Thijs Joriaensz (d. 1569)

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Thijs Joriaensz (Jeuriaensz), an Anabaptist martyr, executed at Muiden, Netherlands, in 1569 (exact date unknown), with Jan Claesz by burning at the stake "chained together like horses." Van Braght's Martyrs' Mirror, following the martyr book of 1626, whose authors obtained data from Simon Fijts, a Mennonite preacher of Texel, gives a circumstantial report about these martyrs. Thijs was a native of Rarop (Ransdorp near Amsterdam) and a "dienaer int woord" (preacher). While visiting the congregation of Muiden with Jan Claesz, where Thijs was to preach, they were apprehended and imprisoned in the castle of Muiden for about half a year. Thereupon they were conducted to The Hague, where they remained in arrest for half a year, and then returned to the Muiden castle. After another stay there of about three months they were sentenced and executed.

Van Braght includes two letters by Thijs, one written on the 15th day of his imprisonment and addressed to his "brethren and sisters," i.e., the members of his congregation (at Ransdorp?), and one dated at The Hague 5 February 1569, to the congregation of Edam in North Holland. Van Braght reports that he chose from the letters written by Thijs Joriaensz which had been published before. Of these the following editions are known (some may have been lost): Een Christelijcke Sentbrief geschreven wter gevangenisse, van de Sendinghe, Inleydinge ende coemste Jesu Christi, followed by Eene hertgrondelijcke en Christelijcke Sentbrief, and a hymn by Thijs (n.p., 1577; repr. n.p., 1579; Haarlem, 1586), and Een Christelijcke Sentbrief, van de sendinghe, Inleydinge ende coemste Jesu Christi in deser werelt . . . (Amsterdam, 1586). Of a booklet by Thijs Joriaensz and Job Janze, Twee brieven . . . met een cleyne voorrede with four hymns (n.p., 1609) there is only one copy extant, and of this only the first part. It is found in the Amsterdam Mennonite library. These letters by Thijs and Job Janze were addressed to the Frisian leaders Jan Willems and Lubbert Gerritsz.

Unlike most of the martyrs, Thijs took part in the schisms that arose at this time among the Dutch Mennonites, dividing them in several branches. Thijs sided with Dirk Philips and the Flemish branch, vehemently asserting that the Frisians were wrong. In his letter he insisted on keeping the congregation "on a solid base and cleansing it from aberrations." These passages in question are not found in van Braght, who shortened the letters. The hymn composed by Thijs, "Ick roep tot u o schepper mijn, waer sal ick zijn?" is included in Wackernagel, Lieder. Letters by Thijs Joriaensz in a French translation are found in Enchiridion ou Manuel de la Réligion Chrestienne . . . (n.p., 1608), containing works of Dirk Philips, Menno Simons, and others, translated by Virgile de Las.


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Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Thijs Joriaensz (d. 1569)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 May 2022.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Thijs Joriaensz (d. 1569). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 712-713. All rights reserved.

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