As the son of the Lutheran pastor and later professor P. Boendermaker, J.P. Boendermaker studied theology at the University of Amsterdam and from 1950-1951, with a scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität in Erlangen.
Boendermaker served as a Lutheran pastor in Eindhoven (1951-1963) and Naarden- Bussum (1964-1969). In Eindhoven he had started on his thesis, for which he stayed from 1963-1964 in Heidelberg at the Rupert-Karls Universität. He received his doctoral degree in 1965 for his thesis on ‘Luther’s comment on the letter to the Hebrews’, with dr. Kooiman as supervisor. In 1969 he was named the successor of his teacher Kooiman at the Evangelical-Lutheran Seminar, a position he held until his retirement in 1995. From 1990-1995 he also was an extraordinary professor of liturgy at VU University Amsterdam.
Translation for church and society
Just as it was for Kooiman the translation and accessibility of his research results for church and society were very important to Boendermaker. This showed through many lectures, publications and radio work. For many years Boendermaker was also very engagedin the dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church.
In his teachings Boendermaker placed an emphasis on the reading and studying of the texts of Luther, alternating with short lectures to make the context clear. Luther’s sermons on the Old Testament had Boendermaker’s special attention. This was innovative research as these sermons, as non-academic texts, were not yet regarded as a valuable source of Luther’s theology. This formula proved to be very attractive for German students in particular, because the texts of Luther himself and not the secundary literature were placed central.