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Joachim of Fiore (Joachim of Floris, Joachimus Calaber) (ca. 1132-1202) was the founder and first abbot of the Cistercian monastery in Calabria. He was an Italian mystic, the originator of the prophecy concerning the approach of the age of the Spirit (in 1260), which was to follow upon the age of the Father in the history of Israel and the age of the Son in the history of the Catholic Church, as the third and final era, and bring about a renewal of the Spirit in secularized Christendom. Joachim's ideas became widely spread. In some respects he prepared the way for the Reformation and Anabaptism; for the former in his antipapal attitude, which became more and more pronounced among the rigorous Franciscans, and for the latter in his demand for the renewal of life and his apocalyptic view of history and of the Bible.
Thus apparently Melchior Hoffman was influenced by Joachimite ideas in his exegesis of Revelation, in which he has the two witnesses of Revelation 11 appear before the dawn of the new age and oppose the anti-Christian papacy, and prophesy for 1,260 days in the spirit of Elijah and Enoch. The Joachimites understood these witnesses to be St. Francis and St. Dominicus, whereas Hoffman's followers saw their Elijah in Hoffman himself. Hoffman's analysis of history deviates from Joachim's in that he divides the period after Christ into three ages. A division of world history into three parts is again encountered in the exegesis of the High German Anabaptists, who call the Old Testament time yesterday, New Testament time today, and future time tomorrow, but here all extra-Biblical speculation is absent.
Arnold, Gottfried. Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie vom Anfang des Neuen Testaments bis auf das Jahr Christi 1688. Frankfurt a.m., 1703. Reprinted Hildesheim : G. Olms, 1967: XII, 3, 5; XIII, 2, 3, c. 3, 2.
Benz, E. Ecclesia Spiritualis. Stuttgart, 1934.
Bett, H. Joachim of Flora. London, 1931.
Loserth, J. Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte der oberdeutschen Taufgesinnten im 16. Jahrhundert. Vienna, 1929: 583.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967, v. II: 427.
zur Linden, F.O. Melchior Hofmann, ein Prophet der Wiedertäufer. Haarlem, 1885: 93 and 195 ff.
Cite This Article
Hein, Gerhard. "Joachim of Fiore (ca. 1132-1202)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 Jul 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Joachim_of_Fiore_(ca._1132-1202)&oldid=57256.
Hein, Gerhard. (1957). Joachim of Fiore (ca. 1132-1202). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 July 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Joachim_of_Fiore_(ca._1132-1202)&oldid=57256.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 110-111. All rights reserved.
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