Posts Tagged ‘Bonhoeffer’

. . . and get to work.  I’m having too much fun.

In a few short weeks I have to present two papers in Tuebingen at the Institute for Christian Origins.  One is a draft of the paper I will be presenting in Prague later in the summer; this is to a Theological German group.  The other is a NT historical study to the NT colloquium.

This blog may suffer a little.  I do plan to continue with postings from Bonhoeffer, though, even if they are not as frequent.  I think I will move on to some of the serious theological reflections on “Religionless Christianity” and so forth.  That also means that within a few months I will be finished with selections from Widerstand und Ergebung and will have to move on to something else.  Any suggestions?  I do have a few things in mind, but I am open to suggestions.


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First, I’ve got 17 minutes left to say it. We have definitely found Nessie. Here are the photos to prove it beyond all dispute:

The Loch Ness Monster
Second, I thought Carl Darling Buck and Georgios Hatzidakis said all there is to say about the Doric dialect, but there is more. I am learning to speak Doric, the dialect of NE Scotland. Of course, Buckie, has its own variety. Maybe a better way to say it is that Doric is the language of Northeast Scotland, and the Buckie dialect is one of many dialects.
It is rumored that I. Howard Marshall is known to mutter Doric phrases in his sleep.

He fair thocht he wis Airchie Pluff. An him jist Airchie’s brither.
Lovely, tell yir ma.


What with all this delving into Doric, I’ve almost forgotten all about German.

But I’ll get back to it the morning.

Here are a couple of quizzes:

  • Reiseneier
  • In which letter (date) did Bonhoeffer thank Bethge for the “Rieseneier”?

What does the following picture make you want to say?


  1. Rhododactylos Eos
  2. Polyphloisboio Thallasses
  3. Foo’s yir maan?
  4. Dinna be skycie!

Morgen sprechen wir deutsch!

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In response to a comment by Bob McDonald a couple days ago, I have resumed posting my own translations of the Bonhoeffer selections on Wellspring. I am picking up with the recent selections Bonhoeffer’s remarks about nature. Again, I will remind you that I am a fellow struggler. I don’t claim any literary merit or special degree of accuracy for the translations. I try to stay fairly close to the German text, but have paraphrased a little in a couple of places (trying to communicate what I think the words mean).

Of course, published translations done by professionals are available. I will be updating the “Bonhoeffer Sources” page here soon.

It’s been a while since any of the readers have ventured a translation. Please use the comments section if you would like to try.

If you wish to read mine go to Wellspring (here). On the left you will notice a menu for “Pages.” You will find the current translations under “Meditations on Nature.”

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Remember to check the other pages (click on the tabs at the top or under “pages” on the right) from time to time. The “Home” page is the blog part; on the other pages new information is at the bottom. Rather than making new posts, I just edit and add new tidbits. For example, here are a couple new items from “Reviews and Resources”:

Last year, Aldo Parmegianni interviewed Jürgen Moltmann on his 80th birthday, for Radio Vatikan. The interview sums up the major themes of Moltmann’s life work. Both the text and the audio (Real Audio) are available. I will be posting some vocabulary helps soon.

A new web site celebrates the upcoming 500th anniversary of the birth of Jean Calvin. Calvin 09 gives the options of English, French, Deutsch, or Spanish. Click on “Actio” and you can download, among other writings, the Institutes in French or English.

Wieland Willker is a chemist in Bremen, who is a serious amateur NT scholar and textual critic. His web site includes a bibliography of books in German on NT Greek, and a Greek-German NT vocabulary list. His site also includes a massive textual commentary in English on the GNT.

On the “Conversation for Beginners” page, Judy and Athene have started a conversation about people for whom church is strange and unfamiliar. Meanwhile, I have posted a couple of photographs on the “Photos” page; and a few readers have been bold enough to venture translations in the “Comments” box after the reading selections.

I’m also adding to the “Grammar” pages a little at a time.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My wife and I belong to a group called “Wellspring,” that meets out on Judd and Nancy’s farm. We currently have chosen to read Cost of Discipleship together over the next couple months. Wellspring has just started its own blog, and–I have begun posting my translations of the reading selections from the letters. I don’t want to make it too easy to any Theological German readers, but if you want to check my translation or compare yours, you can go to “wellspringks.wordpress.com“. Click on the “Bonhoeffer Focus this semester” tab (or the page on the left), then go to “Letter 1” etc.

As I said before, I am a fellow traveler and struggler, so my translations make no claim to literary merit, or even any guarantee of accuracy.

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Wo liegt die Grenzen zwischen Widerstand und Ergebung? Ich denke oft darüber. Wann müssen wir gegen dem Schicksal widerstehen und Wann müssen wir ergeben?

die Ergebung submission, surrender
die Grenze boundary
das Schicksal fate
der Widerstand resistance
denken think
ergeben submit, yield, surrendur
liegen; lie, be
widerstehen, withstand, resist
darüber about that
wann When
gegen against

In der richtigen Zeit müssen wir entschlossen sein. Ja, dann müssen wir dem Schicksal entgegentreten. Aber wann die Zeit für Ergebung richtig ist, dann müssen wir auch unterwerfen.

die Zeit time
entgegentreten oppose

Warum ist es wichtig dass das »Schicksal« neutrum ist? Ich denke, dass »Schicksal« keine Person ist; ja kein Mensch, kein Gott, kein Geist; es ist ein unpersönliche Ding.

der Geist mind, spirit
der Gott God
der Mensch
human being
kein no, none (not a . . .)
warum why
wichtig important

Wann kann man von der Führung Gottes sprechen? Nur nach dem zwiefachen Vorgang (Widerstand und Ergebung).

die Führung leading, guidance
der Geist mind, spirit

Vorgang process
sprechen speak
zweifachen double, twofold

After you can read the above sentences with ease, study the following synonyms, and go back and try reading the Lesestücke again.

Ein Paar Synonyme

Ergebung: Sichabfinden (accomodation), ergeben: unterwerfen (submit to);
Widerstand/widerstehen: Entschlossenheit (determination), entschlossen (adj. determined) Forderung (noun: claim, demand), fordern (to demand, claim) entgegentreten (oppose); durchhalten survive, handeln, manage, take action, unternehmen (take action, venture, undertake)

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