Jacob Jansz Scheedemaker (d. ca. 1596)

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Jacob Jansz Scheedemaker (also called Jacob Jansz Kist), a Dutch Mennonite leader, a preacher at Emden, East Friesland, who was banned in 1555 or 1556; he was probably excommunicated by Leenaert Bouwens for being too lax in the practice of shunning (see Ban). But a considerable number of Mennonites agreed with Scheedemaker and they were then called the "Scheedemaker" group. At the same time and for the same reason Hendrik Naeldeman and Joriaen Heynsz were excommuni­cated; both were leaders at Franeker in Friesland; they also had many followers, who were called "Franekeraars." Soon after his excommunication Scheedemaker moved from Emden to De Rijp in the Dutch province of North Holland; in this Waterland district most Mennonites rejected rigorous shunning, being inclined to somewhat milder prac­tices. From then on, the names "Franekeraars" and "Scheedemakers" disappeared, and were replaced by the general term "Waterlanders", who sepa­rated from the main body in the fall of 1556. An attempt made by Menno Simons early in 1557 to reconcile the Waterlanders with Leenaert Bouwens and the supporters of rigorous shunning miscarried. Jacob Jansz Scheedemaker became a Waterlander leader. In September 1577 he drew up the first Dutch confession (Waterlander Confession) with Hans de Ries, Simon Michiels, Simon Jacobs, and Albert Verspeck. On 28 November 1578, he and Hans de Ries debated with D. V. Coornhert on the question whether there could be a true Christian church on earth. In 1581 Scheedemaker was ap­pointed elder and moved to Haarlem. Here he be­came involved in a quarrel with Hans Doornaert, a Flemish immigrant and a preacher. The quarrel was settled during a meeting at Haarlem, 14 September 1587, which Coornhert, then a notary at Haarlem, also attended. A debate between Scheede­maker and Coornhert was held at a meeting of Waterlander leaders at Alkmaar on 29 November 1587, when they agreed that persons who had not been baptized should also be admitted at the communion. Scheedemaker was still active in 1596. On 3 March of that year he preached at Rotterdam, using the silent prayer criticized by the Reformed Minister Franciscus van Lansbergen. He must have died soon after.

In 1591 Scheedemaker was attacked by Pieter Cornelisz, a Reformed pastor at Alkmaar, in a booklet, Argumenten ende Bewysredenen, in which he proved that it is permissible for a Christian to hold government office. Scheedemaker, supported by Hans de Ries, his fellow preacher, answered with Nootwendighe Verantwoordinge der Verdruckter Waerheyt (probably published in 1597), in which he also defended silent prayer against van Lansbergen. In 1590 he was elder of the Waterlander congregation at Amsterdam; on 22 October of this year some young Frisian leaders such as Lubbert Gerritsz and Hoyte Renix wrote a letter to Scheedemaker concerning a merger of the Frisians and the Waterlanders, which had been proposed by Scheedemaker and his co-ministers, but which the Frisians considered premature.


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Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Jacob Jansz Scheedemaker (d. ca. 1596)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 Oct 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jacob_Jansz_Scheedemaker_(d._ca._1596)&oldid=120310.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Jacob Jansz Scheedemaker (d. ca. 1596). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 October 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Jacob_Jansz_Scheedemaker_(d._ca._1596)&oldid=120310.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 61. All rights reserved.

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