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Packull, W. and G. Seebaß. <em>Umstrittenes Taufertum, 1525-1975, </em>ed. by Hans-Jürgen Goertz. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Reprecht, 1975: 138-164, 165-172.
 
Packull, W. and G. Seebaß. <em>Umstrittenes Taufertum, 1525-1975, </em>ed. by Hans-Jürgen Goertz. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Reprecht, 1975: 138-164, 165-172.
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Revision as of 13:21, 17 November 2013

Contents

1956 Article

Engraving from Apocalypsis, or The revelation of certain notorious advancers of heresie. London, 1655. Scan provided  by the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Hans Hut (Hutt, Huth, Huet) is correctly known as the apostle of the Anabaptists in Upper Austria, although his work and influence extended far beyond its borders, at first in his home country, Franconia, then in Bavaria and Salzburg, Moravia, and Silesia. He was a native of Haina near Römhild in Thuringia. The year of his birth is not known. For four years before 1517 he was a sexton in the service of the knights Hans and Georg von Bibra-Schwebenheim in the village of Bibra near Meiningen. There he had property of his own. By trade he was a bookbinder, but he worked also as a book salesman. As such he traveled about the country distributing pamphlets propagating the new evangelical Lutheran faith. Thus he came to Würzburg, Bamberg, Nürnberg, Passau, and as far as Austria. For several years he was a frequent visitor in Wittenberg (Meyer, 223).

His appearance is described in a kind of poster issued by the council of Nürnberg on 26 March 1527 which says: "The highest and chief leader of the Anabaptists is Johannes Hut, a well-educated, clever fellow, rather tall, a peasant with light brown cropped hair and a blond mustache. He is dressed in a gray, sometimes a black, riding coat, a broad gray hat, and gray pants."

About 1524 he met in Weissenfels with three other craftsmen, a miller, a tailor, and a weaver of wool. They argued on baptism. Their objections to infant baptism caused him to reflect. He sought enlightenment in Wittenberg. The information he received there in support of infant baptism did not satisfy him; it was outweighed for him by such Bible passages on baptism as Matthew 28:20; Mark 16:16, and Acts 19:3. Christ and the apostles baptized no children; they should therefore not be baptized until they have acquired understanding for a truly Christian life and for the sufferings that accompany it. He was also confused by the fact that the preaching of the Wittenberg theologians did not produce a reform of life.

When Hut had returned to Bibra, he refused to have his newborn child baptized. He declared that he had been shown no proof in the Bible that infant baptism was necessary. Then the lords of Bibra ordered a disputation, but at the same time they demanded that he have his child baptized within eight days or sell his property and move out. He chose the latter course and left his home with wife and five children. He probably betook himself to Nürnberg where he met Hans Denck, who received him in his house. He also met Wolfgang Vogel, pastor at Eltersdorf; later he preached in this village and baptized Vogel and two others. Vogel also visited him in Nürnberg and talked with him about the Gospel.

While peddling his books between Wittenberg and Erfurt, Hut heard that the Peasants War had broken out near by. He immediately betook himself to Frankenhausen (Thuringia) where the army was stationed, hoping to earn much money selling books and pamphlets (1525). Here he heard Thomas Müntzer preaching against the lords; apparently he was profoundly impressed by all that he saw and heard here. Especially the thought of the imminent coming of Christ kindled in him a sort of enthusiasm for this war. When on the next day the peasants marched to battle, he at first went up the hill with them, but because "the shooting was too thick," he hastened back to Frankenhausen where he was later seized by the Hessian authorities. Although many peasants were executed on that day, he was fortunate in being released.

Now he returned to Bibra, and stayed there for some time. Müntzer also went there on his flight and spent a night and a day in his house. He gave Hut his exposition of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke to be printed; they had had no other dealings. Hans Hut stated expressly at his later trial that he had not been an adherent of Müntzer; "he did not understand him." In Bibra, Jörg Haug invited him to preach. On 31 May 1525 Hut then preached on baptism, communion, idolatry, and the Mass. He made some grave statements about the holders of benefices, who served the Gospel for the sake of their belly. "The Almighty God will punish them and all who oppose the truth; they will all perish in disgrace, and it is now the time when they will be defeated, and the peasants have the power" (Meyer, 251). He explained that he had meant the end-times, and thought they had come. But he had erred and knew better now.

After the complete defeat of the peasants and the bloody suppression of the revolt Hut could no longer stay in Bibra. He was again forced to flee. He turned his steps to Augsburg, where he again met Hans Denck. Denck and Kaspar Färber persuaded him, after long hesitation, to join the Anabaptists. On 26 May 1526 Denck baptized him in a little house before the Heiligkreuz gate.

Now Hut worked with unprecedented success for the establishment and spread of the new brotherhood. "Very quietly, but indefatigably he went from place to place in Bavaria, Swabia, Franconia, and Austria, a popular preacher of deepest effectiveness, everywhere proclaiming Anabaptist doctrine, immediately baptizing those he convinced, and sending out individuals as apostles. Especially in the ranks of the artisans he found many adherents" (Wappler, 28). In the period of a few months he succeeded in winning a great number of converts.

His confessions and those of his adherents offer rather exact information on his preaching. He usually began with the words, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes the Gospel and is baptized will be saved; and this is the baptism—to endure anxiety, want, sorrow, and all tribulations in patience." With glowing words he proclaimed the imminent coming of Christ. He divided his sermons into four parts: (1) the judgment upon the house of God; (2) judgment upon the world; (3) the future; and (4) the resurrection. On the basis of Matthew 24; Mark 13, and Luke 17 he explained the signs of the times. The threatening Turkish tribulation was to him a certain sign of Christ's imminent return. But other great tribulations would also occur: revolt, earthquakes, wars, and plagues, so that scarcely one man in three would survive. For three and one-half years more the Lord had given time for repentance, as shown in Revelations 13 and Daniel 12. He who was converted to repentance would be persecuted, as is stated in 2 Timothy 3:12. But those who repented in these last times would not perish, but survive, and after the day and the judgment of the Lord would possess and rule the earth and would not die (1 Corinthians 15).

Thus it is evident that Hut's preaching on the return of Christ was entirely based on the Bible and was purely religious. He kept himself aloof from any political or revolutionary tendencies. Statements to the contrary taken from the confessions of his adherents either are erroneously interpreted or are forced by the torments of the rack. He expressly asserted that he knew of no coming of Christ but the one indicated in the Holy Scriptures; it would not be a physical, but a spiritual kingdom. He also denied the imputation that he considered himself a special prophet; he was only a preacher of the Gospel. Nor did he boast of special visions or revelations. God, however, imparted His revelations to the elect sometimes by visions and dreams. There are, he said, three kinds of dreams. Some come from the flesh, from the daily conduct. These are worthless. Some are from the devil; the evils with which one has had contact during the day appear again at night. These are also worthless. Some come from God; they are revealed to human beings by the strength of the Holy Spirit through certain signs and words. He who understands may accept them, and much is revealed to him, as is promised in Numbers 12.

Hut also taught that government is instituted by God and implicit obedience is its due. He rejected community of goods. He persuaded no one to sell his goods, but taught that anyone who had a superfluity of goods should help the poor.

In the center of his preaching was the confession of Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was true God and true man, and who has paid the price for the sins of the whole world and has redeemed us. "He and Denck preached of the crucified Christ, how He suffered and was obedient to His Father unto death," says one of his confessions.

Infant baptism he repudiated; it was not instituted by God; not a word is found about it in the Holy Scriptures. One must not be baptized until he can with full understanding assume the responsibility of living a Christian life, as shown by the Word of God, and for God's sake to suffer all that is laid upon one. Three kinds of baptism are known—baptism by spirit, water, and blood; the three are one and bear witness on earth (1 John 5:6-8). The first, the spirit, is the assurance and the assent to the divine Word that he will live as is proclaimed to him by the Word. This is the covenant of God, which God makes with them through His Spirit and their hearts. Beyond this, God has given water as a sign of this covenant, with which one testifies that he will live in true obedience toward God and all Christians, and lead such a life that he is blameless. But he who does not live right, and deals contrary to God and to love, shall be rebuked by the others; this is the ban that God describes; this is a sign before the church. The third is the blood; this is the baptism that Christ indicated to His disciples; "Ye shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with." This is the baptism that testifies throughout the world, wherever such blood is shed.

Concerning the Lord's Supper Hut did not hold that the body of Christ is in the bread, or the blood of Christ in the cup; it is nothing other than it has always been, namely, bread and wine; for Christ said to His disciples, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom"; and likewise, when they had all drunk from the cup, "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." These words Christ spoke after the eating and drinking, and also shed His blood afterwards; therefore he believes that Christ gave bread and wine to His disciples as a memorial of His suffering, and not His body and His blood.

From Augsburg Hut probably went first into Franconia. In his native town of Haina he won the cooper Georg Volk Kolerlin; in the vicinity he also won many adherents, among them Kilian Volkaimer, Eucharius Binder, and Joachim Mertz, who became zealous representatives of the Anabaptist cause. Near Erlangen he held a conference, which was broken up by the Nürnberg authorities; several of his adherents were seized, but were soon released and expelled from the city. Now he made his way to Swabia; the council of Nürnberg sent warnings to Augsburg, Ulm, and Regensburg. Hut moved on to Austria and Moravia.

In the spring of 1526 Hut again spent about ten days in Augsburg. He lived in the home of Eitelhans Langenmantel, and won him to the Anabaptist cause, as also the monk Sigmund Salminger, the painter Peter Scheppach, and others. He organized the young congregation in Augsburg, giving it a firmer footing. He conducted the choice of leaders. The lot fell on Sigmund Salminger; his substitute was Jakob Dachser. Hut also arranged for the care of the poor.

At the end of 1526 Hut came to Nikolsburg, where he met Balthasar Hubmaier. They were of different temperaments. Hubmaier would have nothing to do with Hut's chiliasm, nor with his opposition to the government. Hubmaier tried to eliminate the difficulties by the usual disputation. The first one was held in Bergen, a village near Nikolsburg. They discussed community of goods and taxes for resisting the Turks. Since the Anabaptists were committed against warfare or furnishing funds for it, they faced the dilemma either of sacrificing their principles of faith or of refusing obedience to the government at a time when the cry arose, "The Turk is marching upon Vienna!" In addition, the Moravian diet had pronounced all those as dishonorable who managed to be released from these taxes. In the Nikolsburg Anabaptist congregation the rigorous party insisted on exact obedience to their principles and found a leader in Hans Hut. Hubmaier and his adherents were less strict. Thus, as could be expected, the first disputation was fruitless.

The second disputation, held in the Nikolsburg castle, likewise did not lead to union. Hut, who voted "against the sword," was now forcibly detained in the castle. A friend helped him to escape through a window. In this disputation also other subjects were discussed. Hans Nadler of Erlangen enumerated seven points under discussion: (1) baptism; (2) communion; (3) God's judgment; (4) God's sentence; (5) the end of the world; (6) the new kingdom; (7) the return of Christ (Schornbaum, 153).

In former times this disputation of 1526 was usually associated with the "Nikolsburg Artikel," a document which brought the Anabaptists into serious disrepute. (It was even deemed important enough to be put on the Index of Forbidden Books in Rome.) Hut at his trial emphatically denied any part in its composition and guessed that perhaps Hubmaier forged it out of jealousy. Today it has been proved that it was forged by enemies of the Anabaptists, most likely by Urbanus Rhegius, the Lutheran preacher at Augsburg, to discredit the Anabaptists, and has nothing to do with Hut or Hubmaier (see Nikolsburg Articles).

In the conflict between Hut and Hubmaier, Oswald Glait was one of those on Hut's side; he soon accompanied Hut to Vienna. In Vienna the Anabaptists held a meeting in a house on Kärntnerstrasse. Here 50 persons, including Leonhard Schiemer, were baptized by Hut. From Vienna Hut went to Melk, where he made contacts with Anabaptists and baptized 15 persons.

On 15 June 1527 Hut arrived secretly in Steyr, Upper Austria, with two companions, Hieronymus (probably Hieronymus Hermann of Mondsee, a former monk from Ranshofen) and Karius (probably Eucharius Binder), and was introduced into the company of respected citizens by Frater Jakob (Portner), the chaplain of Count Rogendorf. On the following Sunday he held a meeting in the house of Veit Pfefferl at the Grünmarkt; later on he baptized and administered communion also outside the city. Among those baptized were Leonhard Dorfbrunner, a former priest, and a chaplain of Pechlarn. When the city council was informed of these meetings, it issued a prohibition and ordered the arrest of the preachers. Hut escaped, but his patrons and those he had baptized were arrested, tried, several executed, and the others expelled; only those who recanted were released.

Hut now fled to Freistadt, Upper Austria. Here too he met Anabaptists. Near the city, in the home of Baron von Zelking, Hans Schlaffer had already been active in 1526. In Freistadt Hut baptized ten or twelve persons. From there he went to Gallneukirchen, where he won ten members to the cause, and thence to Linz, preaching and baptizing everywhere. It is known that he was active also in Passau. Finally traces of his work are found in Schärding, Braunau, Laufen, and Salzburg. In Salzburg he stayed longer, preaching in the house of, a citizen Georg Goldschmidt, whom he won with his wife and six others to the Anabaptist cause.

From Salzburg Hut returned to Augsburg, where he participated in the "Martyrs' Synod" of 1527. Here he was later seized and tried for the first time on 16 September 1527. From his admissions it is seen how extensive his field of influence was, especially in Moravia. After this trial he was given several others, some on the rack. Exact information was given on his life in Bibra, Nürnberg, Salzburg, Moravia, Franconia, and Austria.

Concerning Hut's death there are two reports. According to one he apparently had a premonition of death by violence, and decided to escape by flight. He managed to make a light, and wrapping it in rags, produced much smoke, and cried out, hoping that his irons would be opened by the iron-master. He planned to take the keys and escape. But the guard arrived too late; Hut was nearly asphyxiated, and died 6 December 1527, "as God wished." The second account, found in the Geschicht-Buch (Wolkan, 47), was given by his son Philipp. It states that "Hut was racked in the tower, and then released. He lay like one dead." They went away, leaving a candle in his cell, which ignited the straw. When they came to the tower they found him dead.

In either case, sentence could be pronounced only on his corpse. The officials took the dead body to court on a chair, tied the chair to the executioner's cart, sentenced it to die, and burned it at the stake on 7 December.

Hans Hut had five children. A daughter died on 25 January 1527, a martyr to her faith; she was drowned in Bamberg. A son Philipp died in Moravia as a member of the brotherhood (Beck, 35).

Not a few mourned Hut's innocent death, gathered his ashes, and took them away as sacred relics. Thus Hut, "a well-educated and clever fellow," as Urbanus Rhegius called him, considered by his brethren an elect instrument of God, who had in scarcely two years won more adherents to Anabaptism than all the other leaders together, laid down his life. Hut was obviously one of the most important leaders of the great Anabaptist movement in the 1520's. He was able to hold his own against great speakers in his own group like Hubmaier. Today the opinion prevails that he was one of the leading and most forceful Anabaptists of the earliest period who influenced that movement, both in Bavaria and Austria by his activities as well as by his writings.

Of these writings only two tracts and two shorter pieces have become known, besides a number of hymns of permanent value. (1) The book Vom Geheimnus der Tauff is found in many Hutterite manuscript books (but without naming its author). According to Roth (1900) it is identical with the book Hut himself mentioned at his trial in November 1527 as Von dem Buch mit den sieben Siegeln, wie in Apocalypsi steht geschrieben (a msc. supposedly in the city archives of Augsburg). The brethren called it "the book with the seven seals." L. Muller, Glaubenszeugnisse, 12-28, prints it from a Hutterite manuscript. (2) Ein christlicher Unterricht wie göttliche Geschrift vergleicht und geurteilt soil werden. This tract was published in 1527 by Johannes Landtsperger; L. Muller, Glaubenszeugnisse, 28-37, prints the main part of it; it was also published in the Mittheilungen aus dem Antiquariat S. Calvary (Berlin, 1871; there under the name Landtsperger). It is likewise found anonymously in many Hutterite manuscript books. At his trial on 14 November 1527 Hut mentioned this tract as a "booklet on three articles of faith, for which Landtsperger set the title" (and changed it at not less than 20 places). L. Müller recognizes in it a certain dependence on Denck's book, Unterricht wie das Gesetz Gottes aufgehebt und doch erfüllt muss werden (something which Sebastian Franck had called the Schriftkrieg—the paradoxes within the Holy Scriptures and their solution).

A third booklet of Hut's was a pastoral epistle beginning "To all good-hearted Christians I Hans Hut wish the pure fear of divine wisdom . . ." (dated "at the cave of Elias"; this is supposedly a typical term of Thomas Müntzer, according to L. Müller), written in Augsburg. When it became known to the Lutheran preacher Urbanus Rhegius of Augsburg, he immediately replied with a pamphlet in quarto, Sendbrief Hans Huthen etwan ains. Fürnemen Vorsteers im Wiedertaufforden. Verantwortet durch Urban um Rhegium (Augsburg, 1528). From it L. Müller, Glaubenszeugnisse, 12, note, prints the main section of the epistle.

A fourth Hut publication was the Rathsbüchlein (1526-27). It was found in a pocket of Eitelhans Langenmantel when arrested, and is made up of a catechism, a prayer before meals, and a concordance (with 78 items). F. Roth published it in his study of Langenmantel (Z. d. Hist. Ver. f. Schwaben, 1900, 39 ff.). At his trial Hut admitted that he had compiled close to one hundred concordance items in his Bible, which he left to his son (Meyer, 236).

It must be regretted that the work of Hut has not yet been studied and analyzed from the standpoint of a history of Anabaptist ideas. As Hut was an important agent of this new movement, valiantly suffering for the nonresistant attitude of true discipleship, but, on the other hand, perhaps somewhat too strongly emphasizing the eschatological-chiliastic angle, such a study would be highly needed. The work by Neuser (1913) has unfortunately never been published in full.

Hut was also a rather successful writer of hymns which found later entrance even into Lutheran and Reformed hymnals. Two or three hymns became known from Hutterite manuscript books, two more are known through the work of Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied (see Wolkan, Lieder, 15). (1) The best-known hymn is the Danksagung "which we sing when celebrating the Lord's Supper" (Beck, 35, Wolkan, Geschicht-Buch, 47). It begins, "Wir danksagen dir, Herr Gott der Ehren . . ." and has seven stanzas. Wackernagel (III, 507) erroneously ascribes it to Thomas Müntzer. According to Beck (649, note 2) it was still in use 1650 by the Brethren, and might even today be sung at the Bruderhofs (Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 38 f., from an old msc. book). Wolkan remarks that this hymn was possibly still older, and was only reworked by Hut. (2) The hymn, "O Almechtiger Herre Gott, wie gar lieblich sind Deine Gebot," is well known from the Ausbund (all modern editions, 49-51), 12 stanzas. It is also present in several Hutterite manuscript books, and published by Wackernagel (III, 508) and in the Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 39 f. (3) This Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder prints one more hymn (40) of five stanzas, Die Danksagung genannt ("Der wahre Fels ward da geschlagen . . ."), but Hut's authorship is uncertain (again reference is made to Beck, 649, note). The next two hymns are not found in Hutterite codices. Wackernagel prints them (III, 509 and 510 f.) from the Salmingersche Gesangbuch of 1537. (4) "Lasst uns von Hertzen singen." As its author Hut is expressly named. (5) "O Herre Gott in deynem Reych . . . ," a paraphrase of the eighth Psalm, was printed 1527, 1529, and 1537. Hut's authorship is not absolutely certain, but most likely. It has eight stanzas (1527), but only seven in later editions. Wackernagel (III, 511) prints this later edition which begins, "O Herre Gott in Ewigkait, wie ist dein nam so sunderlich. . . ."  -- Loserth -- RF

1987 Update

Hans Hut was by far the most significant early apostle of Anabaptism in the region extending from Thuringia to the Tyrol and from Württemberg to Moravia. Scholarship of the last two decades has drastically revised the impression left by Hutterite sources that Hut belonged to those who "valiantly suffered for the non-resistance attitude of true discipleship" ([[|ME 11:849]]). The revisions affect conclusions about Hut's indebtedness to Thomas Müntzer, the significance of his baptism by Hans Denck, his clash with Balthasar Hubmaier and the related Nikolsburg Articles.

It is now clear that Hut's contact with Müntzer was more than casual. A "Hans of Bibra" appears among the signatories of the "eternal league" formed by Müntzer and Heinrich Pfeifer on 19 September 1524 at Mühlhausen. In October 1524 Müntzer and Pfeifer, expelled from Mühlhausen, visited Hut in Bibra. Accompanied by Pfeifer, Hut took Müntzer's manuscript of the Special Expose to the press of Hans Hergot in Nürnberg. Hut was present at the battle of Frankenhausen until the "shooting became too thick," and he defended the peasants' cause after that in Bibra, supporting the efforts of the local leader, Jörg Haug. He fled the area only when troops of the Swabian League approached.

That his baptism at the hands of Denck on 26 May 1526 did not constitute a sudden break with his past becomes clear from Hut's first converts at Uetzing and Konigsberg in Franconia. These new Anabaptists, recruited primarily from veterans of the Peasants' War of 1525, expected an invasion by the Turks to succeed where the peasants had failed—in the punishment of the godless. It seems that Hut had translated the revolutionary hope of 1525 into apocalyptic language.

Hutterite chroniclers subsequently confused Hut's conviction that Anabaptists should not resist the invading Turks with their own principled position of nonresistance. The fact that the ideal of community of goods inspired some of Hut's followers may have contributed to his retroactive rehabilitation into a proto-Hutterite. Contrary to the chronicles, the clash with Hubmaier at Nikolsburg did not center on Hut's nonresistance. As for the controversial Nikolsburg Articles, Gottfried Seebaß has shown that claims by Friedmann and Williams that these had been "forged by enemies of the Anabaptists" were premised on wrongly dated documents. What are now known as the Nikolsburg Articles were, in fact, a tendentious selection, presumably made by a Catholic opponent, from 52 articles drawn up by Hubmaier against Hut and others. It appears that unfavorable news of his clash with Hubmaier preceded Hut to the "Martyrs' Synod" at Augsburg in the fall of 1527. Here, too, his apocalyptic teachings created discontent. Arrested around 15 September Hut was put on trial along with Jacob Gross, Jacob Dachser, and Sigmund Salminger. While the other three recanted and survived, Hut's fate was sealed when evidence of his earlier connections to Müntzer came to light.

Because of their problematic textual transmission, the two treatises attributed to Hut must be read in the context of the other sources. These include four letters by Hut, his Scripture concordances, the records of his interrogations, and the many statements made by his converts. The oldest statement by Hut appears to be the "seven judgments" or "decrees." The first two of these dealt with baptism, the Eucharist, and ecclesiology: the last five dealt with apocalyptic concerns. Hut's treatise Of the Mystery of Baptism elaborated on the first judgment. The notion of the "gospel of all creatures" found there became a distinguishing mark of Hut's influence. Müntzer's impact on Hut's understanding of the birth of faith as an inner experience of the bitter Christ is apparent. Water baptism became a sign of a painful inner process of death to the creaturely. The larger context suggests that Hut saw baptism as the sealing of the 144,000 end time elect. Statements by his followers make it clear that they perceived themselves to be a persecuted apocalyptic remnant. A shift in fortunes was expected around Easter, 1528. Pestilence, famine and an invasion by the Turks were expected to shake the established order. Not the end of the world but a new order based on justice and peace lay in the immediate future. James Stayer has rightly described Hut's political ethic as one of suspended vengeance or "sheathed sword."

Mecenseffy has underlined Hut's significance for the spread of Anabaptism. Although his followers did not constitute a homogenous group it is possible to speak of them as generically distinct from other Anabaptists. Hut's apocalyptic orientation and indebtedness to Müntzer justifies the rejection of the older monogenesis explanation of Anabaptist origins which emphasized his conversion to a normative Swiss Anabaptism. -- WOP

Bibliography

Meyer, Chr. "Die Anfänge des Wiedertäuferthums in Augsburg." Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Schwaben (1874): 207-256, with a complete publication of the court records at Augsburg, 1527.

Neuser, W. Hans Hut, Leben und Wirken bis zum Nikolsburger Religionsgespräch. Berlin, 1913 (the complete dissertation has never been published).

Müller, Lydia, ed. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer, vol. 3: Glaubenszeugnisse oberdeutscher Taufgesinnter, vol. 1, Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte, 20. Leipzig, 1938.

Roth, F. "Zur Lebensgeschichte Eitelhans Langenmantels zu Augsburg." Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Schwaben (1900): here the Rathsbüchlein, 38-40.

Roth, Friedrich. Augsburgs Reformationsgeschichte. 2nd ed. München : Theodor Ackermann, 1901-1911.

Other literature in Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 370-75.

Bibliography by Werner O. Packull

Primary Documents

  1. Hut's Missionsbüchlein, described in earlier scholarship as the Taschenbüchlein, probably predates Hut's baptism. It contained the Ten Commandments, a song by Luther, a catechism and a number of apocalyptic statements. See Friedrich Roth in Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg 27 (1900): p. 38, note 1.
  2. The Rote Büchlin. It contained a catechism, a prayer of thanksgiving for meals, and a scriptural concordance. It seems to be a manuscript left by Hut with Hans Langenmantel. Augsburg Stadtarchiv, Literaliensammlung, Jan. 9, 1528, f.25v-28r.
    1. Seebaß arranged "Hut's Katechismus" of the Rote Büchlin into 32 items in the appendix to "Müntzers Erbe, pp. 2-3.
    2. The "Konkordanz found in the Rote Büchlin consisted of 81 topics with Scripture references. Roth had published only the topics in Zeitschrift des historischen Vereins für Schwaben und Neuburg 27 (1900, 38-40. (Seebaß, "Müntzers Erbe", app., pp. 3-9.
  3. The "Konkordanz zu den sieben Urteilen seems to be a copy made by Ambrosius Spittelmaier of Hut's so-called "seven judgments." Nurnberg Stadtarchiv, Ansb. Rel. Akten Bd 39, f. 219r - 219v; Seebaß, "Müntzers Erbe", app., pp. 10-12.
  4. Four letters by Hut:
    1. "Den christlichen bruedern N. Gnad und frid von Got dem vater. . ." alludes to the clash between Hubmaier and Hut at Nikolsburg. It must have originated in Augsburg in August or September 1527. Nürnberg Stadtarchiv, Ansb. Rel. Akten Bd. 39, f.216r-218v; Seebaß, 'Müntzers Erbe", app., pp. 9-10.
    2. "Die rain forcht Gottes wünsch ich zum anfang götlicher weysheit" contains a passage concerning the "gospel of all creatures," Hut's identification badge. Nurnberg Stadtarchiv Ansb. Rel. Akten Bd 39, f. 220r-220v; Seebaß, "Müntzers Erbe," app., pp. 12-14.
    3. Seebaß followed Gordon Rupp in identifying Hut as the author of the anonymous letter in Zwen wunderseltzsam sendbrieff zweyer Widertauffer. . . Durch Urbanum Rhegium [Augsburg: A. Weyssenhorn, 1528].
    4. Ein Send- brief Hans huthen . . . ains furnemen Vorsteers. . . had also been published by Urbanus Rhegius [Augsburg: A. Weyssenhorn, 1528] and was partly reproduced by Lydia Müller in Glaubenszeugnisse oberdeutscher Taufgesinnter, vol. 1: 12n
  5. Disputed documents
    1. Seebaß accepted the authenticity of Von dem geheimnus der tauf but suggested that a manuscript submitted by Jörg Schöferl of Freistadt during his trial in August 1527 comes closest to Hut's original draft (Glaubenszeugnisse oberdeutscher Taufgesinnter, vol. 1: 21-24). Schiemer and Schfaffer must have possessed similar copies. Müller's edition was taken from an expanded Hutterite source (Glaubenszeugnisse oberdeutscher Taufgesinnter, vol. 1: 12ff. Gordon Rupp's English, translation utilized both a Hutterite codex and. Das Kunstbuch (Patterns of Reformation [1969]: 379ff.).
    2. Ein christlicher underricht [n.p., 1527] was changed in at least 20 places when it was published by Landsperger. Müller's edition, taken from a later Hutterite codex, is probably even less reliable. SeeGlaubenszeugnisse oberdeutscher Taufgesinnter, vol. 1: 28ff.
  6. The authenticity of the four or five songs attributed to Hut remains disputed.
  7. Additional archival material regarding Hut's trial has come to light:
    1. the official record of the interrogation of Jacob Gross and Hans Hut (before 16 September 1527), consisting of 87 questions;
    2. a note written by Augsburg's secretary, Peutinger, defending pedobaptism against Hut, Gross, Dachser and Safminger;
    3. the record of Hut's interrogation of 4 November 1527, consisting of 31 questions;
    4. preliminary questionnaires for Hut's interrogations of 14 and 26 November respectively. The added information puts previously undated documents into proper perspective (Meyer, Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Schwaben (1874): 207-256) . See Seebaß, "Müntzers Erbe," app. pp. 31ff.
Secondary Literature

Bauer, G. Anfänge täuferischer Gemeindebildung in Franken. Nürnberg, 1966.

Berbig, G. "Die Wiedertäufer im Amt Konigsberg i. Fr., 1527/1528." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 35. (1903): 309-316.

Berbig, G. "Die Wiedertäuferei im Ortslande zu Franken, im Zusammenhang mit dem Bauernkrieg." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 44. (1912).

Friedwart, U. Täuferhun und Obrigkeit in Augsburg im 16. Jahrhundert." dissertation U. of Tübingen, 1972.

Gingerich, Ray C. "The Mission Impulse of Early Swiss and South German-Austrian Anabaptism." PhD dissertation Vanderbilt University, 1980.

Hansen, T. "Reformation, Revolution und Täufertum - Eine Einführung." Mühlhäuser Beiträge zu Geschichte und Kulturgeschichte, 3. (1980): 3-20.

Klaassen, Walter "Hans Hut and Thomas Müntzer." Baptist Quarterly 29. (1962): 209-27.

Klassen, H. "The Life and Teachings of Hans Hut." Mennonite Quarterly Review, 32. (1958): 171-205, 267-304.

Mecenseffy, Grete. "Die Herkunft des oberösterreichischen Täufertums." Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 47 (1956): 252-258.

Packull, Werner. "Denck's Alleged Baptism by Hubmaier: Its Significance for the Origin of South German-Austrian Anabaptism." Mennonite Quarterly Review 47 (1973): 327-338.

Packull, Werner. "Gottfried Seebaß on Hans Hut: A Discussion." Mennonite Quarterly Review 49 (1975): 57-67.

Packull, Werner. Mysticism and the Early South German-Austrian Anabaptist Movement, 1525-1531. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977.

Rupp, Gordon. "Thomas Müntzer, Hans Huth and the 'Gospel of all Creatures'." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 43 (1960/61): 492-519.

Rupp, Gordon. Patterns of Reformation. London, 1969: 325-53, with a translation of Hut's "Of the Mystery of Baptism,": 379ff.

Schmid, H-D. "Das Hutsche Täufertum: Ein Beitrag zur Charakterisierung einer täuferischen Richtung aus der Frühzeit der Täuferbewegung." Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres Gesellschaft 91 (1971): 328-344.

Schmid, H-D. Täufertum und Obrigkeit in Nürnberg. Nürnberg, 1972.

Seebaß, Gottfried. "Müntzers Erbe: Werk, Leben und Theologie Hans Hut." Habilitationsschrift, U. of Erlangen, 1972, with an appendix containing 22 items or primary sources relating to Hut.

Seebaß, Gottfried. "Bauernkrieg und Täufertum in Franken."Deutsche Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 85 (1974): 284-300. partial English translation in Anabaptists and Thomas Mintzer, ed. by J. Stayer and W. Packull. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt, 1980: 138-164.

Seebaß, Gottfried. "Hans Hut." Profiles of Radical Reformers ed. by H-J. Goertz, W. Klaassen. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1982: 54-61.

Stayer, James M. "Hans Hut's Doctrine on the Sword: An Attempted Solution." Mennonite Quarterly Review 39 (1965): 181-191.

Stayer, James M. Anabaptists and the Sword. Lawrence KS: Coronado Press, 1972; rev. ed. 1976.

Stoesz, W. "At the Foundation of Anabaptism: A Study of Thomas Müntzer, Hans Denck and Huns Hut." PhD dissertation, Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, 1964.

Wappler, P. Die Täuferbewegung in Thuringen von 1526-1584. Jena, 1913: 228-244.

Packull, W. and G. Seebaß. Umstrittenes Taufertum, 1525-1975, ed. by Hans-Jürgen Goertz. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Reprecht, 1975: 138-164, 165-172.


Author(s) Johann Loserth
Robert Friedmann
Werner O. Packull
Date Published 1987



Cite This Article

MLA style

Loserth, Johann, Robert Friedmann and Werner O. Packull. "Hut, Hans (d. 1527)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 2 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hut,_Hans_(d._1527)&oldid=103548.

APA style

Loserth, Johann, Robert Friedmann and Werner O. Packull. (1987). Hut, Hans (d. 1527). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hut,_Hans_(d._1527)&oldid=103548.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 846-850; v. 5, pp. 404. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


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