||E. Gustav Johnson|
||Johnson, E. Gustav, 1893-1974|
Born: May 21, 1893, Väse Vämland, Sweden.
Died: November 13, 1974, Miami, Florida.
Johnson’s family emigrated to America when he was 10 years old, settling in Hartford, Connecticut. He learned the craft of a printer, but at age 30 took up studies at North Park, Chicago, Illinois, where he earned degrees at the academy, college, and seminary. He went on to graduate from the University of Chicago and Duke University. He started teaching English and Swedish at North Park in 1931, staying there three decades. He also found time to edit the Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly. His works include:
The Swedish Element in America, 1933 (co-editor)
Translation of C. J. Nyvall’s Travel Memories from America, 1876
Translation of Erik Wallgren’s A Swedish-American Preacher’s Story
E. Gustav Johnson (1925)
The first literal English translation of "O store Gud" was by E. Gustav Johnson (1893–1974), then a professor of North Park College, Illinois. His translation of verses 1, 2, and 7-9 was published in the United States in the Covenant Hymnal as "O Mighty God" in 1925.
The first three Covenant hymnals in English used Johnson's translation, with The Covenant Hymnal(1973) including all nine verses of Boberg’s original poem. There was a desire to replace Johnson's version with the more popular version of British missionary Stuart K. Hine's “How Great Thou Art”. Wiberg explains:
Given the popularity of Stuart Hine’s translation of "How Great Thou Art" in the late 60s and early 70s, the Hymnal Commission struggled with whether to go with the more popular version or retain E. Gust’s translation. However, economics settled the issue inasmuch as we were unable to pay the exorbitant price requested by the publishing house that owned the copyright despite the fact that the original belonged to the Covenant.