Risto Santala was a well-known Finnish scholar in the fields of Judaism and rabbinic literature. He studied theology at the University of Helsinki and was ordained a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 1953. He first worked as a youth pastor in Helsinki and then in the Scandinavian Sailor's Church in Haifa, Israel. In 1957 he became pastor of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Shalhevet Yah, in Jerusalem. Santala has written over 20 books, but he is best known for his books The Messiah in the Old Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings and The Messiah in the New Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings (both written in Hebrew!). His books have been translated into Finnish, English, German, Estonian, Russian and Chinese.