Stumpf, Simon (16th century)
Simon Stumpf, an ardent follower of Zwingli, who shared Conrad Grebel's ideas, a native of Bödigheim, Franconia, came into contact with Zwingli at Basel (Simon Stumpfs letter to Zwingli, Basel, 2 July 1519), was given the pastorate at Höngg near Zürich in 1522, was a member of the scholarly circle in Zwingli's home, and an enthusiastic proponent of church reforms. He was a signatory of the petition for the annulment of celibacy of the clergy and soon afterward married. He preached against tithes and interest, and demanded from the pulpit that "idols" in the church be done away with. The result was an outbreak of iconoclasm. At the religious colloquy held at Zürich on 27 October 1523, he objected to leaving the abolition of the Mass to the council, saying that the decision had already been made by the Spirit of God. He became one of Grebel's co-workers and with him demanded that Zwingli establish an apostolic church, but was soon deprived of his parish at Höngg on 3 November 1523, and banished from the canton of Zürich (23 December 1523). On 19 November 1523, he wrote a penitent letter to Zwingli saying, "I cannot dig ditches and have nothing to dig even if I were able. I have sinned against heaven and against you and am no longer worthy of being called a son, either of God or of men, whom I have offended by my ignorance and stupidity. What is left for me to do? Perhaps: Go and hang yourself? God forbid! Dear Zwingli, graciously pardon Simon, who has seriously erred, so that he might love the more. Lead the stray sheep back to the right way, as you do others every day. Think of the one bowed down. He acknowledges his sickness and is looking for the physician. Consider me as one of your minor day laborers. Do not forget that we are members of Christ, the head. I am, to be sure, an untimely birth, but Christ still lives, who was able to call Lazarus forth from the grave .... May He keep your hand and heal me." In April 1527 he was again imprisoned in Zürich, and released with the threat of death if he ever returned. He probably returned to the Catholic Church in Ulm.
Egli, Emil. Aktensammlung. Zürich, 1879: No. 414 (3 November 1523); 446 (14 November); 463 (23 November); 1167 (25 February 1527); 326 b supplement.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.
Muralt, Leonhard von and Walter Schmid. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer in der Schweiz. Erster Band Zürich. Zürich: S. Hirzel, 1952: Zürich, 121 f.
Wirz, Helvetische Geschichte (1819) 222 and following.
Yoder, John H. "The Turning Point in the Zwinglian Reformation." Mennonite Quarterly Review XXXII (1958): 128-40.
Zwingli, Ulrich, Emil Egli and Georg Finsler. Huldreich Zwinglis sämtliche Werke. Zwinglis Briefwechsel 1510-1522. Leipzig, 1911.
Zwingliana: Beiträge zur Geschichte Zwinglis der Reformation und des Protestantismus in der Schweiz : Gesamtregister, 1897-1996 IV, No. 11: 321.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 648. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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