Unlike earlier radical movements, whose literature was seized and destroyed so that we have little left to know what they believed and how they lived, Anabaptists lived after the introduction of printing to Europe and so left plenty of written material. Through letters to individuals and churches, court statements, books and pamphlets on various subjects, Bible study aids, hymns and prayers, the Anabaptist tradition comes alive. We can listen in as they discuss theological and pastoral issues among themselves and debate contentious points with their Catholic and Protestant contemporaries. Some of this 16th-century material is, of course, rooted in a very different culture from ours, but the heart and passion of the movement pulses through these primary documents.
During the past 60 years much of this material has been translated into English and is available to consult in theological libraries or for sale through Metanoia Book Service – although some translation work has yet to be completed.
Our aim in this section is offer easy access to some key 16th-century documents. We hope gradually to enlarge our collection. You can also find links to other websites offering such resources on our Links page.
Answer of Some Who Are Called (Ana)Baptists Why They Do Not Attend The Churches: A Swiss Bretheren Tract. Translated by Shem Peachy and Paul Peachy
Fije and Eelken at Leeuwarden (1549)
Hans Hut: The Mysetery of Baptism
Hymns: An Anabaptist hymn of prayer for strength and protection, written by Leonhart Sommer, who died in prison, December 1573, because of his belief.
Jan Wouters van Kuyck, Anabaptist Artist
Marpeck: Letters to the Swiss Brethern
Menisten Concession by the Elector
Menno Simons Table Prayers
Meno Simons on the Ban
Philips Sending of Preachers
Schad: An Anabaptist Meeting
Scharnschlager, Church Order
Theological Refutation of Anabaptism
Worship Services in Hesse
Answer to Luther’s Malediction
Dirk Philips, The Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ
Justification for the Prosecution of Anabaptists 1536
Karlstadt Whether one should go slowly
Muntzer, Vindication and Refutation
Peter Walpot True Yieldedness and the Christian Community of Goods
Scharnschlager, Farewell to the Strasbourg Council
Whether a Christian can hold a goverment office
Two letters by Pilgram Marpeck