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Cantata BWV 40
Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes
English Translation in Parallel Format
Cantata BWV 40 - For this reason the Son of God appeared

Event: Cantata for the 2nd Day of Christmas [Christmas Monday, St. Stefanus Day]
Readings: Epistle: Titus. 3: 4-7 / Acts 6: 8-15 & 7: 55-60; Gospel: Matthew 23: 35-39 / Luke 2: 15-20
Text: 1 John 3: 8 (Mvt. 1); Kaspar Füger (Mvt. 3); Paul Gerhardt (Mvt. 6); Christian Keymann (Mvt. 8); Anon [probably Christian Weiss, Sr., or J.S. Bach] (Mvts. 2, 4, 5, 7)
Chorale Text: Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud | Schwing dich auf zu deinem Gott | Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Coro

1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno I/II, Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes,
daß er die Werke des Teufels zerstöre.

 

For this reason the Son of God appeared,
so that he might destroy the works of the devil.

       

2

Recitativo T

2

Recitative [Tenor]

 

Continuo

   
 

Das Wort ward Fleisch und wohnet in der Welt,
Das Licht der Welt bestrahlt den Kreis der Erden,
Der große Gottessohn
Verläßt des Himmels Thron,
Und seiner Majestät gefällt,
Ein kleines Menschenkind zu werden.
Bedenkt doch diesen Tausch, wer nur gedenken kann;
Der König wird ein Untertan,
Der Herr erscheinet als ein Knecht
Und wird dem menschlichen Geschlecht
– O süßes Wort in aller Ohren! –
Zu Trost und Heil geboren.

 

The Word became flesh and dwells in the world,
the light of the world illuminates the circle of the earth,
the great Son of God
forsakes the throne of heaven,
and it pleases his majesty
to become a little human child.
Think then about this exchange, whoever can think;
the king becomes a subject,
the Lord appears as a slave,
and for the human race
- o sweet word in every ear-
is born to be their comfort and salvation.

       

3

Choral

3

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno I e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

 

Die Sünd macht Leid;
Christus bringt Freud,
Weil er zu Trost in diese Welt ist kommen.
Mit uns ist Gott
Nun in der Not:
Wer ist, der uns als Christen kann verdammen?

 

Sin causes sorrow,
Christ brings joy,
since he has come into this world for our consolation.
God is with us
now in our need:
Who is there who can condemn us as Christians?

       

4

Aria B

4

Aria [Bass]

 

Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Höllische Schlange,
Wird dir nicht bange?
Der dir den Kopf als ein Sieger zerknickt,
Ist nun geboren,
Und die verloren,
Werden mit ewigem Frieden beglückt.

 

Infernal serpent,
are you not afraid?
The one who as a conqueror crushes your head
has now been born,
and those who were lost
will be made happy with everlasting peace.

       

5

Recitativo A

5

Recitative [Alto]

 

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Die Schlange, so im Paradies
Auf alle Adamskinder
Das Gift der Seelen fallen ließ,
Bringt uns nicht mehr Gefahr;
Des Weibes Samen stellt sich dar,
Der Heiland ist ins Fleisch gekommen
Und hat ihr allen Gift benommen.
Drum sei getrost! betrübter Sünder.

 

The serpent, that in paradise
on all the children of Adam
let fall the souls' poison
causes us danger no more;
the woman's seed is present,
the Saviour has come in the flesh
and has taken all the poison away.
Therefore be comforted, grieving sinner.

       

6

Choral

6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno I e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

 

Schüttle deinen Kopf und sprich:
Fleuch, du alte Schlange!
Was erneurst du deinen Stich,
Machst mir angst und bange?
Ist dir doch der Kopf zerknickt,
Und ich bin durchs Leiden
Meines Heilands dir entrückt
In den Saal der Freuden.

 

Shake your head and say:
flee, you old serpent!
Why do you renew your sting
and make me anxious and fearful?
Now your head is crushed,
and through the suffering
of my Saviour I am taken from you
into the hall of joy.

       

7

Aria T

7

Aria [Tenor]

 

Corno I/II, Oboe I/II, Continuo

   
 

Christenkinder, freuet euch!
Wütet schon das Höllenreich,
Will euch Satans Grimm erschrecken:
Jesus, der erretten kann,
Nimmt sich seiner Küchlein an
Und will sie mit Flügeln decken.

 

Children of Christ, rejoice!
The kingdom of hell now rages,
Satan's fury wants to frighten you:
Jesus, who can rescue you,
takes care of his little chicks
and wants to cover them with his wings.

       

8

Choral

8

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno I e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

 

Jesu, nimm dich deiner Glieder
Ferner in Genaden an;
Schenke, was man bitten kann,
Zu erquicken deine Brüder:
Gib der ganzen Christenschar
Frieden und ein selges Jahr!
Freude, Freude über Freude!
Christus wehret allem Leide.
Wonne, Wonne über Wonne!
Er ist die Genadensonne.

 

Jesus, take care of your members
for the future in your mercy;
Grant what can be asked for
to give life to your brothers :
give to the Christian flock
peace and a blessed year!
Joy, joy upon joy!
Christ protects from all suffering.
Delight, delight upon delight!
He is the son of mercy.

       

This Translation in Interlinear Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (January 2003)

Contributed by Francis Browne (January 2003)

Cantata BWV 40: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
German Text | German-2 | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch-3 | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | French-1 | French-3 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Japanese-2 | Portuguese-1 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2 | Spanish-3 | Spanish-7
Chorale Texts:
Wir Christenleut habn jetzund Freud | Schwing dich auf zu deinem Gott | Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle

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