Kurt Aland (approx. 1990)
|Born||March 28, 1915
Steglitz near Berlin
|Died||April 13, 1994
|Region||New Testament Studies|
|School||New Testament, textual criticism|
|Main interests||the text of the New Testament|
|Notable ideas||Categories of New Testament manuscripts|
Kurt Aland (28 March 1915 – 13 April 1994) was a German Theologian and Biblical Scholar who specialized in New Testament textual criticism. He founded the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster and served as its first director for many years (1959–83). He was one of the principal editors of Novum Testamentum Graece for the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft and the The Greek New Testament for the United Bible Societies.
Aland was born in Berlin-Steglitz. He started studying theology in 1933 at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin (he also studied philology, archaeology, and history). On March 23 that year, he was examined before the Bruderrat (council of brothers) in the Bekennende Kirche (Confessing Church). During his studies, he worked for the journal of the Confessing Church, Junge Kirche (Young Church). In an ideological brochure, Wer fälscht? (Who is lying?), written against Mathilde Ludendorff, he confirmed the position of the Confessing Church and identified with them. In 1939 he studied for his bachelor's degree under the guidance of Hans Lietzmann. In 1940 he was released from military service; and in 1941, after Lietzmann's death, he took over the responsibilities of editing the theological magazine. He graduated in this same year, and in 1944 was ordained as minister of the parish of Berlin-Steglitz.
Aland disapproved of the Marxist government of East Germany, and was persecuted as a result. In 1953 he was accused of smuggling watches to West Berlin and kept under arrest for three months. Several times Aland spoke out publicly against various forms of state oppression directed at Churches, and demanded freedom of speech in East Germany. In July 1958, he lost his job at the university. However, in September that year, he successfully escaped to West Berlin.
In 1959 became a professor at the University of Münster, Germany. Here he founded the Institute for New Testament Textual Research ("Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung"), which he directed until 1983.
In times of increasing specialism, also within History and Theology, Kurt Aland can be regarded as one of the last representatives of academics who worked extensively and also efficiently on theological and historical topics. In the field of New Testament Research his work (and also the work that he has done together with his wife Barbara Aland in the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster) shall be deemed to be pointing the way worldwide. He is the author of multitude publications.
The focus of his work was firstly an intense and adventurous search for old manuscripts on several expeditions to abbeys in Russia and Greece (amongst others). He discovered numerous manuscripts of the New Testament, whose evaluation is still in progress. Most notably famous is the completely new arranged edition of Novum Testamentum Graece (Greek New Testament) in 1979 (also called Nestle-Aland). This base on the text is evidence of academic work on the New Testament aiming the highest convergence to the "original text".
Furthermore he acted in the Hermann-Kunst-Stiftung which was founded in 1964 by Hermann Kunst, a good friend of Aland. A lot of celebrities of politics, economy and society participated in this foundation for the sponsorship of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research.
Critics distinguish Aland's profundity and his comprehensive knowledge of sources. All this gives Aland's work a notable presence and relevance even nowadays, which has to be seen as an important aspect of scientific methodology. Aland was of the opinion that every work on historical topics live from the acknowledgment, the reliability and the accessibility to its topics. Among experts Aland proved himself to be an important ecumenist who has left the small range of German Protestantism far behind.
Kurt Aland achieved the following honorary doctorates:
- 1950: "Dr. (h.c.)", from University of Göttingen (Germany)
- 1957: "Doctor of Divinity", from University of St Andrews (Scotland)
- 1971: "Doctor of Literature", from Wartburg College (Iowa)
He received the following awards:
- 1963: Golden "Cross of Athos" of the patriarchate of Alexandria
- 1975: "Burkitt Medal" for Biblical Studies by the British Academy
- 1976: Grant Cross of Merit, neck cross (Großes Verdienstkreuz)
- 1983: Grant Cross of Merit with star (Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern)
- 1985: "Luther-Medal" from the University of Halle-Wittenberg
- 1985: "Canstein-Medal" from the German Bible Society
- 1993: "St. Pauls Award" 
Kurt Aland was a member of the following academies:
- since 1955: Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften|Academy of Science of Saxony (Germany)
- since 1969: British Academy
- since 1975: Academy of Science of Göttingen (Germany)
- since 1976: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Spener-Studien, 1943, (=Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Pietismus I. Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte vol. 28);
- Kirchengeschichtliche Entwürfe: Alte Kirche - Reformation und Luthertum - Pietismus und Erweckungsbewegung, 1960.
- Die Säuglingstaufe im Neuen Testament und in der alten Kirche. Eine Antwort an Joachim Jeremias, (=TEH; N.F. 86), 1961; Über den Glaubenswechsel in der Geschichte des Christentums, 1961;
- Bibel und Bibeltexte bei August Hermann Francke und Johann Albrecht Bengel. In: Pietismus und Bibel, (=AGP; 9), 1970, 89-147;
- Taufe und Kindertaufe. 40 Sätze zur Aussage des Neuen Testaments und dem historischen Befund, zur modernen Debatte darüber und den Folgerungen daraus für die kirchliche Praxis - zugleich eine Auseinandersetzung mit Karl Barths Lehre von der Taufe, 1971;
- A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (3. ed.) de B. M. Metzger e do Editorial Committee of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (K. Aland, M. Black, C. M. Martini, B. M. Metzger e A. Wikgren), 1971;
- Neutestamentliche Entwürfe, (=Theol. Bücherei, NT; 63), 1979;
- Der Text des Neuen Testaments. Einführung in die wissenschaftlichen Ausgaben sowie in Theorie und Praxis der modernen Textkritik (with Barbara Aland), 1982, 1989; English translation
- Die Grundurkunde des Glaubens. Ein Bericht über 40 Jahre Arbeit an ihrem Text. Em: Bericht der Hermann Kunst- Stiftung zur Förderung der Neutestamentlichen Textforschung für die Jahre 1982 bis 1984, 1985, 9-75;
- Das Neue Testament - zuverlässig überliefert. Die Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Textes und die Ergebnisse der modernen Textforschung, (=Wissenswertes zur Bibel; 4), 1986;
- Text und Textwert der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, vol. I-III (=Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung), 1987 ff.;
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kurt Aland.|
- www.nestle-aland.com, Homepage of the Nestle-Aland 28
- Institute for New Testament Textual Research
- Categories of New Testament manuscripts
- International Greek New Testament Project
- TV report (with English subtitles) on the grand opening of the Bible Museum/Münster in March 1979 and the work of the INTF and Interview of Kurt Aland, 1979
- Odin, Karl-Alfred (28 März 1985), "Entdecker und Wissenschaftorganisator von hohen Gnaden", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German) .
- Köhler, Horst, Federal President of Germany (9 December 2009), 50 Jahre Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (speech) (in German), Bundespräsident.
- Text, Wort, Glaube, S. 13.
- Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. Band 34, S. 740.
- Westfälische Nachrichten, 26.10.1985
- FAZ, 1.11.1985
- Kleine Meldungen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11. Dezember 1993
- Nestle-Aland Ausgaben des griechischen Neuen Testaments Auflistung aller derzeit verfügbaren Ausgaben.
- "Kurt Aland". Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German).
- Biography of Aland
- Bibelübersetzungen von Kurt Aland