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Lazarus Spengler (Hymn-Writer)

Born: March 13, 1479 - Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany
Died: September 7, 1534 - Nürnberg, Germany

Lazarus Spengler, the ninth of twenty-one children, was the son of a clerk of the Imperial Court of Justice. He entered the University of Leipzig in 1494, but when his father died in 1496, he returned to Nürnberg and obtained a position in the town clerks office.

In 1507 Spengler became town clerk and in 1516 also Rathsherr. It is interesting to note that when Martin Luther passed through Nürnberg on his way to Augsburg in 1518, Spengler made his acquaintance. He warmly espoused the Reformation doctrines and in 1519 published Schutzred favoring Luther. Spengler himself became one of the leaders in the Reformation work at Nürnberg. So it is not surprising to find his name on the list of those condemned by the Bull of Excommunication launched by Leo X on June 15, 1520, against Martin Luther and his friends. But Nürnberg ignored the bulla and even sent Spengler as one of their representatives to the Diet of Worms, April, 1521. In 1525 Spengler went to Wittenberg to consult with Martin Luther and Melanchthon as to turning the Benedictine Ägidienstift into an Evangelical Gymnasium, and this was opened as such by Melanchthon on May 23, 1526. Spengler was the prime mover to the Visitation of 1528 and upheld strict Lutheranism in the negotiations at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530.


Source: ELHHB Website [Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal]
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2003)

Texts of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

BWV 18, BWV 109

Chorale Texts used in Bach’s Vocal Works





Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt

Links to other Sites

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary Handbook - Biographies and Sources (ELHHB)




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