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Die funfte Bitte

The fifth Petition/Request


Und verlass [erlass, vergib] uns unsere Schuld,

And remit [remit, forgive] us our guilt/debt,


als wir verbegen unsern Schuldigern,

as we forgive our debtors.


verlass -- quit, leave, abandon -- second person singular IMPERATIVE of verlassen.

erlass -- remit, absolve -- second person singular IMPERATIVE of erlassen.

vergib -- forgive -- cognates -- second person singular IMPERATIVE of vergeben.

Note: The imperative mood is used for commands -- but it is not always imperious in tone; it is used in prayers properly as a request. So "imperative" here is the grammatical term for this form. The word may be in the "imperative" mood but the speaker -- especially in a prayer -- is not personally in an "imperious" mood.

Note: modern German does not use "verlassen" to mean "forgive." "Erlassen is also not a very common word. Every liturgical form I have seen uses "vergib" in both instances in this petition.

uns -- us -- cognates -- first person plural personal pronoun -- dative

case -- indirect object.

unsere -- our -- cognates -- feminine singular accusative -- direct object.

die Schuld -- guilt/debt.

als -- as -- cognates. Some versions use "wie" with the same meaning.

wir -- we -- cognates.

unsern -- our -- feminine plural dative -- indirect object, as "uns" in the previous clause -- it us understood here that we are forgiving the guilt to these debtors.

die Schuldiger -- debtors -- those guilty or those owing -- den Schuldigern -- the dative plural ALWAYS ends in "n." Here is the adjective "schuldig" (guilty) used as a noun -- and hence it is capitalized.

Note: This petition uses an older German word order -- which is actually closer to our English word order in this instance. Modern German word order would be: als wir unsern Schuldigern vergeben.


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer


Wir bitten in diesem Gebet,

We request in this prayer.


dass der Vater im Himmel

that the Father in heaven


nicht ansehen wolle unsere Suende

not to consider may want our sin


und um derselben willen

and for the same's sake


solche Bitte nicht versagen;

such petition not deny,


denn wir sind der keines wert,

for we are of nothing worthy,


das wir bitten,

which we ask,


haben es auch nicht verdient;

have it also not deserved/merited;


sondern er wolle es uns alles aus Gnaden geben,

rather [that] He may want it to us all out of grace to give,


denn wir taeglich viel suendigen

for we daily much sin


und wohl eitel Strafe verdienen.

and indeed only punishment deserve.


So wollen wir zwar [zwarten, wahrlich, in Wahrheit]

So want we indeed [indeed, truly, in truth]


wiederum auch herzlich vergeben

again [in return] also heartily to forgive


und gerne [wohl] tun denen,

and gladly [well] do to those.


die sich an uns versuendigen.

who themselves toward/against us commit sin.


ansehen -- to look at, to consider -- cognate would be: to see at/on.

wolle -- may will/want -- SUBJUNCTIVE mood, expressing a wish.

Note: modern German word order would put "wolle" all the way at the end, after "versagen."

die Suende -- sin -- cognates -- theological equivalent in meaning.

um derselben willen -- for the sake of the same. Um . . . willen is a preposition meaning "for the sake of" and taking the GENITIVE case -- for example: um Christi willen -- for Christ's sake.

solche -- such -- cognate

veragen -- deny -- cognate would be something like "foresay."

denn -- for -- coordinating conjunction -- verb does NOT go at the end.

der keines -- of nothing

wert -- worthy -- cognates

das wir bitten -- relative clause, using "das" as a relative pronoun -- which we request.

haben -- have -- "wir" "we" is understood, not repeated.

verdient -- earned, derserved, merited -- past participle of verdienen -- used after "haben" to form the PERFECT tense -- equivalent to English: "have earned."

Note: the verb "verdienen" and the noun "der Verdienst" are used to express the theological concept of merit -- we have not merited a favorable answer to our prayers -- but Christ has merited it all for us.

es uns alles -- uns is the indirect object -- es . . . alles is the direct object. The meaing is: "it to us all" -- we would say "it all to us."

aus Gnaden -- die Gnade is "grace" -- archaic to add the "n."

geben -- give -- cognates.

taeglich -- daily -- cognates ("der Tag," "day"). "Lich" is a suffix that makes it an adjective, here used as an adverb.

viel -- much.

Note: "viel" in the singular means "much"; in the plural ("viele"), it means "many" (like Latin "multus" or Spanich "mucho").

suendigen -- to sin -- cognates.

wohl -- indeed -- cogante to "well"

eitel -- adjective -- means "vain, futile, idle" -- but is used, as here, by extension to mean "only" or "nothing but." When it is used in the latter sense, it is usually "indeclinable" -- that is, it takes no adjectival endings.

die Strafe -- punishment.

zwar -- indeed -- "zwarten" is archaic, wahrlich -- truly -- in Wahrheit -- in truth.

wiederum -- again, in return, as a response.

herzlich -- heartily -- from "das Herz" "heart." I suggest "hearitly" as the closest one can come to a one-word translation -- "cordial" (from the Latin word for heart) does not really capture the meaning. "Heartfelt" may come closer -- or "sincere." It refers to something coming from the heart -- in other words, that we should be moved by Christ's forgiveness sincerely, in/from the heart, to forgive others (Eph. 4:32).

gerne -- gladly -- to do something "gerne" means that one genuinely likes/wants to do it.

wohl -- well -- cognates -- here in the sense of doing good.

denen -- them/those -- dative plural, indirect object.


die sich an uns versuendigen.

die -- relative pronoun, "who."

an uns -- to/toward/against us

sich versuendigen -- commit sin.

Note: "Sich" is the REFLEXIVE pronoun (-self) used for ALL third person pronouns: masculine, feminine, neuter; singular and plural. So "sich" can mean "himself," "herself," "itself," or "themselves." You get used to it.

Note: German, like other continental languages in modern form, tends to use reflexive forms MUCH more often than English.


Die sechste Bitte

The sixth Petition


Und fuehre uns nicht in Versuchung.

And lead us not into temptation.


fuehre -- lead -- second person singular IMPERATIVE of "fuehren."

Note: from this verb comes Hitler's title "der Fuehrer," "the leader." I don't know about any of you, but in view of this term being used for Hitler -- and the Italian equivalent, "il Duce," for Mussolini, I'm leery about using the term "leader" in English. It's a matter of connotation (the flavor of a word as actually used) rather than denotation (strict, literal meaning).


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer


Gott versucht zwar niemand,

God tempts indeed no one,


aber wir bitten in dieserm Gebet,

but we request in this prayer


dass uns Gott wolle behueten und erhalten,

that us God may want to protect and preserve,


auf dass uns der Teufel, die Welt, und unser Fleisch

so that us the devil, the world, and our flesh


nicht betruege noch verfuehre

not may deceive nor may mislead/seduce


in Missglauben, Verzweifeln,

into unbelief, despair,


und andere grosse Schande und Laster;

and other great shame and vice,


und ob wir damit angefochten wuerden,

and although we therewith assaulted would be.


dass wir doch endlich gewinnen und den Sieg behalten.

[so] that we nevertheless finally win and the victory retain.


versucht -- tempts/tries -- third person singular present INDICATIVE of versuchen, try, attempt, test.

zwar -- no one

niemand -- no one pronoun.

behueten -- protect

erhalten -- preserve -- halten is cognate to hold

der Teufel -- the devil -- cognates -- both from Greek, diabolos.

die Welt -- the world -- cognates

unser Fleisch -- das Fleisch -- flesh.

betruege -- may deceive -- SUBJUNCTIVE -- expressing wish, may not deceive

noch -- nor -- literally: still, yet -- extends the negative "nicht" to the next verb also.

verfuehre -- may mislead/seduce -- SUBJUNCTIVE.

Note: "fuehren" is "to lead." "Ver" is an unaccented prefix which generally gives the verb a negative meaning -- so "to mislead."

in -- in/into -- cognates -- preposition taking the dative case when not movement is indicated ("in") and the accusative case when movement is implied ("into"); here it has the accusative case following and means "into."

Missglauben -- misbelief/unbelief. "Miss" is cognate to "mis" as a negative prefix.

Verzweifeln -- despair -- verb used without change as a neuter noun. Note: Verzweifeln is pronounced: fehr-TSVI-feln (long "i").

die Schande -- shame, disgrace, dishonor.

das Laster -- vice, depravity.

ob -- if, although -- modern German would have: "obwohl" -- "ob" (pronounced "awp") is cognate to "if" -- but here it means "although" as is indicated by the subjuntive of "wuerden."

angefochten -- assaulted, assailed; past particple of "anfechten" -- the "ge" prefix of the past partriciple is inserted after "an."

Note: temptation includes both being tried/tested and being assaulted/assailed. Versuchen means the former; anfechten means the latter; but they are merely different aspects of the same thing -- devil, world, flesh try/test us by their assaults. "Fechten" is cognate to "fight." "Anfechten" is like "to fight at," that is, "to attack. The Latin word "tentatio," from which we get the English word "temptation," means "assault, attack," even though in modern English it has the primary meaning of "enticement."

wuerden -- would be -- from werden, become -- with the past participle, forms the passive voice -- we would be assaulted/tempted. The form is the past tense, wurde, with the umlaut making it SUBJUNCTIVE -- which is just a fancy way of explaining that it means "would" (which is the past subjunctive of "will" in English).

doch -- nevertheless

endlich -- finally -- literally: "endly." If "endly" were an English word, it would be the cognate. "Finally" means the same from the Latin word "finis," "end."

gewinnen -- win, gain -- used "intransitively" (without direct object) here -- usually used in modern German with a direct object (as a "transitive" verb).

der Sieg -- victory -- den is the accusative form -- direct object.

behalten -- retain, keep.

Note: The Nazi cry: "Sieg heil!" is "Victory, hail!" But there is nothing sinister about the word "Sieg" just because the Nazis used it. The name of the epic German hero, "Siegfried," means "Victory-Peace."


Die siebente Bitte

The seventh Petition/Request


Sondern erloese uns von dem Uebel.

Rather releast us from the evil.


erloese -- release, redeem -- second person singular IMPERATIVE of erloesen, which is ultimately from "los" "loose."

Note: "Was ist los?" used for "What's the matter?" or "What's wrong," is literally: "What is loose?" The comic answer is: "Alles was nicht angebunden ist," "Everything that's not tied down."


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer


Wir bitten in diesem Gebet

We request in this prayer


als in der Summa,

as in the Sum/Summation,


dass uns der Vater im Himmel

that us the Father in the heaven


von allerlei Uebel Leibes und Seele,

from all-kinds-of evil of body and of soul,


Gutes und Ehre, erloese

of good and of honor, may release


und zuletzt, wenn unser Stuendlein kommt,

and finally, when our little hour comes,


ein seliges Ende beschere

a blessed end may grant


und mit Gnaden von diesem Jammertal

and with grace from this misery-valley


zu sich nehme in den Himmel.

to Himself may take into the heaven.


in der Summa -- in the sum -- "Summa" is a Latin word, used by Luther, not used in modern German.

allerlei -- allerlei -- all kinds of (see keinerlei, no kinds of)

Uebel -- evil -- cognates -- adjective used as a noun.

Leibes -- of body -- genitive -- der Leib -- the body -- in this case, the genitive is apparent by the "es" -- the following words are genitive without it being so apparent:

Seele -- of soul (feminine, does not change in genitive)

Gutes -- of good/property (neuter genitive of the noun Gut, but looks like adjective "gutes"

Ehre -- of honor.

erloese -- may release.

zuletzt -- at last -- cognate would be to-last

das Stuendlein -- die Stunde is "hour" -- "lein" as a suffix makes it diminutive (little) and neuter: so das Stuendlein.

Note: "Stuendlein" is a typical expression in Luther's German -- referring to the last moments of one's earthly life. He would speak of "ein seliges Stuendlein," a blessed little hour -- that one might die in the confession of the faith -- as Luther did (his last word was "Ja," "Yes," in answer to the question by Justus Jonas, whether he were dying in the faith which he had preached.

selig -- blessed -- the "es" is an adjectival ending. Die Seligkeit is salvation, specifying the bliss of heaven. The beattitudes use "selig" for "blessed."

das Ende -- the end -- here referring to the end of one's earthly life.

beschere -- may grant -- SUBJUNCTIVE -- from bescheren.

von diesem Jammertal -- das Tal is valley -- cognate to "dale" or "dell." Die Jammer is "misery." The usual English translation is "vale of tears" -- not literal, but not inaccurate either.

Note: Do you remember the comic strip "The Katzenjammer Kids"? The word "Jammer" is the same -- die Katzenjammer literally means "cats-misery," but it is a German expression for a hang-over, which is, of course, totally outside the experience of any Lutheran.

zu sich -- to Himself (sich is reflexive for all third person pronouns, singular and plural).

nehme -- may take -- SUBJUNCTIVE -- from nehmen.

in den Himmel -- note the accusative case -- den is masculine singular accusative -- to here it means "into the heaven" while "im Himmel" ("in dem Himmel") is dative and means "in the heaven."




The Hebrews word "truth" or "truly" used in the Greek New Testament -- translated in the KJV as "verily." Note: after a statement, "Amen" means "that is true," but after a prayer it means, "that will COME true" as Luther explains.


Was ist das? -- Antwort

What is that? -- Answer


Dass ich soll gewiss sein,

That I should certain be.


solche Bitten sind dem Vater im Himmel angenehm und erhoert;

such petitions are to the Father in heaven acceptable and [are] heard;


denn er selbst hat uns geboten,

for He Himself has us commanded,


also zu beten,

so to pray,


und verheissen,

and [has] promised


dass er uns will erhoeren.

that he us wants to hear.


Amen, Amen,

Amen, Amen,


das heisst: Ja, ja, es soll also geschehen.

that means: Yes, yes, it should so happen.


soll -- shall/should -- first person singular present indicative of sollen, a modal auxiliary (helping verb); the infinitive goes at the end of the clause.

gewiss -- certain -- from "weissen" to know.

sein -- to be -- the infinitive (dictionary form).

solche - such -- plural accusative -- direct object

Bitten -- petitions -- plural accusative -- direct object.

sind -- are -- third persons plural present indicative of sein

dem Vater -- to the Father -- dative singular masculine -- the "to" is understood.

angenehm -- acceptable, pleasant

erhoert -- heard -- that is, effectively heard -- past participle of "erhoeren."

denn -- for -- coordinating conjunction (verb does not go to end)

er -- He

selbst -- Himself (intensifying -- NOT reflexive). -- cognate to "self"

hat -- has -- third person singular present indicative of haben -- used with the past participle to form the perfect tense (has commanded).

uns -- us -- dative plural first person pronoun -- actually the indirect object -- the phrase "so to pray" is the direct object.

geboten -- commanded -- past particple of gebeten -- to command.

also zu beten -- so to pray -- in this case "also" means merely "so," not "therefore" as usually in modern German.

verheissen -- promised -- past participle of verheissen (yes, in this case, for some strange reason, the infinitive and the past participle are the same).

dass -- that -- subordinating conjunction, verb to end.

er -- he

uns -- us -- accusative, direct object,

will -- wants to

erhoeren -- to hear.

Note: "Hoeren" is cognate to "hear." The "er" as a prefix intensifies it a bit.

das heisst -- that means. Heissen means that something is called or means something. This is the same verb as in: "Ich heisse John," "My name is John."

es -- it -- third person singular neuter personal pronoun

soll -- shall/should -- third person singular present indicative of sollen.

also -- so

geschehen -- happen.


Hier endet die elfte Lektion.


Christo befohlen,


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

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