-63-5, ISSN 0356-2786

EUR 30 – now 10 €

Finnish scholars have been involved in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls in ever growing numbers since the 1950s. This volume pays tribute to this Helsinki school of Qumran studies, which is presently one of the largest in the world, by presenting the work of the Finnish scholars currently active in this field of study. The contributions of Crossing Imaginary Boundaries explore the Dead Sea Scrolls within the broader context of Second Temple Judaism. The volume challenges the reader to rethink critically the categories and interdisciplinary borders currently used in the study of ancient Jewish texts. In particular, Qumran research has frequently been seen as a limited esoteric area closed off from other areas of Biblical studies. This collection is an attempt to question and bridge some of these imaginary boundaries between scholarly disciplines and to demonstrate the importance of crossing them in order to get a fuller understanding of all these ancient texts and their underlying social phenomena.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 106 

Raimo Hakola, Nina Nikki and Ulla Tervahauta (eds.)

Others and the Construction of Early Christian Identities

Kopio Niini 2013, 344 s.

ISBN 978-951-9217-61-1, ISSN 0356-2786
EUR 30 – now 10 €

Others and the Construction of Early Christian Identities is a collection of essays that examine how those perceived as others were differentiated, excluded and devalued in various early Christian sources, both inside and outside the New Testament canon. Early Christian polemic is set in its larger historical and cultural contexts in essays that deal with ancient literary images of religious prejudice, ancient polemical labeling, and portraits of Christians as others in non-Christian sources. Many essays adopt an inter-disciplinary approach and apply social psychological or sociological concepts to analyze how images of otherness constructed and solidified early Christian identities. In this way it is possible to explain the othering processes in foundational Christian documents which have had a lasting influence on Christian attitudes to outsiders and which still shape contemporary Christian identities.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja and at the bookstore Gaudeamus Kirja & Kahvi

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 102

Minna Heimola

Christian Identity in the Gospel of Philip

ISSN 0356-2786 ISBN 978-951-9217-57-4

30 € – now 10 €

The Gospel of Philip, one of the most well-known texts in the Nag Hammadi library, has been notoriously diffi cult with its elusive, symbolical language. In this book, which is based on her doctoral dissertation, Minna Heimola reads the Gospel of Philip employing both
traditional exegetical methods and new social scientifi c insights. The author reads the Gospel of Philip as a theologically coherent Valentinian Christian text, rooting the Valentinian Christianity among the early Christianities: the Gospel of Philip has close affi nities both with
other Valentinian texts and with Pauline theology and the Syrian Thomasine literature. The correct interpretations on the virginal conception and the resurrection are particularly important to the composer of the text. The Gospel of Philip also includes some interesting
implications about the Christian school setting, comparable to the philosophical schools in antiquity.

Minna Heimola received her PhD from the University of Helsinki in
2010. She is currently an independent scholar.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 99

Kenneth Liljeström (ed.)

The Early Reception of Paul

Now 20 €

ISBN 978-951-9217-53-6, ISSN 0356-2786

From his own lifetime to this day, Paul the apostle has engendered rivaling interpretations of his true intentions and theology. As in the earliest times after his death, so also today Paul is as passionately loved as he is hated. Paul’s journey from being a disputed apostle to one receiving an equal footing with the other “acknowledged pillars” belongs to the crucial trajectories of early Christianity. This process takes place through the early reception of Paul and his letters and is therefore one of the most challenging and rewarding objects of the study of early Christianity.

The literary reception of Paul’s letters in various early Christian writings makes up the focal point of this volume. Some of the essays take up familiar topics from the history of research but offer solutions that swim against the current, challenging the prevailing scholarly views. Others, while discussing a familiar theme, approach it from a fresh angle. Together the articles offer the reader a thought-provoking perspective into the question of the literary reception in early Christian texts.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 97

Petri Kasari

Nathan’s Promise in 2 Samuel 7 and Related Texts

Gummerus 2009, 324 pp.

ISBN 978-951-9217-52-9, ISSN 0356-2786

EUR 30 – now 5 €

In scholarly literature, Nathan’s promise (2 Sam 7) is regarded as one of the most important texts for the theology of the Deuteronomistic redactions. Petri Kasari analyses Nathan’s promise with the aid of literary- and redaction-critical methods and puts forward a new hypothesis of the transmission history of this text. His useful survey to the related texts helps the reader to better understand how Nathan’s promise was reworked and reinterpreted over a long period.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 95

Edited by Juha Pakkala and Martti Nissinen
Houses Full of All Good Things: Essays in Memory of Timo Veijola

Vammala 2008, 752 pp.
ISBN 978-951-9217-50-5 (SES), ISBN 978-3-525-53607-0 (Vandenh. & Rupr.) (Soft)
ISSN 0356-2786

EUR 45 – now 5 €

Timo Veijola was a productive scholar, whose work was deeply respected among Biblical scholars. Although his academic interests extended to the entire Hebrew Bible and beyond, he was particularly devoted to the Deuteronomy, Deuteronomism, and scribalism. In these fields his publications were at the very center of scholarly discussion.

Timo Veijola fruitfully combined critical exegesis with Biblical theology, his motivation stemming from his religious devotion. For him, exegesis was not only scholarly discussion in an academic setting, but also a matter of personal theology. The idea of an encounter between God and man he found to be the center of the Hebrew Bible.

Timo Veijola formed deep personal ties with many Biblical scholars. His untimely death on August 1, 2005 was a terrible loss for Biblical scholarship. In appreciation of Timo Veijola’s scholarship, his friends, colleagues, and students wish to honor his memory with articles dealing with themes close to his heart, such as Deuteronomy, Deuteronomistic History, Deuteronomism, scribalism, wisdom literature, Judaism, and Biblical Theology.

The volume includes contributions by Anneli Aejmelaeus, Lars Aejmelaeus, Mika Aspinen, Erik Aurelius, Hans Barstad, Oswald Bayer, Bob Becking, Pancratius Beentjes, Georg Braulik, Walter Dietrich, Tapani Harviainen, Else Holt, Otto Kaiser, Antti Laato, Kari Latvus, Christoph Levin, Bernard Levinson, Oswald Loretz, Marko Marttila, Sarianna Metso, Tryggve Mettinger, Martti Nissinen, Juha Pakkala, Heikki Räisänen, Alexander Rofé, Thomas Römer, Juhana Saukkonen, Seppo Sipilä, Rudolf Smend, Raija Sollamo, Pekka Särkiö, Terje Stordalen, Kari Syreeni, Winfried Thiel, Eugene Ulrich, Anssi Voitila, Karl William Weyde and Hanne von Weissenberg.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 93

Magnus Riska
The House of the Lord. A Study of the Temple Scroll. Columns 29:3b–47:18

2007, ii + 197 pp.
ISBN 978-951-9217-48-2 (SES), ISBN 978-3-525-53989-7 (Vandenh. & Rupr.) (Soft), ISSN 0356-2786
EUR 30 now 10 €

In his doctoral dissertation, The Temple Scroll and the Biblical Text Traditions, Magnus Riska analysed the text of Columns 2–13:9. Through this second study of 11QT, which covers Columns 29:3b–47:18, the so-called “Temple Source” is now analysed in its entirety. One of the main results of this analysis is the quantity of the different categories: in comparison with the dissertation, which showed that the analysed material represented a higher amount of Biblical Paraphrase and Rewritten Bible than Individual Composition, the present study reveals that the second section on the contrary contains a significantly higher amount of Individual Composition than any of the other categories.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 92

Edited by Ehud Ben Zvi
Utopia and Dystopia in Prophetic Literature
Finnish Exegetical Society. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
2006, 298 pp.
ISBN 951-9217-47-9 (SES), ISBN 3-525-53985-1 (Vandenh. & Rupr.) (Soft), ISSN 0356-2786
EUR 36 now 5 €

The conversation of scholars focuses on ancient contexts of prophetic literature, but deals at times also with habits of thinking about prophetic literature among critical scholars. It leads, among others, to numerous insights on literary and ideological features of these books, and on the social circumstances in which these texts were produced and read, as well as on their roles within society and the discursive worlds of which they were an integral part.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnis Exegetical Society 89

Edited by Antti Mustakallio in collaboration with Heikki Leppä & Heikki Räisänen
Lux Humana, Lux Aeterna. Essays on Biblical and Related Themes in Honour of Lars Aejmelaeus

Finnish Exegetical Society. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
2005, 555 pp.
ISBN 951-9217-44-4 (Soft)
ISSN 0356-2786
EUR 45 now 5 €

The essays in this Festschrift for Lars Aejmelaeus are written by his colleagues, friends, and students. They represent a variety of fields such as Septuagint research, Jewish, Gnostic, and New Testament studies. This volume is also a sample of the labours of the research unit on ”The Formation of Early Jewish and Christian Ideology” of the University of Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 88

Todd Penner & Caroline Vander Stichele (eds.)
Moving Beyond New Testament Theology? Essays in Conversation with Heikki Räisänen

2005, xiii + 490 pp.
ISBN 951-9217-43-6 (SES), ISBN 3-525-53605-4 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) (Soft), ISSN 0356-2786
EUR 40 now 10 €

This collection of essays, inspired by Heikki Räisänen’s Beyond New Testament Theology, originated in tthe ”Whence and Whither? Methodology and the Future of Biblical Studies” session at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Rome (July, 2001). The present volume includes not only contributions from 16 well-known scholars from North America and Europe, but also a response article by Heikki Räisänen. As a whole, the collection attests to the importance of issues raised by Räisänen and, above all, further promotes his dedication to conversation, dialogue, and encounter between diverse views and perspectives.

Available at the webstore of Tiedekirja.

Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 87

Antti Marjanen (ed.)

Was There a Gnostic Religion?
Finnish Exegetical Society. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Vammala 2005, 151 pp.
ISBN 951-9217-42-8 (SES), ISBN 3-525-53604-6 (Vandenh.)
ISSN 0356-2786
Soft EUR 26 – now 10 €

The last ten years have witnessed great changes in research on Gnosticism. Due to the discovery of new sources and an increasing demand for more analytical and precise definitions of the phenomenon, scholars have developed new and more nuanced understandings of Gnosticism. For others, this has not been enough. They have asserted that if the term Gnosticism is still used, each use will require careful reflection on how and for what purpose it is employed since the term no longer has a generally approved content that is independent of its use in a given situation.

Corrigenda (p. 129-130)

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