Johann Gerhard was born in Quedlinburg, 17th of October, 1582. In his fifteenth year, during a dangerous illness which continued about a year, he came under the personal influence of John Arndt, and resolved to study for the ministry. In 1599, he entered the University of Wittenberg. During his studies, he relinquished his purpose and gave himself for two years to the study of medicine. But in 1603, he resumed his reading of theology at Jena. On the completion of his course, he began to give lectures at Jena in 1605. In 1606, the same year in which the Meditationes Sacre appeared, he accepted the duke of Coburg's invitation to a professorship in the Coburg Gymnasium and to the superintendency of Heldburg.
In 1616, he became professor at the University of Jena, which position he retained until his death.
Gerhard died on the 20th of August, 1637.