Zijpp, Nanne van der (1900-1965)

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Nanne van der Zijpp

Nanne van der Zijpp (b. 2 April 1900, d. 22 January 1965) studied theology at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary and the University of Amsterdam (1920-1925). In 1961 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the U. of Amsterdam. He served as pastor in Zijldijk (1926-1928), Joure (1928-1940), Almelo (1940-1946), and Rotterdam (1946-1964). He also began lecturing in Anabaptist and Mennonite history at the Mennonite seminary in 1948, being appointed professor in 1964.

In his first congregation van der Zijpp became acquainted with Karel Vos, a Mennonite historian, who stimulated van der Zijpp's interest in Anabaptism in The Netherlands. He also developed contacts with Quakers and American Mennonites which further encouraged him in his work, particularly in nonresistance. In 1928 he published his first brochure De vroege doopsgezindenen en de krijgsdienst (The Early Anabaptists and Military Service). After the initial volumes of Anabaptist sources were published he concentrated increasingly on his historical work, particularly on Menno Simons, about whom he read a major paper at the Mennonite World Conference in Karlsruhe in 1936.

During World War II Van der Zijpp developed a filing system which became the foundation for his future publications in Anabaptism and Mennonitism, particularly also for the four volume Mennonite Encyclopedia. He wrote 480 articles, totaling nearly 10,000 inches of print, for the encyclopedia. His Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Nederland (History of the Mennonites in the Netherlands) appeared in 1952 as the first comprehensive work of this kind. Two years later he presented a major lecture on the confessions of the Dutch Menonites. He was also instrumental in initiating the publication of Stemmen uit de Doopsgezinde Broederschap (Voices from the Mennonite Brotherhood; 1952-1963).

Van der Zijpp was definitely not an armchair scholar. He was an excellent pastor, worked intensely with the Russian Mennonite refugees during and following World War II, gave outstanding guidance to the Mennonite youth work in The Netherlands and to the retreat center at Elspeet. Though his publications centered primarily on Anabaptist and Mennonite themes, his total interest was much broader; For example, he gave occasional lectures on philosophy at the University of Rotterdam.   


A list of van der Zijpp's writings is found in "Uit het werk van N. van der Zijpp 1900-1965." Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde te Leiden. Amsterdam, 1968.

See also Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis 46 (1964-65): 255.

Jaarboek van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde te Leiden (1965-66): 133-141.

Meihuizen, H. W.  "In memoriam N. van der Zijpp." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 22, neue Folge 17 (1965): 5-7.

Mennonite Life, 24 (1969): 174-178.

Nauta, D. Editor. Biografisch lexicon voor de geschiedenis van het Nederlandse Protestantisme. Kampen, 1978: vol. 2: 476-477.

Rotterdam Jaarboekje (1966): 285-288

Schowalter, Paul. "Zum Gedächtnis an N. van der Zijpp." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 22, neue Folge 17 (1965): 7-9.

Author(s) S. B. J Zilverberg
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zilverberg, S. B. J. "Zijpp, Nanne van der (1900-1965)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 22 Oct 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zijpp,_Nanne_van_der_(1900-1965)&oldid=62215.

APA style

Zilverberg, S. B. J. (1989). Zijpp, Nanne van der (1900-1965). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zijpp,_Nanne_van_der_(1900-1965)&oldid=62215.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 958-959. All rights reserved.

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