Inspirationist Archive

Solte Ich etwas thun im Verborgenen? Nein! Denn so spricht der Herr: Ich bin ein Licht; und das von Mir kommt, das ist Licht und muss ans Licht gebracht werden. Darum ist es Mein Wille: daß meine geschehene Zeugnisse nicht sollen verborgen bleiben.
Johann Friedrich Rock, 29 March 1717, Birstein

Should My acts remain hidden? No! For thus says the Lord: I am a light, and that which comes from Me is light, and must be brought to light. Therefore it is My will, that My presented testimonies shall not remain hidden.
Johann Friedrich Rock, 29 March 1717, Birstein


The purpose of Inspirationist Archive is a) to make Inspirationist testimonies (Zeugnisse) and other writings more accessible to members of the Amana Church Society and others by means of an online archive, and b) to preserve rare manuscripts and texts through digitization.


The focus of Inspirationist Archive is primarily on the early, 18th-Century years of the Gemeinde der Wahren Inspiration (Community of True Inspiration) — from the first Werkzeuge (Inspired Instruments) and Gebets Versammlung (prayer gathering) in Fall 1714, through the death of the last remaining Werkzeug from this Awakening period, Johann Friedrich Rock, in 1749, and the subsequent work of P.G. Nagel and Jonas Wickmark to maintain the Gemeinde and preserve the testimony manuscripts.

The timeline below shows four major periods of Inspirationist history. (“Periods” are spans of time in which there either are Werkzeuge delivering Zeugnisse (inspired testimonies), or in which there are no Werkzeuge.)


The site is organized into six main sections.

  1. Zeugnisse/Testimonies is a database containing all known testimonies (Zeugnisse des Geistes des Herrn) through the Inspirationist Werkzeuge (Instruments) from September 1714 through 1749. It is based on a register created by P. G. Nagel in 1762. The database includes information on when and where the testimony was delivered, where it can be found in manuscript or printed versions, and whether it has been transcribed into modern German and/or translated into English.
  2. Werkzeuge lists the seventeen 18th-century Werkzeuge identified in Inspirationist writings, and includes a short discussion of transitional moments in their lives as Werkzeuge.
  3. By the Numbers provides a visual display of quantitative information regarding the who, what, where, and how many Zeugnisse and Werkzeuge. This can help us see patterns and trends regarding ebbs and flows in Inspirationist activity.
  4. Collection Catalogs contains the inventories of two primary collections of Inspirationist material located in Amana, Iowa: 1) the archive collection of the Amana Church Society, and 2) the library and archive collections of the Amana Heritage Society.
  5. Digitized Texts consists of viewable and downloadable files of digitized Inspirationist manuscripts and printed works. It also contains English translations of various 18th-century Inspirationist published works as well as English translations of 18th- and 19th-century Testimonies (Zeugnisse).
  6. Verschiedenes/Miscellaneous contains various databases, lists, and sources gleaned from the Inspirationist Archive collections. The databases are works in progress and are intended to provide a basis for further research. The information contained in them suggests the depth and breadth of possible research topics pertaining to the 18th century Inspirationist Gemeinden.


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