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.
    Director of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions”
    Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundatioin for the Finnish Institute in the Middle East

    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

    Ancient Prophecy: Near Eastern, Biblical, and Greek Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017. 448 p.

    Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. With Contributions by Choon-Leong Seow, Robert K. Ritner, and H. Craig Melchert. Second Edition. SBL Writings from the Ancient World 41. Atlanta: SBL Press 2019. 343 pp.

    Prophetic Divination: Essays in Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 494. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 2019. 780 pp..

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

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

    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.

    “Why Prophecy Is (Not) Magic,” in Reinhard Müller, Urmas Nõmmik, and Juha Pakkala (ed.), Fortgeschriebenes Gotteswort: Studien zur Geschichte, Theologie and Auslegung des Alten Testaments, Festschrift für Christoph Levin zum 70. Geburtstag. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. Pp. 213–226.

    “Male Agency and Masculine Performance in the Baal Cycle,” in Stephen C. Russell and Esther J. Hamori (ed.), Mighty Baal: Essays in Honor of Mark S.. Smith. Harvard Semitic Studies 66. Leiden: Brill, 2020. Pp. 47–71.

    “Why Prophets Are (Not) Shamans?,” Vetus Testamentum 70 (2020) 124–139.

    “Religious Texts as Historical Sources: Assyrian Prophecies as Sources of Esarhaddon’s Nineveh A Inscription,” in Raija Mattila, Giovanni-Battista Lanfranchi, and Robert Rollinger (ed.), Writing Neo-Assyrian History: Sources, Problems and Approaches. State Archives of Assyria Studies 29. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2019. Pp. 183–193.



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