Category Archives: Publications

New Book: “Turning Proverbs towards Torah” (Brill, 2016)

In Tuntitledurning Proverbs towards Torah, Elisa Uusimäki offers the first monograph on the early Jewish wisdom text 4Q525 from Qumran. Following the reconstruction of the fragmentary manuscript, Uusimäki analyses the text with a focus on the reception and renewal of the Proverbs tradition and the ways in which 4Q525 illustrates aspects of Jewish pedagogy in the late Second Temple period. She argues that the author was inspired by Proverbs 1-9 but sought to demonstrate that true wisdom is found in the concept of torah. He also weaved dualistic elements and eschatological ideas into the wisdom frame. The author’s intention, Uusimäki argues, is to form the audience spiritually, encouraging it to trust in divine protection and blessings that are bestowed upon the pious.

All interested in wisdom texts (esp. the Proverbs tradition), Jewish pedagogy in the second temple era, Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient scriptural interpretation, identity construction in early Judaism, and material reconstruction.

For more information see


New book: Spaces in Late Antiquity (Routledge, 2016)

We’re h9781472450166appy to announce that the edited volume Spaces in Late Antiquity: Cultural, Theological and Archaeological Perspectives” (ed. Juliette Day, Raimo Hakola, Maijastina Kahlos, and Ulla Tervahauta; London: Routledge, 2016) has been published and can now be ordered through Routledge’s website.

Here is the book’s blurb: “Places and spaces are key factors in how individuals and groups construct their identities. Identity theories have emphasised that the construction of an identity does not follow abstract and universal processes but is also deeply rooted in specific historical, cultural, social and material environments. The essays in this volume explore how various groups in Late Antiquity rooted their identity in special places that were imbued with meanings derived from history and tradition. In Part I, essays explore the tension between the Classical heritage in public, especially urban spaces, in the form of ancient artwork and civic celebrations and the Church’s appropriation of that space through doctrinal disputes and rival public performances. Parts II and III investigate how particular locations expressed, and formed, the theological and social identities of Christian and Jewish groups by bringing together fresh insights from the archaeological and textual evidence. Together the essays here demonstrate how the use and interpretation of shared spaces contributed to the self-identity of specific groups in Late Antiquity and in so doing issued challenges, and caused conflict, with other social and religious groups.”

The book is edited by CSTT-member Raimo Hakola and other researchers from Helsinki’s Faculty of Theology, and includes two essays by CSTT-members: Raimo Hakola (“Galilean Jews and Christians in Context: Spaces Shared and Contested in the Eastern Galilee in Late Antiquity“) and Rick Bonnie (“Thrown into Limekilns: The Reuse of Statuary and Architecture in Galilee from Late Antiquity onwards“).

For more information on how to order the book, please visit Routledge’s website.

When the Set Task is Imperial: Judaeans under Persian Forced Labor

By Jason Silverman

The experience of involuntary labor is widespread in human history. For reasons varying from slavery to economic imperatives, humans are often compelled to work. The impacts of the various imperial systems that have resorted to compulsion have been extensively studied by sociologists. Despite scholarly acknowledgments that the Persians also continued previous Ancient Near Eastern policies of using forced migration and forced labor, surprisingly it has received little to no sustained discussion. Continue reading When the Set Task is Imperial: Judaeans under Persian Forced Labor

Katsaus uutuuskirjaan Raamattu ja magia

Teksti: Kirsi Valkama

Katsaus uutuuskirjaan Raamattu ja magia (Toim. Kirsi Valkama, Hanne von Weissenberg ja Nina Nikki. Suomen Eksegeettisen Seuran julkaisuja 110)

Mibible and magic editorstä on magia? Kun puhumme arkikiele
ssä magiasta, saattaa ensimmäisenä tulla mieleen populaarikulttuurin tuotteet kuten Harry Potter tai Aku Ankan Milla Magia. Magiassa vaikuttaa olevan jotain salattua, jotain tavallisesta ja oikeaoppisesta uskonnollisuudesta poikkeavaa. Kristinuskon ja juutalaisuuden historiassa magiaa on yleensä pidetty kielteisenä, näihin uskontoihin tai niiden virallisiin muotoihin kuulumattomana asiana, jota on vastustettu. Ei ole ollut epätavallista esittää, että ”toiset” kyllä harjoittivat magiaa, mutta varhaiset israelilaiset tai kristityt eivät suinkaan niin tehneet. Myös varhaisempi tutkimus on vahvistanut ”uskonnon” ja ”magian” vastakkainasettelua ja korostanut syvää juopaa näiden kahden välillä. Continue reading Katsaus uutuuskirjaan Raamattu ja magia

“Members of Levite Family and Ideal Marriages”

by Hanna Tervanotko

This blogpost is based on Hanna Tervanotko’s article “Members of Levite Family and Ideal Marriages in Aramaic Levi Document, Visions of Amram and Jubilees”, Revue de Qumrân 106 (2015), 155–176. To download an open access pre-print version of the article, click here. Continue reading “Members of Levite Family and Ideal Marriages”

New Publication: Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa (2015). Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria. Studia Philonica Monograhps 7. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

CoverPhilo of Alexandria is the most important representative of
Hellenistic diaspora Judaism. His writings, devoted to a large extent to the allegorical exegesis of the Books of Moses, profoundly influenced Christian theology during its formative centuries. The strong element of Greek philosophy in Philo’s thought has been recognized since antiquity, but his relation to the Pythagorean-Platonic tenet of reincarnation has been a neglected, even avoided, topic in research. This book tackles the issue head on and with thorough, detailed research confirms the view—common in the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries—that Philo accepted the doctrine even though he preferred not to speak openly about it. The book shows how allegorization enabled Philo to give an interpretation involving reincarnation to very different scriptural passages.

Understanding the Social and Political Impact of Persian Kingship

By Jason Silverman

The below is a brief introduction to the new edited volume Political Memory in and after the Persian Empire (Jason M. Silverman and Caroline Waerzeggers, eds; ANEM 13; Atlanta: SBL, 2015). The volume is open access and freely available for download at SBL Publications. To download the volume, click here. To order a paper- or hardback copy, click here. Continue reading Understanding the Social and Political Impact of Persian Kingship

Raamatun heprean oppikirja uudistui huippuyksikön voimin

Tänä syksynä heprean peruskurssin opiskelijat saivat käsiinsä uunituoreen oppikirjan Ihan täyttä hepreaa, joka on yksi osoitus huippuyksikön sisällä tehtävästä yhteistyöstä. Kirjaa ovat olleet työstämässä TT Kirsi Valkama (tiimi 1), dosentit Jutta Jokiranta (tiimi 4) ja Juha Pakkala (tiimi 3) sekä professori Anneli Aejmelaeus (tiimi 2). Continue reading Raamatun heprean oppikirja uudistui huippuyksikön voimin