Category Archives: Research

Join the Horvat Kur excavation season 2015

by Rick Bonnie and Raimo Hakola

In the years 2010–2014, a team from The Faculty of Theology of the University of Helsinki participated in the excavations of a late antique synagogue at Horvat Kur, Israel. Now, from June 21 to July 17, 2015, excavation will continue and we are searching for volunteers to participate!  Continue reading Join the Horvat Kur excavation season 2015

Rethinking the Category and Boundaries of ”Wisdom”

by Elisa Uusimäki

I have spent a fascinating autumn here in Jerusalem, filled with research at the Hebrew University and explorations of this beautiful, debated city. There are many stories to be told, but since Miika Tucker recently wrote a comprehensive blog post about his experiences in the same place last year, I feel like sharing with you other recent news of my journey. Continue reading Rethinking the Category and Boundaries of ”Wisdom”

Working with Fragmentary Manuscipts

by Hanna Vanonen

When a new partial or complete manuscript is found, the first scholarly endeavor related to it is usually to produce a reliable edition of the fragment or fragments so that all interested scholars and students can get a trustworthy impression of the material without even seeing it. As regards the Qumran manuscripts, this work began already in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Continue reading Working with Fragmentary Manuscipts

Heidelberg Colloquium – Aram and Israel

by Juha Pakkala

Five members of the CSTT (Katri Saarelainen, Emilia Tapiola, Izaak de Hulster, Martti Nissinen and Juha Pakkala) participated in a colloquium on Aram and Israel in Heidelberg in September 1–4, 2014. The focus of the colloquium was on cultural interaction, political borders and identity-building concerning the relationship between the Aramean realm and Israel in the 12th to 8th centuries bce. Continue reading Heidelberg Colloquium – Aram and Israel

Hebrew Bible Studies and Classical Studies – Still in the Beginning of a Fruitful Relationship?

by Hanna Tervanotko

One of the goals of CSTT is to foster dialogue between different disciplines that analyze the texts belonging to the Ancient Mediterranean and ancient Near Eastern cultural contexts. While it has been acknowledged for long that various literary traditions preserved in the Hebrew Bible have their origins in ancient Near Eastern cultures, the legacy between the ancient Jewish literary traditions and Greek traditions has not been inquired as thoroughly. The relatively small numbers of studies focusing on their cross-cultural relationship is surprising, given that for centuries the Mediterranean area belonged to the Hellenistic empire established by Alexander the Great. Hellenistic ideas left their marks in Jewish texts in different ways. Continue reading Hebrew Bible Studies and Classical Studies – Still in the Beginning of a Fruitful Relationship?

Horvat Kur 2014 (part 1): no digging, but in the lab

by Rick Bonnie and Raimo Hakola

Two members of CSTT, Raimo Hakola and Rick Bonnie, together with their Helsinki-colleague Ulla Tervahauta, are at the moment participating as team members in the archaeological excavations of Horvat Kur, a hilltop site situated north of the Sea of Galilee (Israel). Unlike previous seasons (2008, 2010–2013), this year no excavations will be conducted at the site. Instead, the research team carries out a two-week study season (June 22–July 6) in the lab at the youth hostel of Karei Deshe, where finds and architecture uncovered in previous seasons are being meticulously analyzed in preparation of the final excavation report of the synagogue. Raimo and Rick write this week in a more general manner about the excavations at Horvat Kur, and will elaborate next week in more detail on the different individual tasks carried out during this study season. Continue reading Horvat Kur 2014 (part 1): no digging, but in the lab

CSTT Meets Contemporary Studies of the Middle East: FIME Colloquium in Turku

by Jutta Jokiranta

Several CSTT members participated in the Third Colloquium of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME), titled ”Concord, Conflict and Co-existence: Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa,” 5–7 June, 2014 in Turku, Finland. Continue reading CSTT Meets Contemporary Studies of the Middle East: FIME Colloquium in Turku

Reading Pottery

by Tuula Tynjä

Differences in texts are traced by reading closely manuscripts and comparing them – this work reveals changing patterns in thinking and society. Ideological, social and economic changes also leave an imprint on material culture, which is the focus of archaeological study. Changes in material culture are traced by examining material remains and comparing them with each other. These remains include various things, like settlement patterns, temples, domestic houses, lithic tools and pottery fragments.  Continue reading Reading Pottery

Latin as a Biblical Language

by Tuukka Kauhanen

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew (and partly Aramaic), the New Testament in Greek. That is what we learn in school and read in every introduction to the Bible. However, in recent decades the ancient Bible versions in other languages have gained attention as well, especially in studies concerning the Old Testament, a.k.a. the Hebrew Bible. One cannot totally comprehend the Hebrew Bible without using its oldest translation, the Greek Septuagint. That is because the text of the Hebrew Bible as known to us today from the Hebrew manuscripts contains multiple corruptions.  Continue reading Latin as a Biblical Language