Johannes Dyserinck, a Dutch Mennonite minister, was born 12 March 1835 at Haarlem, and died 26 September 1912. He was at first a painter, but then decided to devote himself to study at Amsterdam and Leiden, especially under the professors Hoekstra, de Hoop Scheffer, and Kuenen. His first call to preach came from Helder and Huisduinen in 1861. At the request of the Minister of War, L. G. Brocx, he composed a volume of Godsdienstige Overdenhingen en Gebeden (Devotional Meditations and Prayers) for use in religious services on board warships. In September 1879 he accepted the pastorate of Vlissingen, remaining there until July 1884, when he transferred to Rotterdam. He remained here until his retirement in December 1901. Until May 1912 he lived at the Hague, then moved to Baarn, where he died on 26 September 1912.
Dyserinck was the most versatile of the Dutch Mennonites of the 19th century, without doubt publishing more books than any other. As a distinguished scholar of Hebrew he made a new translation of the Psalms, which won him an honorary doctor's title, and translations of some Apocryphal and Talmudic writings. Well at home in the fine arts, on which he wrote several studies, he showed that Rembrandt's "Night Watch" was disfigured in that pieces of canvas were cut off. In literature and history few surpassed him in learning; he wrote comprehensive biographies of several novelists and poets (Beets, Bellamy, Bosboom Toussaint, Wolff and Deken, Haverschmidt, Winkler Prins are among them). Among his articles in periodical literature, mention should be made of "Het gebed voor de zitting van de gemeenteraad van Amsterdam" (1887) and "Het vraagstuk der onsterfelijkheid" (1901). In addition, he wrote a collection of sermons, Laatste Godsdienstige Overdenkingen (1908). On Mennonite history he published two treatises of particular importance in the Gids: "De Vrijstelling van den eed voor de Doopsgezinden" (1882) and "De Weerloosheid volgens de Doopsgezinden" (1890). He was awarded many honors. The king bestowed on him the Order of the Lion. The university of Leiden conferred an honorary doctor's degree upon him. In addition he was a member of a number of learned societies.
Of his other writings several deserve mention: (1) Waarop moet volgens Paulus, de Christen zijn hoop der zaligheid bouwen? (Helder, 1864); (2) Verscheidenheden (Haarlem, 1867); (3) De Spreuken van Jezus, den zoon van Sirach (translation from the Hebrew, Haarlem, 1870); (4) Vrede zij in uwe vesting. Een toepasselijk woord ter wijding van het tweede eeuwfeest van Aardenburgs verdediging, 1672 (with pictures of the Mennonites, A.M. van Eeghen and H. van Eeghen, Haarlem, 1872); (5) Bloemlezing uit de Spreuken van Jezus Sirach (1872); (6) Sparsa. Verzameling van verstrooide opstellen en kleine geschriften (Amsterdam, 1882); (7) Stillen in den lande (The Hague, 1895); (8) Het recht der waarheid tegenover den Staat. Bijdrage tot de eedsvraag (Amsterdam, 1902).
De Zondagsbode (1912): 194, 195.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1912): 217-220.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 497.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Levensbericht van Dr. S. Cramer. Leiden, Netherlands: s.n., 1913: 1-6.
Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Biographisch Woordenboek von Protestantsche Godgeleerden in Nederland. Utrecht, 1903- : v. II, 687-691.
 Cite This Article
Vos, Karel. "Dyserinck, Johannes (1835-1912)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 Apr 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dyserinck,_Johannes_(1835-1912)&oldid=121020.
Vos, Karel. (1956). Dyserinck, Johannes (1835-1912). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 April 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dyserinck,_Johannes_(1835-1912)&oldid=121020.
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