Schnabel, Georg (16th century)

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Georg Schnabel, a Hessian Anabaptist preacher, previously a treasurer in Allendorf, a town on the Werra near Kassel, Germany, was seized with thirty other Anabaptists at a meeting in an abandoned church at Gemunden, and imprisoned with ten brethren at Wolkersdorf. From there he and three others who were regarded as second offenders were taken to Marburg.

Soon they were returned to the Wolkersdorf prison. Their confinement was rather mild; they were allowed some freedom of movement. Georg Schnabel confessed to the magistrate at Marburg that he had repeatedly left the prison and baptized about thirty persons. When Noviomagus, a professor at the University of Marburg, and Fabricius, the pastor of Allendorf, were sent to Wolkersdorf by Philipp of Hesse in August 1538 to convert the prisoners, Georg Schnabel was already at home with his family.

But they found a copy of the booklet Schnabel had written, Verantwortung und Wiederlegung der Artikel, so jetzund im Land zu Hessen über die armen Davider, die man Wiedertäufer nennt, ausgegangen sind. It was written with the purpose of refuting the charges raised by the church inspection committee against the Anabaptists, and to strengthen his brethren in the faith. With an amazing knowledge of the Bible Schnabel presents Anabaptist teachings and with determination repudiates the charges of communal possession of property and of wives, as well as the rejection of government.

For two years all the untiring efforts of the landgrave to convert the Anabaptists were in vain. Finally Bucer, the reformer of Strasbourg, who had been summoned by Philipp, succeeded in a disputation held on 30 October to 1 November 1538, in persuading the imprisoned Anabaptists to recant. They signed the "Bekenntnis oder Antwort etlicher Fragestücke oder Artikeln der gefangenen Täufer und anderer im Land zu Hessen," which was drawn up by Peter Tasch, and were received into the church.


An account of the colloquy of 1538 is found in Zeitschrift für historische Theologie (1858): 626-44.

Diehl, W. Zur Geschichte der Konfirmation. Giessen, 1897: 4 ff.

Wappler, Paul. Die Stellung Kursachsens und des Landgrafen Philipp von Hessen zur Täuferbewegung. Münister, 1910: 57 ff.

Author(s) Wilhelm Wiswedel
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. "Schnabel, Georg (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Jul 2024.,_Georg_(16th_century)&oldid=77566.

APA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. (1959). Schnabel, Georg (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 July 2024, from,_Georg_(16th_century)&oldid=77566.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 469. All rights reserved.

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