Boeke, Jan (1805-1854)

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Jan Boeke, b. 14 April 1805, at Zaandijk, d. 9 July 1854, at his country home at Breukelen, had originally business training but afterward chose the ministry as a profession. In 1829 he was accepted by the Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit as a candidate for the ministry after having studied at the Mennonite Seminary at Amsterdam. He served the congregations of Nijmegen (barely one-half year) and Amsterdam (1830-1853). In 1853 he had to discontinue his charge and retire because of ill health. He was married to Jenny de Stoppelaar Blijdenstein. He performed his charge faithfully and was an example to his congregation of a true Biblical character. At the time of his death, Prof. S. Muller wrote a warm obituary, Woord tot gedachtenis van Jan Boeke (A Tribute to the Memory of Jan Boeke). In addition to being a Mennonite minister, Boeke gave his attention to spiritual concerns in other ways. For many years he was a member and the secretary of the executive committee of the Netherlands Bible Society (Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap) as well as a member and chairman of the executive committee of the Society for the General Welfare (Maatschappij tot Nut van 't Algemeen). In Amsterdam he was founder of the Louise-Bewaar-school (Kindergarten).

Boeke wrote a great deal. Some of his didactic dissertations are (among others): Schuitepraatje over de beleejdheid (Conversation in a boat concerning politeness); Over het dierenplagen (About the teasing of animals); Iets over onze wijze van begraven (A bit about our manner of burial); De ware liberaal als burger (The true liberal as a citizen). Besides these he wrote a number of popular religious pamphlets; e.g., Paulus als voorbeeld van christelijke levenswijsheid (Paul as an example of prudent Christian living); Petrus, een gesprek aan de ontbijttafel (Peter, a conversation for breakfast time); Het Klaaghuis beter dan het huis der maaltijden (The house of mourning better than the house of feasting); Hoe onze rampen en ons leed zamenhangen met onze zonde (How our catastrophes and our distress are related to our sin); ‘s Heeren Geboortefeest (The birthday celebration of the Lord); etc.

The sermons preached by Boeke and his colleague, A. Doyer, on the occasion of the centenary of the Seminary and the third centennial of Menno Simons' renunciation of Catholicism, were published at Amsterdam in 1836. The speech he made upon the dedication of the church at Arnhem in 1852 appeared in print with the title: Het betrachten der waarheid in liefde (Ef. 4:15) (The practice of truth in love, Ephesians 4:15). In collaboration with A. M. Cramer he published, Twee brieven ter toelichting en toetsing der schets van J. H. Halbertsma, over de herkomst van de Doopsgezinden (Two letters by way of elucidation and examination of the sketch written by J. H. Halbertsma concerning the origin of the Mennonites) (Amsterdam, 1844).

In behalf of religious education, he published Handleiding bij het onderwijs in de Christelijke geloof- en pligtenleer (Guide for education in Christian doctrines and ethics) (Amsterdam, 1837; 2nd ed., 1851); Schriftuurlijke Katechismus (Scriptural Catechism) (Amsterdam, 1837; 2nd ed., 1847); and Eenvoudige en beknopte Handleiding bij de voorbereiding tot den doop (A simple and brief guide in connection with preparation for baptism) (Amsterdam, 1841).


Boekzaal der Geleerde Wereld (1854): II, 112 f.

Catalogus der werken over de Doopsgezinden en hunne geschiedenis aanwezig in de bibliotheek der Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: J.H. de Bussy, 1919: 11, 289, 308, 326.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1861): 156; (1885): 56; (1909): 9, 21, 149 ff.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 241.

Hoekstra, S. (Sytze). Godsdienstige lectuur voor Doopsgezinden. Sneek: Van Druten & Bleeker, 1854-1858: I.

Kerknieuws: 10 ff.

Knuttel, Willem Pieter Cornelis. Nederlandsche bibliographie van kerkgeschiedenis. Amsterdam : F. Muller, 1889.: 124.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. IV, 182.

Sepp, Chr. Bibliotheek van Nederlandsche kerkgeshiedschrijvers : Opgave van hetgeen Nederlanders over de geschiedenis der Christelijke kerk geschreven hebben. Leiden : E.J. Brill, 1886: 390.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Jacob Loosjes
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne and Jacob Loosjes. "Boeke, Jan (1805-1854)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 19 Jun 2018.,_Jan_(1805-1854)&oldid=107209.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne and Jacob Loosjes. (1953). Boeke, Jan (1805-1854). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2018, from,_Jan_(1805-1854)&oldid=107209.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 378-379. All rights reserved.

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