Richard C. H. Lenski

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Richard C. H. Lenski
Born September 14, 1864
Greifenberg, Brandenburg-Prussia
Died August 14, 1936
Education Capital University
Children Lois Lenski
Church Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio
Ordained 1887
Writings New Testament commentaries
Congregations served
Baltimore, Maryland; Trenton, Springfield, and Anna, Ohio
Offices held
President of Western district of Joint Synod of Ohio; theology professor at Capital University

Richard C. H. Lenski (September 14, 1864 – August 14, 1936) was a German-born American-naturalized Lutheran pastor, scholar, and author who published a series of Lutheran New Testament commentaries.


Lenski was born on September 14, 1864 in Greifenberg, Brandenburg-Prussia (now Gryfice,[1] Poland). In 1872 he emigrated to the United States. He was educated at Capital University and its Theological Department, which were institutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio. He was ordained as a pastor in that synod in 1887, and served congregations in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Trenton, Springfield, and Anna, Ohio.[2][3]

He was editor of Die Lutherische Kirchenzeitung for twenty years, beginning in 1904.[4] In 1911 he became a professor of theology at Capital University and its theological department. He also served the Joint Synod of Ohio as president of its Western District for a number of years.[2]

Lenski died on August 14, 1936.[3]


Lenski's major work was a 12-volume series of commentaries on the New Testament, published originally by the Lutheran Book Concern. Each contains a literal translation of the Greek texts and commentary from a traditional Lutheran perspective.[5] Some of the volumes were published after his death.

Other works include The Active Church Member, The Eisenach Gospel Selections, The Eisenach Old Testament Selections, The Epistle Selections of the Ancient Church, The Gospel Selections of the Ancient Church, The Sermon: Its Homiletical Construction, and Saint Paul.[3]


Lenski was the father of the author Lois Lenski,[1] grandfather of the sociologist Gerhard Lenski, and great-grandfather of the evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski.


Lenski's Lutheran views aside, Lenski was not Reformed and shows little sympathy for Reformed theology in his commentaries.[6]


  1. ^ a b Journey into childhood: The autobiography of Lois Lenski 1972 "My father, Richard Charles Henry Lenski, and his brother Paul, were born in Greifenburg, Prussia, in 1864 and 1866."
  2. ^ a b Juergen Ludwig Neve, Willard Dow Allbeck History of the Lutheran church in America 1934 "RCH Lenski, DD, was born at Greifenberg, Pomerania, September 14, 1864, and came to America in 1872. ... He served pastorates in Baltimore, Md., Trenton, Springfield, and Anna, Ohio, and came to Capital University as theological professor in 1911. For a number of years he was president of the Western district, and he was editor-in-chief of Die Lutherische Kirchenzeitung for twenty years, in addition to being a frequent contributor to theological magazines."
  3. ^ a b c Lueker, Erwin L.; Poellot, Luther; Jackson, Paul, eds. (2000). "Lenski, Richard Charles Henry". Christian Cyclopedia (Online ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Walter A. Elwell, Jim D. Weaver Bible interpreters of the twentieth century 1999 entry Richard Lenski
  5. ^ The Book Review Digest Vol.33 H.W. Wilson Company - 1938 "LENSKI, RICHARD CHARLES HENRY. The interpretation of St Paul's Epistles to the Galatians. to the Ephesians and ... commentary maintains the standard set by its predecessors in the 'great' tradition of conservative Lutheran scholarship."
  6. ^ A Reformed Response to the Comments of R. C. H. Lenski on Romans 9, James White,