Yetelhauser, Michael (16th century)

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Michael Yetelhauser (Yedelhauser, Jedelhaus), a tailor of Weyl (Weil (?) der Stadt in Württemberg), was imprisoned in the Upper House Prison in Passau with about 60 fellow believers. In September 1538, the fourth year of his imprisonment, he recanted. The record of his cross-examination says that Michael would follow the church in the expectation that the church would reform according to the word and command of God and do away with the abuses. The confession of Hans Pfeiffer (Mosheim calls him Hans Beck; this is surely an error; see ML I, 149 f; Wiswedel I, 29) is said to have had the same general content. But since these two men did not accept the Catholic doctrine of the sacrament in one form, the ruler and administrator were unwilling to release them. But Pfeiffer and Yetelhauser escaped from prison. Mosheim, the recorder, who had taken great pains for the "conversion" of these two Anabaptists and did not agree with the administrator with respect to several "articles," was at Nürnberg a year later. Here the two Anabaptists looked him up. For that reason Mosheim was suspected of Anabaptism, and so there developed a "right spiritual struggle" between him and the Nürnberg clergy. Mosheim was apparently a wavering character who, though no longer completely in the old church, wanted to clear his name of any suspicion of Anabaptism. He declared that he had induced Yetelhauser and Pfeiffer to recant and had earnestly prayed for their release and God had heard him. Now they had come to him in Nürnberg; it would be better to listen to them in person. His suggestion was accepted. The two Anabaptists in the presence of two clergymen, two councilors, and a secretary were examined at the Rathaus. "The people of Nürnberg found pleasure in the confession of the two," comments Mosheim in his document.

Michael Yetelhauser answered the question how man is justified before God and saved: "Alone through the recognition that Christ died for us, has paid the price of sin, and done satisfaction, and thus the heart of man is struck and illuminated to such an extent through the power of God that he recognizes such a kindness which has happened in his favor, and is sincerely happy and comforted."

In reply to the question whether works have nothing to do with this justification he declared: "He who has a true Christian faith must also do Christian good works; such good works cannot be separated from the faith. However, justification and salvation are not ascribed to the works, but alone to faith. For that which Christ acquired for man even before he is born cannot be achieved with any work." In answer to the question whether his Brethren held the same view of justification he replied: "Yes, and he has been with them. They urgently insist on good works." Nothing is known concerning Yetelhauser's later fate.


Mosheim,von Ruprecht. Eine Christliche wahrhaftige gründliche Entschuldung. Kirchen-Bibliothek Neustadt, collection 447.

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. Bilder and Führergestalten aus dem Täufertum, 3 vols. Kassel: J.G. Oncken Verlag, 1928-1952: v. 2, 29.

Author(s) Wilhelm Wiswedel
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. "Yetelhauser, Michael (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 14 Aug 2018.,_Michael_(16th_century)&oldid=112061.

APA style

Wiswedel, Wilhelm. (1959). Yetelhauser, Michael (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 August 2018, from,_Michael_(16th_century)&oldid=112061.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 1003-1004. All rights reserved.

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