Barber, Edward (17th century)

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Edward Barber originally belonged to a group of Brownists, led by Thomas Helwys and later by John Murton, who in 1610, while living in Amsterdam, did not wish to unite with the Mennonites there, even though the Brownists too had rejected infant baptism and only baptized adults on confession of faith. Later on he came to the conviction that no baptism except by immersion was Scriptural or valid. He wrote a book, A Treatise of Baptism or Dipping, Wherein is Clearly Showed, That Our Lord Christ Ordained Dipping and That Sprinkling of Children is not according to Christ’s Institutions; and also the Invalidity of Those Arguments, That are Commonly Brought to Justify That Practice (London, 1641). This book influenced his group to establish baptism by immersion as the only true baptism. This happened after Richard Blount had been rebaptized by immersion at Amsterdam or Rijnsburg. This is the time of the origin of the Baptist Church. "The ties of fellowship with the Dutch Mennonites, whom from that moment they regarded as unbaptized people, were cut off." According to Barclay, however, the practice of baptizing by immersion appears to have been introduced in England as early as 12 September 1633.


Barclay, Robert. The inner life of the religious societies of the commonwealth: considered principally with reference to the influence of church organization on the spread of Christianity. 2nd ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1877.

Hoop Scheffer, J. G. de and W. E. Griffis. History of the Free churchmen called the Brownists, Pilgrim fathers and Baptists in the Dutch republic, 1581-1701. Ithaca, N.Y., Andrus & Church [1922]: 180.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Barber, Edward (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 7 Dec 2023.,_Edward_(17th_century)&oldid=110452.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Barber, Edward (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from,_Edward_(17th_century)&oldid=110452.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 233. All rights reserved.

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