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Introductory
Cover Letter
The Seven Articles:
 I. Baptism
 II. The Ban
 III. Breaking of Bread
 IV. Separation
 V. Shepherds
 VI. The Sword
 VII. The Oath

Congregational Order

The Cover Letter
(Benediction)
Footnotes
John Howard Yoder's Introduction
Background, and an Interpretation, by Philip Bender
Point of View
by Jan Gleysteen

 
 

Home Historical Committee


The Schleitheim Brotherly Union
(
Brüderlich Vereinigung etzlicher Kinder Gottes seiben Artikel betreffend . . . )

Translated and edited by John Howard Yoder, The Legacy of Michael Sattler, Herald Press, 1973




Footnotes


1. J. F. Gerhard Goeters, (Ludwig Hatzer, Spiritualist und Antitrinitater, 1957, p. 94), supports the hypothesis that when at Strasbourg Sattler still had some hope of working in unity with Bucer and Capito, i.e., of winning them and their Reformation as a whole for movement in the direction of Anabaptism. Goeters underlines that the Strasbourg twenty articles differ from the Schleitheim Seven Articles chiefly in that Strasbourg recognizes no necessity for a pastoral office, while Schleitheim does. This suggests that the final abandonment of the vision of successful conversation with the Reformers did not come until early 1527.

2. The earliest explicit testimony to this tradition is in a tract of Leopold Scharnschlager which quotes article VI regarding government (ARG, 1956, p. 212). See also H. Strieker, MGB, 21, 1964, p. 15.

3. Ian Kiwiet, Pilgram Marpeck, Kassel, 1957, pp. 43ff.; cf. also George Huntston Williams, The Radical Reformation, Philadelphia, 1962, p.182; cf. below p. 48, note 33.

4. See below pp. 126 ff.

5. "They included the sum of what they hold which is contrary both to us and to the papists, in Seven Articles. . ." Calvin, Brieve Instruction, op. cit., p. 44.

Thus it was most appropriate that Calvin should take this text as the outline of his own refutation. Zwingli likewise considered the Seven Articles a most appropriate outline for a refutation; immediately upon receiving the first manuscript from Berchtold Haller of Bern he responded at length with a letter, answering point by point, on April 28, 1527 (Z, vol. IX, letter No. 610, p. 108); again the use of the Seven Articles in Zwingli's Elenchus is a testimony to their representative character. It cannot be the concern of this volume to review at length these refutations by the Reformers or the substantial dillerences between them; we shall refer to the Zwingli and Calvin texts only as they assist us in textual criticism.

6. Beatrice Jenny, Das Schleitheimer Tauferbekenntnis, Thayngen, 1951, p. 39.

7. See below especially pp. 60, 127 ff.

8. This thrust of the position against which the Brotherly Union is directed is evident especially in the introductory paragraphs of Michael Sattler's cover letter. Reference to a similar concern can be seen as well in the later tracts (below pp. 108 ff). 149,170,172).

9. Zwingli points to the same danger in his tract of December 1524, "Wer Ursache gibt zu Aufruhr" (Z, Ill, pp. 374 ff). A major source of social unrest, Zwingli says, is those persons who misinterpret gospel preaching as a loosening of sound moral requirements. This topic was later to become one of the standing disagreements between the Anabaptists and the official Protestantism (cf. Harold Bender, "Walking in the Resurrection," MQR, XXXV, April 1961, pp. 96 If.). The popularity of contextual ethics in American Protestantism in the late 1960s is further testimony that such a position is quite thinkable in Protestant circles.

10. Cf. below note 39 a further reference to this theme.

11. Cf. note 5 above.

12. Note above survey of printing, 13 f.

13. Z, VI, p. 106. His major treatise, Contra Catabaptistarum Strophas Elenchus, "Refutation of the Catabaptists' Knaveries" (1527) was Zwingli's final settlement with the Anabaptist issue, his only Latin writing on the subject. In addition to the Seven Articles it also refutes a "confutation booklet," written perhaps by Conrad Grebel and directed specifically against Zwingli himself (Yoder, Gesprache, pp. 91 If.). The Elenchus is available in English translation; see below note 28.


The term catabaptist used here predominantly by Zwingli was borrowed from Oekolampad, but did not establish itself, being replaced progressively by anabaptist. The German prefix wider can mean either "counter-" or "re-"; thus the appellation widertauff can bear three or four possible meanings: (a) anti-baptism in the sense of being practiced in opposition to the traditional infant baptism; (b) anti-baptism in the sense of being a perversion or a parody of the true sacrament; (c) re-baptism; (d) it might even mean "immersers" (kata- also means "down" or under.") This would seem to have been Oekolampad's understanding. Zwingli's usage of kata- is intended to preserve the force of the German polyvalence of meaning, with the accent on the sense of perversion (b above). Cf. Fritz Blanke's extensive explanatory note, Z, VI, p. 21, note I.

14. CR, XXXV, p. 54.

15. James M. Stayer, whose work on this theme, "The Doctrine of the Sword in the First Decade of Anabaptism," Cornell PhD dissertation 1964, gives the most attention to chronological development, divides the entire treatment into the periods "before and after the impact of Schleitheim."

Clarence Bauman, Gewaltlosigkeit 1m Tiiufertum, Leiden, 1968, calls Schleitheim "the most important document for the time of the founding of Anabaptism" (p. 45).

Hans J. Hillerbrand, Die Politische Ethik des Oberdeutschen Tiiufertums, Leiden/Koln 1962, and "The Anabaptist View of the State" (MQR, XXXIL April IQ58, pp. 83 If.), disregards the aspect of chronological development and therefore gives more attention to later and longer texts.

16. Blaupot ten Cate, Geschiedenis der Doopsgezlnden in Groningen, emz. 1842, L pp. 258 If., and Hulshof, Geschiedenls van de Doopsgezinden te Straatsburg van 1525 tot 1557, Amsterdam, 1905, p. 229. This is a part of a letter reporting on the major Anabaptist conference in Strasbourg in 1557, one of the major landmarks in relation between South German Anabaptists and the Mennonites of the Netherlands. The letter was translated into Dutch before 1587, and has been preserved only in that version.

17. Cf. above note 2.

18. Z, VI, pp. 107-155. Translation see below, note 28.

19. UP SO.

20. The print identified above 13 as A.

21. The print identified above 13 as B.

22. Rudolf Wolkan, Geschichtsbuch der Hutterischen Bruder, Vienna, 1918, p. 42.

23. Josef Beck, Die Geschichtsbucher der Wiedertiiufer. . . ,Vienna, 1883, pp. 41 ff.

24. Lydia Muller, Glaubenszeugntsse Oberdeutscher Taufsgesinnten, Leipzig, 1938, p.37.

25. First printed in MQR, XIX, No.4, October 1945, pp. 247 ff., and then in Wenger's Doctrines of the Mennonites, Scottdale, 1952; reproduced from Wenger by Harry Emerson Fosdick: Great Voices of the Reformation, New York, 1952; John H. Leith, Creeds of the Churches, Garden City, 1963; and Robert L. Ferm, Readings in the History of Christian Thought, New York, 1964, pp. 528 ff.

26. "In this so brief, so clear, so easily retained way they rendered a service to the Anabaptists of their day and later, for which they cannot be grateful enough. Certainly they did what they did in all simplicity of heart, and with no ideas of world conquest. They were driven by no other goal than to be responsible for their church, according to God's will for her. They had really nothing at all to do with high ideals; they rather set rules, prescriptions and proscriptions, by means of which the church in I the present can guide her doing and her leaving undone. Thereby they performed a good work in the interest of a future of which they themselves could hardly think. . They thus brought firmness and definiteness into the spiritual movement in which they had been placed. They saved it from the danger of becoming a chaos of unstable, confused, and confusing ideas, of floating groups, fostered by the most varied ten- dencies, mostly contradictory, even though [they were] mostly (not always) well- meaning people. Through their formulation they drew the boundaries of their movement and made it possible that an ordered fellowship, an organization, modest as it , was, came into being. By creating such solid forms for the unique Christianity of ;it; their brotherhood, Sattler and his fellow elders preserved it from diffusion, helped it through the somber days of bloody persecution, and assured it a future. Not a single trait of the 'Brotherly Union' do we fail to find again in the later Mennonite brother- hood. Hardly a phrase does not recur." Cramer, BRN, V. 1909, p. 593. Cramer's first statement of the significance of Schleitheim is found in his article Mennoniten in RPTK Vol. XII, p. 600.


Our own estimation of the significance of the meeting was first stated independently of Cramer in Gesprache, pp. 98 f.: "That it could happen, that in the course of a meeting men could change their opinions and come to unity, is not only a striking rarity in the history of the Reformation; it is also the most important event in the whole history of Anabaptism. Had it not happened, the Anabaptism of Grebel, Blaurock, ,{Mantz, and Sattler would have died out together with its founders. But now it has taken on a viable form and was in a position to resist the licentiousness of the fanatics, the coercion of Christian governments and the persuasiveness of the preachers."


A very similar judgment is made by W. Kohler: "Not the least important significance of the Schleitheim articles was the creation of an order for the small communities, which in their combat against the established church could so easily disintegrate into anarchy and fanaticism." Flugschrlften, p. 285. At the occasion of the 1957 unveiling of a memorial to Sattler in the village church at Rottenburg, N. van der Zijpp, then dean of European Mennonite historians, spoke: "Sattler, like Menno Simons, was no founder but rather an organizer of the Anabaptists. For both of them it was necessary to lead a spiritual movement, lively, fervent, prophetic, effervescent, into the path of an organized church. For a spiritual movement like that in Zürich in the years 1525- 1526 cannot always remain 'movement,' unless it is ready to abandon itself to the danger of ending in the great sea of fanaticism. Sattler knew quite clearly: the movement had to have form, and he struggled for a form which would at the same time set boundaries and yet preserve freedom. He chose as his slogan' the fence of Holy Scripture,' just as Menno Simons later emphasized the value of the letter of Holy Scripture. That, perhaps, contains also a danger. But where is the gospel of Jesus Christ perfectly safe among us earthly men?


"The deed of Sattler, like the later one of Menno Simons, set the Anabaptist movement on a solid rock, yea, it saved the church." (Das Evangelium von Jesus Christus in der Welt:Vortrage und Verhandlungen der Sechsten Mennonitischen Weltkonferenz, Karlsruhe, 1958, p. 340).

27. Friedmann, op clt., "The Schleitheim Confession. . ." p. 82 If. Wenger, op clt., "The Schleitheim Confession of Faith" p, 243 ff. Fritz Blanke, "Beobachtungen zorn Altesten Tiiuferbekenntnis," ARG, XXXVII, 1940, pp, 242 If. ME, Vol. I, p. 447.
Heinrich Bohmer, Urkunden zur Geschichte des Bauemkrieges und der Wiedertaufer, De Gruyter, Berlin, 1933, pp, 25 If.

28. Samuel Macauley Jackson, who translated Zwingli's Elenchus in his Selected Works of Huldreich Zwingli (Philadelphia and New York, 1001) pp. 123-258, thereby also translated the Seven Articles into English at secondhand. Jackson was ignorant of the existence of the German original and of the document's historical importance. He referred to the text only as "the confession of the Bernese Baptists." This was probably the first English translation of the text, since Calvin's "A Short Instruction. . ," published in London in 1549, included only snatches from the Schleitheim text. W, J. McGlothlin, who was more aware than Jackson of the significance of the German original, but was still unaware of the existence of several printings in the six- teenth century,reproduced the "Bernese Baptist" translation as Jackson had lifted it from the Elenchus, in his Baptist Confessions of Faith, Philadelphia, 1911, pp. 3 If.,from where it was taken by Wm. Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions, 1959, 22 ff. The translation by Wenger (see above note 25), which did the most to make American scholars aware of the significance of Schleitheim, is the only modern one before the present re-edition.

29. Pierre Widmer and John Yoder, "Princlpes et Doctrines Mennonites," Brussels and Montbeliard, 1955, pp. 49-55.

30. Heinold Fast, Der linke Flugel der Reformation; Klassiker des Protestantismus, Band IV; Sammlung Dietrich, Bremen, 1962, pp. 60 If. Fast has also prepared the definitive re-edition of the original text, soon to appear in Band II (Ost-Schweiz) of Quellen zur Geschichte der Taufer in der Schweiz, Zwingli-Verlag, Zürich, editors L.von Muralt and H. Fast.

31. A most significant concept in the thought of Michael Sattler is that of Vereinigung, which, according to the context, must be translated in many different ways, In the title we render it "Union"; here in the salutation it can most naturally be translated "reconciliation" or "atonement"; later in the text, in the passive participle form, it will mean "to be brought to unity," Thus the same word can be used for the reconciling work of Jesus Christ, for the procedure whereby brothers come to a common mind, for the state of agreement in which they find themselves, and for the document which states the agreement to which they have come, Fast suggest that here, in connection with "the blood of Christ," the meaning might be "fellowship"; cf: 1 Cor,10:16.

32. Or, literally, "ordered"; the rendering of J. C, Wenger, "scattered everywhere as it has been ordained of God our Father," is a good paraphrase if "ordained" may be understood without sacramental or predestinarian connotations.

33. This term "aliens" or "foreigners" was interpreted by Cramer BRN, 605, note 1, in a geographic or political sense, as referring to non-Swiss. Kiwiet, op. clt., p. 44,takes for granted the same meaning and says more sharply that the Swiss Anabaptists broke communion with the German ones. This understanding is impossible for several reasons:

There was no such strong sense of national identity, divided on clear geographic lines, in the 1520s; Sattler and Reublin, leaders in the meeting, were not Swiss;


The libertines whom Schleitheim had in mind, although Denck (or Bucer) might have been included, were (if Anabaptist) surely mostly Swiss; namely, the enthusiasts of St. Gall (H.Fast "Die Sonderstellung der Taufer in St. Gallen and Appenzell, "Zwlngllana XI, 1960, pp. 223ff.), and Ludwig Hatzer.


This term has a quite different reference; it is an allusion to Eph. 2:12 and 19, testifying to the reconciling effect of the gospel on men who previously had been alienated by unbelief.

34. "Direct" and "teach" have as their object "the same," i.e., the "work of God partially begun in us." Wenger's paraphrase, "direct the same and teach [us)" is smoother but weakens the striking image of a "work of God" within man which can be "partially begun," "cast down," "directed," and "taught." There is, however, ground for Bohmer's conjecture that the original may have read keren (guide) rather than leren (teach).

35. The "Langer Randen" and the "Hoher Randell' are hills overlooking Schleitheim and not, as a modem reader might think, a reference to the fact that Schleitheim is near the (contemporary, political) border.


The original reads "Schlaten am Randen." A good half-dozen villages in southern Germany bear the names Schlat, Schlatt, or Schlatten. One, near Engen in Baden, also is identified as "am Randen," and until recently was held by some to have been the place of origin of the Seven Articles. The evidence, now generally accepted, for Schleitheim near Schaffhausen, is easily surveyed:


J. J. Riiger, a Schaffhausen chronicler, writing around 1594, identifies Schleitheim with the Seven Articles; In the local dialect, the equivalent of ei in modem German is long a as in Schlaten, whereas the other villages Schlatten or Schlat have a short a; Being subject to overlapping jurisdictions and therefore hard to police, the Klettgau, and Schleitheim on its edge, were relatively safe and accessible for Anabaptists and thus a most fitting meeting place linking the major centers in southwest Germany and northeast Switzerland. This was the first area where Sattler's colleague W. Reublin had been active after his expulsion from Zürich early in 1525. This juridical situation continued through the century; Anabaptism was still alive in the Kiihtal above Schleitheim as late as Riiger's writing. Prof. F. Blanke reviews the question of place in Z, VI, pp. 104 f.; cf. also Werner Pletscher, "Wo Entstand das Bekenntnis von 1527?" MGB, V, 1940, pp. 20 f.

36. According to Bohmer, one line of print was misplaced in imprint A. The text seems to say literally, "we were assembled in points and articles." The verb here is again "verelnlgt." Wenger's translation, "we are of one mind to abide in the Lord" is the best paraphrase but sacrifices the passive verbal construction which is important to the writer. The "points and articles" may well have stood elsewhere in the sentence in the original text: "we have been united in points and articles" or "to stand fast in the Lord in these points and articles."

37. Beginning with the parenthesis "(the praise and glory be to God alone)," the closing phrases of this paragraph refer not simply to a common determination to be faithful to the Lord, but much more specifically to the actual Schleitheim experience and the sense of unity (Verelnlgung) which the members had come to in the course of the meeting. "Without contradiction of all the brothers" is the formal description and "completely at peace" is the subjective definition of this sense of Holy Spirit guidance. Zwingli considered the very report that "we have come together" to be the proof of the culpable, sectarian, conspiratorial character of Anabaptism (Elenchus, Z, VI, p. 56).

38. 1 Cor. 14:33.

39. Ds. H. W. Meihuizen has recently asked with great thoroughness "Who were the 'False Brethren' mentioned in the Schleitheim Articles?" (op. clt., pp. 200 ff.). Meihui- zen's method is to survey the entire Reformation scene, Anabaptists of all shadings as well as Reformers, especially those at Strasbourg whom Sattler had recently left. Comparing the known
theological positions of these men with the Schleitheim state- ments, Meihuizen concludes that Schleitheim must have been aimed against Denck, Hubmaier, Hut, Hiitzer, Bucer, and Capito. One can agree with this description of the positions in question, without being convinced that the meeting was this clearly directed against a few particular men who were
specifically not invited. If anyone person was meant, it would most likely be Hiitzer, whom Sattler had just been with in Strasbourg, and who was the only one of these who could be accused of libertinistic leanings. For present purposes, i.e., in order to understand the meaning of this document, it suffices to be clear from the internal evidence (in agreement with Mei-huizen):


That some persons previously attached to some of the positions condemned were present at Schleitheim in order to be participants in the event of "being brought to unity"; the "false brothers" referred to by the cover letter were therefore not only state-church Reformers but at least some of them were within Anabaptism;


That the greatest emphasis in the Seven Articles themselves falls on those points of ultimate theological separateness from the Reformed: baptism, relation between ban and the supper, sword, oath. Here the list is so parallel to the document from Strasbourg that one surmises that Sattler may have been developing his outline already when he was at Strasbourg;
That in the juxtaposition of the cover letter and the Seven Articles, Sattler affirms an inner linkage between the positions of the marginal Anabaptists and Spiritualists who differed from the Zürich-Schleitheim stream, and those of the evangelical Reformers.

40. H. W. Meihuizen reads the phrase "to their own condemnation" as meaning that the Schleitheim assembly took action to excommunicate the libertines whom the text here refers to. "The Concept of Restitution in the Anabaptism of Northwestern Europe," MQR, Vol. XLIV, April 1970, p. 149. This is not possible. The verb ergeben refers to the libertines' abandoning themselves to lasciviousness, not to the Anabaptists' action. In order to enable this interpretation Meihuizen must omit the parentheses which are in the original.

41. "Glieder" (members) has in German only the meaning related to the image of the body; the overtone of "membership" in a group, which makes the phrase "members of God" unusual in modern English, is not present in the original.

42. Gal. 5:24.

43. The use of the first person singular here is the demonstration that the introductory letter was written, probably after the meeting, by an individual.

44. This is the conclusion of the introductory letter and of the epistolary style. The "cover letter" is not in the Bern manuscript, and the Seven Articles probably circulated most often without it.

45. With one exception, every article begins with the same use of the word Vereinigt as a passive participle, which we have rendered thus literally as a reminder of the meaning of Vereinigung for Sattler.

46. Here the printed version identifies the following Scripture texts (giving chapter number only): Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:6; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:36; Acts 16:31-33; 19:4.

47. Nachwandeln, to walk after, is the nearest approximation in the Schleitheim text to the concept of discipleship (Nachfolge) which was later to become especially current among Anabaptists.

48. Two interpretations of this phrase are possible. "To be inadvertently overtaken" might be a description of falling into sin, parallel to the earlier phrase "somehow slip and fall." This would mean that sin is for the Christian disciple partly a matter of ignorance or inattention. Cramer, BRN, p. 607, note 2, and Jenny, p. 55, seek to explain that all sin is somehow inadvertent; i.e., that at the time of a sinful decision one is deceived and not fully aware of its gravity. Calvin (with some grounds in the phrasing of the French translation) misunderstood this text to mean that the Anabaptists would distinguish between forgivable and unforgivable sins, with only the inadvertent ones being within the scope of the congregation's reconciling concern. Or the reference may be to the way the guilty person was discovered.

49. The printed version inserts "or banned."

5O. This reference to Mt. 18 is the only Scripture reference in the earliest hand- written text. "Rule of Christ" or "Command of Christ" is a standard designation for this text, Cf, J. Yoder: "Binding and Loosing," Concern 14, Scottdale, 1967, esp. pp. 15 If, Other Scripture allusions identified in the footnotes are not labeled in the text, This abundant citation of scriptural language without being concerend to indicate the source of quotation is an indication of the fluency with which Anabaptists thought in biblical vocabulary; it is probably also an indication that they thought of those texts as expressing a meaningful truth rather than as "proof texts."

51. At this point Walter Kohler, the editor of the printed version, suggests the text Mt. 5:23. If "the ordering of the spirit" relates specifically to "before the break- ing of bread" and means to point to a Scripture text, this could be a likely one; or 1 Cor. 11 could also possibly be alluded to; but "ordering of the spirit" is not the usual way in which the Anabaptists refer to a Bible quotation, The phrase can also mean a call for a personal and flexible attitude, guided by the Holy Spirit, in the application of the concern for reconciliation.

52. This is the one point at which the word Vereinigt is not used at the beginning of an article, presumably because it occurs later in the same sentence.

53. Vereinigt: here the word has none of the meanings detailed above, but points to still another; to the work of God in constituting the unity of the Christian Church.

54. 1 Cor. 10:21, Some texts have here "Saint Paul."

55. Most ecumenical debate about the validity of sacraments focuses upon either the sacramental status of the officiant or the doctrinal understanding of the meaning of the emblems, It should be pointed out that the Anabaptist understanding of close clmmunion refers not to the sacrament but to the participants, It is invalidated not by an unauthorized officiant or an insufficient concept of sacrament, but by the absence of real community among those present.

56. Note the shift from "world" to "they." "The world" is not discussed in- dependently of the people constituting the unregenerate order.

57. 2 Cor.6:17.

58. Rev, 18:4 If. Some texts read "which the Lord intends to bring upon them."

59. Vereinigt.

60. The printed version adds "and flee."

61. The prefix wider can mean either "counter" or "re-" (modern wieder-), Both meanings of course apply to the Reformation churches of Strasbourg and the Swiss cities, which are meant here; they are both anti-popish (having broken with the Roman communion) and re-popish (having retained or reinstated certain characteristics of Catholicism), Earlier translations have chosen the rendering "papist and anti-papist," but the other reading carries a greater pointedness of meaning, and is supported by Zwingli's translation. Thus the claim that the new Protestant churches are at some points copies of what was wrong with Catholicism is already taken for granted in early 1527.

62. Gazendienst. The Bern manuscript and the early prints read Gottesdienst ("worship"); but Zwingli, who had other manuscripts as well, translated "idolatry." Since the next two words both deal with church attendance, "idolatry" is less redundant. "Idolatry" was a current designation in the whole Zwinglian movement for the place of statues and pictures in Catholic worship.

63. Ktlchgang, literally meaning church attendance, has no congregational dimension to it but refers to the conformity to established patterns of those who, while perhaps sympathizing with the Anabaptists, still avoided any public reproach by regularly being seen at the state church functions.


64. The Bern manuscript reads Burgschaft, i.e., a guarantee or security supporting a promise, and belongs in the economic and social realm. If "unbelief" here refers to a lack of sincerity, then the "guarantees and commitments of 'unbelief' would mean such matters as signing notes and mortgages and affidavits in less than good faith. Martin Luther held strongly that such guarantees, even in good faith, were not only unwise but immoral since the guarantor puts himself in the place of God. ("On Trading and Usury, 1524," in Works of Martin Luther, Muhlenburg, Philadelphia, 1001, Vol. IV, pp. 9 If.). His argument is thus very parallel to that of the Anabaptists on the oath. A more likely view is that "unbelief' is synonymous with "worldly," and the reference is rather to guilds and social clubs. Zwingli translates with foedera, "covenants." Bullinger bears out this interpretation by reprimanding the Anabaptists at length (Von dem unverschampten Frafel. . . , pp. cxxi to cxxviii) for their opposition to associations and societies (pundtnussen und gselschafften), concord and friendship(vertrag unnd fruntschafft) with unbelievers, and seemly temporal joy (zymliche zytliche froud). The later printed text changed Burgschaft to Burgerschaft (citizenship), which is less in place in Art. IV. In April 1527 Zwingli was unsure what it meant but leaned toward "serving as a guarantor" (Z, IX, p. 112); by August when he wrote the Elenchus he interpreted it as "citizenship," perhaps as referring to the Anabaptists' refusal to perform the citizen's oath. But if Burgerschaft should mean citizenship, the "commitments of unbelief' still must mean some kind of involvement, legal, economic, or social, with unbelievers (Z, VI, p. 121). Lk. 16:15's reference to "abominations" may be alluded to.

65. The printed version adds" doubtless."

66. The printed version reads "unchristian and."

67. Mt. 5:39.

68. 1 Tim. 3:7. Interpreters are not clear where the focus of Art. V lies. Its first thrust is a call for the shepherd to be a morally worthy person, i.e., a critique of the practice of his being appointed on the grounds of his education or social connections without regard to moral stature. Zwingli's translation moves the accent by translating "the shepherd should be one from the congregation," i.e., not someone from elsewhere. As Zwingli knew, the Anabaptists also rejected the naming of a minister to a parish by a distant city council, and he let that knowledge influence his translation.

69. The printed version adds, "to lead the brothers and sisters in prayer, to begin to break bread. . . ."

70.1 Cor. 9:14.

71. The change in number here from "a shepherd" to "if they sin" is explained by the fact that this sentence is a quotation from 1 Tim. 5:20.

72. "Cross" is already by this time a very clear cliche or "technical term" designating martyrdom.

73. Perhaps "installed" would be less open to the sacramental misunderstanding. Verordnet has no sacramental meaning.

74. "Law" here is a specific reference to the Old Testament. Significantly the verb here is not verordnet but merely geordnet; conveying even less of a sense of permanence or of specific divine institution. It should be noted that in this entire discussion "sword" refers to the judicial and police powers of the state; there is no reference to war in Art. VI; there had been a brief one in IV.

75. "Without the death of the flesh" is the clear reading of the earliest manuscript. Zwingli, however, understood it "toward the putting to death of the flesh," a possible allusion to 1Cor. 5; the dillerence in the original in only between a and o.

76. Mt. 11:29.

77. In. 8:11.

78. Jn. 8:22.

79. Ltc:. 12:13.

8O. Two interpretations are possible for "did not discern the ordering of His Father." This may mean that Jesus did not respect, as being an obligation for Him, the service in the state in the office of king, even though the existence of the state is a divine ordinance. More likely would be the interpretation that Jesus did not evaluate the action of the people wanting to make Him king as having been brought about (ordered) by His Father.

81. Mt. 16:24.


82. Mt. 20:25.


83. Rom. 8:30.


84. 1 Pet. 2:21.


85. Phil. 3:20.


86. Here the printed version adds Mt. 12:25: "For every kingdom divided against itself will be destroyed." The reference to solidarity with Christ as Head echoes directly points 4 ff. of the Strasbourg letter.


87. Mt. 12:25.


88. Mt. 5:34-37.


89. Heb. 6:7 ff.


90. Mt. 5:35.


91. Zwingli's translation fills in the argument here: "if it is bad to swear, or even to use the Lord's name to confirm the truth, then the apostles Peter and Paul sinned: for they swore."


92. Lk. 2:34.


93. The difference in tense between "taught" and "says" is in the original; it results from the fact that Scripture references are always given in the present: "Christ says," "Paul says," "Peter says."


94. This concludes the Seven Articles.


95. Vereinigt.


96. A second reference to 2 Cor. 6: 17.


97. Tit. 2:11-14.


98.24 February.


99. This document has no title; the title chosen here reflects the label given it in the (modern) table of contents of the volume of archival materials UP 80 in the State Archive of Bern. No earlier full translation into English has been published; the text has been digested by Delbert Gratz, Bernese Anabaptists, Scottdale, 1953, p. 25, and by Robert Friedmann, MQR, 1955, p. 162. Jean Seguy published a translation and commentary in Christ Seul (journal of the French Mennonites) No.1 (p. 13) and No.2 (p. 5), 1967. The text seems to be in the same hand as the copy of the Seven Articles, so that it may be assumed to have circulated together with them and been seized at the same time. (Cf. p. 32.)


100. May mean either: "in the providence of God the Word is preached to us," whereby "Ordnung" would refer to the workings of God in bringing about Reformation and gospel preaching; or "the Word of God is preached according to the divine pattern," with the emphasis on the rediscovery of the true divinely willed church order. The following "whereby" may accordingly refer either to the preaching or to the proper ordering.


101. 1 In. 2:8.

102. Sich "ben: perhaps includes an element of rote learning of gospel narrative and teaching, since literacy and the possession of Bibles was still rare.

103. "Read" includes exposition. "Readings" had been one of the earliest names given to the study meetings held in Zürich and St. Gall prior to the foundation of Anabaptist congregations.

104. "The one to whom God has given the best understanding shall explain it" may mean that, for every particular passage, whoever understands its meaning should speak up. Then we would have a picture of a meeting with no settled leadership, with no controlling role for the "shepherd" who was called for by Schleitheim Article V. Then one might infer, as does Jean
Seguy, that this text testifies to a time before the Schleitheim decisions, when congregations functioned without a named leader. It is, however, also possible that "the one to whom God has given the best understanding" may be a circumlocution for a spontaneously recognized leader in the local group.

105. This "reading" may well be rote recitation. This reference to the Psalter is one of the very rare early Anabaptist references to non-congregational devotional exercises. It may be a further trace (see above p. 23, note 19) of an inheritance from monasticism.

106. 1 Tim. 2:8.

107. Mt. 18: IS, cf. above note so.

108. The common fund is seen here as a special purse for specific needs, not as a total communism of consumption such as was established not much later in Moravia. It is significant that the non-Hutterian Anabaptists also considered themselves to be following the economic example of the early Jerusalem Christians.

109. Rom. 14:17. The assumption that the congregation would frequently gather around a simple meal may be linked to their avoidance of social clubs and guilds (above p. 38, Art. IV.

110. The Lord's Supper, specifically identified as such, is evidently distinguished from the rest of the meal, even though both were practiced as often as the brothers met. (Cf. Art. 1).


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