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Anssi Voitila, Senior Lecturer, Adjunct Professor


Contact information:
• School of Theology
  Philosophical Faculty
  University of Eastern
  PB 111, FI-80101
  Joensuu, Finland
• personal phone
  +358 294 45 2783
• email
  anssi.voitila (at)

School of Theology Home Pages
Currently in Theology at Joensuu


Personal information

  • Born: 1958
  • Spouse: Anne-Marit Enroth-Voitila, Dr. Theol.
  • Hobbies: Gym, making and eating good food

The best side of Joensuu


Research interest

  • Septuagint: its language and theology

    I am particularly interested in Septuagint syntax as a part of the broader Post-Classical, Hellenistic, or koine Greek syntax of the last three centuries BCE. Because the Septuagint is a translation, the most powerful method for examining this language is translation technical study. I have also done some research concerning the theology of the translation: Ideologically motivated transformations in the Greek version of the Book of Ben Sira and written a paper on Moses in the Greek Pentateuch. My latest interests include the polysemy and semantic change as evidenced in the Classical and Hellenistic Greek corpus of which the Septuagint forms an important part: I have written about the auxialiary verb construction μέλλω + INF. and at the moment I am working on ἁπλοῦς "simple" and its derivates.

  • Text of the Book of Ben Sira and the problems of the translation

    It is generally considered as a fact that the social and ideological context of Ben Sira in Jerusalem in Palestine at the beginning of the 2nd century bce was different from that of the Greek translator at Alexandria in Egypt at the end of the 2nd century bce. The educated Egyptian Jews of the second century were already well versed in Greek literary conventions as is shown, for example, by the so-called Letter of Aristeas. My purpose is to investigate how cultural differences and translator's objectives manifest themselves in particular passages in Ben Sira; how the translator interpreted these passages and why he made the changes he did.

  • Greek and Hebrew languages and linguistics
  • Hellenistic Judaism, in particular in Hellenistic Egypt

In the media/Social interaction

Current Issues

  • I presented a paper in The Society of Biblical Literature international meeting held at the University of Helsinki, July 30-3 August, 2018. My paper was entitled USAGE-BASED TRANSLATION SYNTAX OF THE SEPTUAGINT in a session that dealt with issues of writing a Septuagint Syntax. This session is a continuation of the symposium held last year in honour of Prof. Ilmari Soisalon Soininen. You find its abstract in my -page. — Osallistuin SBL:n kansainväliseen kokoukseen, joka pidettiin Helsingissä 30.7.-3.8.2018. Pidin esityksen istunnossa, joka käsitteli Septuagintan lauseopin kirjoittamisen kysymyksiä. Kokouksen koko ohjelma on netissä osoitteessa: Esitin oman näkemykseni siitä millainen tuon lauseopin tulisi olla. Esitys liittyy kesäkuussa 2017 pidettyyn Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen symposioniin. Tunnettu Septuagintan lauseopillisten kysymysten tutkija, professori Ilmari Soisalon Soininen opiskeli aikanaan Joensuun lyseossa.
  • I will attend CSTT workshop on Criteria for Detecting Scribal Interventions in Frauenwörth (30 April-4 May 2018) in Frauenwörth in Chiemsee lake near Munich, Germany. — Osallistun CSTT workshoppiin Saksan Frauenwörtissä 30.4.-4.4.2018. Siellä tarkastellaan kriteereitä, joilla osoitetaan Raamatun tekstien toimittajien puuttuneen tekstiin.
  • 1st-3rd June.2017 I participated the Soisalon-Soininen symposium on the Septuagint at the University of Helsinki, of which I was one of the organisers. Here is the programme. It is our plan to publish the papers of the symposium in the near future.
  • 4.-9.9.2016, I participated in the Congresses of the International Organization of the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) and the International Organization of the Septuagint and Cognate Studies in Stellenbosch University at Stellenbosch, South Africa, reading two papers, one at each congress. In the former I spoke about Ben Sira and in the latter about the Greek future as imperative in the Septuagint version of the book of Genesis.
  • 31.8.-3.9.2016, I visited the Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa, giving two lectures one on Ben Sira and another on the semantic change of the Greek words ἁπλοῦς and ἁπλότης.
  • I was at Thessaloniki 9th - 15th 2015 (The photos above are taken during the first Symposium last year (on the left) and the second symposium this year (on the right)) as a part of staff mobility programme for teaching attending in Symposium: ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΜΕΤΑΦΡΑΣΕΩΣ ΤΩΝ ΕΒΔΟΜΗΚΟΝΤΑ (Theology of the Septuagint), this year's theme of which was "Moral and Natural Evil according to the LXX". The current programme is available here.
  • Olin Thessalonikissa 9.- 15. maaliskuuta 2015 Septuagintan teologiaa käsittelevässä symposiumissa jonka aiheena tänä vuonna oli "Moraalinen ja luonnollinen paha Septuagintassa." Ohjelma on yllä englannin kielisessä versiossa tästä ilmoituksesta.
  • I attended CSTT workshop on Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence (17-19 March 2015) in Münster, Germany.
  • Osallistuin CSTT workshoppiin Saksan Mynsterissä 17.-19.3.2015. Siellä tarkasteltiin meille säilyneeen todistusaineiston eli konkreettisen tekstimateriaalin pohjalta Raamatun tekstien toimittajien hyödyntämiä metodejä heidän laajentaessaan tekstiä.

Research contacts

At the moment I am a member in the following academic research project:

I have been a member in the following academic research projects:

  • The Research Unit for the Formation of Early Jewish and Christian Ideology (Center of Excellence in Research, Academy of Finland) 2000-2005
  • Birth and Transmission of a Holy Tradition (EURYI) 2007-2012


Recent publications


    ”ἁπλοῦς, ἁπλότης,” Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint, Vol. 1. Ed. Eberhard Bons, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2020, 927-938.

  • “Middle voice as depiction of subject's dominion in the Greek Pentateuch,” Tuukka Kauhanen, Hanna Vanonen (Eds.), The Legacy of Soisalon-Soininen: Towards a Syntax of Septuagint Greek. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020, 81-96.

  • "Middle voice in the speech of and about God's power and dominion over the creation in the Greek Pentateuch," in Evangelia Dafni (ed.), Divine Kingdom and Kingdoms of Men / Gottesreich und Reiche der Menschen. WUNT 2019. 35-47.
  • "The Future Indicative as Imperative in the Septuagint," in (eds.), XVI Congress of the International Organization for the Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Stellenbosch 2016. 2019.
  • "Deacons in the texts contemporary with the New Testament (Philo of Alexandria and Josephus)" in "Diakonia and Deacons in Early Christianity" edited by Bart J. Koet, Edwina Murphy and Esko Ryökäs. WUNT II/479 Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2018, 273-285.
  • “The End of the High Priestly Family of Simon and the conclusion of the Book of Ben Sira,” Biblische Notizen / Biblical Notes, 179 (2018), 69-84.
  • "Septuaginta – maailman vanhin Raamatun käännös. (The Oldest Bible Translation)" Ortodoksia 57 (2017), 5-24 (with an English summary in page 24).
  • “Evil thoughts as movement on the surface of an extended sea of wickedness.” Vetus Testamentum et Hellas 3 (2016), 117-129.
  • "Septuagint Syntax and Hellenistic Greek," in Eberhart Bons / Jan Joosten (Hg./eds.), Die Sprache der Septuaginta/The Language of the Septuagint. Handbuch zur Septuaginta/Handbook of the Septuagint Band/ Volume 3. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus 2016, 109-118.
  • “Diakonoi in the Greek speaking world until 1st c. CE,” Diakonian tutkimus/Journal for the Study of Diaconia 3/2015, 216-229. 
  • “The Evildoers, Wicked Persons in the Septuagint (LXX) Version of the Book of Psalms and that of Ben Sira (Siracides),”  Vetus Testamentum et Hellas 2 (2015). 
  • “Leviticus,” pages 43-57 in James K. Aitken (ed.), The T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 
  • "Μέλλω-Auxiliary Verb Construction in the Septuagint," pages 195-216 in De Troyer K., Law T. M., Liljeström M. (eds.), In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes Studies in the Biblical Text in Honour of Anneli Aejmelaeus. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology, 72. Peeters: Leuven/Louvain 2014. 978-90-429-3041-4 
  • "Deontic meaning of the auxiliary verb construction μέλλω + INF in the Septuagint and Hellenistic Greek," Glotta 89 (2013), 242-252.


Forthcoming publications

Education and degrees

  • Matriculation 1978, Vantaanjoen lukio
  • Master of Theology 1989, University of Helsinki
  • Studies in classical philology (Greek) (35sw) 1990, University of Helsinki
  • Studies in Ancient Oriental languages and cultures (Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, Arabic)
  • Doctor of Theology 2001
  • Professors associate/Docent/Dozent/Maître de conférences 2007, University of Joensuu

Working career

University of Helsinki, Department of biblical studies

  • Senior lecturer of exegetics, temporary service 1.7.-31.12.1990, 3.-21.10 and 22.10.-24.10.1995, 1.8.1996-31.7.1997, 1.8.-31.12.1998
  • Researcher 1.9.1991-31.5.1994, 1.7.1994-31.12.1995, 1.8.1997-31.7.1998, 1.1.1999-31.12.2000
  • Assistant, temporary service 1.1.-31.7.1996
  • University Researcher 1.8.2008-31.07.2009 (EURYI-project Birth and Transmission of a Holy Tradition)

Church Council, Translation committee of the Apocrypha

  • Translator, consultant 1.1.2001-31.12.2003

University of Joensuu / University of Eastern Finland

  • University lecturer in classical languages and biblical studies 1.8.2003 – (leave of absence 1.8-31.12.2003; 1.8.2008-31.7.2009)
  • Professors associate/Docent/Dozent/Maître de conférences 16.10.2007

Staying abroad

  • Centre d'Etudes des Religions du Livre. Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, France, 1.4-20.6.1999.

A view through my window in Joensuu


Other scientific duties

  • Report of the Thesis: Constantine Robert Campbell, Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament: the Indicative Mood in Narrative. Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • Peer Reviewer: Bulletin of the International Organization for the Septuaginta and Cognate Studies
  • Peer Review: Assessment of application for Fulbright grant
  • Peer Reviewer: National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF)
  • Peer Reviewer: Biblische Notizen
  • Peer Reviewer: Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society



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