Jan Block (d. 1569)
Jan (Johan) Block, an Anabaptist martyr, had as a rich young man led a frivolous, pleasure-seeking life. The conversion of one of his former drinking companions made such an impression on him that he also became a believer and joined the Mennonites. When the government heard of this they confiscated all his lands and set a reward of 70 guilders on his seizure. He fled, but returned when he found no refuge anywhere, to support himself by the work of his hands. He was betrayed and in 1569 (not 1572, as van Braght erroneously states) was arrested in Nijmegen. He was held in the city prison for 53 days, and racked three times. During his imprisonment he wrote a letter to his fellow believers, in moving words bidding his friends a last farewell in the hope of a reunion in eternal joy. Before the courts he remained steadfast in his faith, and was therefore sentenced to die at the stake and was executed outside the Molenpoort on 23 July 1569. He endured his martyrdom with the same joyful submission.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685: Part II, 562.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 894. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Guyot, P. C. G. Bijdragen tot de Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden te Nijmegen. Nijmegen, 1845: 26-28.
Hege, Christian and Neff, Christian. Mennonitisches Lexikon. 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 237.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 71. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hege, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Jan Block (d. 1569)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/jan_johan_block_d._1569.
APA style: Hege, Otto and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Jan Block (d. 1569). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/jan_johan_block_d._1569.