Jever (Oldenburg District, Germany)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jever, a district in Oldenburg, Germany. The Anabaptist movement in Jever is very closely connected with that in adjacent East Friesland. With varying success Lutheranism vied with Zwinglianism for supremacy after 1525. The religious convictions of Count Enno were determined by many motives, least of all by religious motives, and swung back and forth between Luther and Zwingli. Karlstadt's great influence in the region about 1530 led Enno to take decisive steps against the Sacramentists, to expel Karlstadt, and to adopt a Lutheran church order based on the Marburg articles. But the vacillation continued.

Anabaptists from East Friesland and Holland were probably in Jever at a very early period. It is difficult now to determine what was meant by the term Anabaptist; they all agreed, however, on the rejection of infant baptism. At any rate, after the fall of Münster in 1535 and the appearance of Menno Simons they formed the main stock of the Mennonites, which fact shows that there were among them not only extreme spiritualists, but also real Täufer. Because of the confusion of confessions they did not find it too difficult to maintain their position upholding simplicity and apostolic Christianity.

Maria, who was for many years the regent of Jever (1515-1575), advised by Remme of Seedieck, made several attempts to resist the Anabaptists, but never completely gained the upper hand over them. In contrast to the edicts, the measures actually adopted were very mild, expulsion being the highest penalty. The attitude of the city preachers shows the same spirit; the strong conflict of religious movements among the free Frisians did not remain fruitless. The Erklärung der Prediger Jeverlands zum Interim (1549) and the undated and anonymous Confessio Jeverensis contain Anabaptist ideas to a greater degree than do the Augustana and Apologie.

Yet the Anabaptist movement cannot have been strong. The village of Jever was, to be sure, an open town (until 1536) and as such offered transit, but probably no more, since police supervision intentionally gave this aspect emphasis. At any rate, in 1576 only six Anabaptists are mentioned, in part with their residences, at the colloquium held with them and the Calvinists, which resulted in the expulsion of the Anabaptists from Jever.


Cornelius, C.A. Der Anteil Ostfrieslands an der Reformation. Münster, 1852.

Schauenburg, L. Die Täuferbewegung in der Grafschaft Oldenburg-Delmenhorst und der Herrschaft Jever. Oldenburg, 1888.

Schauenburg, L. Beiträge zur Kunde der Ref.-Geschichte. 1888. Popularized version of the above.

Reimers, H. Die Gestaltung d. Reformation in Ostfriesland. Aurich, 1917.

Abhandlungen und Beitrdge zur Gesch. Ostfrieslands, No. 20.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967, vol. II: 405.

Author(s) Otto Schowalter
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Schowalter, Otto. "Jever (Oldenburg District, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 8 Apr 2020.,_Germany)&oldid=144179.

APA style

Schowalter, Otto. (1957). Jever (Oldenburg District, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 8 April 2020, from,_Germany)&oldid=144179.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 109. All rights reserved.

©1996-2020 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.