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Stäbler (bearers of the staff, that is, instead of the sword), the name given to the completely nonresistant party of Anabaptists at Nikolsburg , led by Jacob Widemann and Philip Jäger, in contradistinction to the party of Balthasar Hubmaier who defended the use of the sword under certain circumstances as well as the payment of war taxes. The Hubmaier party was called the "Schwerdtler". The Stäbler became the Hutterites, while the Hubmaier party died out by 1529. As late as 1576 Caspar Franck's Catalogus Haereticorum (Ingolstadt) lists the Stäbler as follows: "Stäbler teach that a Christian cannot with a clear conscience and according to the Word of God bear a sword or wage war, but shall let a staff suffice. They are usually reckoned among the Anabaptists, who arose in our time." This does not necessarily mean that they were still in existence in 1576. The Hutterite Chronik attributes the name Stäbler to Hans Spittelmaier's action.


Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 86.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Stäbler." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 15 Aug 2022.

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Bender, Harold S. (1959). Stäbler. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 August 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 607. All rights reserved.

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