Category Archives: Research

How Ancient Scribes Inserted Larger Passages into Older Texts? Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence

by Juha Pakkala

In cooperation with the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), team three of the CSTT organized a workshop on Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence. The workshop was held at Agora, a conference center by the Aasee (Lake Aa), in Münster on March 17-19, 2015.  Continue reading How Ancient Scribes Inserted Larger Passages into Older Texts? Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence

Finnish Qumran Studies Featured in Popular University Magazine

The science magazine of the University of Helsinki published in its most recent issue (3/15) an interview with Academy Research Fellow Jutta Jokiranta, the leader of team four in our Centre of Excellence. In the article, Jokiranta sheds light on the significance of the most important archaeological find of the 20th century. In the spotlight of the article is the Qumran community, its relationship with Second-Temple Judaism and the significance of the texts discovered from the caves.  Continue reading Finnish Qumran Studies Featured in Popular University Magazine

Why the Septuagint Can No Longer Be Ignored in Redaction Criticism

by Ville Mäkipelto

The Hebrew Bible is a collection of layered works. Its books in their various forms have been creatively edited and interwoven by ancient redactor-scribes in various historical situations using multiple sources from different time periods. In order to understand these editorial processes and use the texts in reconstructing history, scholars use the method of redaction criticism. Building on the observations of literary criticism (that is ”source criticism”), redaction criticism asks, for example: what is the ideology/theology behind the editing? What has been included or left out in the work and why? What is the community behind the editor(s)? How can the different textual layers be dated?  Continue reading Why the Septuagint Can No Longer Be Ignored in Redaction Criticism

Greek Fragments in European Libraries and Museums: A Whirlwind Tour

By Drew Longacre 

This winter I was able to travel extensively throughout Europe to examine in person many of the Greek Exodus fragments that I am working on for my CSTT project. I had the opportunity to visit four different libraries and museums and see fragments of six Exodus manuscripts and a large number of additional ancient and medieval manuscripts. The untapped wealth of ancient materials that are stored in European institutions never ceases to amaze me!  Continue reading Greek Fragments in European Libraries and Museums: A Whirlwind Tour

Call for Papers: Ancient Jewish Cosmology-workshop (Jerusalem, June 15-16)

CSTT Workshop: Ancient Jewish Cosmology – Sacred Time and Order
École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, June 15‒16, 2015

CSTT’s Team 4 “Society and Religion in Late Second Temple Judaism” is organising a workshop on Ancient Jewish Cosmology. Cosmology is here broadly understood to deal with the cosmic world order and origin, but also matters related to acknowledging, finding out, and living out this cosmic order in everyday life. The aim is to identify forms and mechanisms of change in the notions and practices relating to Jewish cosmology: the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. Also ritual practices can be related to this theme: e.g., which beliefs are transmitted through ritual practices, prayer and divination; how the understanding of the divine is reflected in the earthly sphere (architecture, collective practices, calendar, correct prayer times, etc.). Cosmology plays a role in the way in which societies structure themselves and communities select and cherish their values and moral systems. Of special interest is the influence of Hellenistic philosophy and practices on Jewish thought.  Continue reading Call for Papers: Ancient Jewish Cosmology-workshop (Jerusalem, June 15-16)

Diagnostics and Textual Studies

by Tuukka Kauhanen

Intuition and Its Limitations

Decision-making in textual studies is largely based on intuition. The scholar is expected to know the sources and the approach very well and it is assumed that when all the relevant information concerning a given problem is poured into the scholar’s head, eventually the right solution will come out. The truth of the solution is then tested first by the scholar’s personal conviction and subsequently by the scholarly community: the more of your colleagues you manage to convince, the better your solution.  Continue reading Diagnostics and Textual Studies

Research seminar on Cognitive Science of Religion (Helsinki, March 3-4)

Trends and Challenges in the Cognitive Science of Religion
University of Helsinki, March 3-4, 2015

Venue: (note: room has changedFaculty Room Room 531, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki (Vuorikatu 3, 5th floor)

Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) emerged in the 1990s to explain regularities of religious phenomena across time and place by using the growing body of knowledge from cognitive and evolutionary sciences. Today it is a pluralistic and interdisciplinary field that focuses on the intuitive mental mechanisms underpinning religious beliefs and behaviours as well as on the interaction of the human mind, social cognition, and cultural environment. CSR applies a wide variety of different theoretical perspectives, for example, from experimental psychology, neurosciences, biology and research on emotions.  Continue reading Research seminar on Cognitive Science of Religion (Helsinki, March 3-4)

New publication: “Crossing Imaginary Boundaries: The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Second Temple Judaism”

Fresh from the printers! A new publication by the Finnish Exegetical Society, which is edited by two members of the CSTT, has just been released:

Pajunen, Mika S. & Hanna Tervanotko (eds.) (2015) Crossing Imaginary Boundaries. The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Second Temple Judaism. Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 108. Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society.  Continue reading New publication: “Crossing Imaginary Boundaries: The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Second Temple Judaism”

Looking for Job in Helsinki

by Urmas Nõmmik

I already got a research job in Helsinki, at the CSTT. But is that all? No, in another sense I am still looking for Job …

Research on the book of Job can be a risky business – one can be stuck there for decades. I have been more or less dealing with Job since the mid-1990s. The book of Job is fascinating because of its highly complex theological-philosophical-existential content, and because of its complex philological and textual history. Hence, there is no end in sight to the study of the book of Job. One has still to look for Job.  Continue reading Looking for Job in Helsinki