Bintgens, Thomas (16th century)
Thomas Bintgens (Byntgens, Bijntgens), an elder of the Mennonite Flemish congregation at Franeker in the Dutch province of Friesland, purchased a house in 1588, and accepted a receipt for 800 florins, whereas he had actually paid only 700 florins. He did this with the consent of the seller, to prevent later bids. His fellow ministers, Jacob Keest, Joos Jans, and Jakob Berends most severely condemned this procedure, as a violation of justice and truth. They also considered it wrong of Bintgens to buy the house from a spendthrift and drunkard who was in debt; he should instead have paid off the creditors before he bought the house. An unexpressed point of opposition to Bintgens was also the feeling on the part of Jacob Keest and his followers that Bintgens was too severe in his application of the ban. When Bintgens was asked to justify his act to the church council he declared that he was sorry and would rather pay for the house twice than injure anyone; he had acted in ignorance. But the matter did not stop there. Bintgens’ opponents demanded his deposition from the ministry. Three meetings of delegates from various congregations did not succeed in bringing about lasting unity. The quarrel grew sharper and involved gradually widening circles. The outcome was the rise of two parties, the Huiskoopers or Thomas-Bintgens group, and the Contra-Huiskoopers or the Jacob-Keest group; these epithets were gradually replaced by the generally used terms, viz., Old Flemish for the Huiskoopers, and Flemish (or Jonge and Zachte Flemish) for the Contra-Huiskoopers.
See also Flemish
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1912): 49-60.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 223.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, Nos. 477, 479, 558.
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 430 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 345. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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