Biblical ABCs: The Basics of Christian Resistance

Biblical ABCs is a theological resistance primer. Its author, Kornelis Heiko Miskotte, was a Dutch pastor, theologian and antifascist who lived and worked under Nazi occupation of his country. Miskotte’s family hid Jews inside their home, and Miskotte facilitated underground Christian discussion groups. In 1941 he published an illegal pamphlet as a study guide for these groups: in an atmosphere saturated with propaganda and lies, Miskotte felt that Christians needed a refresher course in the basics of biblical language—an anti-Nazi catechism, as it were. Miskotte presents this instruction in twelve brief, poetic meditations on important terms drawn from the Bible. Like his teacher Karl Barth, Miskotte insists on the primacy of the Word, and like his imprisoned colleague Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he emphasizes the this-worldliness of the Old Testament. Miskotte also shows his deep debt to the Jewish theologian, Franz Rosenzweig. He begins his primer with the A of the biblical ABCs: the Name of God, the Tetragrammaton, which Miskotte sees as the cornerstone of all resistance to ideology and totalitarianism.

1 comment

  1. Mooie, wervende tekst, Eleonora! Ik heb een opmerking bij de verwijzing naar Bonhoeffers gevangenschap. Die was van later datum dan toen Bijbelsch ABC verscheen, het lijkt nu of Bonhoeffer in 1941 al gearresteerd was. Ik had verder van de verschijning van Bijbelsch ABC ook niet begrepen dat het een illegaal pamflet was, anders dan Betere weerstand.

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