Wednesday, March 6, 2013

German Lessons for Dr. Lito Cruz



Dr. Lito Cruz, blogger at Extra Nos, has expressed an interest in learning German, to appreciate Bach's great music even more.

And I have an answer, which I learned from Dr. Roland Bainton, famous Yale biographer of Martin Luther.

Since Lito already knows Greek, this is especially easy.

Open a Greek New Testament to the Gospel of John and a German Bible to the same place. Read the first verse in German and look at the Greek.

The idea is to translate what is obvious and guess the rest. That is how we learn any language, unless some scowling schoolmaster is forcing us to memorize vocabulary lists and grammar rules.


John 1:1 Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott, und Gott war das Wort. 2 Dasselbe war
im Anfang bei Gott. 3 Alle Dinge sind durch dasselbe gemacht, und ohne dasselbe ist nichts gemacht, was
gemacht ist. 4 In ihm war das Leben, und das Leben war das Licht der Menschen.

For those new to German, use the English. But look at how often Gott is used in a few verses. And war, Wort, und Leben. Look I am writing German already.

Read out loud and get the first verse in German firmly in mind. Then the next.

After four chapters of John, start over and work faster. It will be a breeze the second time. Then chapter 5 will be far easier in German than chapter 1 was the first time.

John's vocabulary and grammar are simple. The words repeat often, yet this is the most profound Gospel of the four.

For Bach fans, the Fourth Gospel is ideal for learning theological German.


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LPC has left a new comment on your post "German Lessons for Dr. Lito Cruz":

That is a great idea Dr. Greg, I will hunt for a German Bible here.
That is so true the Gospel of John uses very simple constructs.


Reading John 1:1, I can pick up the German already :-)

LPC


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LPC has left a new comment on your post "German Lessons for Dr. Lito Cruz":

I will start with Luther's Bible

http://www.bibledbdata.org/onlinebibles/german_l/index.htm

LPC

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GJ - It will open a new vista in theology for you, professor.

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