Montanus, Herman (17th century)

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Herman Montanus was a Reformed "alumnus" in Leiden, later a Remonstrant preacher, and finally, attracted by Socinianism, he joined in the criticism of the traditional doctrines of the church. In 1647 he wrote a booklet on the inadequacy of infant baptism, with the title Nietigheydt van de Kinder-doop, noyt voor desen soo overvloedelyk ende klaerlyk uyt kerckelycke historien, Oudvaderen, en voomamelyck uyt de H. Schrijt bewesen (Amsterdam, 1647, 1648, 1700, 1702, 1848). On the basis of the sources he proved that infant baptism was unscriptural, and that in spite of Tertullian's protest Augustine established the ceremony as a general church custom in the fourth century. He attributed the gradual replacement of adult baptism by infant baptism to Augustine's doctrine of original sin, which counted newborn infants as sinful. Montanus named all those who through the centuries protested against infant baptism, and showed (at least apparently) that in certain localities of Italy adult baptism was practiced throughout the Middle Ages.

The Mennonites were mentioned only once in a marginal note. Did this indicate that Montanus was interested primarily in the criticism of the church, and only secondarily in faith? Or did he assume that Mennonite practice was known? He named (p. 91) Pacimontanus, i.e., Hubmaier, who died at the stake in Vienna, and who opposed Luther's teaching. On the whole the book still deserves to be read as a compilation of material opposing infant baptism, aside from the considerable material on the subject which had already been written by the Mennonites.


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

Author(s) Horst Quiring
Date Published 1957

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Quiring, Horst. "Montanus, Herman (17th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 24 Jun 2024.,_Herman_(17th_century)&oldid=120773.

APA style

Quiring, Horst. (1957). Montanus, Herman (17th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2024, from,_Herman_(17th_century)&oldid=120773.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 743. All rights reserved.

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