Baptized Into Thy Name Most Holy
“Baptized Into Thy Name Most Holy” is a hymn written by J.J. Rambach in 1723 and translated by Catherine Winkworth.
Johann Jakob Rambach was born on February 24, 1693, at Hakke. He was the son of a cabinet maker at Halle on the Saale, Hans Jakob Rambach. Johann eventually joined his father’s workshop in 1706. However, Johann dislocated his ankle in 1707, causing him to redirect his attention to his schoolbooks. When he recovered early in 1708, he entered the Latin school of the Orphanage at Halle (Glaucha). Johann graduated medicine on October 27, 1712, at the University of Halle, but later on, he diverted his focus to theology and studied the Old Testament under J.H. Michaelis. He became one of the assistants of Michaelis in May 1715 in preparing his edition of the Hebrew Bible, for which Johann wrote the commentary on Esther, Ruth, Nehemiah, and others.
Johann became sickly in the spring of 1719. He settled and lived in the house of Professor Buddeus (J.F. Budde) at Jena in October 1719 when he had fully recovered to lecture several students. Johann graduated M.A. in March 1720. He was appointed adjunct of the Theological Faculty at Halle and inspector of the Orphanage in 1723. He became the first professor of theology in the newly-founded University of Göttingen in 1734. He died of fever on April 19, 1735, in Giessen.
Catherine Winkworth, the translator of the text, was born in 1827, and was commonly quoted as “the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley.” She devoted herself to translating German hymns in as accurately as possible. Her adaptations were most famous and widely used than to any other translators' work. Her pieces were widespread to the English-speaking Christians after the publication of her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany.
“Baptized Into Thy Name Most Holy” was sung on the tune called O DASS ICH TAUSEND ZUNGEN HÄTTE which was composed by K. H. Dretzel. Cornelius Heinrich Dretzel, born on September 18, 1697 in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, was a German composer, organist, musicographer. He was the grandson of Georg Dretzel and nephew of Valentin. Records tell that he spent his whole life in his hometown Nuremberg, in various organists' posts: Frauenkirche, St Lorenz (from 1743) and St Sebald. He immersed himself in the works of J. S. Bach. His most noted work is his collection and commentary Des evangelishen Zions musicalische Harmonie in 1731, which contains over 900 melodies.