The End is Coming
The Formation of the Anabaptists, and the Swiss Brethren-CM
The Swiss Brethren was formed in the early 1520’s when a group of Swiss Brethren decided that they disagreed with Zwingli’s idea of allowing the church and the state to be run together. They also disagreed with the idea of infants being baptized at birth. The main three great leaders who started this movement were: Georg Blaurock, Conrad Grebel, and Felix Manz. When Conrad Grebel had a child, he refused to have it baptized, even though the city of Zurich said that all newborns must be baptized. The city had an open debate about the subject, but decided that the crazy radicals, or as we prefer, our founding fathers of Anabaptism, were no longer allowed to meet together, and that all babies must be baptized within eight days, or the families would be banished from Zurich.
But of course our brave fathers refused to follow the binding rule that had been made, and they were kicked out of Zurich, where they started a new life, and began to preach to people about the new faith of Anabaptism. They were considered rebels by Zurich, and many were jailed for their teaching. But the good faith spread quickly out of Switzerland, and into southern Germany and then right along Down the Rhine River. Our great group was known as the Swiss Brethren because of the origin of our beliefs.
However it was not to long before different sects of Anabaptism emerged and each one had its own distinct difference from the original Swiss Brethren. The Hutterites emerged, then the Mennonites after them. These three sects are described in the Frankenthal Disputation which was made in 1571. The primary differences that set apart the Swiss brethren, the Mennonites and the Hutterites, were that the Hutterites lived by communal style, and represented the modern day Amish society. However the only large difference between the Swiss Brethren and the Mennonites was that they were in a different part of land, as the Brethren was from Switzerland and southern and central Germany, and the Mennonites lived in Holland and northern Germany.
Eventually in the early 1690’s, the Swiss Brethren became known as the High Germans, because of their geographical presence. Today, we can be happy that our Swiss fathers, created a faith that it still alive today just with different names, and in different parts of the world.
The Anabaptists compared and contrasted with other reformation religions-SC
As all of us know, Ulrich Zwingli founded the Anabaptist religion many
decades ago. During the reformation in Europe, Zwingli experienced the work of
Martin Luther, founder of Lutheranism, and was motivated to start his own
religion. Some of our most significant beliefs are that there should be complete
separation between the church and state, adult baptisms, and nobody should be
forced to accept the truth of the bible. There are two other well-known religions
that appeared during the Reformation and they are Calvinism and Lutheranism.
John Calvin founded the first of these two religions, Calvinism. The central
belief of the Calvinists was the idea that a beings fate, whether they went to
heaven or hell, was decided at birth and this was called Predestination. The
Anabaptists, however, didn’t share this belief. One major difference between the
two was that John Calvin didn’t fully agree or disagree with the separation of
church and state while, as we read earlier, the Anabaptists strongly oppose this
same idea. An example of this is in 1555, the government, following Calvinism,
gave the right for offenders and criminals to be excommunicated from the
church. Anabaptists believed that the government shouldn’t be able to punish
anyone by means of interfering with religious practices.
Martin Luther, founder of Lutheranism, was basically the one who started
the whole Protestantism religion. He opposed the Roman Catholic Church
because he believed that it was corrupt. Lutheranism’s main beliefs are that
indulgences shouldn’t cost money, to get to heaven all one has to do is keep
faith and the Pope should have less power. Luther was the motivation for Zwingli
to start his own Protestant religion. A common belief between these two religions
is that everyone is equal. This belief is slightly different to the Lutherans because
while the Anabaptists believe that everyone is equal, they think that everyone is
equal through the eyes of God. One main difference between Anabaptism and
Lutheranism is the fact that the Lutherans weren’t against using violence to
support their religion while the Anabaptists opposed using any and all violence.
The Fall of Munster- Scott Fiery
The story of Munster begins with the arrival of Melchior Hoffman. He was Munster’s new priest, and he was inspired by the ideas of many reformers of the day, but he eventually came to the logical conclusion that the Anabaptist way of interpreting the bible was the most precise way. in 1533 his followers began the practice of adult baptism in secrecy. In 1534, the Dutch “Dreamers”, an Anabaptist group, moved into Munster. They want to ban the practice of infant baptism and start the practice of adult baptism. The city council sympathizes with the “Dreamers”, as many of the councilmen are Anabaptists, and they are granted religious freedom. Soon after the city council becomes a largely Protestant council and Bernhard Knipperdolling, an Anabaptist, becomes mayor. a few days after all of the non-conformers (those that weren’t Anabaptists) were forced to leave the city. The property previously owned by the nonconformists was distributed among the Anabaptists. At this time, two important figures in the Munster rebellion arrived in Munster, Jan Mathijs and Jan Van Leyden. Jan Mathijs was a self-proclaimed prophet of the dutch Anabaptists, and his arrival and subsequent preaching in Munster started a fierce iconoclasm, or destruction of religious symbols. All of the old symbols of the Catholic church were destroyed in order to shake off the old traditions so that the “New Jerusalem” would be rid of it’s Catholic past. As the old establishments of the city of Munster topple to bring about a great rebirth, events or transpiring outside the city. The previous bishop of Munster, known as Bishop Franz of Waldeck, has gathered an army outside of Munster’s walls. The bishop was a Catholic, and was therefore expelled after the city was taken over. Obviously being kicked out of “his” city angered him, so he gathered an army made up of Catholics, but also Lutherans and other protestant groups to retake the city. However the city was well-guarded and it’s walls were strong, so it would be hard to invade the city. As the army prepared to begin attacking the city, Jan Mathijs got the idea of meeting the attacking army outside of the city without any weapons to promise them God’s forgiveness if they called off the attack. He was killed in the attempt. The death of Jan Mathijs created a power hole on the city, one which Jan Van Leyden was all too happy to fill. At first he was only the head prophet of the cities ruling council, but after successfully dispelling multiple attacks by the bishop’s troops he went and declared himself king. At this point he introduced polygamy and took upon 17 wives. He introduced community property and other ideas that today are commonly associated with communism. Finally, he declared that he would rule the world. The situation inside the city now took a dive, as famine spread as a result of the constant siege. Jan Van Leyden got crazier and crazier by the day, and the wealth of the “royal” family was totally out of balance with the poverty that gripped the city. Eventually, two citizens were questioning what they had gotten themselves into and betrayed to the attacking army a location where the wall was easy to climb. On June 25, 1535, the bishop’s army captured the city and many Anabaptists were killed. The editors of this paper managed to escape the city as the attack was taking place, but we can not say the same for our friends. The manner in which the Catholics and other protestant groups took over the city was atrocious, and the killing of fellow Christians is unforgivable. No one knows what the punishment will be for the great leaders of the rebellion, but its is likely that they will be executed and their bodies hung for all to see in cages that will be seen by many generations to come. The events that have occurred in Munster will live in infamy for days to come.
3. City that was taken over by the Anabaptists in 1534
4. The primary founder of Anabaptism
6. The Starting Sect of Anabaptism
7. The Sect of Anabaptism that lived in Northern Germany and Holland
8. Instead of Infant Baptism, the Anabaptists believed in____________
1. The city where Anabaptism was started
2. The Sect of Anabaptism that practices communal living
5. Person responsible for bringing back Dutch Anabaptism
Johnson, Phil. “The hall of Church History: The Anabaptists.” 9/27/12. http://
spurgeon.org/~phil/anabapt.htmGates, Larry Jr. “Zwingli, Anabaptism and Calvinism.” 9/28/12. http://
Colby Mathew's sources-
Hege, Christian. "Frankenthal Disputation (1571)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 30 September
Scott Fiery's sources-
Internet Portal Westfalische Geschichte. “Muenster.” 10/1/12. http://www.lwl.org/westfaelische-
Wikimedia foundation Inc. “Munster Rebellion.” 9/30/12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M %C3%
BCnster_Rebellion.The European Heritage Project. “The Chronicle of the Rebellion.” 9/30/12. http://www.european
-heritage.org/germany/m%C3%BCnster/rebellion/chronicle-rebellion.The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. “Munster Anabaptists.” 10/1/12. http://