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Apostolische Brüder (Apostolic Brethren) was the popular designation for the Waldenses in the later Middle Ages and in the Reformation period, also at times for the Anabaptists (Keller, Reformation). The apostolic example that they tried to realize in teaching and in life may have led to this designation. J. H. Ottius, Annales Anabaptistici (Basel, 1672) states: "They are called apostolic from their apostles or missionaries; according to others, because they claimed to follow the apostles exactly, took the Bible literally, left their possessions, and without shoes, without wallets, without money traveled about everywhere, washed one another's feet, and ordered that all goods should be held in common." It is nevertheless worth noticing that this name was applied anew by Mennonites in Russia in the Apostolische Brüdergemeinde.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 78.

Keller, Ludwig. Die Reformation und die älteren Reformparteien : in ihrem Zusammenhange dargestellt. Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1885: 8, 11, 34, etc.

Otte, Johann Heinrich. Annales Anabaptistici: hoc est, Historia universalis de Anabaptistarum origine, progressu, factionibus & schismatis ... Basileae: sumptibus Johannis Regis, 1672: Preface 2.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Apostolische Brüder." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 30 May 2016.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1953). Apostolische Brüder. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 141. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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