Meyer, Sebastian (1465-1545)

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Sebastian Meyer, a Reformed theologian, of Neuburg on the Rhine, Germany, a former Franciscan, who had occasionally worked in Strasbourg, Alsace. At the very beginning ot tne Reformation he was inspired by the evangelical spirit. He came to Bern, Switzerland, and was the first to preach Reformation doctrine. In 1523 he participated in the colloquy of Zürich. But Catholic power prevailed and he was expelled from Bern in 1524. He went to Basel, left the Franciscan order, married and then went to Augsburg, where he preached for a long time. After the Reformation was accomplished in Bern he returned to fill the gap caused by the death of Berchtold Haller and Franz Kolb.

For the Anabaptist movement Meyer was of importance in that he represented the Reformed Church in the disputation at Bern 11-17 March 1538. He sought to establish the nature of the true church on the basis of Ephesians 4, and made serious charges against the Anabaptists, accusing them of having forsaken the true Christian church and as self-chosen prophets having set up a synagogue of Satan; but they had not succeeded; the Reformers had opened entire cities and countries to the Gospel. In strict contrast to this position was that of the Swiss Brethren. Their conception of the church could not be one of church politics. They replied to Meyer that Christianity was not a matter of an external confession by entire cities and kingdoms, but an inward personal life. Sebastian Meyer participated actively in the campaign to wipe out the Anabaptists. To what extent he was responsible for the violent measures passed against them cannot be determined.


Geiser, Samuel. Die Taufgesinnten-Gemeinden. Karlsruhe, 1931.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 123 f.

Manuscript record of the Anabaptist Disputation of 1538 in U.P. 80, state archives of Bern.

Marti, E. Menschenrat und Gottestat. Geschichte der Berner Reformation. Karlsruhe, 1931.

Author(s) Samuel Geiser
Date Published 1957

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Geiser, Samuel. "Meyer, Sebastian (1465-1545)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 25 Mar 2019.,_Sebastian_(1465-1545)&oldid=145880.

APA style

Geiser, Samuel. (1957). Meyer, Sebastian (1465-1545). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 March 2019, from,_Sebastian_(1465-1545)&oldid=145880.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 665. All rights reserved.

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