Anabaptist Primary Documents

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