Prof. Martti Nissinen (director)

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Prof. Martti Nissinen is the director of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in ‘Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions’ (2014–19).

Martti Nissinen (born 1959 in Kuopio, Finland) is Doctor of Theology (1992) and Professor of Old Testament studies at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology (2007—). Nissinen has served the University of Helsinki as Professor of Bible and the Ancient Near East (2002–2007), as research fellow of the Academy of Finland (1994–2002), and as Assistant Professor of Old Testament studies (1985–1994). He also served as translator of the Finnish Bible Translation Commission for two years in the late 1980’s, and as the leader of the Finnish Doctoral Programme of Theology in 2009–14.

Nissinen is known as an expert of the prophetic phenomenon in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean, and his research interests include also gender issues (love poetry, homoeroticism, masculinity) in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean. His books include Ancient Prophecy: Near Eastern, Biblical, and Greek Perspectives (2017), Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East (2003), Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective (1998), References to Prophecy in Neo-Assyrian Sources (1998), and Prophetie, Redaktion und Fortschreibung im Hoseabuch (Diss., 1991). He has edited several volumes and published a significant number of articles on topics related to prophecy, gender, and history of ancient Near Eastern religion.

Nissinen was member of the Institute of Advanced Study in 2008–9, 2016, and a visitor in 2011. He has lectured in ca. 40 European and North American universities and has several positions of trust in academic communities, for example, Society of Biblical Literature, OTSEM network, and Finnish Exegetical Society. He is Honorary Member of the Society for Old Testament Study, member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Chairman of the Foundation for the Finnish Institute in the Middle East, and the Inspector of the Savonian Student Nation.

CV Martti Nissinen (2020)


Nissinen, M. and S. Svärd 2018, “(Re)constructing the Image of the Assinnu,” in Saana Svärd and Agnès Garcia Ventura (ed.), Studying Gender in the Ancient Near East. University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns. Pp. 373–411.

Nissinen, M. and R. Mattila 2018, “The Temple of Ištar of Arbela,” in Zidan Bradosty and Dlshad A. Zamua (ed.), Proceedings of the 2nd International Scientific Conference Archaeology and Heritage of Hawler-Erbil, May 8th & 9th, 2018, Erbil. Erbil: Archaeology Department – College of Arts, Salahaddin University Erbil. Pp. 489–502.

Nissinen, M. 2017, Ancient Prophecy: Near Eastern, Biblical, and Greek Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nissinen, M., 2016, “Prophetic Intermediation in the Ancient Near East,” in Carolyn J. Sharp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Prophets. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 5–22.

Nissinen, M. 2016, “Relative Masculinities in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.” Being a Man: Negotiating Ancient Constructs of Masculinity. Ed. Zsolnay, I. London: Routledge, pp. 221-247.

Nissinen, M. 2016, ‘Homosexuality: I. Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.’ Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception 12. Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 290–297.

Nissinen, M. 2015, ‘(How) Does the Book of Ezekiel Reveal Its Babylonian Context?‘ Welt des Orients 45, 1, pp. 85–98.

Nissinen, M. 2015, ‘Oracles at Qumran?: Traces of Inspired Speakers in the Dead Sea Scrolls.’ in M.S. Pajunen & H. Tervanotko (eds.) Crossing Imaginary Boundaries: The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Contet of Second Temple Judaism. Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 108. Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society, pp. 165–181.

Nissinen, M. 2014, ‘Biblical Masculinities: Musings on Theory and Agenda’. in O. Creangă & P.-B. Smit (eds), Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded. Hebrew Bible Monographs 62. Sheffield: Phoenix Press, pp. 271–285.

Nissinen, M. 2014, ‘Sacred Springs and Liminal Rivers: Water and Prophecy in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean’. in E. Ben Zvi & C. Levin (eds), Thinking of Water in the Early Second Temple Period. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 461. Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 29–48.

Nissinen, M. 2014, ‘Since When Do Prophets Write?’. in K. De Troyer, T.M. Law & M. Liljeström (eds), In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes: Studies in the Biblical Text in Honour of Anneli Aejmelaeus. Conributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 72, Leuven: Peeters, pp. 585–606.

For a list of all his publications and activities, see Prof. Nissinen’s research profile of the University of Helsinki.


Below you will find interviews with Prof. Nissinen about the Centre of Excellence (one in English, the rest in Finnish).

Research through passion and collaboration: An interview with Martti Nissinen

Tutkimustyöhön intohimoa ja yhdessä temekisen meininkiä: Haastattelussa Martti Nissinen

There is also a Finnish transcription of the last interview at Millaisen Raamatun sinä tuunaisit?

The Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki