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God's Word Is Our Great Heritage

Representative Text

God's Word is our great heritage
and shall be ours forever;
to spread its light from age to age
shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way,
in death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
we keep its teachings pure
throughout all generations.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #640

Author: N.F. S. Grundtvig

Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig was the son of a pastor, and was born at Udby, in Seeland, in 1783. He studied in the University of Copenhagen from 1800-1805; and, like some other eminent men, did not greatly distinguish himself; his mind was too active and his imagination too versatile to bear the restraint of the academic course. After leaving the university he took to teaching; first in Langeland, then (1808) in Copenhagen. Here he devoted his attention to poetry, literature, and Northern antiquities. In 1810 he became assistant to his father in a parish in Jutland. The sermon he preached at his ordination, on the subject "Why has the Lord's word disappeared from His house," attracted much attention, which is rarely the case with "pro… Go to person page >

Translator: O. G. Belsheim

Ole G. Belsheim was born on August 26, 1861 in Vang, Valdres, Norway. He em­i­grat­ed to Amer­i­ca with his fam­i­ly when he was just 5 years old. He at­tend­ed Lu­ther Col­lege, De­cor­ah, Io­wa; North­field Sem­in­a­ry; and Augs­burg Sem­in­a­ry, Min­ne­so­ta. He served as pastor in Mil­wau­kee, Wis­con­sin; Al­bert Lea, Min­ne­so­ta; Grand Mea­dow, Min­ne­so­ta; and Man­dan, North Da­ko­ta and Trin­i­ty Evan­gel­i­cal Lu­ther­an Church in Bis­marck, North Da­ko­ta (1908-15). He was also a member of the committee that produced The Lutheran Hymnary in 1913 and served as editor for Christian Youth for two years. He died on Feb­ru­a­ry 13, 1925 in Dick­in­son, North Da­ko­ta. NN, H… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: God's Word is our great heritage
Title: God's Word Is Our Great Heritage
Danish Title: Guds Ord det er vort Arvegods
Author: N.F. S. Grundtvig
Translator: O. G. Belsheim
Source: Salmer ved Jubelfesten, 1817; Translation: The Lutheran Hymnary, 1909
Language: English
Notes: Originally, this was the final verse of a longer hymn beginning 'Guds Kirke er vor Klippe-Borg.'
Copyright: Public Domain



The original rhythms of EIN FESTE BURG (see 469) had already reached their familiar isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) shape by the time of Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) in the eighteenth century. The harmonization is taken from his Cantata 80. Many organ and choral works are based on this chorale, including…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2077
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Instances (1 - 8 of 8)

Ambassador Hymnal #258

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Christian Worship (1993) #293

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Christian Worship #640

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #583

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #509


Lutheran Service Book #582

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Lutheran Worship #333


The Cyber Hymnal #2077

Include 14 pre-1979 instances
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