Johann Kless

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Johann Kless (born March 2, 1669 on the Poleska estate near Zerbst ; † October 28, 1720 in Weimar ) was a German Lutheran theologian and hymn composer.


The son of a Brandenburg teacher had attended schools in Zerbst, Magdeburg , Salzwedel , Brandenburg an der Havel and Cölln . With this in mind, he moved to Wittenberg University in 1688 and studied at Leipzig University from 1691 . Kless returned to Cölln, where the support of honorable patrons paved the way for him to continue his studies at the University of Jena in 1693 . In 1694 he came to Weimar as a preacher, where he was court preacher in 1698 and senior consistorial councilor in 1707, as well as councilor of the church. In 1716 he suffered a heart attack at a meeting of the consistory and died of it.

Kleß appeared as the author of several hymns and had created the once widespread hymn "God cannot mean it, his father's word does not deceive me" . This song first appeared in 1701 in the Little Weimar Bible, which was included in the second part of the hymn book by Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen . In addition, some sermons by him are known, such as a passion sermon from 1712 and a collection of sermons from 1713/14.