William Tyndale (1490-1536) in Germany
In 1524, having been barred by church authorities from creating a new English version of the Bible in England, the English scholar and translator William Tyndale went to Germany. Financed by London merchants, Tyndale's translation of the New Testament was published in Cologne (Köln) in 1525, and later in Worms. Copies of his new translation reached England in 1525-26, but Tyndale would pay a high price for his efforts. Before he could complete his work on the Old Testament, he was captured in Belgium and later burned at the stake (1536) for his "untrue translations." His Bibles were burned, but his work would prove to be a lasting influence on English Bible translation in later centuries, including the venerable King James Version of 1611.
Eine gelinde Antwort stillet den Zorn.
A soft answer turneth away wrath.
- Sprüche Salomos (Proverbs) 15, 1
See: Bible Texts in German
Christopher Sower II (Sauer, 1721-84)
The German-born Christopher Sower (Sauer) migrated with his wife and son to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1724. Sower, a Pietist, became a successful printer, and the Sower Press published three editions of the Bible in German (1743, 1763, 1776) in America.
Kirchenbuch für Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden (1906)
This German-language "Church Book" for Evangelical Lutheran congregations in North America was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A blend of prayer book, hymnal, liturgical services (christening, marriage), and catechism, the Kirchenbuch was a sort of "Book of Common Prayer" used by German Lutheran congregations all across the US and Canada. (See photo in Part One.)
The Buber-Rosenzweig Bible (Berlin, 1925-37)
There had been several translations of the Bible into Yiddish or Judeo-German as early as the 12th and 13th centuries, but the first recorded true translation appeared around 1421 (Mantua). Moses Mendelsohn published a translation from Hebrew into German using Hebrew characters in the early 1780s. In an attempt to preserve the original Hebrew biblical style in German, the Jewish religious philosophers Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig published their new 15-volume German translation between 1925 and 1937. A revised Buber-Rosenzweig edition appeared in the 1950s and '60s.
Gute Nachricht Bibel (1982, 1997)
The German "Good News" Bible in modern German ("die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch") first appeared in 1982. It was last revised in 1997. Like its English equivalent, the Gute Nachricht Bibel is an attempt to bring the Bible into truly contemporary German, avoiding unfamiliar religious terminology and misleading older translations.
Frohe Ostern! - Happy Easter!
German Easter customs and vocabulary.
Using our links, resources, and glossary, you can compare English and German biblical passages, read the Bible (in German or other languages), or look up biblical vocabulary.
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