Prof. Martti NissinenProfessor of Old Testament Studies

    Research Profile

    Prof. Nissinen’s scholarly work is focused on biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts — “biblical” referring to the Jewish and Christian Bible and the “ancient Near East” referring to the Eastern Mediterranean cultures in a broad sense. His special topics are (1) prophecy and (2) gender and its interpretation, in the Bible and in the ancient Near East. The study of prophecy is motivated by the opportunity to make  scholars aware of “new” sources, such as the Neo-Assyrian prophecies, contributing to a new understanding of prophecy as a common phenomenon in the ancient Near East. The gender perspective also enables an important contribution of biblical scholarship to modern society: the encounter between historical study and modern concerns.

    Teaching Profile

    Prof. Nissinen has taught biblical studies at the University of Helsinki since 1985 at all academic levels , from basic Hebrew Bible courses through major studies in the Old Testament. He is currently supervising eleven doctoral dissertations, and he also takes an active part in international doctoral training.

    Selected Publications

    “Prophetie, Redaktion und Fortschreibung im Hoseabuch: Studien zum Werdegang eines Prophetenbuches im Lichte von Hosea 4 und 11,” Alter Orient und Altes Testament 231. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker / Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1991. 406 pp. (doctoral thesis).

    “References to Prophecy in Neo-Assyrian Sources,” State Archives of Assyria Studies 7. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project 1998. 194 pp.

    Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspecive. Translated by Kirsi Stjerna. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998. 208 pp.

    Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. With Contributions by Choon-Leong Seow and Robert K. Ritner. SBL Writings from the Ancient World 12. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature / Leiden: Brill, 2003. 273 pp.

    “Spoken, Written, Quoted and Invented: Orality and Writtenness in Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy.” Ehud Ben Zvi & Michael H. Floyd (eds.), Writings and Speech in Israelite and Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy. SBL Symposium Series 10. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000: 235-271.

    “Akkadian Rituals and Poetry of Divine Love.” R. M. Whiting (ed.), Mythology and Mythologies: Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences. Melammu Symposia 2. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2001: 93-136.

    “Das kritische Potential in der altorientalischen Prophetie.” Matthias Köckert & Martti Nissinen (ed.), Propheten in Mari, Assyrien und Israel. FRLANT 201. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003:1-32.

    “Neither Prophecies nor Apocalypses: The Akkadian Literary Predictive Texts.” Lester L. Grabbe & Robert D. Haak (eds.), Knowing the End from the Beginning: The Prophetic, the Apocalyptic, and their Relationships. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Supplement Series 46, London and New York: T&T Clark, 2003: 134-148.

    “What Is Prophecy? An Ancient Near Eastern Perspective.” John Kaltner & Louis Stulman (ed.), Inspired Speech: Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Essays in Honor of Herbert B. Huffmon. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series 378. London and New York: T&T Clark, 2004: 17-37.

    “Song of Songs and Sacred Marriage.” Martti Nissinen & Risto Uro (ed.), Sacred Marriages: The Divine-Human Sexual Metaphor from Sumer to Early Christianity. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns.



    University of Helsinki
    Department of Biblical Studies
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    Phone: +358-9-191-24012


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