1611-1684
Johann Olearius
portrait

September 17, 1611, Halle, Germany.

April 24, 1684, Weissenfels, Germany.

Johannes was the son of Johann Olearius, pastor of St. Mary’s Church and Superintendent at Halle. He entered the University of Wittenberg in 1629 (MA 1632, DD 1643), where he became a lecturer and, in 1635, adjunct of the philosophy faculty. In 1637, he became Superintendent at Querfurt. In 1643, Duke August of Sachsen-Weissenfels appointed Olearius chief court preacher, and private chaplain at Halle, where he became Kirchenrath in 1657, and General Superintendent in 1664. On the death of Duke August in 1680, the administration of Magdeburg fell to the Elector of Brandenburg, and Duke Johann Adolf gave Olearius similar appointments at Weissenfels, which he held until his death.

Olearius wrote a Bible commentary and various devotional works. He also compiled Geistliche Singe-Kunst, one of the largest and most important German hymnals of the 17th Century. The first edition appeared in Leipzig in 1671, with over 1,200 entries; the second in Leipzig in 1672, with 1,340 hymns. The first edition contained 302 hymns by Olearius himself, marked D. J. O.

  1. Ach, wie gross ist deine Gnade
  2. Es war die ganze Welt
  3. Gelobet sei der Herr
    • Blest Be My Lord and God
    • O Praise the Lord! His Name Extol
  4. Gott Lob, mein Jesus macht mich rein
  5. Herr Jesu Christ, dein theures Blut
    • Lord Jesu Christ! Thy Precious Blood Brings to My Soul
    • Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Blessed Blood
    • Lord Jesus Christ! Thy Precious Blood Is to My Soul
  6. Herr, öffne mir die Herzensthür
  7. Jesus selbst, mein Licht, mein Leben
    • Jesus Christ, My Pride and Glory
  8. Komm, du wertes Loesegeld
  9. Nun kommt das neue Kirchenjahr
    • The New Church Year Again Is Come
  10. Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht trauen
  11. Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben
  12. Wenn dich Unglück hat betreten

Olearius’ burial place