Seid, Katharina (16th century)

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Katharina Seid, an "obstinate Anabaptist," the wife of Andreas Klaiber, was arrested in Strasbourg, Alsace, and tried on 23 November 1534. Her confession of faith gives some insight into early Anabaptism. She said she had been baptized in her home two years previously by a man who had come from over the Rhine; his name she did not know. Years previously Matthias Zell had preached that others, more genuine than they, would come. Therefore she prayed that God would give her true understanding. Then the brethren called Anabaptists had come, who had rightly explained the Scriptures and had first showed her the truth; by the grace of God she hoped to remain steadfast in it. She knew of no preacher of the established church who could give better instruction and doctrine. Baptism by water was not essential to her, but the knowledge of Christ; this she had, and by God's grace she would maintain it. When she was urged to desist from such error and be taught by the Reformed preachers, she replied that she was too simple for them, since she was not educated. But she was sure of her faith. She would let each depend on his own faith, since each was responsible for himself. There had indeed been learned men among the Anabaptists, but the people had not been able to learn from them. "They departed from us, but we do not depart." She trusted God, who had led her from bondage to salvation, to help her understand His truth.

Then the sentence of expulsion was read to her. She responded that she had spoken nothing but what Christ her Lord had commanded her, and she asked for the sake of the Lord to be allowed to stay; she visited only the sick who had need of her, and if she could serve anyone she would gladly do it. When asked who belonged to her sect she said she knew no Anabaptists and could say nothing about it; she would not betray them. She went nowhere and knew only Melchior Hofmann, who was in prison here, "of whom my lords say that he is an Anabaptist"; she had been fined a pound four years previously for lodging him and his wife and child; his wife did not want to stay in Strasbourg. Katharina was probably expelled.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 146-147.

Rohrich, T. W. "Zur Geschichte der strassburgischen Wiedertaufer in den Jahren 1527 bis 1543." Zeitschrift fur die historische Theologie 30 (1860): 79 ff.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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Neff, Christian. "Seid, Katharina (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 Sep 2019.,_Katharina_(16th_century)&oldid=146234.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Seid, Katharina (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 September 2019, from,_Katharina_(16th_century)&oldid=146234.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 496-497. All rights reserved.

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