Meine lieben Studenten!


Jetzt fangen wir an, den apostolischen Glauben zu lernen.

Now begin we the apostolic faith to learn.


Note: anfangen means to begin. The "an" is a separable prefeix -- ending up, where else?, at the end of the clause.


II. Der Glaube

II. The Faith


Note: "Glaube" is a masculine noun that means "faith" and is used theologically just as we use that English word. But it also became the name for the creed, especially the Apostles' Creed. On p. 30 of the Triglotta, the ecumnical creeds are called Bekenntnis (confession) or Symbolum.


Der erste Artikel

The first Article.


Von der Schoepfung

Of the Creation


von -- of or from -- preposition taking the dative case.

der -- the -- feminine singular dative definite article (yes, I know it's the same as the masculine singular nominative -- don't blame me -- I didn't make this up!

die Schoepfung -- creation -- "ung" denotes that it is a gerund, a noun made from a verb, as we use "ing." The verb is "schoepfen," "to create." So "Schoepfung" is formed as we would for "the creating."


Ich glaube an God den Vater allmaechtigen,

I believe in God the Father allmighty


Schoepfer Himmels und der Erden.

Creator of heaven and of the earth.


glauben -- to believe -- cognates (believe it or not).

glauben an -- to believe in -- taking the accusative case after "an."

Note Yes, believe and glauben are cognates. How can that be? Well, the "g" is short for "ge," a prefix. The "be" is a prefix in our English word. So what is the connection between lieve and lauben? First, vowels are more changeable than consonants. So vowels can readily change between cognates (remember how often they change inside Hebrew words!). When consonants change as related languages (like German and English) grow apart, they change in recognizable patterns: "b" becomes "v" just as "p"becomes "f" (Pfeffer is pepper). Der Knabe, the boy, becomes the knave. Isn't that groovy?

allmaechtig -- almighty -- cognates.

"all" is "all"

"die Macht" (feminine noun) is "might" or "power."

"ig" is the ending that makes it an adjective -- like "y" in "mighty."

"en" is the adjectival endings (DON'T WORRY, be happy).

all/al - maecht/might -- is/y -- en


der Schoepfer -- Creator -- from the very "schoepfen," "to create." The "er" ending is equivalent to "er" in English "Maker" (or to the "or" in Latin -- Creator).

der Himmel -- sky/heaven -- masculine noun. Himmels is genitive -- of heaven. One would expect the definite article here -- des -- it must have been left out when first translated into German many centuries before Luther -- and the form stuck historicall.

Note: English is just about the only language (the only one I know of) to have two different words for sky and heaven. One word does double duty in other languages; but we still know in English that heaven is up, not down.

Note: German has an exclamation: "Ach Du lieber Gott im Himmel!" "Oh Thou dear God in heaven!" That is, of course, taking the Lord's name in vain unless it is used actually as the beginning of a prayer (which is probably the source of all such usages as exclamations -- much earlier generations were moved to prayer when surprised or frightenend -- moderns, especially in Europe, are moved to sin. There are ways to get around the actual, technical misuse of God's name: "Ach Du lieber blauer Himmel!" "Oh Thou dear blue heaven." That is like saying in English "Good heavens!" instead of "Good God!" or "Egad!" instead of "Oh God!" Circumlocution is hardly a modern invention (Matt. 5:33-37).

der Erden -- of the earth -- genifive singular of die Erde (feminine noun); it's archaic, outdated, to add the "n" in the genitive feminine singular.


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer.


Ich glaube, dass mich Gott geschaffen hat

I believe that me God created has


samt allen Kreaturen, mir Leib und Seele,

together with all creatures, to me body and soul,


Augen, Ohren und alle Glieder, Vernunft und alle Sinne

eyes, ears and all members, reason and all senses


gegeben hat und noch erhaelt; dazu Kleider und Schuh',

given has and still preserves, thereto clothes and shoes,


Essen und Trinken, Haus und Hof, Weib und Kind,

eat and drink, house and yard, wife and child,


Acker, Vieh und alle Gueter; mit aller Notdurft und

field, cattle and all goods, with all necessity and


Nahruing dieses Leibes und Lebens reichlich und

nourishment of this body and life richly and


taeglich versorgt, wider alle Faehrlichkeit beschirmt

daily provides, against all dangerousnes shelters


und vor allem Uebel behuetet und bewahrt;

and before all evil protects and preserves;


und das alles aus lauter vaeterlicher, goettlicher Guete

and that all out of pure fatherly, divine goodness


und Barmherzigkeit, ohne alle mein Verdienst und

and mercy, without all my merit and


Wuerdigkeit; des alles ich ihm zu danken und

worthiness; of which all I to Him to thank and


zu loben und dafuer zu dienen und gehorsam

to praise and therefore to serve and obedient


zu sein schuldig bin. Das ist gewisslich wahr.

to be owing am. That is certainly true.


Ich glaube,

I believe,

Note: "Glauben" is used for "I believe that" ("Ich glaube, dass") as well as for "I believe in" ("Ich glaube an").


dass mich Gott geschaffen hat samt allen Kreaturen

that me God created has together with all creatures.

mich -- me -- first person singular accusative -- direct object.

Gott -- God -- cognates; In the Large Catechism, Luther traces the derivation of "Gott" from "gut," "good," which sounds nice. Modern linguists trace "God" to an ancient word for invoking one in prayer -- so "God" is the One invoked or called upon as in our Invocation; while they trace "good" to an ancient word for "suitable." The same roots would serve both German and English here.

geschaffen -- created -- "schaffen" is another verb for "to created." The "ge" prefix is used on all past participles -- hat geschaffen -- has created.

hat -- has -- from haben (to have). German, just like English, uses "to have" for the perfect tenses -- tenses indicated that something has already been done (is perfect or finished).

Note: Ich habe -- I have; I habe es getan; I have it done (I have done it). Is it any surprise that the past participle comes at the end of the clause -- just as other verb forms in dependent clauses. Sometimes it can get as crowded at the end of German clause as it can in the last two pews of a Lutheran church!

samt -- together with -- prepopsition taking the dative case.

Note: "Samt" is an archaic, outdated form. You won't find it in modern English. But you will find related words: zusammen = together; sammeln = collect or gather; die Sammlung = collection (as in the collected works of so-and-so).

allen -- all -- dative plural -- so ends in "n."

die Kreatur -- creature -- cognates, both derived from Latin. Plural: Kreaturen.

Note: German has words from Latin as English does -- but the latter has many more. When there are both German and Latin words for the same thing in German, there is a tendency to prefer the German. Das Geschoepf is German for "creature," "created thing." But one does encounter the Latin words -- especially in writers from the days when all learned men read, wrote, and often spoke Latin.

Note: German does tend to prefer "k" to "c," except in "ch" and "ck."


mir Leib und Seele, Augen, Ohren und alle Glieder,

to me body and soul, eyes, ears, and all members,

Vernunft und alle Sinne gegeben hat und noch erhaelt.

reason and all sense given has and still preserves.


mir -- me -- dative -- to or for me.

das Leib -- body -- neuter noun; plural Leiber.

die Seele -- soul -- cognate -- feminine noun; plural Seelen.

das Auge -- eye -- cognate -- neuter noun; plural Augen.

das Ohr -- ear -- cognate -- neuter noun, plural Ohren.

alle -- all -- plural

das Glied -- member -- neuter noun -- plural: Glieder

die Vernunft -- reason -- the ability to reason (not: "reasons why").


Note: "ver" is a prefix and is not accented: fer-NOONFT. Pronounce all the consonants even if you have to stand on your head and spit nickels to do so.

das Sinn -- sense -- neuter noun -- plural Sinne.

Note: das Sinn can refer to the mind having good sense; here, in the plural, it refers to the five physical senses.

gegeben -- from gegen, give -- past participle -- gegeben -- given.

hat -has -- helping verb -- "has given."

noch -- still, yet

erhaelt -- preserves -- present singular, third person, from erhalten.

Note: Erhalten is from halten, to hold. That much is cognate. The "er" is an unaccented prefix: er-HAHL-ten. The Umlaut is added in this case -- no reason -- it just is -- erhaelt -- er-HELLT.


dazu Kleider und Schuh', Essen und Trinken

to that clothes and shoes, eat and drink

dazu -- thereto -- cognates -- compound of da/there and zu/to. The connotation here is: "also" or "additionally."

Note: German takes "da," "there," and puts many prepositions behind it in a compound word -- and uses dazu/thereto instead of saying "to it," danach/thereafter instead of "after it" etc., etc.

das Kleid, dress, attire, clothing -- neuter noun -- used here in the plural, die Kleider as in "clothes" -- cognate to cloth/clothes.

der Schuh -- shoe -- cognate -- plural: die Schuhe -- here the apostrophe replaces the last "e" in the plural.

Essen -- eat -- cognate -- the verb "to eat" used as a noun (note that all nouns in German are capitalized) meaning what is eaten, food.

Trinken -- drink -- cognate -- verb used as noun -- what is drunk.


Haus und Hof, Weib und Kind

House and Yard, Wife and Child


das Haus -- house -- cognate -- plural die Haeuser.

der Hof -- court, yard -- plural die Hoefe. Why do we say "house and home" in English here? Beside alliteration, "home" would stand for "homestead," so the building (house) and all that pertains to it.

Note: The vowel before a single consonant is LONG! So: HOH-feh, plural: HAY-fe, with the lips pursed.

Note: Hof can refer to a king's court or a barnyard. "Hoeflich" means "courteous," the way in which one behaves at the king's court. Walther was called "der hoefliche Sachse," "the polite/courteous Saxon," for Saxons were known for politeness; especially Walther. In the transcript of a pastoral conference dealing with the Predestinarian Controversy, most of the men referred to the other side as "die Gegner," "the enemies," a harsh sounding word. Walther referred to them as "die Herren Opponenten," "the gentlemen opponents," rather like "our worthy opponents."

das Weib -- wife -- cognates -- plural die Weiber. Archaic -- even comical or insulting today, when every woman is a Frau/Lady.

das Kind -- child -- cogantes? -- plural die Kinder (as in der Kindergarten, the garden of children).


Acker, Vieh und alle Gueter

field, cattle, and all goods


der Acker -- field -- cognate to "acre." Plural: die Aecker.

Note: Gottesacker, "God's acre," is the cemetary.

das Vieh -- cattle -- more literally: "beast," but with a domestic connotation -- so livestock in general. Plural: die Viehe.

Remember to pronounce the "v" as an "f"; so: FEE, FEE-eh. The "h" is silent like the "q" in fish. It cannot be sounded at the end of the syllable in the singular; in the plural it only separates the syllables.

Note: You can now understand a proverbial saying from Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell," in which a cowherd says: "Das Vieh hat auch Vernunft." Would anyone care to comment on that? Is it true or false?

das Gut -- the good, the estate -- cognate. Plural: die Gueter -- goods in general.


mit aller Notdurft und Nahrung dieses Leibes und Lebens

with all necessity and nourishment of this body and life


die Notdurft -- archaic word for what is necessary: "not" and "need" are cognates.

die Nahrung -- nourishment -- a noun formed from a verb -- nahren, to nourish.

Note: all nouns ending in "ung" are feminine.

dieses -- of this -- neuter genitive singular.

Leibes -- genitive of das Leib, body.

Lebens -- genitive of Leben -- life. In this case, the verb leben, to live, is used as a noun without changing "en" to "ung." Why? No reason.


reichlich und taeglich versort

richly and daily provides.


reichlich -- richly (abundantly) -- cognates.

Note: the adjective "reich" is "rich." "Das Reich" is usually translated "kingdom" as in "das Reich Gottes," "the kingdom of God." But, etymologically, it has to do with the fact that a nation has, to some extent, a common economy as in "commonwealth."

taeglich -- daily -- cognates. "Der Tag" is "day."

versorgen -- provide -- "ver" is an unaccented prefix: fehr-ZOR-ge.

Note: die Sorge, the care -- sorgen, to care -- die Seelsorge -- caring for souls -- der Seelsorger -- one who cares for souls, pastor.


wider alle Faehrlichkeit beschirmt

against all dangerousness protects/shelters


wider -- against -- preposition taking the accusative case.

alle -- all -- feminine singular accuastive.

Faehrlichkeit -- danger or dangerousness.

Note: all nouns ending in "keit" are feminine. This suffix is one of the ways in which an adjective can be turned into a noun with corresponding meaning.

Note: "Faehrlichkeit" is archaic. The modern word for danger is "die Gefahr." Both come ultimately from "fahren," "to travel" (modern: "to drive"). Both travelling in general and driving in particular are dangerous. Travelling used to be much more dangerous than it is today. That is the connection that leads to this word for "danger."

beschirmen -- to protect or shelter. "Beschirmt" is present tense, third person singular: he protects.

Note: "der Schirm," the shelter -- so "der Regenschirm" -- the rain shelter -- umbrella. "Der Fallschirm" -- the falling shelter -- parachute.


und vor allem Uebel behuetet und bewahrt

and before all evil protects and preserves


vor -- before -- cognate -- preposition taking the dative case.

allem -- all -- cognate -- neuter dative singular

Uebel -- evil -- cognate -- in both English and German, the adjective is used here as a noun without alteration -- and in both languages can refer to moral evil or to anything bad which happen to a person.

behueten -- to protect -- synonym for beschirmen. The "t" makes it present tense, third person singular -- He protects.

Note: "die Hut" -- feminine noun (plural: die Huete) means "protection, shelter." The "be" is an unaccented prefix making a transitive verb (a verb that takes a direct object). "Die Hut" is not to be confused with "der Hut" (masculine noun; plural: "die Hueter") which means "hat" -- there could be some connection in the origin of these meanings -- a hat is protective -- but "der Hut" is not used in modern German for "helmet."

bewahren -- preserve -- synonym for erhalten. The "t" makes it third person singular, present tense -- "He preserves." The Umlaut is added.

Note: "bewarhren" probably comes from "wahr," "true," with the idea of keeping something true to the way it was.


und das alles

and that all


alles -- all -- neuter singular.

aus lauter vaeterlicher, goettlicher Guete und Barmherzigkeit

aus -- out of -- cognate -- preposition taking the dative case.

lauter -- pure, unmixed -- used here as an adverb: purely

vaeterlicher -- from "der Vater," "father," so fatherly -- cognate.

goettlicher -- from "der Gott," "God," so a cognate to "godly" but used more as we use "divine."

Note: "godly" in the English connotation would be "fromm," "pious," in German.

die Guete -- goodness -- feminine noun from "gut," "good," cognates.

Note: You will have noticed that there is more than one way to make a German noun out of a verb or adjective. DON'T WORRY -- be happy. I will point them out. You will "get used to the water" gradually.

die Barmherzigkeit -- mercy -- feminine noun -- the quality of wanting to help one in need.

Note: "barm" must be some old German word no longer used -- it must originally have meant something like "merciful," but it is used today only in other words: "erbarmen" "to have mercy"; or with das Herz (neuter noun, "heart" -- cognates) in barmherzig -- merciful at heart. The "keit" makes it a feminine noun -- "mercy."

Note to the Frauen taking these lessons: There is a strong tendency in German for positive emotions or qualities to be grammatically feminine -- while the negative ones are grammatically masculine. For example: der Hass, hate; but die Liebe, love. The Herren may be confused as to why this should be so; but the Frauen will immediately make the connection!

Note: the last comment is tongue-in-cheek. All attempts to find any Freudian meaning -- any connection between grammatical gender and physical gender -- in any and all Indo-European languages -- have failed to establish any connection.


ohne -- without -- preposition taking the accusative case.

alle -- all

mein -- my

der Verdienst -- masculine noun -- "merit, deserts, earning." From "dienen" "to serve" -- so the idea is what is earned by work. This word is used in the theological meaning of merit before God -- we are saved by Christ's Verdienst, for we have none before God.

die Wuerdigkeit -- worthiness -- die Wuerde/worth; wuerdig/worthy; die Wuerdigkeit/worthiness.


des alles

of that all

genitive neuter -- for all that


ich ihm zu danken und zu loben

I to Him to thank and to praise.


ihm -- Him -- dative singular -- to or for Him. The dative is used here as the object of the following verbs.

zu -- to -- used before the infinitive verb in German as in English.

danken -- to thank -- cognates

loben -- to praise -- note: Gottlob! as an exclamation: "Praise God."


und dafuer zu dienen

and for that to serve


dafuer is "fuer" -- for -- cognate -- with "da" there -- for it.

dienen -- serve


und gehorsam zu sein

and obedient to be


gehorsam -- obedient -- also masculine noun, der Gehorsam, obedience.

zu sein -- to be -- the infinitive form of the verb.


schuldig bin

owing am


bin -- first person singular present tense of "sein" "to be." I am

schuldig -- guilty, indebted, owing -- so Ich bin schuldig -- I am indebted.

Note: die Schuld is guilt; schuldig is guilty. These words are used in the Our Father: "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."


Das ist gewisslich wahr

That is certainly true.


gewisslich -- certainly -- from "wissen" "to know."

wahr -- true -- die Wahrheit -- the truth.


Note: in Luther's German Bible translation, "Das ist gewisslich wahr" is how Luther translated what we have in English as "This is a faithful saying" (for example: 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Tim. 4:9.


Christo befohlen!


John M. "Herr Professor Pastor Doktor" Drickamer, Lakeview, Oregon

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