The Death of Moses by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Death of Moses by Dietrich Bonhoeffer


ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes



Now, Lord, thy promises have been fulfilled, /to me thy word has been for ever sure.

Deliverance and salvation are thy gifts, / thy anger chastens, casts away, consumes.




Books by Bonheoffer

No Rusty Swords / The Cost of Discipleship / Letters and Papers from Prison  /  Sanctorum Communio

A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings  /  Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible Ethics  

No Difference in the Fare: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Problem of Racism

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The Death of Moses

By Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Deuteronomy 34:1 And the Lord showed him all the land

Upon the mountain’s summit stands at last

Moses, the prophet and the man of God.


Unwavering his eyes look on the view,

survey the promised scene, the holy land.


Now, Lord, thy promises have been fulfilled,

to me thy word has been for ever sure.


Deliverance and salvation are thy gifts,

thy anger chastens, casts away, consumes.


Eternal faithful Lord, thy faithless slave

knows well – at all times righteous is thy will.


So now, today, inflict my punishment,

enfold me in the long dark sleep of death.


Rich grow the vineyards in the holy land;

faith only knows the promise of their wine.


Pour for the doubter, then, his bitter draught,

and let his faith proclaim thy thanks and praise.


Wondrous the works which thou hast done by me,

changing my cup from gall to sweet delight.


Grant me to witness through the veil of death

my people at their high triumphant feast.


I fail, and sink in thine eternity,

but see my people marching forward, free.


God quick to punish sin or to forgive,

thou knowest how this people has my love.


Enough that I have borne its shame and sin

and seen salvation—now I need not live.


Stay, hold my nerveless hands, let fall my staff;

thou faithful God, prepare me for my grave.

September 1944

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Forged: Writing in the Name of God

Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

By Bart D. Ehrman

The evocative title tells it all and hints at the tone of sensationalism that pervades this book. Those familiar with the earlier work of Ehrman, a distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of more than 20 books including Misquoting Jesus, will not be surprised at the content of this one. Written in a manner accessible to nonspecialists, Ehrman argues that many books of the New Testament are not simply written by people other than the ones to whom they are attributed, but that they are deliberate forgeries. The word itself connotes scandal and crime, and it appears on nearly every page. Indeed, this book takes on an idea widely accepted by biblical scholars: that writing in someone else’s name was common practice and perfectly okay in ancient times. Ehrman argues that it was not even then considered acceptable—hence, a forgery. While many readers may wish for more evidence of the charge, Ehrman’s introduction to the arguments and debates among different religious communities during the first few centuries and among the early Christians themselves, though not the book’s main point, is especially valuable.—Publishers Weekly  / Forged Bart Ehrman’s New Salvo (Witherington)

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Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals 

of a Growing Religion in America

By Miguel A. De La Torre

This book by Miguel De la Torre offers a fascinating guide to the history, beliefs, rituals, and culture of Santeria — a religious tradition that, despite persecution, suppression, and its own secretive nature, has close to a million adherents in the United States alone. Santeria is a religion with Afro-Cuban roots, rising out of the cultural clash between the Yoruba people of West Africa and the Spanish Catholics who brought them to the Americas as slaves. As a faith of the marginalized and persecuted, it gave oppressed men and women strength and the will to survive. With the exile of thousands of Cubans in the wake of Castro’s revolution in 1959, Santeria came to the United States, where it is gradually coming to be recognized as a legitimate faith tradition.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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updated 3 October 2011




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