Stoppen Sie diese Farce

Der Ton wird schriller im Nervenkrieg um den eingefrorenen US-Haushalt. Präsident Obama nannte die Blockade der Republikaner eine “Waffe am Kopf des US-Volks” – und forderte eine sofortige Einigung. Erpressen lassen will er sich jedoch nicht, ein “Lösegeld” schloss er aus.

Der Spiegel

Free Reading

My friend Scott Caulley alerted me to Theological Commons.  Here is the link to theological literature in German: http://commons.ptsem.edu/?page-length=10&qtext=language%3a%22German%22


So, is German harsh or cool?

die neue Lieblingssprache der Hipster?


Joseph Ratzinger, jetzt Benedikt XVI., und ich waren 1962-1965 die beiden jüngsten Konzilstheologen. Jetzt sind wir die beiden ältesten und einzigen noch voll aktiven


[This is old news, but still interesting.  I’m trying to locate a recent article by Hans Küng on Pope Francis in the same Zeitung.  If anyone out there has the reference, please send it in.]

Nestle Aland 28

m Herbst diesen Jahres erscheint die 28. Auflage des Novum Testamentum Graece (Nestle-Aland).

Diese wird sowohl als gedruckte Ausgabe als auch digital (Software für Windows, OS X, iOS und Android) angeboten werden.

Alle Informationen um NA28 stehen ab sofort unter www.nestle-aland.com zur Verfügung.

Mehr zur Geschichte und Bedeutung des Nestle-Aland finden Sie bei bibelwissenschaft.de.

See also http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2012/06/nestle-aland-28-in-press.html


Saturday  June 30

Dear Mark,

Sorry I haven’t emailed you earlier, but I’ve been trying to condense the great topics and discussions and questions we are enjoying in our theological dialogue here in Sigtuna. We have a good number of participants and many new historical issues and differing theological aspects of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology that we have been presented with from the lecturers…that really have been interesting.

First of all…the Sigtuna location for this Congress has been an excellent choice…both for its beautiful, comfortable, and ascetic qualities that lend themselves so well to group theological interaction and the wonderful fellowship that Bonhoeffer Congresses seem to initiate and and provide a sense of continuity for returning and new participants each year. The rooms here are very nice and the food has been the best (I think) ever.

Secondly, the historical reality that Bishop Bell and Bonhoeffer had their secret meeting here in Sigtuna (in an upper room in a building down in the village of Sigtuna, rather than here on this campus) makes this very special as the Congresses , I believe , are always held at places Bonhoeffer met with people in ecumenical and in critical consideration of how to apply Christian thought and action to resistance to Hitler and the Nazi tragedy for the German people. This location for the Congress makes us feel the living history of Bonhoeffer’s lasting influence on the contemporary, authentic and world changing witness of Christians and Churches trying to live in faith to God, Christ and one another. We have taken several trips to the upper room where Bell and Bonhoeffer met.

And, thirdly…concepts have come up in the lectures each day that give us several new things to question and consider. I can’t address them all, but here are some of the issues and discussions:

What if Bishop Bell’s and Bonhoeffer’s meeting had gained the response and help of the British and the Allies to assist and really respond to what Bonhoeffer and the other conspirators were trying to do?

What about the new issue for many of us that the longstanding question of how could a Christian get involved in assassinating a governmental leader? What has come up in this Congress is the concept of “Tyrannicide” having some sense of justification in attempting to topple and murderous governmental leader? “Tyrannicide” was something new to many of us in this Congresses’ lectures and discussion.

I must stop here, but will try to give you a more thorough report when I get home (although I must humbly admit there is a wealth of issues in this Congress that will take me some time to try to look at again to come up with hopefully accurate descriptions of what we have been presented with here at Sigtuna.

Yours in Christ,


Gerhard von Rad’s Predigt-Meditationen, written between 1946 and 1966, were published by his daughter Ursula in 1973.  His remarks on exegesis and preaching serve as an introduction to the volume.  They were taken from an Übung (workshop or exercise-type course) he shared with Günther Bornkamm and Hans von Campenhausen (a patristic scholar).

Zwei Sätze stehen für uns fest, darin sind wir drei Veranstalter dieser Übung uns einig:

1.  Die Texte der Bibel müssen gepredigt werden . . .

2.  Die Texte der Bibel können gepredigt werden.

 Beides ist Auslegung: die wissenschaftliche Exegese und die Predigt.

Personal Note

Well, about two years ago I said, “I’ll be back soon,” and I haven’t done a whole lot since then.  I usually work on my Theological German over the summer.  Two years ago after my father passed away I spent a lot of time with my mother.  Since then I’ve spent a lot of time with my grandchildren, partly because I realize how important my dad was to my own kids.  I have a little different perspective on the importance of things.

But Bonhoeffer reminds me that even  penultimate things have a relative importance in their place.  Theological German is one of those penultimate things for me.  It is still important to have a broader perspective on theology than an English-only perspective would give.

I agree with those who say “don’t just learn theological German, learn German.”  I would say, take a class, visit a German speaking country, or better yet, study at a German or Swiss university.  In fact the best thing would be to do what Chris Tilling did: Move to Germany and marry a beautiful German-speaking woman.  But if you can’t do that, do what you can.

My other hobby is bicycle riding.  I like to watch the Tour de France and imagine myself racing up the mountains in the middle of the peleton, sharing a conversation in German with the rider on my ride and in French with the rider on my left, and saying “Andiamo!” to the slow Italian behind.  In wirklichkeit, I can’t go as fast downhill as the pros go up the mountains.  I plod along in the picturesque-but-modest-by-alpine-standards flint hills where I live at an average of about 13 mph.  Still cycling is good for me, and enjoyable, and the more I engage in it the more I believe in it.

Last week my wife and I watched the Tour de Suisse on TV.  The program was in English but the American network got there feed from German language TV, so the captions were in German.  The leader was the “Spitze” (point or tip).  The king of the mountain prize was the Bergpreis, and the highest mountain climb (hors categorie, excuse the French, but even German TV uses it) was the Glaubenberg.

I teach undergraduate Bible, including Greek and Hebrew, at Manhattan Christian college in Kansas (the “Little Apple).  Occasionally I gather two or three students to read some German once a week.  I also teach a masters level summer term course on OT Research at Kentucky Christian University.  As part of my preparation I just finished reading A Brief History of Old Testament Chriticism: from Benedict Spinoza to Brevard Childs by Mark S. Gignilliat (Zondervan, June, 2012).  Major chapters devoted to DeWette, Wellhausen, Gunkel, and von Rad reminds me how important German continues to be for research in Biblical studies.

Four years ago I attended the International Bonhoeffer Congress in Prague.  The next quadrennial Congress is about to begin in Sweden.  I am not able to attend this year, but a colleague Robert Ford is on his way.  If he finds good internet connections, he is going to send me email updates, which I will post here.

Meanwhile I hope to have a few more posts from Schlatter’s study of Glauben.  Just arrived in the mail is a copy of von Rad’s Predigt-Meditationem, which I look forward to perusing and posting in the coming weeks.  I also have a commentary on Ephesians by Snackenburg that I’m reading in preparation for a fall class on the Prison Epistles.  Hopefully I will bring a few posts from that also over the next few weeks.

I am spurred on by Gerhard von Rad’s motto:

“Meine Aufgabe als akademischer Lehrer war und ist: Lesen zu lernen und lesen zu lehren.”


A Personal Relationship

   Der Jude wußte aber aus seiner Bibel, daß sein Lebenslauf nicht nur von dem abhänge, was die Menschen für ihn sind, sondern zuerst durch Gottes Handeln hergestellt werde.

Israels Gott steht mit seinem Volke in einem persönlichen Verkehr.

Er ist des Volkes eigener Gott, der es regiert, so daß seine Geschichte durch eine fortlaufende Reihe von Handlungen Gottes gestaltet wird, die aus einer allmächtigen Güte hervorgehen.  Got war als der Geber alles Guten für sein Volk offenbar.  Deshalb hatte der jüdische Gottesgedanke stetig die Erweckung des Glaubens bei sich; jede Errinnerung an Gott wirkt als Glaubensmotiv.



die Erinnerung memory, remembrance
die Erweckung awakening, arousal
der Gedanke idea, thought
der Gottesgedanke thought of God, idea of God
die Geschichte story, history
die Güte goodness, kindness, blessings
die Handlung action, act
der Lebenslauf course of life, curriculum vitae, resumé
die Reihe line, row, series
der Verkehr relationship


abhängen depend
gestallten shape, design, form
herstellen/hergestellt make, place here

hervorgehen arise, emerge
regieren rule
stehen stand, stay
wissen/wusste/gewusst know

anderer Wörter

allmächtig all powerful
deshalb therefore, hence, on these grounds
eigen one’s own, personal
fortlaufend consecutive, sequential, running
offenbar revealed
sondern but
stetig constant
zuerst first
. . . nicht nur von dem abhänge, was . . . does not depend on that which

Für den Israeliten erhielt daher das Wort »glauben« seinen Inhalt nicht bloß durch diejenigen Beziehungen, in die wir zu den Menschen um uns her gesetzt sind.  Weil unsere Lebensläufe ineinander gefügt sind, so daß der eine auf die Hilfe und Gabe des anderen angewiesen ist, stehen wir zueinander fortwährend in einem mannigfach abgestuften Glaubensverband.  Denn unser Verhalten beruht unaufhörlich auf einem Urteil, das das künftige Handeln und die bleibende Gesinnung der anderen mißt.  Falls wir in ihnen Warheit und Güte voraussetzen, glauben wir ihnen, indem wir uns mit ihrem Gedanken und Willen einigen.


die Beziehung respect, regard, connection
die Gabe gift
der Gedanke idea, thought
der Gottesgedanke thought of God, idea of God
die Gesinnung disposition, ethos, attitude
der Glauben faith, belief, trust
der Glaubensverband alliance in faith
die Güte goodness, kindness, blessings
das Handeln action, dealing
der Inhalt content
der Lauf course, cycle
der Lebenslauf course of life, curriculum vitae, resumé
das Urteil judgment, decision, conviction
das Verhalten behavior, comportment, demeanor
die Warheit truth


angewiesen depend on, rely on
beruhen depend on, be based on, rely on
einigen agree

erhalten/erhielt receive, obtain
gefügen join, acquiesce, submit
glauben believe, trust
ineinander into one another
messen (mißt) measure, gauge
stehen stand, stay
voraussetzen assume, suppose, require

anderer Wörter

abgestuft arranged in a hierarchy, gradual, graduated
bloß bare, merely
daher therefore, hence
derjenige he who, that which
indem as
falls if, in case, in the event of
fortwährend constant/ly
gesetzt set, settled, composed; assumed
künftig future
mannigfach diverse, manifold
unaufhörlich without end