Skip to main content

Gerhard Friedrich Bente Collection

Identifier: Collection ID-0198

Scope and Contents

The collection contains three+ volumes of "Lehre und Wehre" and eight bound volumes.


  • 1858 - 1930
  • Majority of material found within 1893 - 1924


Biographical / Historical

G. F. (Friedrich) Bente was born January 22, 1858 in Wimmer, Hanover, Germany. As a boy he immigrated with his parents to America and settled in Cleveland, Ohio where the young Bente attended school. There he was also confirmed by the well-known missionary Pastor Friedrich Wyneken. Bente prepared for this theological studies at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana and entered Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, in the fall of 1878. He graduated in 1881 and began his ministry in May of 1882, serving congregations in Humberstone, Stonebridge, and Jordan, Ontario until 1893. He early distinguished himself by his outstanding theological gifts, and was elected vice-president of the Canada District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod after only three years in the ministry in 1885. From 1887-1893 Bente served as Canada District President. He joined the faculty of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis in November of 1893, the same year as Ludwig Fuerbringer. In his early years at the seminary, he taught Homiletics, Logic, and Philosophy, but later concentrated in the Lutheran Confessions and Comparative Symbolics. It was Theodore Graebner's assessment that, "the confessional strictness of the Missouri Synod is in no small degree the result of the impressions received by the students in Dr. Bente's classroom." Such was his influence during his years at Concordia Seminary, which came to an end after he suffered a paralytic stroke in 1924. He never recovered full health and died December 15, 1930 in Redwood City, California where he had been living with his daughter and son-in-law. He was buried in Concordia Cemetery, Saint Louis.

Besides his professorial duties at the seminary, Bente was active for many years as the editor of Lehre und Wehre for which he wrote many insightful articles and reviews. With W. H. T. Dau, he was co-editor of the German-Latin-English Concordia Triglotta for which he also wrote his Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. His other literary activity included, Was Steht der Vereinigung der Lutherischen Synoden Amerikas im Wege?, Gesetz und Evangelium, Amerikanisches Luthertum, the 2 volume American Lutheranism, and numerous other papers, articles, and convention essays. His books, according to Graebner were "notable for their clearness of thought and exactness of information."

On January 28, 1889, Bente married Miss Josephine Haserodt in Cleveland, Ohio. Their marriage was blessed by seven children: Paul, Hugo, Charlotte, Frieda (Selche), Oscar, Esther (Marozik), and Lois (Wetzel).


.86 Linear Feet (Two 5" document boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location
Gerhard Friedrich Bente Collection
September 13, 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Concordia Historical Institute Repository

804 Seminary Place
Saint Louis MO 63105 USA