The Bohnstedts and the Protestant Reformation

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


One of George Christian Bohnstedt's written works: De Cyrillo Lucari, ejusque pro re graecorum emendanda certaminibus...


Sigismund Bonstedt, Georg Bohnstedt, and the Protestant Reformation

On October 31, 1517, a monk named Martin Luther posted on the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg ninety-five complaints regarding what he viewed as corrupt practices of the Church at that time, and invited church authorities to debate these issues. Very soon, preachers in other countries followed Luther's lead and began preaching on various issues of doctrine and theology which added fuel to what had become a movement.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
1. Martin Luther
2. Deersheim, Germany

Sigismund Bonstedt, a son of Bartholomäus Bonstedt, was one of the first Bohnstedts known to have undertaken a life of service to the church. Records show that he was a Lutheran field minister, and a director of a church school in Halberstadt in 1684. From 1684 to 1713 he was a preacher and clergyman in Deersheim and Bexheim. Sigismund and his wife, Catharina, had at least eight children, three sons and five daughters. We know that two of these sons, David and Georg, both followed in their father's footsteps, serving in the church.

1-3.  Three of several published works, in Latin, authored by Pastor Georg Christian Bohnstedt

Sigismund's son, Georg Christian Bohnstedt was a Lutheran pastor in Langerfeld and a school director in Halberstadt. He wrote or published "De Experientia Spirituali" in 1710-1716 and various other articles on Christianity specifically and on religion in general. He is also referenced in a number of other works, some in German, some in English.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
1-2. Two of the numerous books which reference Georg Christian Bohnstedt; Left; Genealogy of the South Indian Deities (Routledgecurzon Studies in Asian Religion) by Daniel Jeyaraj, English, 2004. Right; Friedrich Wilhelm's I. Colonisationswerk in Lithauen, vornehmlich die Salzburger Colonie, German, 2001

Genealogy of the South Indian Deities (Routledgecurzon Studies in Asian Religion) by Daniel Jeyaraj, 2004, mentioned Georg with regard to a work by French author La Croze:

Wiegand was of the opinion that La Croze’s description of the South Indian religions popularized Ziegenbalg’s views, and in 1727, Georg Christian Bohnstedt published a German version of La Croze’s French book, and stated that La Croze had sent all Ziegenbalg’s manuscripts including Copy B of the Genealogy back to Francke.


Jacob Bonstedt and Daniel Eberhard Bohnstedt

Jacob Bonstedt was an older brother of Sigismund Bonstedt, and like Sigismund, followed a life of service to the Lutheran church. We know that Jacob was an army chaplain of some sort, and as early as 1663 was a minister in the Lutheran church in his hometown of Egeln.

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
1-2. Egeln, Germany, 1994

Jacob's second son, Daniel Eberhard Bohnstedt, followed in father's footsteps as a churchman, serving as a pastor from 1710 to 1753.

The Bohnstedt who is probably the most well-known as a churchman was Sigismund Bonstedt's son, David Sigismund Bohnstedt, Pastor of Essen. (Next...)


Book References:
- Jeyaraj, Daniel. Ziegenbalg, Bartholomaus. Genealogy Of The South Indian Deities: An English Translation Of Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg's Original German Manuscript With A Textual Analysis And Glossary. Routledge/Curzon. 2005. (ISBN 0415344387)
- Beheim-Schwarzbach, Max. Friedrich Wilhelm's I. Colonisationswerk in Lithauen, vornehmlich die Salzburger Colonie. 2004 (ISBN 1421206862)


See Also:
1-4 /
Pastor David Sigismund Bohnstedt
1-37 /
Genealogy 1-1: Langeln and Sachsen-Anhalt


Geography (Google Maps):
Bexheim, Germany
Deersheim, Germany
Egeln, Germany
Halberstadt, Germany
WIttenberg, Germany


Back to Part 1 ...