All of the first hymnbooks of the Brethren were in German. The first English language hymnbook appeared in 1791; the last German language hymnbook of the Brethren was published in 1903. During this time at least eight major German hymnbooks were published (some in many editions) and several smaller collections were published.
Hedda Dumbaugh studied the hymns that appeared in all of these German Brethren hymnbooks. She identified the authors, analyzed the message of theology of the hymns, and described the unique threads of Brethren faith and witness continued in this German hymnody.