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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 86
Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch,
     Truly, truly, I say to you
so ihr den Vater etwas bitten 
     when you ask anything of the Father
werdet in meinem Namen, 
     doing so in my name,
so wird er's euch geben.  
     so will he grant it to you.
Ich will doch wohl Rosen brechen,
     I will still indeed pick roses,
wenn mich gleich die Dornen stechen.
     even if the thorns time prick me all the same.
Denn ich bin der Zuversicht,
     For I am confident
daß mein Bitten und mein Flehen
     that my request and my supplication
Gott gewiss zu Herzen gehen,
     are surely taken to heart by God,
weil es mir sein Wort verspricht.
     for his word promises me this.
Und was der ewig gültig Gott
     And whatever this eternally engaged God
in seinem Wort versprochen hat,
     has promised in his word,
geschworn bei seinem Namen,
     sworn to by his name,
das hält und gibt er gwiß fürwahr.
     this stands, and he verily makes it certain.
Der helf uns zu der Engel Schar
     He aids us toward the throng of angels
durch Jesum Christum, amen.
     through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Gott macht es nicht gleichwie die Welt,
     God does not act like the world does,
die viel verspricht und wenig hält;
     which promises much and delivers little;
denn was er zusagt, muß geschehen,
     for what he pledges, must occur
daß man daran kann seine Lust und Freude sehen.
     that one can behold his pleasure and joy.
Gott hilft gewiss;
     God helps assuredly;
wird gleich die Hilfe aufgeschoben,
     if this help suddenly seems delayed
wird sie doch drum nicht aufgehoben.
     regardless, it is still not revoked.
Denn Gottes Wort bezeiget dies:
     For God’s word confirms this:
Gott hilft gewiss!
     God helps assuredly!
Die Hoffnung wart' der rechten Zeit,
     Hope waits for the proper time
was Gottes Wort zusaget,
     which God’s word dictates,
wenn das geschehen soll zur Freud,
     when that which occurs shall turn to joy,
setzt Gott kein g'wisse Tage.
     God sets no certain day.
Er weiß wohl, wenn's am besten ist,
     He knows well when it is for the best
und braucht an uns kein arge List;
     and brings no dire plot against us;
des solln wir ihm vertrauen.
     we shall trust him on this.

COMPOSED: May 14, 1724 (Leipzig) for Rogate (5th Sunday after Easter)
LIBRETTIST: unknown; Mvt 1. John 16:23; Mvt. 3. Georg Grünwald, stanza 16 of Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn (1530); Mvt. 6. Paul Speratus, stanza  11 of Es ist das Heil uns kommen her (1524)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck, 2011 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only, please. office@bachvespersnyc.org

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