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Encyclopedia > Pilgram Marpeck

Pilgram Marpeck (unk-1556) was an important South German Anabaptist leader in the 16th century. Some writings may also give Pilgram Marbeck or Pilgrim Marpeck. Anabaptists (Greek ana+baptizo re-baptizers, German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...

Marpeck was a native of the Tyrol, Austria. His father, Heinrich Marpeck, moved from Rosenheim in Bavaria to Rattenberg, Austria, where he served as a city councilman. Heinrich also served as a judge (1494-1502) and mayor (1511). Pilgram attended the Latin school in Rattenberg. This article is about the Tyrol, the region in the eastern Alps. ... The Free State of Bavaria (German: Bayern or Freistaat Bayern), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and 12. ...

Before his days as an Anabaptist, Pilgram Marpeck lived in good financial status and as a highly respected citizen of Rattenberg on the Inn River. He was a mining engineer, a member of the miners' brotherhood, and served on both Rattenberg's inner and outer councils.

Records of Marpeck's conversion to Anabaptism are not extant. It is known that in his position as a mining magistrate, he was required by Archduke Ferdinand to expose miners in sympathy with the Anabaptist movement. Leonhard Schiemer was executed by authorities two weeks before Marpeck left his mining position on January 28, 1528. It is generally believed that he lost his position because he refused to aid authorities in capturing the Anabaptists. Marpeck was quickly reduced from a prominent citizen of Rattenberg to a "wandering citizen of heaven". January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Events June 19 - Battle of Landriano - A French army in Italy under Marshal St. ...

From 1528 to 1532, Marpeck lived in Strassburg, serving for two years as a timber supervisor, before he was expelled from the city because of his Anabaptist activity. For the next 12 years, he lived a wanderer's life in Switzerland, and traveled to Tyrol, Moravia, South Germany, and Alsace. He established Anabaptist congregations in these areas.

In 1544, Pilgram Marpeck was working in the city forest of Augsburg, and on May 12, 1545 he was employed as the city engineer. He held that position until his death in December of 1556. His services were evidently in great demand, for, though the city issued reprimands and warnings to desist, Marpeck continued his activities as a minister among the Anabaptists. Augsburg is a city in south-central Germany. ... May 12 is the 132nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (133rd in leap years). ... Events February 27 - Battle of Ancrum Moor - Scots victory over superior English forces December 13 - Official opening of the Council of Trent (closed 1563) Battle of Kawagoe - between two branches of Uesugi families and the late Hojo clan in Japan. ... December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... Events January 16 - Abdication of Emperor Charles V. His son, Philip II becomes King of Spain, while his brother Ferdinand becomes Holy Roman Emperor January 23 - The Shaanxi earthquake, the deadliest earthquake in history, occurs with its epicenter in Shaanxi province, China. ...

In addition to his labors as a pastor and church organizer, Marpeck made other important contributions to the Anabaptist, the chief of which flowed from his pen. Marpeck debated Martin Bucer and Kaspar Schwenkfeld, but also attacked the incarnation view of Melchior Hoffman, the Münsterite use of force, and the Hutterian community of goods. He held both the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, but distinguished the New Testament as the authoritative rule of faith and practice for Christian brethren. Marpeck attributed the Peasants' War, the Münster Rebellion, Ulrich Zwingli's death, and many of the excesses of the Catholic Church to the failure to make this distinction. Pilgram held a middle position among Anabaptists, criticizing the positions of both the legalists and the spiritualists. His writings include the Vermanung (a revision of Rothmann's Bekentnisse), the Verantwortung (a reply to Schwenkfeld), and the Testamentserläuterung. William Estep proposes that Marpeck was to South German Anabaptism what Menno Simons was to Dutch Anabaptism. Martin Bucer (or Butzer) (1491 - 1551) was a German Protestant reformer. ... Kaspar Schwenkfeld von Ossig (1490-1561) was a Silesian nobleman who became a Christian Reformer and spiritualist. ... Melchior Hoffman (1495-1543) was an Anabaptist prophet and a visionary leader in northern Germany and the Netherlands. ... Like the two best-known Anabaptist denominations, the Amish and the Mennonites, the Hutterites had their beginnings in the Radical Reformation of the 16th Century. ... expanding insurgences The Peasants War (in German, der Deutsche Bauernkrieg) was a popular revolt in Europe, specifically in the Holy Roman Empire between 1524-1526 and consisted, like the preceding Bundschuh movement and the Hussite Wars, of a mass of economic as well as religious revolts by peasants, townsfolk and... The Münster Rebellion was an attempt by radical Anabaptists to establish a theocracy in the German city of Münster. ... Zwinglis Successor Zwinglis successor, Heinrich Bullinger, was elected on December 9, 1531, to be the pastor of the Great Minster at Zürich, a position which he held to the end of his life (1575). ... Menno Simons (1496–1561) was an Anabaptist religious leader from the Dutch province of Friesland. ...

Pilgram Marpeck married Sophia  ? , by whom he had one child. After her death, he married a woman named Anna. They had no offspring, but adopted three children.

External links

  • A Clear Refutation - essay by Marpeck in which he defends baptism and other practices from spiritualists who wished to abolish them.
  • Exposé of the Babylonian Whore - essay by Marpeck in which he designates the Papacy as Whore of Babylon (from the Apocalypse) and discusses issues related to separation of Temporal and Spiritual authority.
  • Pilgram Marpeck: An Ecumenical Anabaptist? - looks at Marpeck's work in the context of the broader Anabaptist movement.


  • Covenant and Community: the Life and Writing of Pilgram Marpeck, by William Klassen
  • Mennonite Encyclopedia, Harold S. Bender, Cornelius J. Dyck, Dennis D. Martin, Henry C. Smith, et al., editors ISBN 0836110188
  • The Hermeneutics of Pilgrim Marpeck, Walter Klaassen
  • The Writings of Pilgram Marpeck, J. C. Wenger, editor



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