Kürschner, Wolf (16th century)

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Wolf Kürschner (Laupt, Hussbecken) was one of a group of Anabaptists who under the pressure of persecution went from Bretten, Germany, to Moravia; but when government pressure made it difficult for the barons to tolerate them on their lands he returned to his old home. Before he reached his family he was seized on 14 November 1535 by spies of the magistrate Ulrich Winzelhäuser of Güglingen, Württemberg, Germany, with a married couple from Knittlingen, and was placed in the tower of Güglingen. Leonhard Eheim, pastor of Pfaffenhofen, was assigned to work with them, discussing with them especially infant baptism and the oath, but to no avail.

The ensuing trial by the magistrate revealed that Wolf Kürschner and several women had been baptized at Oberacker by Hans Beringer of Knittlingen. His statements give a picture of the religious views of the once stately congregation around Bretten, concerning which there is little other information. The prisoners placed no value on infant baptism. They did not hold that the sacrament contained the flesh and blood of Christ, and opposed the oath, warfare, and capital punishment. A Christian might hold a public office in government if the government were Christian and acted accordingly. They did not believe that the devil and all the damned would ultimately be saved. They accepted as completely true the teaching of the Protestant Church on the person and the work of Christ.

The prisoners were released from the tower on 2 December 1535 by their brothers, who were not Anabaptists. The brothers were later found out and arrested, but released upon the request of the nobility, officials, relatives, and neighbors; the petition stressed the brotherly love that bade them do this. They had also taken great pains to make Kürschner change his views, with success. His fellow prisoners had to attend the torture and beheading of a murderer, whereupon they declared they would do all that they were shown and taught.


Bossert, Gustav. "Wolf Kurschner, der Taufer von Bretten." Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins (1910): 431-452.

Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930: 46, 995.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 602.

Krebs, Manfred. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer. IV. Band, Baden and Pfalz. Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1951.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Date Published 1958

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MLA style

Hege, Christian. "Kürschner, Wolf (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1958. Web. 24 Jan 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=K%C3%BCrschner,_Wolf_(16th_century)&oldid=144264.

APA style

Hege, Christian. (1958). Kürschner, Wolf (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 January 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=K%C3%BCrschner,_Wolf_(16th_century)&oldid=144264.

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