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Heresy was officially defined in medieval and Reformation times as deviation from the official creeds of the church, e.g., the Nicene Creed (325), the Chalcedonian Creed (451), the Augsburg Confession (1530). It was considered the obligation of the state to uphold and defend the creeds of the church, and to punish heretics, who were thus not only apostates from the church or its faith, but violators of the civil law and punishable as criminals. The Anabaptists were thus in most areas in Reformation times heretics and criminals.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Heresy." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 1 Oct 2023.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Heresy. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2023, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1091. All rights reserved.

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