February 24, 1693, Halle an der Saale, Germany.

April 19, 1735, Giessen, Germany.

Old Cemetery, Giessen, Germany.


Son of Hans Jakob Rambach, cabinet maker at Halle, Johann left school in 1706, and entered his father’s workshop. However, in the autumn of 1707, he dislocated his ankle, and during his recovery, he turned to his school books, and his desire for learning reawakened. Early in 1708, he entered the Latin School of the Halle Orphanage, and on October 27, 1712, he matriculated at the University of Halle as a medical student. He soon turned his attention to theology, though, and became especially interested in Old Testament study under J. H. Michaelis. In May 1715, he became one of Michaelis’ assistants, helping prepare his edition of the Hebrew Bible, for which he wrote the commentary on Ruth, Esther, Nehemiah, and other books. His health began to suffer in the spring of 1719, and he accepted the invitation of Count von Henkel to stay at Pölzig, near Ronneburg, where he spent several months. By August, he had recovered, and went to visit Jena, where a number of students had asked him to lecture. He settled in Jena in October 1719, living in the home of Professor Buddeus (J. F. Budde). He graduated MA in March 1720, and in 1723 was appointed adjunct of the Theological faculty at Halle; as an inspector of the Orphanage; in 1726 extraordinary professor of theology; and in 1727, after August Francke’s death, ordinary professor and preacher at the Schulkirche. Here he was very popular, both as preacher and professor, but his colleagues’ jealousy induced him to accept an offer from Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hessen, who in 1731 invited him to Giessen as superintendent and first professor of theology (before leaving Halle, he received his Doctor of Divinity degree on June 28, 1731), and in August 1732, appointed him also director of the Paedagogium at Giessen. In 1734, he almost accepted an offer of the first professorship of theology at the newly founded University of Göttingen, but at the request of the Landgrave, decided to stay in Giessen. Rambach’s works include:

  1. Allwissender, volkommer Geist
    • Thou Spirit, Perfect and Allwise
  2. Auf! Seele, schicke dich
    • My Soul, Prepare to Meet
  3. Frommes Lamm, von was für Hunden
    • Great Thy Sorrows, Injured Jesus
  4. Gesetz und Evangelium
    • The Holy Law and Gospel, Both
  5. Herr, du hast nach dem Fall
    • Lord, Thou Hast Bid Us Labor, Bid Us Toil
  6. Hier bin ich Herr, du rufest mir
    • Here Am I, Lord, Thou Callest Me
  7. Höchste Volkommenheit, reineste Sonne
    • If Heav’ns and Earths There Were Innumerable
  8. Ich bin getauft auf deinem Namen
  9. Mein Jesu, der du vor dem Scheiden
    • Lord Jesus, Who Before Thy Passion
    • O Lord, Who on That Last Sad Eve
  10. Mein Schöpfer, steh mir bei
  11. O grosser Geist, dess Wesen Alles füllet
    • Eternal God, Thy Dwelling-Place
  12. O grosser Geist! O Ursprung aller Dinge
    • O Mighty Spirit! Source Whence All Things Sprung
  13. O Lehrer, dem kein Andrer gleich
    • Surely None like Thee Can Teach
  14. Verklärte Majestät anbetungs-wüdigst Wesen
    • Dread Majesty Above
  15. Wie herrlich ist ein Schäflein Christi werden
    • How Great the Bliss to Be a Sheep of Jesus
  16. Wirf, blöder Sinn, den Kummer hin
    • Throw, Soul, I Say, Thy Fears Away