Oosterbaan, Heere (1736-1807)

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Heere Oosterbaan, a Dutch Mennonite theologian, born 3 January 1736, at Harlingen, died there 18 September 1807, the son of the merchant Evert Oosterbaan and Grietje Simons Stinstra. As a consequence of scarlet fever he was deaf from his eighth year; but this did not prevent him from becoming a distinguished preacher. Taught at first by his uncles Johannes and Gooitgen Stinstra (respectively preacher and physician), he attended the Latin school and the Athenaeum at Franeker, obtaining his Ph.D. degree in 1757; then he studied under Professor Tjerk Nieuwenhuis at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary. In January 1760 he became the preacher of the Mennonite church in Makkum. In 1761 he was appointed to succeed Nieuwenhuis as professor in the seminary. After the death of Klaas de Vries (1766) he also gave instruction in the natural sciences at the seminary. In 1786 he resigned his professorship and followed his uncle Johannes Stinstra as preacher at the Harlingen congregation, serving until his death in 1807. He was repeatedly one of the delegates of the Friesche Societeit (Mennonite Conference of Friesland) and chairman in 1788. His influence in Harlingen and his fatherly attitude in a quarrel in the congregation concerning the management of the "twelve men" is described by Pieter Cool (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1880): 11-38). He was the author of the missive sent by the Friesche Societeit to the Mennonites of Russia at the request of Trappe, the plenipotentiary of Catherine II (printed in Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839). In 1795 he was elected by the popular representation of Friesland to the committee on drafting a constitution. When the Dictionaire antique Encyclopedique (Paris, 1769) published an erroneous article on the Mennonites, he managed to have a better one produced. He wrote the Epistola de Mennonitis in the Bibl. Hagana IV, 133-50 (Amsterdam, 1769); and also Leerreden ter aanprijzinge van het Instituut tot onderwijzing van dooven en stommen (Harlingen, 1792): Ontwerp van eenige schikkingen raakende den openbaren godsdienst (1792). His lectures (Latin) held at the Seminary, titled Systema theologicum (five volumes), are found in the Amsterdam Mennonite Archives. Pastor Freerk Hoekstra, his student and from 1792 his colleague in Harlingen, preached his funeral sermon, Lijkrede op H. Oosterbaan (Amsterdam, 1807). In 1760 Oosterbaan was married to Aagjen D. Hanekuyk of Harlingen.


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Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1880): 1-41 passim.

Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1850): 113-121.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 305.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, No. 680.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. II, 1211.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam (1808): 78 f.

Sepp, Christian. Johannes Stinstra en zijn tijd II. Amsterdam, 1866: 289-92.

Author(s) Karel Vos
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Vos, Karel. "Oosterbaan, Heere (1736-1807)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 Mar 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oosterbaan,_Heere_(1736-1807)&oldid=144523.

APA style

Vos, Karel. (1959). Oosterbaan, Heere (1736-1807). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 March 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Oosterbaan,_Heere_(1736-1807)&oldid=144523.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 69. All rights reserved.

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