Hans Bruns

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Hans Bruns (born October 7, 1895 in Stade , † March 8, 1971 in Marburg ) was a German Protestant theologian who is particularly important for his translation of the Bible .


Bruns, a son of pastor Bernhard Bruns, studied Protestant theology in Tübingen from 1914 after graduating from high school in Stade . After serving as a war volunteer in World War I, he continued his studies in Göttingen and Berlin . He was involved in the German Christian Student Union (DCSV), for which he took part in international conferences. After the first theological exam and the vicariate in Kirchlinteln near Verden, Bruns worked as a private tutor for Prince Knyphausen at Lütetsburg Castle near Norden. In 1923 he took over a pastor's position in Drochtersen , but in 1924 he moved to Hollen in East Frisia. Here he was involved in the revival movement that spread through the Reformed churches. Among other things, he won Traugott Hahn sen. and Erich Schnepel , the then head of the Berlin City Mission , for evangelism in his community.

In 1933 Bruns became a member of the German Christian Faith Movement and appeared for it publicly, for example on May 29 in Leer. After the Berlin Sports Palace rally on November 13, 1933, however, he publicly announced his resignation. In 1934 he took up a position as an evangelist in the "German Community Diakonie Association" (DGD) and moved to Elbingerode (Harz) , later to Marburg an der Lahn.

During the Second World War , Bruns worked in Fulda and in Frankfurt am Main as a support officer for the Wehrmacht. Because of his offensive missionary work for the Christian faith, he was dismissed in 1943 and was banned from speaking by the district administrator of the Marburg district. He used the free time for writing.

Rehabilitated in 1945, he resumed his work in the German Community Diakonieverband. In addition, he was one of the most dedicated supporters of the "moral armament" that had formed in 1938 from the Oxford group movement . In 1957 he founded the “Marburger Kreis” together with Arthur Richter in Marburg .


Bruns wrote numerous edifying writings. Its translation of the Bible into today's language, combined with explanations, was most widespread. The New Testament was published in 1957, the Old Testament in 1961. In the 1960s, this translation was an easier-to-understand, “communicative” alternative to the Luther Bible in the Protestant churches. In 1993 a revised, redesigned edition was published. The "Bruns Bible" is in understandable, more modern German and is largely reliable. It contains introductions and comments that are technically or theologically controversial on some points. It was published in its 16th edition in 2013.

His son Warner described his father's concern: “It was important to him to reach people today in understandable German. That is why the explanations of the biblical texts were so important to him. "

Reading sample

That is why the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began, someone came before him who owed him ten thousand quintals of silver.

We expect forgiveness from God but easily forget to forgive others as well. Jesus knows of God's real willingness to forgive; but he now expects the same of his disciples towards all men. With ten thousand quintals, the Lord thinks of the "million dollar" debt that we have before God, but which he actually crosses off at our request. So we bear much less guilt for people and are not ready to forgive and forget. "

- Hans Bruns : Matthäus 18,23-24 (other translations of this passage see under text comparison of German-language Bible editions )


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Article by Hella Thorn in the magazine Faszination Bibel 3/2013, pages 36–38