Johann Olearius

Short Name: Johann Olearius
Full Name: Olearius, Johann, 1611-1684
Birth Year: 1611
Death Year: 1684

Johannes Olearius (b. Halle, Germany, 1611; d. Weissenfels, Germany, 1684) Born into a family of Lutheran theologians, Olearius received his education at the University of Wittenberg and later taught theology there. He was ordained a Lutheran pastor and appointed court preacher to Duke August of Sachsen-Weissenfels in Halle and later to Duke Johann Adolph in Weissenfels. Olearius wrote a commentary on the entire Bible, published various devotional books, and produced a translation of the Imitatio Christi by Thomas a Kempis. In the history of church music Olearius is mainly remembered for his hymn collection, which was widely used in Lutheran churches.

Bert Polman
Olearius, Johannes, son of Johann Olearius, pastor of St. Mary's Church and superintendent at Halle, was born at Halle, Sept. 17, (N.S.) 1611. He entered the University of Wittenberg in 1629 (M.A. 1632, D.D. 1643], where he became lecturer, and, in 1635, adjunct of the philosophical faculty. In 1637 he became Superintendent at Querfurt; and, in 1643, was appointed by Duke August of Sachsen-Weissenfels as his chief court preacher, and private chaplain at Halle, where he became in 1657 Kirchenrath, and in 1664 General Superintendent. When, on the death of Duke August in 1680, the administration of Magdeburg fell to the Elector of Brandenburg, Duke Johann Adolf gave Olearius similar appointments at Weissenfels, which he held till his death on April 24, 1684 (Koch, iii. 346; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie xxiv. 279, &c).

Olearius was the author of a Commentary on the whole Bible, and of various devotional works. He was also the compiler of one of the largest and most important German hymn-books of the 17th century, viz. the Geistliche Singe-Kunst, of which the first edition appeared at Leipzig in 1671, with 1207 (1218) hymns, and the second at Leipzig in 1672, with 1340. The first edition contained 302 hymns by Olearius himself, and marked "D. J. O." They may best be described as useful, being for times and seasons hitherto unprovided for, and filling up many gaps in the various sections of the German hymn-books. They are mostly short, many of only two verses, simple and easy of comprehension, often happy in expression and catching, and embodying in a concise form the leading ideas of the season or subject. Many were speedily adopted into German hymn-books, and a considerable number are still in use.

Of Olearius's hymns the following have passed into English:—
i. Gelobet sei der Herr. Trinity Sunday. One of his best hymns. Founded on the Gospel for Trinity Sunday. Included in 1(571 as above, No. 709, in 5 stanzas of 8 lines, and entitled "Encouragement from the Gospel to thankful meditation on this great mystery." In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder ed. 1863, No. 17. Translated as:—
1. Blest be my Lord and God. A good translation, omitting st. v. by A. T. Russell, as No. 134, in his Psalms & Hymns 1851.
2. 0 praise the Lord! His name extol. A version of st. i.-iii., as No. 115 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
ii. Herr Jesu Christ, dein theures Blut. Passiontide. His finest hymn. Founded on I St. John i. 7. In 1671 as above, No. 576, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines and entitled "Meditation on the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ." St. ii. is based on the hymn “In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein" (p. 319, ii.). In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, edition 1863, No. 233. Translated as:—
1. Lord Jesu Christ! Thy precious blood Brings to my soul. A good and full translation by A. T. Russell, as No. 161 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851.
2. Lord Jesus Christ! Thy precious blood Is to my soul. In full by C. H. L. Schnette, as No. 77 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
Another translation is "Lord Jesus Christ, Thy blessed blood." By Miss Manington, 1863, p. 43.
iii. Herr, öffhe mir die Herzensthür. Holy Scripture. After Sermon. In 1671 as above, No. 975, in 2 stanzas and a doxology. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 422. The translation in common use is:—
Lord, open Thou my heart to hear, And by Thy Word to me draw near. In full by Dr. M. Loy in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.
iv. Nun kommt das neue Kirchenjahr. Advent. In 1671 as above, No. 384, in 3 stanzas and a doxology. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 145. The translation is:—
The new Church year again is come. By E. Cronenwett, as No. 15 in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, l880.
v. Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben. St. John Baptist's Day. In 1671 as above, No. 733, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and entitled "Meditation on the Lesson of the Festival. Isaiah xl." In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 124. Translated as:—
Comfort, comfort ye my people. A full and good translation by Miss Winkworth, as No. 83 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. Repeated in full in the Parish Hymn Book, 1865, and the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, and, omitting st. ii. in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868.

Other hymns by Olearius have been translated into English, viz.:—
vi. Gott Lob, mein Jesus macht mich rein. Presentation in the Temple. In 1671 as above, No. 507, as a hymn on the Purification in 6 stanzas, and entitled "Encouragement from the Gospel," viz. St. Luke ii. 22-32. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 1270. The form tr. is "Durch Jesum kann ich auch mit Freud," which is No. 428 in Knapp's Evangelischer Liederschatz, 1837, and is st. iv.-vi. altered. Translated as "I too, through Jesus, may in peace." By Dr. H. Mills, 1845 (1856, p. 277).
vii. Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht trauen. Trust in God. In 1671 as above, No. 878, in 6 stanzas, and entitled “Encouragement from the Gospel," viz. St. Matt. vi. 24 ff, the Gospel for the 15th Sunday after Trinity. In the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 857. Tr. as, "Shall I not trust my God." By Miss Warner, 1858, p. 206.
viii. Wenn dich Unglüick hat betreten. Cross and Consolation. In 1671 as above, No. 827, in 6 st., and entitled "Encouragement from the Gospel," viz. St. Matt. xv. 21-28, the Gospel for Reminiscere Sunday (2nd Sunday in Lent). In Porst's Gesang-Buch, ed. 1855, No. 997. The translations are (1) "When afflictions sore oppress you." By Miss Cox, 1841, p. 129. (2) "When affliction rends the heart." By Lady E. Fortescue, 1843, p. 55. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by Johann Olearius (75)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
Ach, wie gross ist Deine GnadeDr. Joh. Olearius (Author)German6
Again is come the new church yearJohannes Olearius (Author)6
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, dass er unsJohannes Olearius (Author)10
Bleib ja bei mir, mein GottJohannes Olearius (Author)2
Christ himself, my pride and gloryJohann Olearius (Author)2
Come, Thou precious Ransom, comeJ. Olarius (Author)English2
Comfort, comfort ye my peopleJohann Olearius, 1611-1684 (Author)English104
Consolad al pueblo míoJohann Olearius, 1611-1684 (Author)Spanish3
Consolaos, pueblo mío, Paz tened, dice el SeñorJohannes Olearius (Author)Spanish1
Dig, Jesu, vare evigt prisJohann Olearius (Author)Swedish2
Es war die ganze WeltJohann Olearius (Author)7
Falder paa dig modgangs hedeJohann Olearius (Author)Norwegian5
Freuet euch, ihr Gottes KinderDr. Johann Olearius (Author)German5
Gelobet sei der HerrJohannes Olearius (Author)German37
God loved our erring mortal raceJohann Olearius (Author)3
God loved the world so that He gaveJohannes Olearius (Author)English5
Gott ist mein allerhöchstes GutD. J. Olearius, 1611-1684 (Author)German2
Gott ist mein Gott, das hoechste GutJohannes Olearius (Author)4
Gott Lob! Der Sonntag kommt herbei!Johannes Olearius (Author)German35
Gott Lob, der Tag ist nun dahinJohannes Olearius (Author)German6
Gott Lob, die Herbstzeit zeiget sichJoh. Olearius (Author)3
Gott Lob, mein Jesus macht mich reinJoh. Olearius, 1635-1711 (Author)German14
Herr Gott, in deiner Hand steht KrankheitJohannes G. Olearius (Author)2
Herr Jesus Christ, dein teures BlutJohannes Olearius (Author)German35
Herr, öffne mir die HerzenstürJohannes Olearius (Author)German14
Heut' f'hrt Gott auf und triumphiertJohannes Olearius (Author)2
Ich danke dir, Herr Gott, in deinem ThroneJohannes G. Olearius (Author)3
Ich danke dir, mein Gott, dass du aus lauterJoh. Olearius (Author)3
Ich danke dir, mein Gott, Dass du mir hast gegebenJohannes Olearius (Author)German20
Ich lobe dich, mein GottJohannes Olearius (Author)3
Ich preise deine Gnad', mein GottJohannes Olearius (Author)3
Ich will zu aller StundJohannes Olearius (Author)6
Jag vill i denna stundJ. Olearius, d. 1684 (Author)Swedish2
Jesu, lass mich ja nicht fallenJohannes Olearius (Author)2
Jesus selbst, mein Licht, mein LebenJohannes Olearius (Author)German9
Komm, du wertes LösegeldJohannes Olearius (Author)13
Lass mich, o treuer GottJohann Olearius (Author)German8
Lobe mein herz deinen GottJohann Olearius (Author)German2
Lord Jesus Christ, thy precious bloodJohannes Olearius (Author)4
Lord, open thou both heart and earJohannes G. Olearius (Author)2
Lord, open Thou my heart to hearJohannes Olearius (Author)English19
Mein Gott und Vater, gib du mirJohannes Olearius (Author)3
Mitt hjärta! fröjda digJohannes Olearius (Author)Swedish4
Nun kommt das neue kirchenjahrJohannes Olearius (Author)German24
Nun kommt das neue KirchenjahrJohannes Olearius (Author)German2
O grosser Gott, du reines WesenJohannes Olearius (Author)20
O Gud ske Lov, min Jesus gjørJohann Olearius (Author)Norwegian2
O Gud, som skiftar allt, död, sjukdom, lif och helsaJohann Olearius (Author)Swedish2
O how great is Thy compassionJ. Olearius, 1611-84 (Author)English8
O Jesu, dir sei ewig DankJohannes Olearius (Author)8
O Jesu, Herre godJohannes Olearius (Author)3
O, praise the Lord, his name extol, The God of skill and mightJohannes Olearius (Author)5
O welch ein tiefesJoh. Olearius (Author)3
O wunder gross, Marien schoossJohannes Olearius (Author)7
Our God so loved the world that heJohannes Olearius (Author)9
Praised be the Lord my God, my lightJ. Olearius (Author)English2
Redentor precioso, venJohann Gottfried Olearius, 1635-1711 (Author)Spanish1
Sa kommer jag min GudJohannes G. Olearius (Author)2
Seele, was ist schöners wohlJohannes Olearius (Author)German13
Shall I not trust my GodJohannes G. Olearius (Author)1
Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht trauenJohannes Olearius (Author)German28
Solt ich meinem Gott nicht trauenJohannes Olearius (Author)7
Thank God, my Jesus cleanseth meJohannes Olearius (Author)3
The Lord, my God, be praisedJ. Olearius, 1611-84 (Author)English12
The new church year again is comeJ. Olearius, 1611-84 (Author)English3
Tu Rechnung, Rechnung will Joh. Olearius (Author)German26
Tröstet, tröstet meine LiebenJohannes Olearius (Author)German9
Tu Rechnung, diese will Gott endlich von dir habenJohannes Olearius (Author)2
Wenn dich Unglück hat betretenJohannes Olearius (Author)German12
Wer den Ehstand will erwählenJohann Olearius (Author)German8
When afflictions sore oppress youJ. G. Olearius, 1611-84 (Author)English3
When the clouids of trouble gatherJohannes Olearius (Author)2
Wir haben auch ein osterlammJoh. Olearius, b. 1611 (Author)3
Wohlauf, mein Herz, zu Gott Dein Andacht fröhlich bringeJohannes Olearius (Author)German21
Wunderbarer GnadenthronJohannes Olearius (Author)German5

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