Emil Bock

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Emil Bock

Emil Bock (* 19 May 1895 in Wuppertal; † 6 December 1959 in Stuttgart) was a German priest, one of the co-founders of the Christian Community, anthroposophist and author.


Bock completed his schooling in 1914 with the Abitur (a qualification granted at the end of secondary education in Germany) and began to study Protestant theology at the University of Bonn in the same year. He volunteered for the army and was wounded at the front in Flanders on 31 October 1914. Interrupted by World War I, he completed his studies on 2 August 1921 at the University of Berlin.

Already in June of the same year, Bock had met Rudolf Steiner with some like-minded people in Stuttgart. After a second meeting in September 1921 at Steiner's Goetheanum in Dornach near Basel, Bock set about founding a Christian community together with Friedrich Rittelmeyer and others.

Of the more than one hundred, "4 x 12" (according to Bock) remained at the beginning of September 1922, who met with Bock and Rittelmeyer in Breitbrunn am Ammersee to found the Christian Community. On 16 September 1922, in Steiner's presence at the Goetheanum, Rittelmeyer performed the first act of consecration. This moment is considered the official founding date of the Christian Community.

On 13 November Bock married Grete Seume in Stuttgart. With her he had four children.

Rittelmeyer became the first leader of the religious community as arch-superintendent, and Bock was entrusted with the leadership of a Christian Community seminary in Stuttgart. When Rittelmeyer died on 23 March 1938, Bock was appointed his successor. He held this office until the end of his life.

On 12 August 1939, his wife Grete died after giving birth to their fourth child.

The Christian Community was banned by the National Socialist regime on 11 June 1941 and its arch-superintendent Bock was imprisoned in the Welzheim concentration camp. On 5 February 1942 he was released under certain conditions, but remained under surveillance until 1945. Immediately after the end of the war, Bock began to search for members and re-founded the Christian Community.

Bock was active as arch-superintendent and theological writer until the end of his life. He died at the age of 64 on 6 December 1959 in Stuttgart, and Dr Rudolf Frieling was appointed his successor.

Spiritual significance

As an exegete and writer, Bock initially followed Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophical ideas, but soon developed his own philosophical direction. In his works, he focused on church history, but addressed both the Old and New Testaments and did not limit himself to the positivistically verifiable, but above all had the development of human consciousness in mind. Like hardly any other Christian author, he succeeded in making an impact through his charisma.

The Urachhaus publishing house in Stuttgart, founded as a publishing house for the Christian Community, still publishes Bock's literary work. However, Bock repeatedly indicated - among others in his exegetical work "The Gospel" - that he by no means wanted to address only an anthroposophically oriented audience with his thoughts. Overall, he still stands out as an author far into the 20th century, as he formulated many things very simply and thus more easily accessible than was the case with Rudolf Steiner and Friedrich Rittelmeyer. Nevertheless, genuine pathos weaves through his writings. In this way he filled the gap left in German intellectual life by the death of Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

On the Translation of the New Testament

Bock gave a translation of the New Testament which, as a result of his efforts to grasp the actual meaning of the words more correctly or more deeply, and to formulate them adequately in German, deviates in part greatly in its wording from the Luther Bible or the Elberfelder Bible (Darby Bible).


  • Apokalypse. Betrachtungen über die Offenbarung des Johannes, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-87838-362-2
  • Beiträge zur Geistesgeschichte der Menschheit, Urachhaus, Stuttgart
  • Das Evangelium. Betrachtungen zum Neuen Testament, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-87838-406-8
  • Das neue Testament. Übersetzung in der Originalfassung, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-8251-7221-X
  • Michaelisches Zeitalter. Die Menschheit vor dem Zeitgewissen, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-87838-265-0
  • Rudolf Steiner. Studien zu seinem Lebensgang und Lebenswerk, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-7725-0475-2
  • Wiederholte Erdenleben. Die Wiederverkörperungsidee in der deutschen Geistesgeschichte, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-87838-027-5
  • Der Kreis der Jahresfeste. Advent - Weihnacht - Epiphanias - Passion - Ostern - Himmelfahrt - Pfingsten - Johanni - Michaeli, Fischer TB, Frankfurt a.M. 1982, ISBN 3-596-25520-1


  • Lothar Gassmann: Das anthroposophische Bibelverständnis. Eine kritische Untersuchung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der exegetischen Veröffentlichungen von Rudolf Steiner, Friedrich Rittelhaus, Emil Bock und Rudolf Frieling, Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1993, ISBN 3-417-29383-9
  • Gundhild Kacer-Bock: Emil Bock. Leben und Werk, Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-87838-970-1