Juha PakkalaOld Testament researcher Juha Pakkala of the University of Helsinki investigates biblical texts to learn what may have been removed from them and why. This spring he shared his approach with Candler students — in person and via Candler’s state-of-the-art video conference equipment.

“Together, we were able to present students with two, or often more, opinions and approaches, bringing the world of advanced study to life in a new way for them,” said Jacob Wright, assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at Candler, who invited Pakkala to participate in his weekly course on Ezra-Nehemiah.

Wright, who met Pakkala in Germany more than a decade ago, said students saw how even a small field, like Ezra-Nehemiah studies, is home to a wide array of different methods, approaches, assumptions and goals.

Pakkala received the European Young Investigator Award in 2006, one of largest prizes ever awarded in Europe to a junior scholar in theology. He is using the 1.1 million Euro prize to fund multiple doctoral fellowships that investigate biblical texts by comparing parallel texts and various translations.