Protestant Reformation

Menno Simmons

Menno Simmons

Menno was born (1492—1559) He had married after leaving the Roman church and had three children.



Menno Simons was a sixteenth-century Anabaptist leader whose followers eventually became known as Mennonites.


He become a priest at the age of twenty—four, but accused himself, and the other clergy, of lax and self—indulgent living.


Menno was not satisfied with the inconsistent answers he found in Luther, Bucer, and Bullinger and determined to rely on Scripture alone for answers. From this time on, he became an evangelical, as opposed to a sacramental, preacher.


Quotes of Menno Simmons

“True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute. And it serves those who harm it. It binds up that which is wounded.”

Menno took his motto from I Corinthians 3:11 - For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (New International Version).


"The regenerated do not go to war, nor engage in strife. They are children of peace who have beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning forks, and know no war."


"We who were formerly no people at all, and who knew of no peace, are now called to be...a church...of peace. True Christians do not know vengeance. They are the children of peace. Their hearts overflow with peace. Their mouths speak peace, and they walk in the way of peace."


"The regenerated do not go to war, nor engage in strife. They are children of peace who have beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning forks, and know no war."




Menno's Writings

His first writing was The Blasphemy of Jan van Leyden. He wrote this pamphlet around 1535 but it was not printed until 1627. Menno opposed the use of the sword to establish the kingdom of God on earth.



Menno's magnum opus was Foundation of Christian Doctrine (Dat Fundament des Christelycken leers, 1539-40). The title of the book is taken from I Corinthians 3:11: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." The Foundation Book was almost immediately accepted by Menno's followers as a guide book for the life of faith.


Map of the Netherlands (area where Minno had greatest influence)

Reformation Timeline

Around 1526 or 1527, questions surrounding the doctrine of transubstantiation caused Menno Simons to begin a serious and in-depth search of the Holy Scriptures, which he confessed he had not previously studied, even being a priest. At this time he arrived at what some have termed an "evangelical humanist" position.