Gast, Johannes (d. 1552)

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Johannes Gast, (d. 1552), of Breisach, Reformed parson and prolific writer at Basel, Switzerland, disciple of Oecolampadius. His diary, preserved only in excerpts (by Tryphius) and as manuscript (a translation by Buxtorf-Falkeisen appeared in Basel in 1856), and also his book, De anabaptismi exordio, erroribus, historijs abominandis, Confutationibus adjectis (Basel, 1544), are the most important sources for the history of the Anabaptists in Basel. Since he speaks polemically and in addition copies much from others (especially Zwingli's In catabaptistarum strophas elenchus) he must be used with caution. He is a violent opponent of the Anabaptists, and sees in them only obstinancy and hypocrisy. In Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Mennoniten-Gemeinden (Berlin, 1821), by Reiswitz and Wadzeck, his name is incorrectly (p. 231) given as Johann Gustius, and his book inexactly.

Hagenbach describes Gast as having a sharp, malicious tongue, in whose diary everybody is defamed. And Hase says that his book is a confused collection, in part based on records, and in part on Swiss anecdotes to defame the Anabaptists, though they actually (unintentionally) frequently honor the Anabaptists.


Burckhardt, Paul. Die basler Täufer: ein Beitrag zur schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte.Basel: R. Reich, Buchh., vorm. C. Detloff, 1898: X.

Gesner, Conrad. Bibliotheca instituta et collecta primum a Conrado Gesnero, deinde in Epitomen redacta et novorum librorum accessione locupletata, iam vero postremo recognita / et in duplum post priores editiones aucta per Josiam Simlerum Tigurinum ; Habes hic ... catalogum locupletissimum omnium ferè scriptorum ... publicatorum et passim in bibliothecis latitantium ; Opus ... utilissimum.Zürich, 1574 & 1583.

Hagenbach, Karl Rudolf. Johannes Oekolampad und Oswald Myconius, die Reformatoren Basels. Elberfeld: Friderichs, 1859: 382.

Hase, Karl August. Das Reich der Wiedertäufer. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1860: 148.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 35.

Author(s) Ernst Crous
Date Published 1956

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Crous, Ernst. "Gast, Johannes (d. 1552)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 27 Feb 2024.,_Johannes_(d._1552)&oldid=144138.

APA style

Crous, Ernst. (1956). Gast, Johannes (d. 1552). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2024, from,_Johannes_(d._1552)&oldid=144138.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 440. All rights reserved.

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