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Verbond (league, covenant), a term much used by the early Dutch Anabaptists, who often called them­selves Bondgenoten, i.e., Covenanters; the ex­pression "van den Verbonde" is frequently found in early Dutch Anabaptist writings. It was especially used by the revolutionary Anabaptists, particularly by the Batenburgers, who were said to be "intver­bond van Batenburg." This usage has misled Karel Vos and A. F. Mellink to considering the "Ver­bond" to mean a social league to overthrow the political order. But this is not right; as Lowell H. Zuck has pointed out in his Yale dissertation, Ana­baptist Revolution Through the Covenant in Sixteenth Century Continental Protestantism (New Haven, 1954), "Their motives for revolutionary activity were not nihilistic, but religious. Their pur­pose was the building of a new society, the kingdom of God on earth, which God would immediately inaugurate eschatologically, after the destruction of the old. Their own revolutionary covenant signaled the end of the Old age and identified those who par­ticipate in the New age." The word is derived from the Bible (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Romans 11:27, and many oth­er places) and it was also used by the peaceful Ana­baptists, among whom "verbond" according to I Peter 3:21, meant a close relation to God, a covenant with God (Christ), as is clearly pointed out by the martyr Jan Pauw (Grosheide, Verhooren, 50), who said that baptism is a certification or sign of the "verbond," and that all who are in the "ver­bond" are also baptized, and that the "verbond" is nothing other than that they promise to walk in the ways of God, without deviating from them. (See also Covenant.)

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Verbond." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 28 May 2016.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Verbond. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 809-810. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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