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Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 4) (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Paperback)) Paperback – June 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 1945) was a renowned and beloved Christian minister, seminary professor, and theologian who was imprisoned and later executed by the Nazis for his resistance to Hitler. He was the author of the bestselling classic The Cost of Discipleship, Life Together, and Letters and Papers from Prison.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Paperback) (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: FORTRESS PRESS; unknown edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800683242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800683245
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that every Christian should read. Bonhoeffer is among the twentieth centuries greatest theologians, and Discipleship (formerly titled The Cost of Discipleship in English translations) is his most popular and enduring work. In it we find the clarion call to return to simple obedience to Christ without the naiveté that can so easily creep into such a call. "A paradoxical understanding of the commandments has a Christian right to it, but it must never led to the annulment of a simple understanding of the commandments. Rather it is justified and possible only for those who have already taken simple obedience seriously at some point in their lives, and so already stand in community with Jesus, in discipleship, in expectation of the end" (80) Bonhoeffer's rejection of "cheap grace," that "mortal enemy of our church," and the accompanying call for disciples of Christ to embrace the way of the cross stands as the central thesis of the book. Such an argument, while never in fashion, is nevertheless needed for every church in every age, and nobody makes the argument like Bonhoeffer.

A brief note on this edition of the book:
The Bonhoeffer Works series is a must-own collection for serious students of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The updated translation is excellent, and though there are times when one longs for a particular turn of phrase from older translations there is little doubt that what is presented here is closer to the actual thought of the author. One place where the new translation is weaker (to my way of thinking) is its use of gender neutral language. I'm not opposed to changing the dominant masculine on ideological grounds, but there are times when a graceful or elegant turn of phrase becomes clunky or a the author's meaning is obscured because of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I appreciate the previous reviewers reports about the Kindle formatting problem. I am happy to report that, as of my purchase, the footnoting has been fixed. I am confident their reviews effected the improvement.

Why should you pay more for this edition of "Discipleship" ("The Cost of Discipleship" in other translations) than other editions that are available. This is part of a series that is collecting Bonhoeffer's works, determining the true German original (textual criticism), and adding helpful notes in order to understand the "sitz im leben" at the time Bonhoeffer wrote particular things, their place in his theological corpus, and relationship to the rest of the corpus.

The notes also help with understanding how Bonhoeffer uses particular German words and, for those with some German ability, allows you to see the actual German word used when the editors believed it would be helpful.

The editors also explain Bonhoeffer's use of certain Greek words, eg, they tell us Bonhoeffer uses the Greek "philanthropia" in the literal sense of "love of human persons," rather than as the word "philanthropy" is used in American culture. I note that the Greek fonts appear fairly clearly, a quality that is not uniform among Kindle books.

I believe this critical edition is worth the added expense.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the earlier incarnation _The Cost of Discipleship_ years ago and am looking forward to reading the new translation, especially now that I have a better theological understanding of the issues. The introduction alone is a worthwhile read for those looking for a brief overview of Bonhoeffer's thought.

However, the Kindle edition needs work. Footnotes are in-line in the text instead of marked with links. The publisher needs to work on this as it is a tremendous distraction while reading.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this over ten years ago, but I still find Dietrich's words coming out of my mouth in various theological conversations. Absolutely one of the most challenging books I've ever read, especially as an American Christian.

Discipleship is an absolute must (and a great starting point) for people looking to push deeper into their own understanding of what it is to "follow after" Jesus. I particularly enjoyed this version for it's footnotes (something I usually skip).

For those wanting some Bonhoeffer, but not wanting to commit to the larger work, I'd also strongly recommend his "Life Together."

Enjoy!

Ken Clark
Author of The Complete Idiot' Guide to Getting Out of Debt
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Re-reading this book again after about 40 years and after just finishing the Metaxas biography of Bonhoeffer causes me to remind potential readers there will be details that will cause most of us to go slowly. Discipleship is providing a peek into the mind of one of the most brilliant christian minds of the past 200 years. Speed readers will find their mettle tested on every page.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book in a store and was impressed with the list of references and cross-references to Bonhoeffer's other work, the reference material influencing his thoughts and biblical passages on which he prayed. For this reason I was rather reluctant to buy it for my Kindle because I just didn't think the Kindle could easily move between all the various references, footnotes and biblical verses quoted separately. It took me a few failed attempts but I quickly caught on to how to navigate this highly footnoted text and move between its notes and the book itself.

"Discipleship" is Bonhoeffer's original title of what was eventually translated from German and released in the US as "The Cost of Discipleship". I tried to read "The Cost of Discipleship" over 25 years ago but I guess I wasn't at the right spot in my Christian walk to appreciate what he was saying and gave up after the first couple dozen pages. That was then. Now I am beginning my second reading and using it more as a study guide.

I highly recommend reading the biography of Bonhoeffer ( see my other review ) prior to reading this book. It makes the footnote and references easier to understand and enhances your understanding of what was happening at the time. It is not a requirement for understanding the message and call of "Discipleship" but it helps to understand Bonhoeffer’s frame of mind as he worked and reworked the manuscript during very tubulent years.
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