TO THE GERMAN EDITION
GERHARD LUDWIG MÜLLER
172 THE PRAYERBOOK OF THE BIBLE serves the Christian as a profound guide into the Psalter considered as “the great school of prayer.”1 This little book takes its place in close connection with several expositions of individual psalms to which Bonhoeffer had increasingly devoted himself.2
However, The Prayerbook of the Bible should not be separated from a series of important biblical studies done at Finkenwalde on Old Testament themes.3 In addition, there was the need to fight for the value of both the Old Testament and the Old Testament people of God within the Christian church. The problem was especially intensified by the antiSemitism of the German Christians and their ideologically based attempts to eliminate from Christianity its Jewish heritage . This debate
1. See LT, 55 above. On the questions of Bonhoeffer's understanding of
prayer, see especially Albert Altenähr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer-Lehrer des Gebets; see
also Bethge, “Der Ort des Gebets,” 159–77. It should be emphasized that Bon-
hoeffer brings out the trinitarian form in every Christian prayer composed by
him. See, for example, Bonhoeffer's “Morning Prayers,” written for his fellow
prisoners for Christmas 1943, in LPP, 139–41.
2. See the following sermons and meditation in MW: “Sermon on Psalm 42:
Sixth Sunday after Easter,” June 2, 1935, 54–72 (GS 4:391–99); “Sermon on a
Psalm of Vengeance: Psalm 58,”July 11, 1937, 84–96 (GS 4:413–22); and “Medi-
tation on Psalm 119,” 1939–40,103–44 (GS 4:505–43).
3. The following works belong to this series: “König David” (King David),
October 8–11, 1935, GS 4:294–320, and “Der Wideraufbau Jerusalems nach
Esra und Nehemia” (The Rebuilding of Jerusalem according to Ezra and
Nehemiah), April 21, 1936, GS 4:321–36.