Sunday, July 8, 2012

Neanderthal man praising the Lord

"Airbrushed hands"
El Castillo Cave, Puente Veisgo, Spain

June 14, 2012 The Guardian science reporter Alok Jha wrote that Neanderthals may have been first human species to create cave paintings
Using state-of-the-art techniques scientists have dated cave paintings at 11 locations in north Spain, including the Unesco World Heritage sites of Altamira, El Castillo and Tito Bustillo. Samples from 50 paintings of different styles were collected and the scientists discovered that a red disc on the wall of the El Castillo cave had to be more than 40,800 years old.

"This is currently Europe's oldest-dated art, by at least 4,000 years," said Alistair Pike, of the University of Bristol, who led the research. "We know the modern humans arrived in Europe between 42,000 and 41,000 years ago."

Nearby hand stencils, formed by blowing paint against a hand pressed against a cave wall, were at least 37,300 years old. The results are published on Thursday in the journal Science.
Read the entire article in The Guardian
Accumulating evidence is rapidly changing our view of our cousins, homo sapiens neanderthalensis, as we consider the skilful stone tools they made, their survival under harsh environmental conditions of the last Ice Age, and now their artistic ability. Perhaps also some of the figurines and early flutes attributed to our ancestors, homo sapiens sapiens, were actually made by Neanderthals!

It is natural for homo sapiens sapiens species to praise the Lord. The birds praise the Lord when sun rises in the morning. Surely, also homo sapiens neanderthalensis people praised the Lord in their very own way and languages! It is therefore appropriate to remember the first Neanderthal man, Joachim Neander, and how wonderfully he invites us all to praise God, the Creator of everything, including us and them.

Joachim Neander

Joachim Neander (1650–1680)
Dorf Gruiten site
Joachim Neander (Neumann)  was a German Reformed (Calvinist) Church teacher, theologian and hymn writer whose most famous hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation (German: 'Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren') is generally regarded as one of the greatest hymns of praise of the Christian church and, since being translated into English by Catherine Winkworth in the 19th century, it has appeared in most major hymnals.

Neander wrote about 60 hymns and provided tunes for many of them. He is considered by many to be the first important German hymnist after the Reformation and is regarded as the outstanding hymn writer of the German Reformed Church.

Joachim Neander was born in Bremen, the son of a Latin teacher. His grandfather, a musician, had changed the family name from the original Neumann ('New man' in English) to the Greek form Neander following the fashion of the time.

In 1671 he became a private tutor in Heidelberg, and in 1674 he became a teacher in a Latin school in Düsseldorf, one step before becoming a minister. While living there, he liked to go to the nearby valley of the Düssel river, nature being the inspiration for his poems. He also held gatherings and services in the valley, at which he gave sermons. The valley (German thal modernized to tal) was renamed in his honor in the early 19th century, and became famous in 1856 when the remains of the Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal Man) were found there.

In 1679, Neander became a pastor in Bremen, as his popularity with the common people had caused problems with the church administration in Düsseldorf. on May 5 1680, at the age of 30, he died in Bremen of tuberculosis.
Read the entire article in wikipedia
For some historical photos from Neanderthal in Germany see the Dorf Gruiten Web site

Neanderthal man praising the Lord!

1. Lobe den Herren,
Den mächtigen König der Ehren!
Meine geliebete Seele,
Das ist mein Begehren.
Kommet zu Hauf.
Psalter und Harfe wacht auf,
Lasset den Lobgesang hören!

2. Lobe den Herren,
Der alles so herrlich regieret,
Der dich auf Adelers
Fittichen sicher geführet,
Der dich erhält,
Wie es dir selber gefällt;
Hast du nicht dieses verspüret?

3. Lobe den Herren,
Der künstlich und fein dich bereitet,
Der dir Gesundheit
Verliehen, dich freundlich geleitet.
In wieviel Not
Hat nicht der gnädige Gott
Über dir Flügel gebreitet.

4. Lobe den Herren,
Der deinen Stand sichtbar gesegnet,
Der aus dem Himmel
Mit Strömen der Liebe geregnet.
Denke daran,
Was der Allmächtige kann,
Der dir mit Liebe begegnet.

5. Lobe den Herren;
Was in mir ist, lobe den Namen.
Alles was Odem hat,
Lobe mit Abrahams Samen.
Er ist dein Licht;
Seele, vergiß es ja nicht;
Lob ihn und schließe mit Amen!
Joachim Neander, 1650-1680

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