Life Together: Prayerbook of the Bible

By Gerhard Ludwig Müller; Albrecht Schönherr et al. | Go to book overview

THE DAY ALONE

“THE PRAISE OF SILENCE befits you, O God, in Zion” (Ps. 65:2 “l”).1 Many 65 persons seek community because they are afraid of loneliness “der Einsamkeit”. Because they can no longer endure being alone, such people are driven to seek the company of others. Christians, too, who cannot cope on their own, and who in their own lives have had some bad experiences, hope to experience help with this in the company of other people. More often than not, they are disappointed. They then blame

1. It is not certain which Bible translation, if not his own, Bonhoeffer is using
here. Bonhoeffer's text is a wide departure from Luther's Bible, which reads:
“God, you are praised by silence in Zion “and vows will be rendered to you”.”
Bonhoeffer's German rendering of the text follows closely the Hebrew of this
verse, which translated literally is “To you the praise of silence (is given) in Zion.”
Certainly, this Hebrew version fits into the theme of this chapter of. Life Together.
The NRSV lists this as v. 1 and renders the text: “Praise is due to you, O God, in
Zion.” Bonhoeffer's positive attitude toward silence and solitude also comes
across in his Christology lectures in his opening statement: “Teaching about
Christ begins in silence. 'Be still, for that is the absolute,' writes Kierkegaard.
That has nothing to do with the mystagogical silence that in its dumbness is
nothing more than secret chattering of the soul with itself. The silence of the
church is silence before the Word” (CC, 27; trans, altered). This section of Life
Together
also has strong connections with several passages from The Imitation of
Christ,
where Thomas a Kempis writes: “In silence and quietness of heart a
devout soul profits much and learns the hidden meaning of Scripture, and finds
there many sweet tears of devotion as well, with which every night the soul
washes itself mightily from all sin, that it may be the more familiar with God, to
the degree that it is separated from the clamorous noise of worldly business”
(1:20, 57). See editorial note 10 below on Bonhoeffer's fondness for this reli-
gious classic. “GK”

-81-

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Life Together: Prayerbook of the Bible
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • General Editor's Foreword to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works vii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Editor's Introduction to the English Edition 3
  • Preface 25
  • Community 27
  • The Day Together 48
  • The Day Alone 81
  • Service 93
  • Confession and the Lord's Supper 108
  • Editors' Afterword to the German Edition 119
  • Prayerbook of the Bible 142
  • Editor's Introduction to the English Edition 143
  • Introduction 155
  • Editors' Afterword to the German Edition 178
  • Chronology of Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible 182
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index of Scripture References 201
  • Index of Names 206
  • Index of Subjects 210
  • Editors and Translators 217
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