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The Early Anabaptists

Part II: Anabaptism in the Reformation

Available languages: Deutsch


Read the first part of this two-part series: The Early Anabaptists Part I

The original Anabaptist movement was closely connected with those earlier movements. We see this in the fact that, according to existing records, the brothers who later founded the Anabaptist movement took part in meetings of those circles both in Basel and in Zurich. Their opponents called such a circle of “spirituals” a “school of heretics.” 22

The basic ideas, found as early as 1515 in Basel and Zurich, are the same as those the Anabaptists represented later. Staupitz represented the same principles in Nuremberg in 1515. Basel was a center of the German book trade and printing. Nuremberg was a center for all the brotherhood movements as well as a cultural center of the time. Luther was led to the Gospel by Staupitz. Staupitz had contact with the old evangelical church through the old patrician families in Nuremberg, especially the Tucher family, but also Albrecht Dürer and Hans Sachs. Zwingli’s closest friends were Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz. Manz had been at home in the circles of the Old Brothers in Basel and Zurich.23

It is clear, then, that in the movement generally called Anabaptist we are not dealing with a human invention or the ideas of individual leaders. The school of heretics in Zurich and also in St. Gall was called “reading of the spirituals” because they read old heretical writings and especially the Bible.24

It can be proved that Zwingli was in contact with the school of heretics in Zurich. Zwingli’s original opposition to charging interest and to capitalism stems from this school. As late as 1523 Grebel wrote to his brother-in-law, Joachim Vadian, who was a member of the Great Council of St. Gall, that interest and tithes would soon be abolished in Zurich with Zwingli’s agreement. A month later, unfortunately, he had to write that Zwingli had defected from his own convictions and had agreed with the decision of the Council, which had come out in favor of tithes and of charging interest. This came about because Zwingli was convinced that the reformed church could not exist without the help of the state.25 He felt that compromise with the state was essential for the movement to overcome Catholicism; the movement needed the power of the state.

The attitude to the state is the decisive difference between Zwingli and those who until then had been his friends. But note well – the attitude to the state resulted from the attitude to the church! Zwingli was of the opinion that the state’s cultural task must be supported; in the hands of the state, the organized church must serve the state’s cultural task, and the state must be Christianized.26

The separation between Zwingli and Grebel, who had been particularly close friends, had to do with the problem of church and state. The two go together; not the church problem apart from the state problem, but the two seen together as one problem – that is what divided Zwingli and Grebel. This was quite clear to Zwingli, and he expressed it repeatedly. He conceded, for instance, that baptism in itself would not be important enough to arrest and execute people. He often declared infant baptism to be unjustified, but he felt he had to resist the Anabaptists because in baptism they had found the symbol of their dissenting attitude to church and state. Zwingli repeatedly referred to what Grebel and others had said to the effect that there was no better way of coming to grips with the state or of eluding it than through baptism. In this very concern for the true church as opposed to Roman Catholicism and in the concern about injustice committed by the state, the Anabaptists saw in baptism the token for separation of church and state.27

Waldensian tradition had always declared that apostles of Jesus Christ cannot fulfill any political function. The believing church of Jesus Christ cannot uphold any political order. The believing church follows Jesus Christ’s commands and thus needs no state laws. The state exists for the suppression of evil in an ungodly and satanic world. It is not for the believing disciples of Jesus Christ to suppress evil in the world around them; they are redeemed from evil.28

Zwingli saw the church as a state-constituted society based on law. The church of the brothers was a community of heart and life based on the Spirit. It could be a voluntary church only; it could be a church only through the inspiration of the Spirit.29 Thus as early as October 1523, two years before the abolition of the mass, Simon Stumpf told Zwingli he should on no account give the power of abolishing the mass to the Zurich City Council, that is, to the government. As a Christian, Zwingli had no authority to place such religious matters as the abolition of the mass in the hands of the government: “Master Ulrich, you do not have the right to place the decision on this matter in the hands of my lords, for the decision has already been made, the Spirit of God decides.”30

Thus, believers who were to advocate adult baptism in 1525 represented two years earlier that the state authorities cannot be allowed to have anything to do with the church, and vice versa. The tremendous success Luther and Zwingli achieved outwardly was due to their going along with the state, but their ideas of reformation had long been advocated very clearly, perhaps even centuries before, by the brotherhood movements, especially by Staupitz and the other brothers. By resorting to the power of the state, Luther and Zwingli betrayed the Gospel. They wanted to win the masses. They represented that the Gospel sets too high a standard for the common people to live up to!31

The differences, then, are obvious. For instance, Zwingli could never have agreed with the refusal to swear oaths. He himself said, “To the Eidgenossen [“comrades of the oath,” as Swiss citizens are called], the oath has since olden days been a solemn declaration of their allegiance to the state. It is therefore an unavoidable necessity.” To the brothers the name Schweizer Eidgenossen was repugnant because it showed the antichristian nature of the Swiss state. The same contrast existed in the question of bearing arms, the question of nonviolence. For Zwingli the bearing of arms was the glory of his republican consciousness, the citizen’s badge of honor, a sign of love for the fatherland. And so he fell in battle at Kappel in 1531.32

Zwingli wanted the state to control matters of faith. The apostolic brothers declared that the state had nothing to do with these matters. The state cannot exist without court law, sword, or prison. To the brothers, any mixing of the state’s affairs with the apostolic task was an insult to the apostles.

So the brothers, including those later called Anabaptists, demonstrated again and again that the state existed on the basis of Roman law, that even the republican states lived according to the imperial law of Rome, and that therefore the nature of the state was pagan and Roman, not even Old Testament or Mosaic; it had nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount.33 The disunity between Zwingli and his friends was bound to be extreme; the antithesis was bound to reach a climax. This went so far that Zwingli agreed to the execution of his former friend Felix Manz.

For a time Nuremberg and Basel became the two centers that replaced Strasbourg, the former center of the brotherhood movement. We will not say much about Nuremberg at this point, because that historical line leads particularly to Luther, Müntzer, Staupitz, and Hans Hut. Between Nuremberg and Basel there was very close contact, especially of the Nuremberg printers and artists and those of Basel. The outstanding printers in Basel were Amerbach, Froben, and Petri. Eminent artists, scholars, and able businessmen, such as Pamphilus Gengenbach, Andreas Cratander, and Valentin Curio, were active in the printshops. These names point to a strong tie with Zwingli and the brothers in Zurich, for Basel had a strong influence on Zurich, while on the other hand Basel also had strong connections with Lyons and other Waldensian centers, for example with Franz Lambert of Avignon. Hans Holbein, too, kept up a lively contact with these circles and supplied woodcuts for various books printed in Basel.”34

In no other century have scholars, artists, and craftsmen worked together in such a brotherly way as here at Basel. Hans Holbein and Hans Franck in particular were part of the Brotherhood of Heaven. This brotherhood accepted into membership especially craftsmen, printers, and scholars. At that time Erasmus of Rotterdam also lived in Basel and was in touch with this circle. Oecolampadius, the reformer of Basel, and Hans Denck had contact with the circle around Erasmus as early as 1515. To this circle also belonged a close friend of the young patrician Conrad Grebel: Heinrich Loriti from Ennenda in Glarus, who had connections with other people in Basel as well. Apart from him, those especially worthy of mention are Michael Bentinus (a friend of Hans Denck’s), Richard Crocus, Wolfgang Capito, and Johann Oecolampadius.35

This circle met in chapter brotherhoods concentrating on the New Testament, the study of Greek language and grammar, and such scholarly research as was important to them for a better understanding of the New Testament. In 1523 Hans Denck published a complete Greek edition of the grammar of Theodore Gaza of Thessalonica, which was printed by Valentin Curio. On the title page Denck wrote a verse in Greek, revealing his identity as the editor. From Basel, Erasmus wrote in 1516, “I am in a veritable seat of the Muses. There is no one here in Basel who does not know Latin and Greek, and most of them Hebrew too. One person is better versed in history, another in mathematics, the antiquities, or jurisprudence.” He was particularly impressed by the friendship and harmony among them.

Oecolampadius wrote to Pirkheimer at Nuremberg that one of the main principles of the community founded later had already been stated in this circle in 1515. Already in 1514, the holy communion of the Roman Catholic Church had been attacked at Basel. Thus Oecolampadius shows that the ideas of the Anabaptists were being voiced in Switzerland as early as 1515. Keller makes a point that it was not as though something new had been discovered; these were the old ideas of the brotherhood.36

We have no time to go into the old Bible translations; there are many incunabula of the Bible in German traceable to the period before the year 1500, and in the fifteenth century ninety-eight complete editions of the Bible in Latin were in circulation. In Germany eighteen complete Bible editions and many partial ones appeared in German between 1466 and 1518. In 1494 Sebastian Brant’s poem Narrenschiff (“Ship of Fools”) said quite rightly, “All lands are now full of Holy Scripture.” It is striking that in these old Bibles the likeness of the pope was painted among the devils of apocalyptic hell. This shows that these Bibles were not published by Catholics, but by brothers who later merged with the Anabaptists.37

Only at this point can we appreciate the significance of these words found in the Hutterian chronicles: “In the year 1525 the long-suppressed church (or church-community) began to raise her head again.” That is to say, this true church, this community, had previously been there, but now she raised her head as she had not done before. She raised her head in the sense that she no longer worked in obscurity, but in the broadest spheres of public life. The first great period of the Anabaptist movement gathered such large numbers of people within its ranks and had such an impetus of Spirit and power that it was equal in influence and importance to the Catholic and Protestant churches of that time.38

The true name of the supporters of this movement was not Anabaptists (meaning re-baptizers) but simply Christians and brothers, or “evangelicals,” as they had called themselves for many centuries. Consequently the writings of the brothers in Zurich since 1525 speak of the Zwinglians and Lutherans as “new evangelicals” and of themselves as “evangelicals,” as those who conform to the Gospels. Later, when they were being suppressed by the state, they called themselves “old evangelicals” in contrast to the Lutherans and the “new evangelicals,” because their name was derived exclusively from the Gospel and their deeds as well were in accordance with the Gospel.39 Love was the hallmark of their faith. It was their whole being. This is borne out by all their songs and confessions and by the records of their martyrdoms.

This movement, then, was a renewal of the old brotherhood movement, which took place in quiet between the years 1515 and 1523. In the time from 1523 to 1525 it became generally known in Zurich. Grebel’s religious convictions, which he later confirmed through baptism, can be documented already for the year 1523. It was the time when Conrad Grebel lived in Zurich and was still a close friend of Zwingli’s.40 The communities of the brothers experienced an inner rebirth and the powerful emergence of an existing movement.

This inner rebirth of the true church, of brotherhood and itinerant apostolic mission, had first been prepared in the minds of scholars in Basel and Zurich during the period from 1515 to 1523. Basel was the foremost meeting place of the men who were later to lead the movement. Hubmaier, Denck, and Grebel are the well-known names among those who were in Basel at that time. It is interesting that the Frenchman, Jean Canaye, wrote in 1524 about Basel that it had become a haven of refuge and salvation, adding, “Basel is truly a royal city, for the King of kings wants his Gospel and his eternal laws to flourish and to be read and proclaimed there!”41 Until 1525, the advocates of the evangelical movement in Basel championed the same point of view concerning the Gospels that Grebel later defended in Zurich, Hubmaier in Waldshut, Denck in Nuremberg, and Oecolampadius, the reformer, in Basel itself.

The struggle over baptism began in Basel in 1523, partly even earlier. In the summer of 1524 Erasmus was aware that there were many in Basel who opposed infant baptism. In 1522 Coccinius Doggius had published in Basel certain theses by Ulrich Hugwald which he said Hugwald had represented already in the winter of 1521-1522. Six of these favored baptism on confession of faith.42

In that same year the statutes of the “Heavenly Brotherhood,” as it was called, were newly ratified. These statutes already contain the basis for the teaching and constitution of the brothers later known as the Anabaptists. In 1524 there were some important chapter meetings held in Basel, as they are known to have been held by the brothers since much earlier times. There still exists a handwritten invitation by Hubmaier dated June 11, 1524, asking the brothers to come to his house with their Bibles for the next chapter meeting. He mentions an agenda of eighteen theses on religious questions and reminds them of the bond of brotherly love, the holiness of Christian peace, and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He adds that these chapters or brotherhood meetings are an old tradition passed on from apostolic times and that they used to be called “synods.”

The members who took part in these chapter meetings were well known in the Basel printing houses too. The books of the old “Friends of God” were published by these printers, and so were (in about 1523) the writings of John Wycliffe, Johann Wessel of Groningen, and especially Marsilius of Padua, all men later excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church as heretics. In 1522 the Fridschirmbuch (“Defender of Peace Book”) was printed by Valentin Curio, whose associate and proofreader at that time was Hans Denck.

FelixManz Oliver Wendell Schenk, Felix Manz
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Contributed By Eberhard Arnold Eberhard Arnold

Eberhard Arnold was a theologian, educator, publisher, and community leader.

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In 1521, Grebel appeared in these printing houses. He lived in Basel and also worked in the printing shops. He arrived in August, and his closest friends were members of the chapter brotherhood of Denck and Hubmaier. Grebel was still a student at that time. Dr. Ursinus called him “an excellent young man.” Everyone praised his talents and his outstanding erudition. Vadian, the physician who later condemned him, said he was a man of great gifts. At this time Grebel experienced his spiritual conversion and also married.

The circle in which Grebel moved included Wilhelm Reublin, who was later for a short time a Hutterian brother, and also a number of prominent theologians. Among these, Simon Stumpf, who later went to Zurich, interests us most in this context. It is very interesting that one of the later Anabaptist leaders from the Grisons had also come to Basel as early as 1520. This was the famous bookseller and printer Andreas Castelberger, known as “Andreas on Crutches.” 43 We meet him again in Zurich, St. Gall, and Chur as well as in Basel. He was a close friend of Blaurock’s and later became a servant of the Word – an apostolic messenger. (He was often called “Limping Andreas.”)

So there was a constant coming and going of these apostolic brothers in the printers’ houses of Basel. Yet it was not in Basel but in Zurich that the movement was to experience its tremendous public outburst. Basel’s ties with the old evangelical brothers were strong. Utmost secrecy prevailed concerning the brothers sent out as apostles, lest they should be betrayed to the authorities and executioners. However, we can read in a letter from Basel dated December 17, 1524, “They are called apostles, evangelists, and bishops,” the same expressions used in the circle of Grebel, Denck, and Hubmaier. This important message was written by one Petrus Tossanus. Keller concludes from it that these apostolic messengers took part in the meetings of the Heavenly Brotherhood.44

Baptism itself, however, was not introduced in Zurich until January 1525.45 In Grebel, Zwingli saw the leader of the movement. A son of Jakob Grebel, a respected Zurich patrician and councillor, he was born in Zurich around 1490, the eldest son of seven children. Most of his childhood was spent in Grüningen. His father saw to it that all seven children received a thorough scholarly education, an enormous achievement for a family with seven children, even for a patrician family. He sent Conrad to Vienna, Basel, Paris, or wherever he wished to go. Conrad first devoted himself to the study of languages and the humanities. He went to Vienna in 1515. In 1518 he went to Paris to study, not theology, but Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He returned to Zurich in 1520 and followed his bent for scholarship. In 1521-1522 we find him in Basel working with Erasmus as well as in the printery with Cratander. The years 1521 and 1522 were the time when he experienced his great inner change, influenced by Zwingli and by the circle at Basel.

Now Grebel threw himself with his whole energy and the whole strength of his spiritual interest into the study of the New Testament and the entire Bible. In August 1520 Zwingli still spoke of him as a particularly noble and erudite young man. Grebel was utterly determined to make the discipleship of Jesus – his demands, his life – the substance of his own life. Thus in 1522 a sharp tension arose between Zwingli and Grebel.46

In Zurich, Grebel had made friends with Klaus Hottinger and Heinrich Aberli. On July 7, 1522, these three were seriously warned to stop speaking against the monks and to refrain altogether from discussing church matters.47 In 1523 Grebel and his friends made a sharp attack on capital, interest, and church taxes and demanded their total abolition. In June 1523 Grebel wrote that Zwingli held the same convictions and would be joining him, and that interest would be abolished. A month later he had to write, “In the matter of tithes the people of the world [the Zurich City Council] act like tyrants.” 48 All of Zwingli’s friends reproached him, saying that so far he had preached against tithing but that since making friends with the Council he was retracting everything he had said against tithing.

At the same time, Grebel and his friends thrust energetically forward in their quest for the true church. The true church was to consist of a Christian people living innocent lives, who would cling to the Gospel and have nothing to do with interest or other forms of profiteering. So that same summer there was a clash with Zwingli. Stumpf and Grebel went to see him and told him, in effect, “You are too slow and too lukewarm in all things concerning the true church and the Kingdom of God. Don’t you realize which way the times are pointing? Don’t you see where the Spirit of God is blowing? Now is the time to act with the greatest and holiest sincerity!” 49 They begged Zwingli to realize the impossibility of leading an entire city to a general alliance of Christians. They told him to look at the apostolic church in Jerusalem and consider how it was founded; the true church in Zurich must come into being in just the same way. The true church could be formed only by those who were gripped by God’s Spirit, who were ruled and guided by God’s Spirit. Whoever followed Christ would be ready to live in such a church community.

Above all, Stumpf and Grebel reproached Zwingli for placing decisions concerning faith and the true church in the hands of the government. God’s Word is free! It is not for the government to rule over the Word of God or even to control the preaching of God’s Word by force. But Zwingli rejected these thoughts, saying he could not possibly found a church that would be independent of the state. So the brothers left Zwingli and founded chapter brotherhoods – small groups that met to read and study the Bible. Now the name of Felix Manz comes to our attention again, for these meetings took place at his mother’s house. On these occasions Felix Manz translated the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text; Grebel, the New Testament from the Greek. They prayed to Christ that they might show a strong faith. Soon they undertook a new attack on Zwingli, this time especially against the vestments and ritual of the mass.

In October 1523 the religious disputation concerning these points led to the final break between Zwingli and Grebel. Again, state and government were the issues. Grebel demanded a decision to abolish the mass. Zwingli declared that this could be done only by the power of the state. As we have seen, Stumpf declared that Zwingli had no right to turn these questions over to the Council, since the Spirit of God had already decided them. Grebel contested Zwingli’s opinion just as energetically and got into a violent argument with him. The Council was very much encouraged by Zwingli’s attitude and immediately decreed that only the Word of God should be preached; that there should be no more talk about such questions as interest, the mass, and so on. In the end everything stayed as it was. In November Zwingli made a sharp attack on the brothers, who had so recently been his friends, in his Kurze Christliche Anleitung (“Short Christian Introduction”).50 On November 4, 1523, a friend of Grebel’s was exiled from Zurich for destroying a crucifix. His name was Jakob Hochrütiner, and he returned to St. Gall.

For a time, Zwingli had been inclined to agree with the brothers on the question of baptism, as well as on that of interest. In 1524 the struggle about infant baptism began anew in Zurich. Grebel and his friends declared infant baptism to be an abomination and a work of the devil. On September 3, 1524, Grebel wrote that he had contacted Andreas Carlstadt and Thomas Müntzer; perhaps he would also make a sharp attack on Martin Luther, prompted by his trust in the Word of God; he was now reading the Gospel of Matthew with several listeners.51 On September 5, 1524, the brothers wrote an important letter to Müntzer, warning him and begging him to give up any form of an armed insurrection.52 That ended the contact with Müntzer. The relationship with the mystic Carlstadt was deeper and lasted longer. The brothers had been corresponding with him since July 1524. His treatise Ob man langsam verfahren soll in Sachen, die Gottes Willen sind (“Whether one should proceed slowly in things that are God’s will”) was greeted joyfully by Grebel and his friends; in October 1524 they distributed booklets and writings by Carlstadt.53 Later this connection also ceased.

In the meantime, the movement in Zurich was spreading fast. A growing number of parents refused to have their children baptized. The Council threatened recalcitrant parents with severe punishment. The parents based their stand on the Bible. Grebel reported this in a letter to his brother-in-law, Vadian, in St. Gall, dated December 15 1524, and added, “I don’t believe that persecution can be avoided. May God give us grace!” 54 At the end of 1524, Zwingli wrote his treatise, Gegen die, welche Ursache geben zu Aufruhr und wer die wahren Aufrührer sind (“Against those who cause rebellion, and who the true rebels are”).55 They were of course his former friends – Grebel, Manz, and the rest. Thereupon Grebel appealed to the Council in January 1525 and declared that he had never provoked or taken part in rebellion; anyone who had ever listened to him could witness to this. He asked the Council not to stain their hands with innocent blood. Thereupon the Council fixed January 17, 1525, as the date for a public debate on infant baptism. The result: Zwingli stuck to his opinion, and Grebel and his friends to theirs. The Council took Zwingli’s side just as Zwingli had come out on theirs. On January 18, 1525, the Council decreed infant baptism as a state law, and any person who violated the law was threatened with instant banishment.56

ConradGrebel Oliver Wendell Schenk, Conrad Grebel

In the meantime Jörg Blaurock had joined the circle around Grebel and Manz. Blaurock had been a monk at St. Lucius monastery near Chur. He was born in Bonaduz on the upper Rhine and had gone to school at Chur. By 1525 he was in Zurich. Apparently he had already been a champion of the principles of brotherhood, which explains the tremendous energy with which he fought for baptism of faith in Zurich. It is noteworthy that the bookdealer Andreas auf der Stülzen (“Andreas on Crutches”), as well as Johannes Brötli and Wolfgang Schorant (Uolimann), who later led the Anabaptist movement in St. Gall, also came from Chur. The latter had been a fellow monk of Blaurock’s. When Blaurock came to Zurich in 1525 he was already married, which would have been impossible if he had still been a monk. He was about thirty years old, a tall, powerful man, so that people would call out, “Here comes Strong Jörg!” He had fiery eyes and black hair with a bald spot. He used his family name, “Jörg of the House of Jacob.” 57 The Hutterian chronicles continue the story:

He met with them, that is, with Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz, to talk about questions of faith. They came to unity about these questions. In the fear of God they agreed that from God’s Word one must learn true faith, expressed in deeds of love, and on confession of this faith receive true Christian baptism as a covenant of a good conscience with God, serving him from then on with a holy Christian life and remaining steadfast to the end, even in distress.” 58

Blaurock, a onetime monk, was the commoner among the early leaders. He had none of the erudition of Grebel, Manz, or Hubmaier. A man of the common people, he spread the movement far and wide among the people. Again and again we read in accounts of his life: “Suddenly there was a crowd of people; they stood in the market places and in the squares and listened to Blaurock talking about a better life, conversion, brotherly justice, and God’s Kingdom.” With his captivating eloquence, his popular appeal, Blaurock was a man of dauntless courage. As a true apostle of Jesus Christ, he went from house to house and village to village to build up the community of love in every place. It is to be noted that he established baptism among the brothers shortly after the disputation of January 17 and the mandate of January 18, 1525, which decreed infant baptism and the penalty of banishment for violators. Blaurock asked Grebel to baptize him on his faith. This took place. Jörg Blaurock then baptized the other brothers, and they straightaway held the Lord’s Supper. This first meeting of the newly emerging movement was gripped by deep religious experience. The Hutterian chronicles describe it in these words:

It happened one day when they were meeting that a fear befell them and they felt an urge in their hearts. They bent their knees and prayed to the highest God in Heaven, asking him who knows the hearts of men to help them to do his divine will and to be merciful to them. For it was not flesh and blood or human wisdom that urged them; they knew well what they would have to suffer for this.

After the prayer Georg from the house of Jacob stood up and asked Conrad Grebel to baptize him for the sake of God with true Christian baptism upon his faith and recognition of the truth. With this request he knelt down, and Conrad baptized him, since at that time there was no appointed servant of the Word. Afterwards the others turned to Georg in the same way, asking him to baptize them, which he did. And so, in great fear of God, they all surrendered themselves to the name of the Lord, confirmed one another for the service of the Gospel, and began to teach the faith and to keep it. This was the beginning of separation from the world and its evil.59

Zwingli once said of Grebel, “He talks as though the Messiah had already come.” 60 In this statement two things are being said. One is that Jesus is the Messiah, that he will begin an earthly Kingdom of God in righteousness, peace, and brotherhood. The other is that this Messiah-King is present here and now in the true church. Zwingli could not tolerate this, for it means that the church lives messianically, and so he added, “I did not understand in what sense he meant this.”

Let us live in such a way that Christ is the Messiah-King, that he is here, that we live in a messianic time because the Messiah Christ has come!

See also: The Early Anabaptists Part I

Note: This article was taken from a lecture given by Eberhard Arnold on November 10, 1935 and was first printed in English as the booklet The Early Anabaptists (Plough 1970).

Images are artist's concepts painted by Oliver Wendell Schenk, 1972. Courtesy of Laurelville Mennonite Church Center.


22. Keller, 395-399, Kautsky, 137-139; J. Warns, Die Taufe (Bad Homburg, 1913), 94.
23. Keller, 323-327, 333, 339-340.
24. Leonhard von Muralt, Glaube und Lehre der Schweizerischen Wiedertäufer in der Reformationszeit (Zurich, 1938), 8-9; Emil Egli, Die St. Galler Täufer (Zurich, 1887), 12-13; Harold S. Bender, Conrad Grebel, c. 1498-1526: The Founder of the Swiss Brethren (Goshen, 1950), 90; George H. Williams, The Radical Reformation (Philadelphia, 1962), 128.
25. Keller, 400-403; Kautsky, 139-140; Ernest Müller, Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer (Frauenfeld, 1895), 8.
26. Muralt, 14-16; Müller, 8.
27. Kautsky, 154-156; Richard Nitsche, Geschichte der Wiedertäufer in der Schweiz zur Reformationszeit (Einsiedeln and New York, 1885), 40; J. Loserth, Georg Blaurock und die Anfänge des Anabaptismus in Graubündten und Tirol (Berlin, 1899), 16; Bender, 99-100, 157-159; Williams, 96-97.
28. Keller, 91-92.
29. Muralt, 44-47; Cornelius Bergmann, Die Täuferbewegung im Kanton Zurich bis 1660 (Leipzig, 1916), 18.
30. Keller, 405-406; Müller, 8-9; Bender, 98.
31. Müller, 6-7; Walther Köhler, Das Buch der Reformation Huldrych Zwinglis (Munich, 1931), 182-184.
32. Muralt, 45; Müller, 12.
33. Müller, 13.
34. Keller, 327-328.
35. Keller, 328-330; Kautsky, 130, 132.
36. Keller, 332-334.
37. Keller, 334-336, 394-395; Bergmann, 12-13; Ludwig von Gertell, Die Revolutionierung der Kirchen (Leipzig, 1921), 162-163; Robert Friedmann, “A Hutterite Book of Medieval Origin.” MQR, XXX (January 1956), 65-71.
38. Josef Beck, Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterriech-Ungarn (Vienna), 1883, 12, footnote 1; Keller, 364-366; Williams, 846.
39. Keller, 367.
40. Bender, 96.
41. Keller, 373.
42. For this and the following four paragraphs, see Keller, 374-383.
43. Kautsky, 131. 44. Keller, 387-388.
45. Bender, 137.
46. Williams, 94-95.
47. Bender, 84.
48. Grebel’s letters to Vadian, June 17 and July 15, 1523, in L. von Muralt and W. Schmid, Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer in der Schweiz, I: Zürich (Zurich, 1952), Nos. 1, 2, pp. 1-2; Bender, 86 and note 51 (p. 250).
49. Muralt, 12-15; Emil Egli, Die Züricher Wiedertäufer zur Reformationszeit (Zurich, 1878), 13-14; Samuel Geiser, Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden, 2nd ed. (1971), 132.
50. Zwingli, “Eine Christliche Anleitung an die Seelsorger,” November 17, 1523, in Ulrich Zwingli, eine Auswahl aus seinen Schriften, ed. by G. Finsler et al. (Zurich, 1918), 379-393; Köhler, 114; Nitsche, 14.
51. Muralt and Schmid, Quellen, No. 13. pp. 11-12.
52. Muralt and Schmid, Quellen, No. 14, pp. 13-21; Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers, ed. G. H. Williams and A. M. Mergal (Philadelphia, 1957), 71-85; Bender, 282-287. About Müntzer, see Bender, 116-120; Muralt, 19-20; Kautsky, 150-152; Williams, 97ff.
53. Bender 108-110, 123; Muralt, 18-19.
54. Muralt and Schmid, Quellen, No. 18, pp. 29-31; Bender, 131; Kautsky, 157.
55. Finsler, 441-466; Bender, 130.
56. Bender, 136; Williams, 120-121; Muralt and Schmid, Quellen, No. 25, p.35.
57. J. Loserth, 1-2.
58. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder, ed. R. Wolkan (Vienna, 1923), 34-35.
59. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder, 35; Bender, 137.
60. Bender, 157; Egli, Die Züricher Wiedertäufer, 31

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