Ebbe Pieterszoon (16th century)
Ebbe Pieterszoon, a Mennonite elder at Harlingen in the Dutch province of Friesland, whose lack of ability and lust for power were the chief cause of the division between the Frisians and the Flemish (1566-1568). At the conference at Harlingen in 1555, where Menno was compelled by Dirk Philips and Leenaert Bouwens to side with the proponents of the strict ban, he was present as a preacher. Soon afterward he was ordained elder against Menno's wishes (see Menno's letters, Complete Works II, 232, where the typographical error "Lebe" stands). In 1565 or 1566 Leenaert Bouwens was deposed by a conference at Emden. Ebbe also helped to bring this about, although he soon repented it. The consequence was that baptism stopped in Friesland. Bouwens lived close to Harlingen, but did not wish to baptize, and Ebbe was incompetent or perhaps too fearful of persecution to undertake the traveling. When Ebbe disregarded the requests for help brought by Laurens Verniers and Jeroen Tinnegieter, representatives of the Flemish who had settled in Friesland, the Flemish decided to ordain Tinnegieter as preacher. Since this was done without asking Ebbe's advice, he felt that his authority as an elder had been violated. He brought this complaint before the preachers, and in the discussion of this quarrel the division grew deeper and deeper until it led to the great division (see Flemish Mennonites), causing many thousands of Mennonites to join the Reformed Church in disgust.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: I, 500.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1898).
Kühler, Wilhelmus Johannes. Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden in de Zestiende Eeuw. Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willink, 1932: 398, 400-418.
Zondagsbode (16 & 23 August 1914)
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