Schwertler (Schwerdtler; i.e., bearers of swords), a name given to the faction of the Anabaptists at Nikolsburg, Moravia, led by Balthasar Hubmaier and Hans Spittelmayer, which defended the use of the sword in a war of defense, though not in self-defense or for the protection of one's own property. They also defended the payment of war taxes.
The faction of the Anabaptists led by Jakob Wideman and Philipp Jager, which stood for complete nonresistance and carried the staff in place of the sword, were called Stäbler. The definite break between the two groups occurred at the debates held on these questions at Nikolsburg in 1526, at which Hans Hut took the side "against the sword," while Hubmaier defended the sword. The "Schwertler" party died out by 1529, while the Stäbler developed into the Hutterites. The Hutterite Chronik (Zieglschmid, 86) states that the Schwertler "now (=1542?) are called Sabbather and have the Münsterite spirit. By this spirit Lord Leonard Liechtensteiner . . . expelled Jacob Wideman and Philipp Jager together with their other brethren."
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 489. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Schwertler." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S3892.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Schwertler. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S3892.html.