Gerbel, Nikolaus (d. 1560)

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Nikolaus Gerbel, (d. 1560), a humanist and convinced Lutheran, professor of law at the University of Strasbourg, Alsace. To him is frequently ascribed a booklet described as nonextant, De anabaptistarum ortu et progressu. It is erroneously referred to in Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Mennoniten-Gemeinden (Berlin, 1821) by Reiswitz and Wadzeck (231), where it is confused with a work by Joh. Gast. Büchle considers it doubtful that Gerbel wrote the booklet mentioned above. It is his opinion that the assumption is based on a false interpretation of the passage in Zeltner's Theatrum concerning Gerbel's rare book, Novum Testamentum Graece ed. Nicolaus Gerbelius, Hagenoae, in aedibus Thomae Anshelmi Mentio Martio. Anno salutis 1521. This can, however, hardly be the case, for this work appeared in 1521,before there were any Anabaptists. Wilhelm Horning evidently has no knowledge of Büchle's book. He says (p. 33): "Concerning the origin and spread of the Anabaptists, Gerbel wrote De anabaptistarum ortu et progressu. This booklet has disappeared (Geigel should probably be Geiger). Here—he writes on one occasion—all is quiet and peaceful. Two Anabaptists, Hoffmann and Hieronymus Frei, are still held in prison. I do not hear, however, that their ideas are improving. Each holds obstinately to his opinion."


Büchle, Adolf. Der Humanist Nikolaus Gerbel aus Pforzheim. Durlach, 1886.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 74.

Horning, Wilhelm. Der Humanist Dr. Nikolaus Gerbel, Förderer lutherischer Reformation in Strassburg (1485-1560). Strassburg: Heitz, 1918.

Varrentrapp, C. Nicolaus Gerbel : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des wissenschaftlichen Lebens in Strassburg im 16. Jahrhundert. Strassburg : Trübner, 1901.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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Neff, Christian. "Gerbel, Nikolaus (d. 1560)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 11 Aug 2020.,_Nikolaus_(d._1560)&oldid=145230.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Gerbel, Nikolaus (d. 1560). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 11 August 2020, from,_Nikolaus_(d._1560)&oldid=145230.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 477. All rights reserved.

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