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.