Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dr. Jonas And Balthasar Hübmaier

Dr. Jonas has an interesting post on Balthasar Hubmaier on his Blog---here are a few snippets:
It was my church history professor and mentor in seminary, W. R. Estep that first introduced me to Balthasar Hubmaier. The first time I saw his name in writing I thought, "how do I prounce it?" But, it didn't take too many class sessions in Dr. Estep's course on the Anabaptists before the name became so common that all of us knew how to pronounce it.

The brilliant Hubmaier was born around 1481 in a small town called Friedberg just outside of Augsburg. He attended the University of Freiburg and there came under the tutelage of the great Catholic theologian Dr. John Eck. Hubmaier completed both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees then followed Eck to the University of Ingolstadt where he received the Doctor of Theology degree. Eck once called Hubmaier the most brilliant student he'd ever been associated with. Because of his great preaching ability and keen theological mind he accepted appointment as preacher at the cathedral in Regensburg in 1516. Five years later he became a parish priest in Waldshut and there came into contact with Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation. Two years later, he became publicly identified with Zwingli’s reform in Zurich, but soon developed Anabaptist ideas.


...An eyewitness to his execution described Hubmaier’s death this way:

To the people he said, “O dear brothers, if I have injured any, in word or deed, may he forgive me for the sake of my merciful God. I forgive all those that have done me harm.”

While his clothes were being removed: “From thee also, O Lord, were the clothes stripped. My clothes will I gladly leave here, only preserve my spirit and my soul, I beseech thee!” Then he added in Latin: “O Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit,” and spoke no more in Latin.

As they rubbed sulphur and gunpowder into his beard, which he wore rather long, he said, “Oh salt me well, salt me well.” And raising his head, he called out: “O dear brothers, pray God that he will give me patience in this my suffering.”

As his beard and hair caught fire, he cried out, “O Jesus, Jesus.”

Associated Baptist Press has this story today about the original writings of Hubmaier:

It seems that in just a few months all the writings of Hubmaier are going to be accessible on the internet. Great news about this nearly forgotten Anabaptist reformer! I have told my classes for years that if Hubmaier had lived out his full lifespan his influence in the 16th century might have rivaled that of Luther and Calvin.

Read the whole post at Dr. J's Blog. Besides, Bruce Springsteen, I remember Hubmaier being one of Dr. J's most passionate subjects---well Anabaptist history and church history in general. Here are a few more thoughts on the influential Radical Reformer:
[edit] Reformer and Anabaptist
In 1522 he became acquainted with Heinrich Glarean, (Conrad Grebel's teacher) and Erasmus at Basel. In March, 1523, in Zürich, Hubmaier met with Huldrych Zwingli, and even participated in a disputation there in October of that same year. In the disputation, he set forth the principle of obedience to the Scriptures. It was evidently here that Hubmaier committed to abandoning infant baptism, a practice he could not support with Scripture.

Anabaptist Wilhelm Reublin arrived in Waldshut in 1525, having been driven out of Zürich. In April Reublin baptized Hubmaier and sixty others.

In December 1525, Hubmaier fled to Zürich to escape the Austrian army. Hoping to find refuge, Zwingli instead had him arrested. While a prisoner, Hubmaier requested a disputation on baptism, which was granted. The disputation yielded some unusual events. Ten men, four of whom Hubmaier requested, were present for the disputation. Within the discussion, Hubmaier proceeded to quote statements by Zwingli in which he asserted that children should not be baptized until they had been instructed. Zwingli responded that he had been misunderstood. The bewildered Hubmaier agreed to recant. But before the congregation the next day, he attested the mental and spiritual anguish brought on by his actions and stated "I can and I will not recant." Back in prison and under the torture of the rack, he did offer the required recantation. With this, he was allowed to leave Switzerland and journeyed to Nikolsburg in Moravia. This weakness troubled him deeply and brought forth his Short Apology in 1526, which includes the statements: "I may err—I am a man—but a heretic I cannot be... O God, pardon me my weakness".

Anyways, digitizing his works is a great way of preserving his works for future generations and introducing him to a younger audience.

No comments: