Musa, Antonius (ca. 1490-1547)
Antonius Musa was a Lutheran clergyman, city pastor in Jena, Germany, beginning 1524, was one of the inspectors chosen in Saxony after the passing of the mandate of 17 January 1528, against the "Anabaptists, Sacramentalists, and fanaticism." He was also assigned the task of cross-examining a number of Anabaptist prisoners and of persuading them to rejoin the church. On 1 and 6 December 1535 he questioned Heinz Kraut, Jobst Moller, and Hans Peissker at Jena in the presence of several members of the city council and Philipp Melanchthon and Kaspar Cruciger. The three were executed on 26 January 1536, at Jena. On 13 January 1536, Musa together with Melanchthon and Cruciger worked on the conversion of four imprisoned women on the Lüchtenburg near Kahla, and on the next day with Melanchthon three men imprisoned in Kahla. Several weeks of work were required to achieve this end, whereupon the prisoners were released in February and March.
Among those who recanted were Anna and Ursula Möller, whom Melanchthon had described to the Elector of Saxony as being particularly obstinate (Corp. Ref. III, 21). Their resistance melted when they were informed that their husbands had been beheaded, since they refused to enter the Lutheran Church. Those who yielded to such compulsion were released without punishment, even when seditious intentions were evident, as Musa thought was the case with the Anabaptists who had been freed (letter of Musa to Stephen Roth, city clerk of Zwickau in Corp. Ref. Ill, 12-14).
The resistance of the Anabaptists to adopting the Lutheran creed is understandable in the light of conditions in many parishes. Thus after his church inspection Musa wrote to Stephen Roth that there were very few educated men who preached Christ; some ranted against the Papists, others against the secular government; but very few taught what repentance, faith, and love are (Clemen, 74). On 3 October 1534 he wrote to Roth that those who were everywhere reckoned as preachers of the Gospel did not preach Christ (Clemen, 77), and on 22 May 1537 he wrote that the preachers were abusing the pulpit to rant against the papacy; meanwhile the dear congregation snored, correctly feeling that it was no concern of theirs (Clemen, 67).
After the Anabaptist executions in Jena, which stirred up much excitement, Musa was no longer comfortable there. On 22 February 1536 he wrote to Roth that he was about to resign his position on account of the intrigues of some ungodly persons (Clemen, 67). He would have liked to go to Zwickau if there had been a vacancy for him. In 1538 he was made superintendent at Rochlitz. He died in 1547.
Clemen, Otto. Beiträge zur Reformationsgeschichte aus Büchern und Handschriften der Zwickauer Ratsschulbibliothek Berlin : C.A. Schwetschke und Sohn, 1900-1903: Bd. 1.
Corpus Reformatorum (1835 & 1836): II & III.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: III, 191 f.
Wappler, Paul. Die Täuferbewegung in Thüringen von 1526-1584. Jena: Gustav Fisher, 1913.
Cite This Article
Hege, Christian. "Musa, Antonius (ca. 1490-1547)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 Apr 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Musa,_Antonius_(ca._1490-1547)&oldid=90322.
Hege, Christian. (1957). Musa, Antonius (ca. 1490-1547). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Musa,_Antonius_(ca._1490-1547)&oldid=90322.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 790. All rights reserved.
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