World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kurt Aland

Kurt Aland
Born (1915-03-28)March 28, 1915
Berlin-Steglitz, Germany
Died April 13, 1994(1994-04-13) (aged 79)
Münster, Germany
Nationality German
Occupation Biblical scholar, textual critic, author
Notable work(s) Greek New Testament, Novum Testamentum Graece, Categories of New Testament manuscripts, Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Synopsis of the Four Gospels

Ingeborg Aland (1941 - 1971),

Barbara Aland (1972 - 1994)
Children Christa, Detlef, Andreas
Theological work
Era 20th Century
Main interests New Testament Text Criticism, The text of the New Testament

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.


  • Life 1
  • Relevance 2
  • Honors 3
  • Works 4
  • See also 5
  • Videos 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


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.

After World War II, Aland became a lecturer in the theological faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin. In 1947 he was appointed Professor ordinarius in Halle (Saale).

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.

Aland was married twice. First to Ingeborg Aland (they have three children together). In the late 70s he married Barbara Aland. He died in Münster, Germany in 1994.


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.[1] 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.[2] Most notably famous is the completely new arranged edition of Novum Testamentum Graece (Greek New Testament) in 1979 (also called Nestle-Aland).[1] 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.

Another priority in his life were his Church-historical works in the field of old church as well as the history of the Reformation, and the more recent Church History of pietism and revivalism.

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.[1] 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.

The Nachlass of Kurt Aland is provided in the University Archives of the University of Münster, Germany.


Kurt Aland achieved the following honorary doctorates:

He received the following awards:

Kurt Aland was a member of the following academies:

The American Society of Biblical Literature elected him an Honorary Member. Furthermore Aland was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1966 by the American Bible Society.[3]


  • 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.;

See also


  • 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 on YouTube, 1979


  1. ^ a b c Odin, Karl-Alfred (28 March 1985), "Entdecker und Wissenschaftorganisator von hohen Gnaden", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German) .
  2. ^ Köhler, Horst, Federal President of Germany (9 December 2009), 50 Jahre Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (speech) (in German), Bundespräsident .
  3. ^ a b c d Text, Wort, Glaube, S. 13.
  4. ^ Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. Band 34, S. 740.
  5. ^ Westfälische Nachrichten, 26.10.1985
  6. ^ FAZ, 1.11.1985
  7. ^ Kleine Meldungen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11. Dezember 1993
  8. ^ Homepage of The Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic

External links

  • 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
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.