Thomas, Jan (1682-1744)

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Jan Thomas (Tomas): Dutch Mennonite preacher; born 28 January 1682 at Oosterlittens and died 26 July 1744 at Surhuisterveen. He was a farmer, but accepted a call as minister of the Heerenveen-Knijpe congregation, serving here 1714-20 and in the Surhuisterveen congregation 1722-44. His colleague Jan Jogchems of Drachten preached his funeral sermon on 17 August 1744. In 1719 he published at Heerenveen: Kort Onderwijs voor de Jeugt in de voornaamste Gronden van den Christelijken godsdienst. The Reformed pastor of Heerenveen discovered in this booklet a number of "Socinian errors," and so Thomas was summoned before the Reformed classis and thereupon suspended by the government. Soon after, however, he was active again, baptizing on 21 January 1720. But again he was suspended and the government pressed his dismissal on account of the mandates issued by the States of Friesland in 1662 and 1687 against Socinians, Quakers, and "Dompelaars." The Frisian government, alarmed by Jan Thomas's Socinianism, in 1722 had a confession drawn up which was to be signed by all Mennonite preachers in the province of Friesland, and which emphatically repudiated the doctrines of Socinus. Jan Thomas, who belonged to the liberal wing of the Dutch Mennonites and who had much contact with the Collegiants, also published his induction sermon at Heerenveen: Den Wandel der Geloovigen in de vrese Gods (Heerenveen, 1716), and translated the first Psalm into the Frisian language.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 205-8.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1896): 149-75.

Molhuysen, P. C. and P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, 10 vols. Leiden, 1911-1937: v. VIII, 1295.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Thomas, Jan (1682-1744)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 Sep 2020.,_Jan_(1682-1744)&oldid=110080.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Thomas, Jan (1682-1744). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2020, from,_Jan_(1682-1744)&oldid=110080.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 715. All rights reserved.

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