24th May 2021 – Happy 80th Birthday, Bob Dylan! #otdimjh

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born on May 24, 1941. One of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century, his powerful words and music have initiated and mirrored the shifts in contemporary American society.  His body of work has crossed musical boundaries and created trends for popular music, political protest and contemporary culture. His career of some 60 years has produced a body of work embracing both the intimate and personal life of a poet, and the global and political protests of a prophet and activist.

For Messianic Jews of special significance is the period that produced the albums Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981). Some of the songs were re-released in the 2003 tribute album Gotta Serve Somebody.

Dylan has never made any secret of his Jewishnes. He grew up in the small but close-knit Jewish community in Hibbing, Minnesota and had his BarMitzvah there in May 1954. His Christian phase was more problematic, and still subject to questioning, as are many other details of his life, loves and identity. How much of a passing phase, or re-invention, was his passionate evangelistic preaching in the 1980s is still a topic of debate amongst his fans. But like the other musical and political phases of his career, his work cannot be located in just one form or message, and throughout his life he has been accused of being a renegade and turn-coat.

My appreciation of his music began in the early 1960s, but when Steve Turner started reporting that he had become a disciple of Yeshua, and Slow Train Coming appeared, my own newly found faith was significantly impacted. Mark Knopfler’s guitar solos accompanying Dylan’s empassioned “You gotta serve somebody” became one of my anthems, and has stood the test of time.

He has received the highest accolades of his profession.  Ten Grammy awards, Academy Awards and membership of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame are some of his many honours. The Pulitzer Prize for Literature (2008) and the Nobel Prize (2016) “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” testify to his originality and creativity. Few if any singer-songwriters have made the contribution he has made.

On his 80th birthday his creativity continues, but questions remain, as he would wish, about his style, direction, beliefs and faith. We wish him well, pray for HaShem’s richest blessing on his life, and that he may continue to create great music, poetry and art, and know more of his Messiah.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the life, songs and message of Bob Dylan. May he know the fulness of Your love for Him in our Messiah, Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

A Prayer by Bob Dylan

For his age, he’s wise
He’s got his mother’s eyes
There’s gladness in his heart
He’s young and he’s wild
My only prayer is, if I can’t be there
Lord, protect my child

As his youth now unfolds
He is centuries old
Just to see him at play makes me smile
No matter what happens to me
No matter what my destiny
Lord, protect my child

The whole world is asleep
You can look at it and weep
Few things you find are worthwhile
And though I don’t ask for much
No material things to touch
Lord, protect my child

He’s young and on fire
Full of hope and desire
In a world that’s been raped and defiled
If I fall along the way
And can’t see another day
Lord, protect my child

There’ll be a time I hear tell
When all will be well
When God and man will be reconciled
But until men lose their chains
And righteousness reigns
Lord, protect my child

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music




Aubrey L. Glazer. God Knows Everything is Broken: The Great (Gnostic) Americana Songbook of Bob Dylan. USA: Panui, 2019.

Bob Dylan, the messiah and personal redemption, RABBI AUBREY GLAZER | APRIL 7, 2017

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25 April 1866 Letter of Invitation to Form Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain #otdimjh

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 08.10.35

Noting the existence of previous Hebrew Christian brotherhoods and other groups of Jewish Christians that met in the 19th century, Hugh Schonfield observes:

But while these movements have interest as expressing the need of Jewish Christians for mutual dependence both in prayer and charity, they have no claim to be regarded as forerunners of a revived Jewish Christianity.

Haim Ridley Herschell Haim Ridley Herschell

The first united stand of Jewish Christians, as such, was made in 1866 when Dr. C. Schwartz, minister of Trinity Chapel, Edgware Road, London, built by another Jewish Christian, Ridley Herschell, formed a Hebrew-Christian Union. The objects are stated to have been:

1 To promote a social and frequent personal intercourse among Christian Israelites by meeting together at stated periods.

2 To stir up and stimulate one another in the endeavor of uniting with, and caring for, our brethren.

3 To search the Scriptures together relating to…

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19 April 1881 – Primrose Day – Passing of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister, Novelist, Christian and Jew #otdimjh

“There is one fact which none can contest. Christians may continue to persecute Jews, and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?” (Benjamin Disraeli, Chapter 10, “The Jews”, Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography, 1852)

“You were born a Jew and you forsook your great people”, Queen Victoria said to Benjamin Disraeli. “Now you are a member of the Church of England, but no one believes that you are a Christian at heart. Please tell me, who are you and what are you?”

“Your Majesty,” Disraeli famously replied, “I am the blank page between the Old Testament and the New.”

Benjamin Disraeli was born December 21, 1804 and died on April 19, 1881. Today, the 140th anniversary of his passing, is marked by Primrose Day. The primrose was his favourite flower and Queen Victoria would often send him bunches of them from the Great Park of Windsor Castle and from Osborne House, her holiday home on the Isle of Wight. She sent a wreath of primroses to his funeral.

Primrose Day in London. 1915 #11259486 Framed Photos, Wall Art
Primrose Day 1915

Memorial ceremony for former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli outside Westminster Palace (1916). https://www.britishpathe.com/video/primrose-day-in-london
Primrose Day: a memorial tribute to Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister and first Earl of Beaconsfield. M/S of statue with Big Ben behind it. Crowd of people around statue; wreath on the base. Westminster Palace can be seen in background. In the foreground an old lady sells a bunch of primroses to a young soldier.

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, MP, FRS (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881), was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, serving in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880. He was a member of the British Conservative Party and played a central role in the creation of the modern Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or “Tory democracy”. He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth. He was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as prime minister.

Disraeli dominated political life as no other, and politics has been permanently impacted by his contributions to the Conservative Party, the Parliamentary system, and global diplomacy. But he struggled for most of his life with commercial and financial disaster, opposition, hostility, antisemitism and debt. Lord Randolph Churchill crisply summarised his career as one of “failure, failure, failure, partial success, renewed failure.   Ultimate and complete victory.” As an ‘outsider’ with ‘Jewish disabilities’ used against him, and without money or membership of the aristocracy he manage to climb “the greasy pole” of power and dominate the political life of the nation.

In 1835 Daniel O’Connell, the Irish Roman Catholic leader, attacked Disraeli in the House of Commons. In the course of his unrestrained invective, he referred to Disraeli’s Jewish ancestry. Disraeli replied, ‘Yes, I am a Jew, and while the ancestors of the right honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”

Biopic of Disraeli starring Ian McShane – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disraeli_(TV_serial)

There are numerous biographies and studies of his life, and particularly of the relationship between his Jewish ethnicity and his Christian faith. Stan Meyer’s “The Bible’s Missing Page” surveys the disputed questions of the authenticity of his religious convictions, and the construction of his Jewish identity.  

Robert Blake argues that Disraeli’s

“…theological ideas were, in reality, the rationalization of his own peculiar psychological dilemma. It suited him to blur as far as possible the differences between the Jewish and Christian faiths. He almost seems at times to regard Christ’s Jewishness as more important than His divinity. To him the Jew is a proto-Christian, and Christianity is completed Judaism. How else could a person intensely proud of the Jewish ancestry which his less worthy enemies flung in his face, yet at the same time a convert to the very faith of those who sneered at him, justify both that pride and that conversion?”  (Disraeli. London: Eyre and Spottiswood, 1966:204)

Here is Bernstein’s summary in “Some Jewish Witnesses for Christ”

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, born in London, December 21, 1804, died there April 19, 1881. Of this pre-eminently distinguished man in the nineteenth century there are many biographies and lasting monuments. We need only record very briefly here that he was one of England’s greatest sons and statesmen, and the greatest ornament of the Jewish people in modern times. An ardent lover of his nation, a genuine English patriot, a friend of his great Queen, a thorough Protestant Churchman, yet with liberal tendencies, and a true believer in Christianity, which he regarded as completed Judaism. His works are these: “Vivian Grey,” 1817; “The Infernal Marriage;” “Ixion in Heaven,” and “Popanilla,” 1828; “Contarini Fleming,” and “The Wondrous Tale of Alroy,” 1832; “The Young Duke,” about that time; “What is he?” 1833; “Revolutionary Epic,” 1834; “Coningsby,” 1844; “Tancred,” 1847; “Sybil,” 1845;[190] “The rise of Iskander,” “Vindication of the British Constitution,” “Venetia,” “Henrietta Temple,” “The Tragedy of Count Alarcos,” and “Lothair,” were all productions of his great intellect at different seasons. Benjamin’s mother, his sister Sarah, born 1802, his brother Ralph, 1809, and his brother James, 1813, were all Hebrew Christians.

Young Disraeli

Disraeli wrote:

“Is it therefore wonderful that a great portion of the Jewish race should not believe in the most important portion of the Jewish religion? As, however, the converted races become more humane in their behaviour to the Jews, and the latter have opportunity fully to comprehend and deeply to ponder over true Christianity, it is difficult to suppose that the result will not be very different. Whether presented by a Roman or Anglo-Catholic or Genevese divine, by pope, bishop, or presbyter, there is nothing, one would suppose, very repugnant to the feelings of a Jew when he learns that the redemption of the human race has been effected by the mediatorial agency of a child of Israel: if the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation be developed to him, he will remember that the blood of Jacob is a chosen and peculiar blood; and if so transcendent a consummation is to occur, he will scarcely deny that only one race could be deemed worthy of accomplishing it. There may be points of doctrine on which the northern and western races may perhaps never agree. The Jew like them may follow that path in those respects which reason and feeling alike dictate; but nevertheless it can hardly be maintained that there is anything revolting to a Jew to learn that a Jewess is the queen of heaven, or that the flower of the Jewish race are even now sitting on the right hand of the Lord God of Sabaoth.


https://ok.ru/video/2174831430350 The Prime Minister is a British 1941 British historical drama film. It features John Gielgud, Diana Wynyard, Fay Compton, and Stephen Murray.

Perhaps, too, in this enlightened age, as his mind expands, and he takes a comprehensive view of this period of progress, the pupil of Moses may ask himself, whether all the princes of the house of David have done so much for the Jews as that prince who was crucified on Calvary. Had it not been for Him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown, or known only as a high Oriental caste which had lost its country. Has not He made their history the most famous in the world? Has not He hung up their laws in every temple? Has not He vindicated all their wrongs? Has not He avenged the victory of Titus and conquered the Caesars? What successes did they anticipate from their Messiah? The wildest dreams of their rabbis have been far exceeded. Has not Jesus conquered Europe and changed its name into Christendom? All countries that refuse the cross wither, while the whole of the new world is devoted to the Semitic principle and its most glorious offspring the Jewish faith, and the time will come when the vast communities and countless myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Europe as Europe now looks upon Greece, and wondering how so small a space could have achieved such great deeds, will still find music in the songs of Sion and still seek solace in the parables of Galilee.

These may be dreams, but there is one fact which none can contest. Christians may continue to persecute Jews, and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?”

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the life and contribution of Benjamin Disraeli, who served his nation, his people and his Messiah. Thank you for his political mind, his ability to negotiate the boundaries of Judaism and Christianity, and his example of what it means to construct an identity as a Jewish disciple of Jesus, despite his own weaknesses, imperfections and the challenges he faced. May we learn from his example, and live out with authentic faith and integrity what is means to be Jewish disciples of Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

Primroses | Sussex Wildlife Trust









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9th April 2021 – Passing of Prince Philip, friend of the Jewish people #otdimjh

We express our sincere condolences to the Queen and all the Royal Family on the death of Prince Philip at the age of ninety-nine. He was a dedicated public servant and consort, a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was also a great friend to the Jewish people, attending many Jewish functions and events.

Philip was himself a refugee and recalled that for many of his early years he had “no fixed abode”. Whilst at school in Germany, he got into trouble for mocking the Nazi salute, and then – when the Hitler Youth began to infiltrate the school – his parents quickly brought him to the United Kingdom. There in 1933 he attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland whose headmaster Kurt Hahn was himself a Jewish refugee from Germany who helped others escape.


Hahn was a strong character and pioneering educationalist. He became a mentor and friend to the young Philip. His approach to physical education, encouraging personal initiative, compassion and service to others not only imprinted these qualities in Philip’s character, but also became the inspiration for what would become the highly influential Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme that trained thousands of young people in life skills and leadership.  Hahn himself became a disciple of Yeshua, joining the Church of England in 1945, where he was active member and speaker.

The ceremony at Yad Vashem in honour of Princess Alice, 30 October 1994. Prince Philip, right, with his sister Princess Sophie of Hanover in the Hall of Remembrance (Yad Vashem)

Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, is lovingly remembered for sheltering a Jewish family from the Holocaust and is listed as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.  She was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and Prince Philip visited Israel in 1994 to honour her memory and meet with Israeli leaders. Prince Philip’s long and distinguished service demonstrated courage, patience, resilience and hope, and his forthright manner and outspoken wit won him many friends. We wish ‘chayim aruchim’, long life, to the Queen and the Royal Family, and trust that he may receive the welcome of our Messiah, “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Prayer: God of all comfort, we give thanks for the life of service of Prince Philip and pray for your comfort and strength for Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal Family at this time of loss. Thank you for the life and example of this man of courage and faith who served his Queen, country and Your purposes so well. May we who bear witness to Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, show the same faithful service, integrity of character, and joie de vivre both in this age and the age to come. In our Messiah’s name we pray. Amen.


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otdimjh 24 October 1945 Re-orientation of German Lutherans and Institutum Judaicum

Evangelisch-Lutherischer Zentralverein für Mission unter Israel to Evangelischen Oberkirchenrat, October 24, 1945, LKA Stuttgart A126/658, 132.

hockenos in Spicer 177

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15 October 1932 Birth of Heinrich Teubel – Jewish Priest and Organ Restorer

Heinrich Martin Josef Teubel was born in Pilsen, at that time in Czechosolvakia, on the 15th October, as the 3rd of 4 sons – Gerhard (1926-2015), Dieter (1928-1997), Heinrich, Werner (1932). His mother, Ernestine (Erna), born Rasp (1899-1951) came from Karlsbad and was a trained infant nurse, and his father, Gustav Teubel (1899-1976) had a diploma in electronics and at the time of Heinz’s birth, worked in the Skoda works in Pilsen. In 1931 he was made a professor at the engineering school in Komotau (at that time in a region known as the Sudetenland), where we moved to. There the boys went at first in the nursery.  As Heinz was a late developer, he only went into elementary school in 1937, as the sole one of the brothers.

Gustav’s mother was a Jewess, who changed to being a protestant at the time of her marriage. Her husband had a managerial position in the sugar factory in Keltschan, Bohemia (Bohemia and Moravia are the heartlands of the later Czechoslovakia (1919-1939) or Czech Republic (1945-1990). Upto 1919 these countries belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Sudetenland had a mostly German population, which, after the annexation of Austria by the German Reich in spring 1938, also led to its annexation (Munich agreement). This had crucial consequences for Heinz’s family. After the 1st October 1938 annexation,  Heinz’s father was dismissed from state service as he was a half Jew, under the Nürenberg law of 1935. He was given a very small pension. The family also had to move out of their official flat, but received an offer of a very big flat of a Jewish family, who had moved to America.

From that moment on the family experienced what it was to be called a Jew in Hitler’s Germany; to be of Jewish decent. The children though – Heinz was at the time 8 years old – had only a very unclear idea. They were, like others, enthusiastic adherents of the new German Reich, marched with the Hitler youth, sung for example the anti- Jewish songs, the sense of which they didn’t get, then experienced the change of mood in the war and the constant secrecy, also learnt that terrible things were happening with the Jews, but were so dominated by the happenings of war and the nights of bombing that they only gradually understood the full extent of what had happened after the war.

The effect on the family : Heinz’s father was unemployed for a time, then he worked for a short period in Berlin, and from round about 1940 (arranged through a Christian friend) for a large electrics firm in Ratingen near Düsseldorf. This firm delivered electrical equipment for mining, and it was happy to get an electrical engineer after the start of the war (1939). The boss, a staunch party comrade, took care that the father’s descent was kept quiet. So spring 1941 the family moved to Ratingen, where after half a year they were able to rent a house with a garden on the edge of town, a Godsend as it was already the time of night bombing. In the following years they saw Düsseldorf (10km away) and the towns of the Ruhr burning. Heinz was trained in the elementary school for half a year, then in autumn 1941 he went to the grammar school. 1944 he didn’t move class, as he had bad grades in Latin and Biology. In March 1945 Ratingen (West) was bombed and burnt – the family lived in the eastern part. In April the American tank columns rolled in and the family breathed a sigh of relief; for them the war was over, and the threat for them passed. Heinz’s father then soon changed his place and took on his favourite work at an engineering school in Dortmund. The school was happy, as the father, being a former persecuted person of the Nazi regime, didn’t need to be de-nazified. The family had no further thoughts until gradually the total shock of the concentration camps and the Holocaust was made known. But when their relations came to them as displaced persons, they encountered the total Nazi thinking among the relatives to varying degrees. The relatives of Heinz’s father, 2 sisters, had a similar fate to his father, but they survived the time without persecution (only the eldest sister, who was a teacher in Vienna was dismissed from her state job). One must know, the so called Antisemitism, from thoughtless prejudice to blatant anti-Jewishness, was very widely spread in the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was nearly a 1000 year tradition in the Catholic Church. Heinz’s mother had no problem marrying a half Jew, but she often expressed her anti-Jewish prejudices, even though she was horrified by the fire of the synagogue in Komotau and the expulsion of the Jews and fiercely opposed it. Heinz found it hard to describe this mental-mixture, and believes that one needs to experience it for oneself.

The post-war period was then initially dominated by completely different themes : what would become of the children in the conquered and destroyed Germany ? But they didn’t have problems with their descent any more after 1945.

How much the struggle to survive dominated Heinz’s time became clear at the important phases of life.

School had stopped in late autumn 1944 and it was unclear when it could begin again. So Heinz’s father insisted that he first learn a profession, and as he could not decide, Heinz was put into a gardener’s apprenticeship. The justification : according to the so called Morhethau Plan, Germany was to become only a country of farmers and gardeners. As they had to starve until 1948, and as Heinz was not accustomed to working in wind and weather, it was a hard time for Heinz. In September 1947 he caught typhoid and had to suspend his apprenticeship till the end of December. It was the first time that he barely survived.

One day the principal of the vocational school asked Heinz if he had the ‘middle school certificate’, and when he said no, the principal said “Pity. You could otherwise have trained to be a horticultural inspector”. Heinz was one of the best pupils there. This was a signal for him; he wanted to catch up and get the ‘middle school certificate’.  A former school colleague told Heinz that it would take him 3 years at a private school and that he’d have to do external examinations. He told him also, that in same time he could to evening Grammar School, do the Abitur, and that he would be tested by the teachers who taught him. So, 6 months later, after his apprenticeship examination (autumn 1948 – in between, after the currency reform in June 1948 the situation in the country had got clearly better),    in April 1949 he went to the evening Grammar School  in Düsseldorf, and with much luck, passed the Abitur in April 1952. He was the first person in the family who had achieved the Arbitur (both of his older brothers had gone to engineering school and had begun their careers as electrical engineers in industry. He wanted next to become a horticultural architect, but decided May /June 1948 to study theology. His parents were both convinced Christians. His father had converted to Christianity. He brought the children up very strictly; especially the three oldest were in constant opposition to this. Both Heinz’s older brothers left the church, Heinz as it were studied Theology out of protest. At the evening Grammar School he had a magnificent religious teacher, he also appreciated as a priest and preacher.  For Heinz, the time from about 1948 was a special time : Düsseldorf offered an excellent cultural life and he had a 70 year old German teacher  who introduced them – outside of the school – to modern art  (which they only knew from  the  Nazi era as ‘degenerate art’).   Within those 3 years Heinz learnt to know a total different world and a totally different way of thinking than he had got from his family. It set the course for his whole life.  The study from autumn 1952 until the 1st exam 1959/60 was a great obstacle course. He started with the language semesters at the church university in Wuppertal (luckily he’d already done Hebrew, Greek and Latin at the evening Grammar school), changed summer 1954 to Mainz, and autumn 1955 to Heidelberg. After 4 weeks of being there he had to break off from his study as he fell out with his father, and his father wouldn’t send him any more money. So he went working in a factory to earn some money. From 1949 he worked alternately in his profession or factories. Had he finally failed ?

May 1955 Heinz was able to begin his studies again, this time in Göttingen.  He remained here until autumn 1959, till the 1st exam. During this time, Heinz also worked in the holidays partly in his occupation and partly in different factories. He didn’t do it for his studies, but he did gain invaluable experience. In Göttingen he got to know his future wife, Carmen.  She came from east Prussia, was also a refuge, had done the Abitur in Göttingen in 1952, and then did  an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk  at Zeiss-Winkel  (optical industry, microscopes). For Heinz, this was the best time.

In the 1st exam he didn’t  pass the oral exam for 2 subjects, but had the chance to repeat them six months later. During this time he worked part time in psychiatry (closed department) in the large Bethel diaconal plant near Bielefeld , because his father was living in Bielefeld.

1960-1962 followed the curacy time, then the 2nd exams, which he this time he immediately passed. April 1961 Heinz and Carmen married. His first priest’s post was in Walsum in the lower Rhein. Approximately half the workers were miners and the other half steelworkers for Thuyssen in Duisburg.  In this time both of Heinz and Carmen’s daughters were born – Ricarda (1964) and Cordula (1967). Heinz had always wanted a congregation of workers. But in 1968 a student friend asked Heinz whether he wouldn’t want to take over a community in the Hunsrück (4 villages).  Carmen was very much in favour, as she was fed up of the coal dust and the fumes from the industry. So 1969 they moved to Rhaunen-Suzbach .  He had a completely different community : of urban industrial workers  in villages, where only a small number of people worked in agriculture, and the majority  worked outside, mostly in construction. Nevertheless,  13 years here shaped him mostly deeply, especially in pastoral care, and this had an impact from the years 1982/1983 to the current day.

What he could not have guessed was that during this time he had to do 2 organ restorations, which caused quite a stir. In Sulzbach, one of the most important German organ building firms built round about 300 organs over 6 generations  – 160 years. With both restorations (1979 Rhaunen, 1981 Sulzbach)  he was lucky  with advice and the organ builder (>>>>>>), so that in 1981 it became clear that with these restorations new standards had been set for the Stumm organs. For many of Heinz’s parishioners this still has significance, and they have become aware of the unusualness of their small Hunsrück community (round about 270 inhabitants). So he still has a connection to a whole range of parishioners.

For Heinz, another change then came quite surprisingly,: again in a totally different field of work : in Autumn 1982 he took over a post in the military pastoral care in Koblenz. He could never have imagined doing this, as from 1964 he had regularly been in charge of conscientious objectors and so was totally opposed to soldiers and the military. But in Autumn 1981 he spent a week in the Centre for Internal Leadership of the Army (Bundeswehr) in Koblenz, and of all things a conversation with a colleague of the military pastoral care made him think. He never regretted the move : he held a soldier’s  Bible circle for 8 years between 1982 and 1992/95 and he was often able to build an astonishing relationship with soldiers and officers. This also applied in the local parishes after his retirement (1992) to 2016 when he stood in at church services, baptisms, wedding ceremonies and burials. After his retirement, he continued to work part time in the military pastoral care until January 1995, and then he took over several missions in the prison pastoral care in Koblenz.

After the quarrel with his father in 1954/55, he finally broke away from him, but then before commencing his studies again, he reconnected with his father so that he could be reconciled with him. Through this crisis he grew up. In his faith, he took a different way, and has repeatedly dealt with what was called Pietism, and has tried to understand this piety, which is above all a piety of the members of the congregation. He knows that much of this piety lives on in himself today, such as open prayer. He has been for years in his church in a small circle “Bible and Everyday Life”, which has been rejected by others as being “fundamentalist” and “pious”, but it has helped him a lot to settle into this kind of faith.

Looking back, it has long been clear to him that he has had to constantly re-learn and continue to learn through the many changes and different areas of work. His wife and their two daughters also played a decisive role in this.

When he thinks about his roots : what had first been a disaster for all of them – they had to leave their beautiful homeland in 1941 proved to be a special blessing – they did not face any further expulsions after 1945 and were able to take in their relatives. And although as a child he knew about the problems of Jewish descent, he had to learn to be quiet about it and of course be in the state youth group of the time, marching with the Hitler youth. It was only after 1945 that the whole significance became apparent to him and his family, that if Hitler had won the war, they would not have had a future. Over the years he has been very concerned with what happened. He visited the concentration camps of Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald.  And when he comes across old and new expressions of anti-semitism, he knows that this concerns him.

translated and edited from the German by Malcolm James – many thanks!

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July 10 1903/1983 Birth and Death of H L Ellison, Hebrew Christian Scholar and Gentleman #otdimjh

Henry Leopold Ellison (July 10, 1903 Krakow, Poland – July 10, 1983 Dawlish), usually cited as H. L. Ellison, was a biblical scholar, professor, missionary, speaker, and author in the 1900s. His parents were Leopold Zeckhausen and Sara Jane Ellison. His father, being a Jewish Believer, was a missionary to the Jews throughout Europe.

He and his brother, Christian (a missionary in China), changed their last names from Zeckhausen to Ellison in 1925 to better assimilate into British society.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Ellison was an Anglican missionary to the Jews in Europe in the late 1920s and ’30s. However, after receiving Believer’s Baptism, he was kicked out of the Church of England. Upon his return to Britain, he held many positions in the academic realm as a respected Old Testament scholar and became associated with the Open Brethren.

He was a friend and colleague of F. F. Bruce.

From “Torah and Other Essays”

My encounter with Ellison in the 1970s and early 1980s was as a young leader trying to bring Messianic Judaism to the UK and fearful that the “old guard” of Hebrew Christians would be against us. This was far from the case and we were met with a gracious and heartfelt welcome by the giants of the past. “You are the answer to our prayers” said Eric Lipson as we brought our new-fangled guitars and Messianic worship songs to the somewhat staid Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain conferences. Harry, and later his widow Jean, showed us nothing but kindness and appreciation. We were in awe of their history, scholarship and somewhat professorial manner. Men like Ellison, Jocz, and the Samuel brothers, Harcourt and Theodore, continued to influence us long after they passed. Ellison was known for marking essays whilst sitting in committee meetings – but always with one eye on the business in hand. Whilst his manner could be abrupt, the sparkle in his eye showed his razor-sharp mind, his humour and his graciousness. His books are still in high demand today – popular and accessible scholarship combined with deep biblical and theological study.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the wisdom and contributions of scholarship and godly character of Harry Ellison. How much the Messianic movement needs people like him today! May his name and legacy of scholarship continue to be a blessing! In Yeshua the Messiah’s name we pray!


Torah and Other Essays – IHCA Tribute

Men Spake From God (1952)
Ezekiel: The Man and His Message (1956)
The Christian Approach to a Jew (1958)
From Tragedy to Triumph: A Study of Job (1958)
The Household Church: Apostolic Practice in a Modern Setting (1963)
Understanding the Old Testament: Joshua – 2 Samuel (1966)
The Mystery of Israel: An Exposition of Romans 9-11 (1966)
The Psalms (1968)
The Message of the Old Testament (1969)
The Prophets of Israel (1969)
Understanding the New Testament: 1 Peter – Revelation (1969)
Understanding a Jew (1972)
From Babylon to Bethlehem (1976)
Fathers of the Covenant (1978)
Understanding Bible Teachings: Jesus as Man (1978)
Exodus (1982)

richardsh (12 August 2015). “12 August 1888 Leopold Zeckhausen, father of H L Ellison, declares his faith in Yeshua #otdimjh”.


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26 June 2020 Passing of Jimmy Dunn, scholar of Jesus, Paul and Jewish Disciples of Yeshua #otdimjh

Does the 'New Perspective' muddy the waters?” James Dunn Responds ...

I well remember my first encounter with the work of Jimmy Dunn, on “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” (SCM Press, 1970). I was a young Jewish disciple of Yeshua, studying theology, and looking for a clear and detailed understanding of the Charismatic movement I was encountering amongst my Christian friends and how to interpret this in the light of the New Testament. As I read this sympathetic and deeply scholarly account of the teaching of Yeshua and practice of the early ekklesia I warmed to Dunn’s academic depth, encouraging tone, and general support for what was going on around me.

A Review of “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” by James D.G. Dunn ...

Later Dunn produced “The Parting of the Ways Between Christianity and Judaism and their Significance for the Character of Christianity” (1991, 2nd ed. 2006) in which he noted the significance of contemporary Messianic Jews:

The Partings of the Ways: Between Christianity and Judaism and ...

The parting of the ways was more between mainstream Christianity and Jewish Christianity than simply between Christianity as a single whole and rabbinic Judaism. Whether Jewish Christianity could or should have been retained within the spectrum of catholic Christianity is an important question which it may now be impossible to answer. Within two or three centuries it had ceased to be important anyway, once the Jewish Christian sects withered and died, presumably by absorption into rabbinic Judaism on the one side, and into catholic Christianity on the other, or just by the slow death of failure to regenerate. But it is a question which we need to address now with renewed seriousness in the light of the current phenomena of messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Jesus as Messiah) in north America and Israel.” (pp. 313-4)

Dunn’s scholarship over 50 years has stood the test of time. He pioneered, along with E P Sanders and N T Wright, what became known from his own original phrasing, the “New Perspective on Paul” (NPP), which gives a basis for contemporary Messianic Jewish faith and practice of Torah.

Jewish disciples of Yeshua and all who look to understand the Greek and Hebrew scripture are grateful for his life, learning and legacy, and will continue to study his work.

Prayer and Reflection.

Thank you, Lord, for the life and learning of this distinguished scholar, a man of intellect, integrity and deep humility. May we learn from his teaching, and grow in love and service for his Messiah, Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

James Douglas Grant Dunn FBA (21 October 1939 – 26 June 2020), also known as Jimmy Dunn, was a British New Testament scholar, who was for many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. He worked broadly within the Protestant tradition.

Dunn was born on 21 October 1939 in Birmingham, England

He had the following degrees:

BSc Economics and Statistics at University of Glasgow class II Honours, 1961.
BD at University of Glasgow, 1964, with distinction.
PhD at University of Cambridge, 1968.
BD at University of Cambridge, 1976.
Dunn was licensed as a minister of the Church of Scotland in 1964. He was chaplain to overseas students at Edinburgh University in 1968-70.

In 1970, Dunn became a lecturer in divinity at the University of Nottingham and was promoted to reader (i.e. senior lecturer) in 1979. Whilst at Nottingham, he served as a Methodist local preacher.

He became professor of divinity at Durham University in 1982, and in 1990 became Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham. He retired in 2003, and was succeeded as Lightfoot Professor of Divinity by John M. G. Barclay.

For 2002, Dunn was the President of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, an international body for New Testament study. Only three other British scholars had been made President of the body in the preceding 25 years. In 2006 he became a Fellow of the British Academy.

In 2005 a festschrift was published dedicated to Dunn, comprising articles by 27 New Testament scholars, examining early Christian communities and their beliefs about the Holy Spirit in Christianity. In 2009 another festschrift was dedicated to Dunn for his 70th birthday, consisting of two forewords by N. T. Wright and Richard B. Hays and 17 articles all written by his former students who went on to have successful careers in either academic and ministerial fields around the world.

Dunn is especially associated with the New Perspective on Paul, along with N. T. Wright and E. P. Sanders.

Dunn took up Sanders’ project of redefining Palestinian Judaism in order to correct the Christian view of Judaism as a religion of works-righteousness. One of the most important differences to Sanders is that Dunn perceives a fundamental coherence and consistency to Paul’s thought. He furthermore criticizes Sanders’ understanding of the term justification, arguing that Sanders’ understanding suffers from an “individualizing exegesis”.




Dunn, James D. G. (1970). Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Studies in Biblical Theology Second Series. 15. London: SCM Press.
——— (1975). Jesus and the Spirit. London: SCM Press.
——— (1985). The Evidence for Jesus. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press. ISBN 978-0-664-24698-3.
——— (1980). Christology in the making: a New Testament inquiry into the origins of the doctrine of the incarnation. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press. ISBN 0-664-24356-8.
———, ed. (1986). The Kingdom of God and North East England. London: SCM Press. ISBN 0334008379.
——— (1988). Romans 1-8, 9-16. Waco, TX: Word Books. ISBN 0-8499-0252-5.
——— (1990). Jesus, Paul, and the Law: studies in Mark and Galatians. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-25095-5.
——— (1990). Unity and diversity in the New Testament: an inquiry into the character of earliest Christianity. London: SCM Press. ISBN 0-334-02436-6.
——— (1991). The Partings of the Ways between Christianity and Judaism and their Significance for the Character of Christianity. London: SCM Press. ISBN 0-334-02508-7.
——— (1993). The Epistle to Galatians. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 1-56563-036-X.
——— (1993). Paul for Today. The Ethel M. Wood Lecture, 10 March 1993. London: University of London. ISBN 9780718711061. OCLC 877271473.
———; Suggate, Alan M. (1994). The justice of God: a fresh look at the old doctrine of justification by faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0797-6.
——— (1996). The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: a commentary on the Greek text. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-2441-2.
——— (1996). The Acts of the Apostles. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International. ISBN 9781563381928. OCLC 36519627.
——— (1998). The Theology of Paul the Apostle. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3844-8.
———, ed. (2003). The Cambridge companion to St. Paul. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78694-0.
———; Rogerson, John W., eds. (2003). Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3711-5.
——— (2003). Christianity in the Making: Vol. 1, Jesus Remembered. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3931-2.
——— (2005). A New Perspective On Jesus: What The Quest For The Historical Jesus Missed. Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. ISBN 0-8010-2710-1.
——— (2007). The New Perspective On Paul. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-4562-2.
——— (2008). Christianity in the Making: Vol. 2, Beginning from Jerusalem. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3932-0.
——— (2009). The Living Word (second edition). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. ISBN 978-0-8006-6355-1.
——— (2010). Did the first Christians worship Jesus?. London – Louisville, KY: Society for promoting Christian knowledge. ISBN 978-0-281-05928-7.
——— (2011). Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-6645-5.
——— (2013). The Oral Gospel Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-6782-7.
——— (2015). Christianity in the Making: Vol. 3, Neither Jew nor Greek: A Contested Identity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-3933-6.

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21 May 2020 Passing of David Pawson, Bible Teacher and Friend of Israel #otdimjh

J. David Pawson (25 February 1930 – 21 May 2020) was an evangelical minister, writer and prominent Bible teacher based in the United Kingdom. I heard him speak and preach over many years, consistently encouraging Jewish disciples of Yeshua to affirm their Jewish identities in Yeshua, build Messianic congregations, and stand alongside their people. He was formative in the beginnings of the London Messianic Congregation in the UK, and was not afraid of taking the side of Israel in political debate and prophetic interpretation.


According to his autobiography, Pawson’s immediate ancestors were all farmers, Methodist preachers or both, dating back to John Pawson, a friend and follower of John Wesley. His father, Henry Cecil Pawson FRSE (1897–1978), was head of Agriculture at Durham University and Vice President of the Methodist conference. From his childhood in the north of England David Pawson had wanted to be a farmer, but by the time he had completed his studies for a BSc in Agriculture at Durham University, he felt God was calling him into full-time Christian ministry. He then studied for an M.A. in theology at Wesley House, Cambridge, and subsequently joined the Royal Air Force as a chaplain, serving in Aden.

After leaving the RAF he served as a Methodist minister, but became increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of infant baptism. After appearing before a doctrinal committee of the Methodist church, he volunteered to leave the denomination, and did so. Shortly thereafter he accepted an invitation to become the pastor of Gold Hill Baptist Church in Buckinghamshire.

Later, as pastor of Guildford Baptist Church (‘Millmead’, which he helped to design),he established a reputation among both evangelicals and charismatics as a Bible teacher. From here his teaching tapes – originally made for the church’s sick and elderly members – became popular worldwide. Under his ministry, Millmead became one of the largest Baptist churches in the United Kingdom.

Pawson left Millmead in 1979 and engaged in an itinerant worldwide Bible teaching ministry predominantly through seminars for church leaders in Asia, Australia, Africa, England, Europe, and the United States. Millions of copies of his teachings have been distributed in more than 120 countries. He was a writer and speaker with a reputation of urgency, clarity, and uncompromising faithfulness to the Scriptures. His extensive and very accessible overviews of the books of the Bible have been published and recorded in Unlocking the Bible, available on CDs, DVDs, and YouTube. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s finest biblical expositors. As of 2019, Pawson at 89 years of age had retired from public ministry. Pawson passed away on 21 May, 2020 at the age of 90.




In The Normal Christian Birth, Pawson argued that a biblical initiation into Christianity should involve more than the simple “Sinner’s Prayer”. Whilst accepting the fundamental basis of salvation by faith, he argued that the Biblical model of a person’s “birth” into God’s kingdom included aspects which are frequently ignored or forgotten today. He proposed four principal steps: repentance towards God; believing in Jesus, baptism in water and receiving the Holy Spirit. This, according to Pawson, is the biblical pattern for a “normal Christian birth”. According to the book itself, “David Pawson advocates a synthesis of the ‘liberal’ emphasis on repentance, the ‘evangelical’ on faith, the ‘sacramental’ on baptism and the ‘pentecostal’ on the Spirit.” This book has been influential and is taught at a number of theological seminaries and mission stations.

In “Leadership is Male”, he teaches that leadership is a role given by God to men. In so doing, he criticizes men for not taking proper responsibility in important aspects of family and church life. He argues that modern men too often neglect their social obligations and should return to the Biblical model of manhood. This book’s foreword was written by a woman, Elisabeth Elliot.

In “The Road to Hell”, Pawson is critical of Annihilationism, the teaching that the punishment of hell is not eternal. He teaches that people who go to hell experience eternal suffering. According to the book itself, by “challenging the modern alternatives of liberal ‘universalism’ and evangelical ‘annihilationism’, David Pawson presents the traditional concept of endless torment as soundly biblical.”

In “Unlocking the Bible”, Pawson presents a book by book study of the whole Bible. The book is based on his belief that the Bible should be studied, as it was written, “a book at a time” (certainly not a verse, or even a chapter at a time), and that each book is best understood by discovering why and for whom it was written. It is based on an arranged series of talks in which he set out the background, purpose, meaning and relevance of each book of the Bible, and was transcribed into written form by Andy Peck. The groundwork for this study was laid in the 1960s and 70s, when Pawson took his congregation through nearly half of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament line by line (recordings of those studies are still distributed).

In “When Jesus Returns”, he critically considers in the light of scripture the major views on eschatology popular in the church today, specifically the preterist, historicist, futurist and idealist schools of interpreting the Book of Revelation. He rejects postmillennialism in favour of a premillennial understanding of the Second Coming, so that Jesus will return bodily in power immediately before his reign over the world for a millennium from Jerusalem. He asserts that the supernatural taking up of believers alive at this time (following the ‘tribulation’ period of persecution), so as to join the returning Christ, fulfils the Rapture prophecies; he argues against a pre-tribulation timing of the rapture. He further argues that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is a fulfilment of scriptural prophecy, and that prophecies spoken about Israel relate specifically to Israel (not to the church), so that the outstanding prophecies about Israel will be fulfilled before the end of the age.

In “Jesus Baptises in One Holy Spirit”, Pawson discusses the evidence for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as a separate event from believing, repentance and water baptism. He argues that a believer does not receive the indwelling Holy Spirit until s/he is baptized in the Spirit, a distinct experience evidenced by charismatic gifts such as prophecy or tongues. This differs from the evangelical view that the Spirit is automatically received when a person believes, and the Pentecostal view that receiving the indwelling Spirit (at conversion) and receiving the Baptism in the Spirit are two experiences with different purposes.

In “The Challenge of Islam to Christians”, Pawson documents the present rapid rise of Islam in the West. He explains what Islam is, arguing that its rejection of Jesus Christ’s divinity mean the two faiths cannot be reconciled, and he proposes a Christian response, based on the church purifying itself. The book details Pawson’s testing of his premonition that Britain would become Islamic. In comparing the situation to that portrayed by the Hebrew prophet Habakkuk, Pawson implies that the rise of Islam could be impending judgement for the immorality into which Western churches and secular humanist society has sunk.

In “Once Saved, Always Saved?”, Pawson uses scripture to question the frequent evangelical claim that someone who has once believed in Jesus Christ will end up with Christ in heaven whatever that person subsequently believes or does. (Twelve years earlier, another evangelical, RT Kendall, summed up this claim in a book having the same title without a question mark.) Pawson points to the need to persevere in faith, and to the repeated exhortations in scripture to do so.

In “Word and Spirit Together: Uniting Charismatics and Evangelicals” (a revision of “Fourth Wave”), Pawson calls for an end to the division between charismatic and Evangelical Christians over the issue of Spiritual Baptism and charismatic gifts. He argues that the charismatic gifts are for the church today but that their practice should be built on a solid scriptural basis. He therefore argues that the two groups should learn from each other, to the benefit of both.

In Defending Christian Zionism, Pawson puts the case that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is a fulfilment of scriptural prophecy, and that Christians should support the existence of the Jewish State (although not unconditionally its actions) on theological grounds. He also argues that prophecies spoken about Israel relate specifically to Israel (not to the church, as in “replacement theology”). However he criticises Dispensationalism, a largely American movement holding similar views about Israel. Pawson’s book Israel in the New Testament continues the Christian Zionist theme.

Pawson wrote a number of Commentaries where he goes through an entire book of the Bible in detail. This series is based on the preaching of David Pawson to his congregation back in the 60s and 70s. This series, which includes almost all of the books of the New Testament Books and selected books of the Old Testament, is being added to on a regular basis.

Reflection and Prayer: My most recent meeting with David Pawson was at All Nations Christian College, where he had taught in the 1970s and I had invited him to speak to new generations of students. Always a compelling speaker, he challenged us all to be faithful to scripture and in ministry. His views on many subjects were controversial, especially on Israel and on Islam, but he was well-received and provided memorable encounters. At my last meeting, a year ago, we discussed his latest book, Defending Christian Zionism, and he was polite and firm on his position, a post-supersessionist reading of Scripture and a historic premillennial eschatology, which many British evangelicals have long since abandoned or failed to advocate so passionately and eloquently. His book is well worth reading!

Prayer: Thank you Lord for this faithful disciple of yours, and the lives he touched and changed through his leadership, exposition of scripture, and faithfulness to you. May you raise up many others through his legacy, to love and serve You and Your people. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Pawson

David Pawson Teaching Library website – available to listen, watch, or download free of charge via the Internet.


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4 June 1883 – Birth of Hans Ehrenberg – Pastor, Philosopher, Protester against Injustice and Anti-Semitism #otdimjh

Hans Philipp Ehrenberg (4 June 1883 – 21 March 1958) was a German Jewish philosopher and theologian. One of the co-founders of the Confessing Church, he was forced to emigrate to England because of his Jewish ancestry and his opposition to National Socialism.

Hans Ehrenberg was born into a liberal Jewish family, the eldest of three children. His parents were Emilie (née Fischel) and Otto Ehrenberg, brother of Victor Ehrenberg, a German jurist, and Richard Ehrenberg, a German economist. His younger brothers were Paul Ehrenberg and the historian Victor Ehrenberg, father of British historian Geoffrey and physicist Lewis Elton, and grandfather of comedian Ben Elton.

From 1898 to 1900, Hans attended the Christianeum in Altona. After his graduation exam at the Wilhelm Gymnasium in Hamburg in 1902, he studied economics, law and political studies (Rechtswissenschaften und Staatswissenschaften) in Göttingen, Berlin, Heidelberg and Munich. His supportive attitude towards workers was already clear by 1906, when he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the situation of steel workers (Hüttenarbeiter) in the Ruhr Valley. After his military service in 1907–1908, he continued his studies in philosophy and completed his doctorate in Heidelberg in 1909 and habilitation in 1910.

He first became a private teacher, then a professor of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg. His philosophical interests included the landscape of peace, truth, goodness and liberation. Ehrenberg was baptised as a Protestant Christian in Berlin in 1911. Around this time, he developed a close friendship with his cousin Franz Rosenzweig, and with Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Viktor von Weizsäcker, and Martin Buber. Rosenzweig, the author of “Star of Redemption” and seminal Jewish thinker on Jewish-Christian relations, later claimed that “Ehrenberg was my real teacher in philosophy”.  According to Rozenzweig’s wife, Ehrenberg understood Rosenzweig’s position on dialogue better than Rosenstock-Huessy, and helped Rosenzweig develop his own thinking that would emerge in “Star of Redemption” and become a major focus and structuring principle of Jewish-Christian relations since 1945.

Hans Ehrenberg’s marriage to Else Zimmerman, 1913. The wedding party included Franz Rosenzweig and Victor Ehrenberg.

In 1913, Ehrenberg married Else Anna Zimmermann (1890–1970), a linguist, teacher and descendant of Martin Luther. They had two children, Juliane and Andreas. One of his uncles was Victor Mordechai Goldschmidt. One of his cousins, Hedwig Ehrenberg, studied physics and mathematics at the University of Goettingen, where she met and later married Max Born. Hans Ehrenberg, with Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock, was in regular correspondence with Louis D Brandeis through the friendship of their maternal families. In view of Hans Ehrenberg’s father’s and uncles’ relatives, friends and acquaintances, and their travels over the lands and voyages across the seas and oceans, the reach of his communications extended to a world-wide network in many countries in all continents.


Ehrenberg volunteered for the First World War and served as a non-commissioned officer, then a lieutenant after late 1914. He won the Iron Cross, 2nd Class as well as the Badische Offiziersorden (Zähringer Löwe 2nd Klasse). He left the war and army early due to reasons of health, as did many philosophers, thinkers, musicians and writers, in all armies and on all fronts. He devoted more time to his philosophical and literary interests.

Ehrenberg had seen the war as a legitimate defensive war, but during this time and afterwards, his views changed completely. He spoke of war crimes and German guilt. He joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1918, and for 18 months, was a city councilman in Heidelberg, as well as a member of workers’ and soldiers’ committees. He began making Christian pacifist statements in 1919. In the same year, he received an associate professorship in Heidelberg. At this time, working with Christian socialists, he began to think about becoming a Protestant minister.

Ehrenberg began his theological studies in Münster, in 1922, completing his second theological exam in 1924. In 1923 and 1925, he and Nicolai von Bubnov published two volumes of German translations of Russian theological writings which were acquired and read by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and twice quoted from an essay that was in the second volume. He attended the World Conference of Life and Work in Stockholm, in 1925, and became friends with Nathan Soderblom and the English ecumenist George Bell. With Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy he was a co-founder, and also a prolific member of the philosophical discussion group and journal, “Die Kreatur”, during the time 1925 to 1930.

Abandoning a promising academic career, in 1925, he became the minister of Pauluskirche in Bochum, in a heavily working-class area. He got involved in the Kampfbund christlicher Arbeiter (The Fighting Christian Workers), though he left the SPD, feeling that parish work was incompatible with political party activism. In 1927, he made speeches on church and anti-semitism in opposition to riots organised by Nazi brownshirts. One lecture he gave in Hattingen, entitled “The Church and Anti-semitism” prompted a letter of complaint against him to the consistory in Münster:

“We cannot believe that a governing body of our Church approves of a race-conscious Jew who, as a Protestant clergyman, lectures German Protestant Christians about political anti-semitism based on racial attitudes.


Pauluskirche (St. Paul’s Church), where Ehrenberg began preaching in 1925, was completely destroyed in the war and was rebuilt in 1950.

After the Nazis seized power in 1933, more attacks followed and Ehrenberg’s moral and pedagogical integrity were put in question.

Bochum Confession

Ehrenberg became one of the founders of the Confessing Church. He and four other Westphalian ministers had already formulated the “Bochum Confession” in May 1933. The first of its kind, it contained a denial of Nazi ideology and a confession of Christianity’s Jewish origins.

In July 1933, he published 72 Leitsätze zur judenchristlichen Frage (Seventy-Two Theses to the Jewish-Christian Question), clearly stating his own opposition to anti-semitism and calling on the Protestant church to do the same. After he was the target of attacks in the Nazi propaganda journal Der Stürmer, and facing pressure from the German Christian church authorities, Ehrenberg asked for early retirement in 1937. He continued, however, to work for the Confessing Church, whose ministers in Bochum openly showed solidarity with him.

The “Bochum Confession” for which Hans Ehrenberg was responsible already testified in July 1933 to the “son of the living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. According to Günter Brakelmann, in the years of church struggle “there is hardly a theologian who has worked so steadfastly on the church’s being as a counter-model to the neo-pagan NS temple like Ehrenberg”. At the same time, Hans Ehrenberg is one of the founders of the philosophy of dialogue and the prize named after him is committed to the Protestant principle of changing the world towards God in dialogue with people of different political, religious and scientific convictions.

In September 1938, he was barred from delivering any speech or sermon. His home was destroyed in the pogroms of Kristallnacht and a few days later, he was taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1939, he was able to emigrate to England, thanks to the intervention and pledges of George Bell, Anglican bishop of Chichester. He had had a correspondence with Bell and was perhaps more significant than Franz Hildebrandt or Bonhoeffer in convincing Bell of the growing crisis in German churches under the Nazi state. His family joined him shortly afterward. Ecumenism, religious unity, became increasingly important to him here.

Even though Ehrenberg was strictly anti-communist, his life was saved on several occasions by a communist trade union leader, in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Ehrenberg spoke openly about the German confessional church in England in an effort to prevent the growing disaster in Germany. George Bell also spoke out about Nazi interference in the church. Ehrenberg and George Bell were of the same view that civilians and civilian infrastructure should not be affected by the ongoing war in central Europe.

His close friends included Pastor Dr. Werner Koch, a surviving member of the German resistance and the youngest brother of Hans Koch.

Ehrenberg’s home in Bochum looted and destroyed on Kristallnacht 1938

The Party of Philosophy: Studies Against Hegel and the Kantians

Return to Germany. Fragments from the Christian conversation between British and German Christians

Hans Ehrenberg: Autobiography of a German pastor, with self-testimonies and a documentary of his discharge from office

In September 1938, he was barred from delivering any speech or sermon. His home was destroyed in the pogroms of Kristallnacht and a few days later, he was taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1939, he was able to emigrate to England, thanks to the intervention and pledges of George Bell, Anglican bishop of Chichester. He had had a correspondence with Bell and was perhaps more significant than Franz Hildebrandt or Bonhoeffer in convincing Bell of the growing crisis in German churches under the Nazi state. His family joined him shortly afterward. Ecumenism, religious unity, became increasingly important to him here.

Even though Ehrenberg was strictly anti-communist, his life was saved on several occasions by a communist trade union leader, in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Ehrenberg spoke openly about the German confessional church in England in an effort to prevent the growing disaster in Germany. George Bell also spoke out about Nazi interference in the church. Ehrenberg and George Bell were of the same view that civilians and civilian infrastructure should not be affected by the ongoing war in central Europe.

His close friends included Pastor Dr. Werner Koch, a surviving member of the German resistance and the youngest brother of Hans Koch.


Ehrenberg returned to Germany in 1947, after the war, working as a minister at the Bethel Institution in Bielefeld. In 1953, he returned to Heidelberg, where he died in 1958.His papers are archived at the Westphalian Protestant church archives in Bielefeld. Unlike his colleague and friend, Hermann Maas, he was unable to travel for personal health reasons to Israel after 1950 to visit friends and colleagues there, namely Martin Buber, Raphael Rosenzweig, among others.



Entrance to Hans Ehrenberg Schule in Bielefeld

Hans Ehrenberg was one of the few German Protestant theologians, even within the Confessing Church, to publicly express his vehement opposition to the anti-semitism of the Nazis and publicly declare his support of the Jewish people. He strongly urged the Protestant church to take the same stand. He criticised Christian anti-semitism and emphasized the similarities between Judaism and Christianity. Also, his special program, “World Peace without Weapons”, toward the problems and rights of workers’ (since 1905), and world peace (since 1903, also with Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy) was in advance of universities, municipal councils, judiciary, governments, parliaments, international organizations and churches of his times, In addition to his practical theological work, he wrote a number of philosophical and theological articles and treatises.

In Ehrenberg’s honor and memory, the secondary school administered by the Protestant church in the Bielefeld neighborhood of Sennestadt was renamed the Hans-Ehrenberg-Schule in 1963. There is also a square in Bochum named after him.

Hans Ehrenberg is one of the rather forgotten pioneers of a reorientation of Protestant theology – but also of philosophy – after the “long” 19th century, which came to an end with the First World War. Ehrenberg was and is often in the shadow of more powerful theologians and philosophers, such as Karl Barth, Franz Rosenzweig or Martin Buber, although they owe important impulses for their work to Hans Ehrenberg. The Hans Ehrenberg studies collected in this volume aim to contribute to the reappraisal of some of Ehrenberg’s still fundamental impulses and to incorporate them into current discourses.

Reflection and Prayer:

Hans Ehrenberg was gifted, connected and devoted – to God, to Israel, to Justice. His life reads like a “Who’s Who” of German intellectual and theological history, with friendships with Buber, Rosenzweig, Barth and Bonhoeffer. His voice was used to harness opposition to National Socialism, and he was fortunate that his friendship with Bishop Bell of Chichester provided a way of escape. After the war he was not warmly welcomed back, and others have noted how he was denied the prestigious pulpits and pastoral roles he had previously occupied. But I don’t think he was that bothered. What surprises me is how little he is known today, especially by Jewish disciples of Yeshua, who have much to learn from his character, faith and life of service. I would like to see a full biography or a republished version of his autobiography – we have much to learn from this man of his times and man of faith!

Lord, give us wisdom and integrity, passion and perseverance, as you gave to Hans Ehrenberg. Help us to challenge evil and injustice wherever we may be, and serve you and all humanity with love, respect and faith. In Yeshua’s name we pray – Amen.


Constancy and change. Hans Ehrenberg’s three-dimensional methodology and the ‘Jewish question’ (1932-1954). Ulrike Lange; University of Birmingham, 2004





antiquarisches Buch – Ehrenberg, Hans; Steck, Karl Gerhard (Hrsg.); Eichholz, Georg (Hrsg.) – Die Paradoxien des Evangeliums. [Theologische Existenz heute. Neue Folge. Heft Nr. 58.]

– The Nazi Religion and the Christian Mission, in: The International Review of Missions 30, 1941, S. 363-373, 440f

– The Church Militant, a Biblical Meditation, in: Churchman, April-June 1941. S. 1-14

– The Confessional Pastor and his Struggle. in: Churchman, January-March 1942. S. 1-14

– Concerning the Protestant Church in Germany. in: Blackfriars – a monthly review, July 1942, S. 265-270

– Autobiography of a German Pastor. SCM Press LTD., London 1943,160 S.

– The Rediscovery of the Jew in Christianity (with special reference to Pascal), in: The Internat. Rev. of Missions, 33,1944, S. 400-406

– Bossuet. in: The Internat. Rev. of Missions, 1944

– Is there an ecumenical theology? in: The Presbyter 1945

– Prayer for Christian Unity. in: The Internat. Rev. of Missions 35, 1946, S. 194-198

– After the Totalitarian World Revolution. Some Thoughts on Church and State in the World Church after the War. in: The Internat. Rev. of Missions January 1947, S. 81-87

– Luther speaks. (With other contributors) Lutterworthpress, London 1947 (Darin von Ehrenberg: Preface; Luther and private Prayer; Luther as Theologian; PostScript – At Luther’s Grave 1946


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