maurmike1 at verizon.net
Fri Feb 6 08:30:16 PST 2009
If you go to http://www.ekd.de/ (German Evangelical church) it has the site
in English and German. It uses Evangelical for English and Evangelische for
From: ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org
[mailto:ger-poland-volhynia-bounces at eclipse.sggee.org] On Behalf Of Jerry
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:06 PM
To: ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Evangelisch
Some of our readers may consider this issue to be non-relevant to the
purpose of our list but I think it is very important to an understanding
of historical roots and the records which we need to research so I am
allowing the discussion to continue. Just delete if you are not interested.
It is important to understand two things. One is the difference between
words used to describe a church and words used to name a church. The
second is the usage of terms in the 19th century versus how they are
The term "protestant" describes all non-Catholic Christian churches. It
is never applied as the name of a church (at least not for major
denominations). Similarly, based on the root meaning of the word, the
term "evangelical" can apply generically to all protestant churches. In
modern North American context, it usually describes those protestant
churches that have a particular fervor for outreach mission, sometimes
with negative implications. In descriptive context, regardless of what
Wikipedia states, evangelisch is indeed the same as evangelical.
Similarly, reformed can be a generic protestant church reference as
well, with reference to Reformation origins.
Even the term "Lutheran" can have a generic context, at least as used in
English and of course in a much narrower framework. English texts in
many situations will refer to German Lutherans. In historical context,
this is a reference to those Germans who follow Luther's teachings
rather than Germans who are members of a church that carries "Lutheran"
in its name.
In 19th century or earlier context, I have never seen a church book that
is titled, "Evangelisch Lutherische Kirche". It is always either
Evangelisch or Evangelisch Augsburgische. The earlier churches that
based their theology on Luther's teachings did not include his name in
the name of the church. Similarly for Reformed churches, the title will
be Evangelish Reformierte, not Evanglisch by itself nor Reformierte by
Quoting from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09458a.htm (which is
perhaps somewhat more reliable than Wikipedia):
"Lutheranism: The religious belief held by the oldest and in Europe the
most numerous of the Protestant sects, founded by the Wittenberg
reformer, Martin Luther. The term 'Lutheran' was first used by his
opponents during the Leipzig Disputation in 1519, and afterwards became
universally prevalent. Luther preferred the designation "Evangelical",
and TODAY [empahsis mine] the usual title of the sect is "Evangelical
Lutheran Church". In Germany,where the Lutherans and the Reformed have
united (since 1817), the name Lutheran has been abandoned, and the state
Church is styled the Evangelical or the Evangelical United."
The rest of the article includes a brief, interesting history of
Lutheranism in German territories and Poland.
Kerstin Petersen wrote:
> The "Evangelische Kirche" is a term for the Lutheran and reformed church.
You can also call it the Protestant church. "Protestantische Kirche". In the
northern part of germany there are mostly protestants and the south germany
> The "Evangelische Kirche" is a christian church in the tradtition of the
> You cannot translate "evangelisch" to evangelical. (from Wikepedia).
> Kerstin Petersen
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