Hans Stenz, a Mennonite preacher in Aargau, Switzerland, a native of Setzwyl, but living in Kulm, a peasant, the father of five children, was arrested and sent to Bern, where he was tried with Martin Bruger on 1 and 6 March 1645, and 2 March 1646. On 7 January 1648, he had to answer to nine questions which were sent to him: separation, proclamation of the Word through preachers of the established church, the significance of the Old Testament, infant baptism, attitude toward government, holding of government office, interest, tithes, taxes, etc., the right to wage war, the oath, and the punishment of wicked persons. He gave excellent replies, which can be taken as the position of the Mennonites of the time. On 13 Januuary 1648, they were again examined and asked whether they would not return to the church. Then Stenz replied that he could not burden his conscience, but would rather give his blood, if the Lord would give him grace; but he asked the government to be merciful. The council of Bern was determined to send them to the galleys as obstinate heretics; but "to spare their souls" they were put into the penitentiary in Zürich. Hans Stenz escaped and was caught; he was expelled and forced to promise that he would never return. He left with his wife and children; nothing more is known of him.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.
Heiz, J. Täufer im Aargau. Aarau, 1902: 86.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 106 ff., 182, 216.
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Stenz, Hans (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 10 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Stenz,_Hans_(17th_century)&oldid=68464.
Neff, Christian. (1959). Stenz, Hans (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Stenz,_Hans_(17th_century)&oldid=68464.
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