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Balthasar Hubmaier's use of the Church fathers: availability, access and interaction.

Abstract: While scholarship during the past half-century has provided insights into the reception of the Church fathers among the magisterial reformers, little attention has been given to Anabaptist altitudes toward the patristics. Yet Balthasar Hubmaier exhibited an impressive familiarity with the Church fathers, especially given his short-lived Anabaptist career and imposed itinerancy. The arrival of patristic manuscripts from Byzantium into Italy, where they were translated into Latin for a wider readership, expedited the preparation of monumental editions of the Church fathers, especially north of the Alps. Once in Hubmaier's hands, these patristic sources functioned as historical and apologetical witnesses to the post-apostolic survival of doctrines such as believer's baptism and the freedom of the will. Hubmaier embraced the fathers--in contrast to the scholastic theologians and papacy--for their faithfulness to Scripture and as co-affiliates within the one, universal Church to which he also belonged.


In contrast to the scholarly attention devoted to the interaction of Renaissance humanists and magisterial reformers with the Church fathers, investigations into the reception of the fathers by Anabaptist leaders have been relatively sparse.(1) Since 1961, when the eminent Renaissance scholar Paul Oskar Kristeller challenged historians to explore "whether or to what extent the newly diffused ideas of these Greek [Christian] authors exercised an influence on the theological discussions and controversies of the Reformation period," (2) numerous studies have appeared on the general reception of the fathers during the Reformation era along with many detailed analyses on the use of the fathers by such figures as Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples, (3) Erasmus, (4) Johannes Oecolampadius, (5) Martin Luther, (6) Huldrych Zwingli, (7) Beatus Rhenanus, (8) Martin Bucer, (9) Philip Melanchthon, (10) John Calvin, (11) Andreas Musculus (12) and Theodore Beza. (13)

Although nothing comparable exists yet in Anabaptist scholarship, several theologians and historians have acknowledged the value of investigating the Anabaptist reception of the Church fathers. Historian Peter Erb, for example, has challenged scholars of the Radical Reformation to be attentive to "the abiding influence of the Fathers, chief among whom were Augustine and Gregory." "Trained in a society which no longer reads," Erb continues, modern scholars "are often too quick to leap to the closest chronological similarity for a source, being unaware that Augustine's monitions were much more familiar to our sixteenth-century ancestors than they are to us ... hat a study of early Christian literature as a source for ascetic forms for Anabaptists would be of value."(14) Jonathan Selling has also lamented the absence of "significant analysis of the Radicals' use of patristic writers either for arguments of doctrine or ordinances," (15) a sentiment echoed by theologian Chris Heubner, who notes that "Mennonite theology too often skips directly from the New Testament to the sixteenth century ... We should recall that patristic and medieval sources are part of our tradition ... too." (16) This essay begins to fill this void by examining the way in which the Anabaptist theologian Balthasar Hubmaier (c.1480-1528) used the Church fathers and the conditions that shaped his exposure to patristic treatises, epistles and commentaries.

Hubmaier's significance within the Anabaptist movement has been a point of debate from the very beginnings of the Radical Reformation. Although many of his contemporary opponents clearly identified him as a prominent Anabaptist leader, (17) later historians of the movement have been more ambivalent. Baptist scholars like Henry Vedder, Torsten Bergsten, Rollin Armour and William Estep have all emphasized Hubmaier's lasting impact on the Anabaptist-and later, Baptist-tradition. Bergsten, for example, called Hubmaier a "pioneer of the Anabaptist movement," one of its "most important leaders and thinkers" whose views on baptism, the Lord's Supper, church discipline and freedom of the will "exercised a considerable influence for a long time over a wide area among all Anabaptists."(18) Mennonite historians, by contrast, have been more cautious about claiming Hubmaier as a bona fide Anabaptist, especially given his explicit rejection of the Schleitheim Confession and his defense of the sword-bearing Christian magistracy.(19) More recently, C. Arnold Snyder has argued that Hubmaier has been "unfairly marginalized" by Anabaptist historians, suggesting that "Hubmaier probably did more to define an early theological core of Anabaptist teaching than did anyone else."(20)

Regardless of their assessment of his theological merits, most scholars have taken note of the fact that Hubmaier, in contrast to most other Anabaptist writers, frequently referred to the Church fathers in his writings, especially in his major works on baptism. Although Hubmaier made occasional reference to the Church fathers in his Gesprach auf Meister Ulrich Zwinglis Taufbuchlein (1526) and Von dem Kindertaufe ... Oecolampadius (prepared in 1525; printed in 1527), his most intentional and systematic treatment of the fathers appears in his third major work on baptism, Der uralten und gar neuen Lehrer Urteil (1526). The first version of the Urteil appeared in July 1526; a second, expanded version dedicated to Martin Goschl, the leading pastor in Nikolsburg, appeared soon thereafter.(21) In this treatise, Hubmaier cited a host of Church fathers individually; named their relevant and most useful treatises, commentaries and homilies; often provided some combination of book, chapter or folio numbers from the editions he used; and then cited them directly or paraphrased their thought-all to provide historical support for the principle of believer's baptism, or credobaptism, He also took pains to delineate various conciliar decisions and elicited the support of contemporary colleagues in defense of his argument. The patristic citations are all translated into German, perhaps in an effort to broaden the book's reach. According to Bergsten, Hubmaier first began writing the Urteil in Waldshut soon after the publication of Zwingli's Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr in January 1525, and only completed the work after he relocated to Moravia. (22) However, since the opinions of his contemporaries, including Zwingli, constitute the second half of the treatise, it is quite possible that he began compiling notes and writing the initial patristic half even earlier than that.

With the exception of Antonia Lucic Gonzalez's recent dissertation on Hubmaier and tradition, few scholars have systematically analyzed the nature of Hubmaier's appeal to the Church fathers. (23) This survey of Hubmaier's use of patristic literature provides a foundation for ascertaining his general attitude toward the fathers and his appraisal of their worth. The essay will forgo an analysis of the impact of Hubmaier's humanism and academic preparation on his later view of the Church fathers and focus instead primarily on patristic usage-that is, the nature of Hubmaier's interaction with the Church fathers during his Anabaptist career-and the more basic questions of availability, access and interaction. Implicit in this sequence are three lines of inquiry, reflected in the organization of this essay: (1) What patristic writings were available to Hubmaier? (2) What patristic writings did Hubmaier likely access based on geography, chronology, personal connections and interest? and (3) How did he interact with editions of the Church fathers and for what reasons?

In the end, Hubmaier used the fathers for apologetic purposes as historical allies in his defense of credobaptism and free will. Clearly, he viewed the fathers favorably, not merely by giving cognitive assent to their teachings, but by accepting them as co-affiliates in the universal church as he understood it.


Although the flow of Byzantine emigre scholars into the West began in the late fourteenth century, (24) the failed union Council of Ferrara-Florence (X438-1439) (25) and the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks (1453) were the occasion for more comprehensive interest in the Greek fathers. (26) These two events encouraged numerous Byzantine scholars to immigrate to Italy and stimulated the growth of significant libraries beyond Byzantium's western border. (27) The efforts in Italy to translate these newly acquired texts into Latin stimulated even greater interest in the fathers north of the Alps where Hubmaier lived and wrote (see figure 1 below). Since the task of identifying all patristic editions available to Hubmaier would be a monumental project, requiring several volumes in its own right, a snapshot of the development of patristic literature available in Germany must suffice for our purposes.


One of the early Italian scholars most interested in translating the Greek fathers into Latin during the fourteenth century was the Camaldulian monk, Ambrogio Traversari. Traversari's translations included treatises, letters and sermons by Basil of Caesarea, Athanasius, and his favorite, John Chrysostom, including his De providentia Dei. (28) He also reconstructed error-ridden medieval Latin manuscripts, produced new editions, and made them more widely available, among them Jerome's Latin translation of Origen's Homilies on Luke, and the writings of Ambrose. (29)

George of Trebizond, who also translated many of the Greek fathers into Latin, was "the chief scholar responsible for their wider diffusion in the West." (30) In addition to pagan philosophical and scientific works by Aristotle and Ptolemy, (31) Trebizond translated several important patristic texts that Hubmaier read, including Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on John, John Chrysostom's Homilies on Matthew, works by Athanasius and works by Basil of Caesarea, notably his important Contra Eunomium (32) As was common, Trebizond produced most of his translations though access to Bessarion's celebrated library of some 800 Greek manuscripts. (33)

Leonard Bruni's translation of Basil's Ad iuvenes or Discourse to Christian Youth on Study of the Greek Classics (1403) was, in 1470, the first printed Greek patristic treatise to appear. (34) It was often used in ethics as a Greek patristic aid for interpreting Scripture and to stimulate greater allegiance to the studia humanitatis curriculum. Other important translators of the Greek fathers into Latin soon followed Bruni, including Niccolo' de' Niccoli, Theodore Gaza, (35) Michael Apostolis (36) Cristoforo da Persona - who translated Origen's Contra Celsum and saw it through the press in 1481 (37) -and John. Argyropoulos, who translated Basil's important Hexameron into Latin, appending his own Latin commentary. (38)

Of all the Church fathers whom Hubmaier likely studied, Origen was already known in the West through florilegia such as Aquinas' Catena aurea. Although Origen's doctrinal treatises were not known, the first Latin edition of his Homilies appeared in 1475 (39) and his Commentary on Romans appeared in Venice in 1506. (40) Origen's seminal work, De principiis, was printed in 1514. (41) The famous Venetian printer, Aldus Manutius, also printed Origen's Homilies on the Pentateuch in 1503. (42) Lorenzo Valla (c. 1406-1457), who stimulated a new philological awareness when he uncovered the spuriousness of the pseudo-Dionysian corpus, (43) translated some of Basil's homilies into Latin. (44) Finally, Guarino of Verona translated several treatises of Basil and Cyril of Alexandria, including two of Basil's Homilies on Fasting. (45)


The mercantilist interest of princes, improvements in trade routes, increasing political and intellectual cooperation, and growing popularity of the printing press all contributed to the spread of this emerging interest in the Greek fathers beyond Italy to the German-speaking territories north of the Alps where Hubmaier lived and wrote. (46) The most notable link in this regard was Desiderius Erasmus who produced some of the most important and impressive patristic translations, editions and florilegia known to that time. According to the Renaissance historian Paul Oskar Kristeller, Erasmus was apparently acquainted with some of the translators, such as Franciscus Aretinus and George of Trebizond. "It seems safe to infer," Kristeller noted, that Erasmus "was familiar with the precedent they had established as translators of Greek patristic writings, even if he may not have used their translations in his actual work." (47) Indeed, in his Ciceronianus, Erasmus indicated his knowledge of the activities of no less than fifty-six past and current Italian humanists, including such notables as Petrarch, Francesco Filelfo, Leonardo Bruni, Guarino Verona, Francesco Barbara, Lorenzo Valla, George of Trebizond, Theodore Gaza and Marcus Musurus. (48) Erasmus's travels in Italy and connection to the Aldine press in Venice are well known, as is his collaboration with Marcus Musurus, particularly with his Adagin. (49) In this work, Erasmus mentioned Janus Lascaris, Battista Egnazio, Urbano Bolzanio and Marcus Musurus, all of whom lent him rare Greek manuscripts from their own private libraries, some previously inaccessible in Northern Europe. (50)

Although Erasmus had given Aldus permission to print his Novum Instrumentum, the Venetian printer died in 1515 and Johannes Froben in Basel offered to print it instead, thereupon becoming Erasmus's principal printer for all subsequent works, including his monumental projects on the Church fathers. (51) By the time of his death in 1536, Erasmus had translated and edited a vast amount of patristic literature. "Nothing in Italian Renaissance scholarship," historian Charles Stinger has observed, "can match Erasmus's achievement." (52)

Hubmaier was an admirer of Erasmus, likely since his days in Regensburg, (53) and he read several Church fathers--including Jerome, Cyprian and Athanasius--probably in editions that Erasmus produced. (54) He even had a meeting with Erasmus in Basel in 1522, which he outlined in a letter to Johann Adelphi dated June 23, 1522.(55) Hubmaier did not draw on any of the other Erasmian editions of the Church fathers or they were printed after he had already written his Urteil I and II, Gesprach and Von dem Kindertaufe. (56)

Like Erasmus, the French scholar Jacques Lefevre actively mediated the work of the Italian humanists to scholars in northern Europe. Lefevre first visited Italy in 1491-1492 in order to meet with Ermolao Barbaro and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. (57) His travels also took him to Bologna and then to Rome, for contacts with Marsilio Ficino and Angelo Poliziano. (58) While in Rome, Ermolao encouraged Lefevre to develop his Greek skills by acquainting himself with Aristotle. He probably did not visit Venice before the year 1500, but in that year he stayed with Aldus and assisted him in his printing activities. He embarked on a further journey to Italy in 1507. (59) Although Lefevre published Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Magna Moralia (1497), Politics and Economics (1506), Metaphysics (1515), Physics, the De caelo and De anima (1518), he later indicated his distrust of classical pagan literature. (60) Jacques Lefevre and his circle of humanist scholars in Paris therefore turned their attention to the fathers from 1499 to 1520, making extensive use of the translations of Traversari, Trebizond and Argyropoulos. "Without exception," Eugene Rice has stated, "the real novelties of Christian antiquity became known in France through Italian intermediaries." (61)

Among the writings cited by Hubmaier (62) was an edition of Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on St. John (1508/1509 and 1520-1521), which also included his Thesaurus (1513-1514) (63) completed by Josse Clichtove, Lefevre's colleague in Paris, based on a translation by George of Trebizond. (64) Lefevre's final patristic project was a single volume that included Basil of Caesarea's Hexameron, originally translated by John Argyropoulos, and Contra Eunomium, from a translation by George of Trebizond. This latter work formed the basis for Hubmaier's use of Basil in defense of credobaptism in Urteil I and II. (65) Lefevre also published an edition of Palladius's Historia Lausiaca, (66) a volume comprised of the pseudo-Clementine writings, which included the legends of St. Peter's travels, his quarrels with Simon Magus, and his association with Clement of Rome. Lefevre claimed its apostolicity on the basis of Giovanni Pico's Apologia (1487). Two apocryphal letters ascribed to Anacletus and Clement draw the volume to a close (67) (the volume therefore omitted the Canones Apostolorum that Hubmaier cited in his writings). (68)

Johannes Oecolampadius and Beatus Rhenanus, both well-known acquaintances of Hubmaier, (69) also prepared editions of the Church fathers. Oecolampadius's interest in the Greek fathers was likely encouraged through an encounter with Erasmus in 1515. (70) His translation of Theophylact's commentaries on all four gospels was published by Andreas Cratander in Basel first in 1524, then in 1525, with a final edition, also by Cratander, appearing in 1527 before Hubmaier's death.(71) Jacob Mazochius in Antwerp also printed a copy during the same year.(72) Oecolampadius turned his attention to John Chrysostom as well, translating his commentary on Genesis and many of his sermons into Latin,(73) along with some of Basil's works into the vernacular.(74) Additionally, Oecolampadius produced editions of Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on John and Commentary on Leviticus that Cratander printed in Basel in 1528,75 albeit too late for them to be of any use to Hubmaier. Of the Latin fathers available to Hubmaier, Oecolampadius produced only a single edition of Augustine and Ambrose, published in Basel in 1524.(76) He also worked with Erasmus to complete Jerome's Opera omnia, which appeared in separate volumes beginning in 1516, before Froben published it collectively in 1520.(77)

Beatus Rhenanus began his affinity for patristic literature while a student under Lefevre at the University of Paris. Like Oecolampadius, Rhenanus was impacted greatly by his relationship with Erasmus, which began while Rhenanus was an editor for the press run by Froben in Basel.(78) However, Rhenanus edited or translated only a few of the works of the fathers cited by Hubmaier.(79) He completed an edition of the Eusebius-Rufinus Ecclesiastical History and the Historia tripartita, which comprised the histories of Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen and Theodoret of Cyrus (1523).(80) Rhenanus's masterpiece and best known patristic accomplishment was the Tertullian Opera published in Basel by Froben in 1521, 1528 and 1539. (81) This is the only patristic edition we can verify conclusively that Hubmaier read.


Given this range of patristic editions potentially available to Hubmaier, what do We know about his actual access to these texts? The possible options must fulfill at least four criteria: (1) Hubmaier needed to have access to patristic editions at least by the precise time when he began questioning infant baptism in early 1523; (2) the owner of the patristic collection must have been sufficiently sympathetic to Hubmaier's views on baptism to allow Hubmaier access to his library; (3) the fathers that Hubmaier invoked in support of his views must be included in the library; and (4) all editions that Hubmaier read must have a publication date and have been part of the library before Hubmaier wrote the treatises in which he invokes the fathers, particularly the Urteil, which he began writing in Waldshut in early 1525 (82)

Possible Options for Hubmaier's Access to Patristic Editions

One obvious possibility is that Hubmaier owned his own patristic library. Clearly, Hubmaier enjoyed books immensely and acquired some volumes while in Ulm to inform him further of the reforms sweeping across Germany. (83) Based on references in his own writings it seems relatively certain that he possessed works by Erasmus, (84) Zwingli, (85) Luther, (86) Oecolampadius, (87) Rhenanus (88) and Bucer. (89) Hubmaier also might have owned Alexander de Villa Dei's Doctrinale, (90) a chronicle of German history (possibly Johannes Aventinus' Annales Boiorum), (91) Platina's Vitae Pontificum (92) and maybe Denck's Paradoxa or another such litany of scriptural antitheses by Andreas Karlstadt, Thomas Muntzer or Johannes Tauler. (93) His acquisition of Zwingli's De peccato originale declaratio as Urbanum Rhegium (1526) when in Nikolsburg shows that his purchases continued until the end of his life. (94) However, it is more difficult to determine whether or not Hubmaier's library included editions of the fathers or if he was able to retain these books during his travels, especially after he had abruptly fled Waldshut and became a fugitive near the end of the year 1525. He was able to transport the manuscripts of his own writings to Nikolsburg for eventual publication by Simprecht Sorg, so it is possible that his library would have come with him. (95) While imprisoned in Vienna awaiting execution he even lamented that he was "without books." (96)

The fact that Hubmaier was well-connected with many prominent humanists and reformers suggests the possibility that he collaborated with others in his readings of the Church fathers. Contacts with Johannes Sapidus, (97) Johann Adelphi (98) and Wolfgang Rychard (99) must be ruled out since they never shared his views on credobaptism. Alternatively, even if other colleagues who were somewhat more congenial to credobaptism might have encouraged him to compose the Urteil, (100) Hubmaier had only written contact with Wolfgang Capito, (101) Christoph Hegendorf, (102) Martin Cellarius (103) and Ludwig Hatzer, (104) and he met with the latter two only very briefly at the October 1523 Zurich Disputation; thus, he would not have had access to their books. Leo Jud, (105) Joachim Vadian (106) and Sebastian Hofmeister (107) had all expressed skepticism over the rationale behind infant baptism, but there is too little information about Hubmaier's meetings with them to suggest that they consulted the fathers together.

Some historians have suggested that Hubmaier accessed patristic editions somewhere along his journey between Zurich and Nikolsburg between March and July of 1526. Carl Sachsse, for example, notes that Hubmaier required larger libraries than were available to him in Waldshut, and so he probably made use of patristic editions in either Constance or Augsburg. (108) Similarly, Rollin Armour has suggested that Hubmaier composed his Urteil "with the aid of books to which he had access in Augsburg, or elsewhere between Zurich and Nikolsburg. (109) In the only account of Hubmaier's stay in Augsburg--a letter from Petrus Gynoraeus to Zwingli, dated August 22, 1526110--we learn that Hubmaier reacquainted himself with the Augsburg reformer Urbanus Rhegius, a fellow student at both Freiburg and Ingolstadt. Although Rhegius was very familiar with the Church fathers and undoubtedly owned a patristic collection, (111) he was vehemently anti-Anabaptist and wrote against them in Augsburg. (112) Bergsten, by contrast, has argued that Hubmaier began writing the Urteil in Waldshut soon after the publication of Zwingli's Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr in January 1525, and only completed it in Moravia. (113) In Nikolsburg, therefore, Martin Goschl, Hans Spittelmaier and Oswald Glaidt could be considered candidates as sources for a few of Hubmaier's patristic references in his Urteil II that he might not have found while in Waldshut and Zurich. Indeed, Hubmaier dedicated the treatise to Goschl and he may have completed it in Glaidt's room. (114)

The Possibility that Hubmaier and Zwingli Collaborated

A more plausible explanation of Hubmaier's use of the Church fathers is that he accessed them through exposure to Zwingli's patristic library. In his Gesprach, Hubmaier recounted a conversation that he had with Zwingli, likely on May 1, 1523. (115) Hubmaier viewed the meeting as an opportunity to confer with Zwingli on a number of issues, as he brought with him a list of questions. His premeditation and careful planning of its rubrics shows that he intended this conversation with Zwingli to be meaningful and comprehensive. (116) At that meeting, according to Hubmaier, Zwingli had agreed with his position on credobaptism in light of scriptural silence on infant baptism. (117) In his Taufbuchlein (1525), Zwingli admitted that "for some time ... I thought it better not to baptize children until they came to years of discretion." He went on to insist, however, that he did not hold the teaching dogmatically enough to begin practicing rebaptism. (118)

Hubmaier further reminded Zwingli that they had met "(auff dam Zurchgraben," a fact which was confirmed by his companion, Ruggensberger. (119) In the sixteenth century, the "Graben" was a moat or trench and fortified wall that encircled-along with the Limmat River to the west-the oldest part of Zurich. As it happens, Zwingli's home and office (which housed his library) was located at Kirchgasse 13, less than one block from the Graben. So it is entirely possible that Hubmaier was alluding to Zwingli's residence and office when he mentioned the Zurchgraben.

Although neither Hubmaier nor Zwingli state directly that they conferred with the writings of the Church fathers during their meeting, there is some evidence that they did. It is true that Hubmaier and Zwingli conferred primarily "about the Scriptures concerning baptism," (120) but Hubmaier claims that they also considered the practice of the early church-reaching conclusions possible only by reflecting on the Church fathers. For instance, he accused Zwingli of believing earlier that one should delay baptism until he or she receives instruction, which is "why in prior times they were also called catechumens." (121)


Perhaps the most convincing evidence is the way Hubmaier's patristic citations correspond to the editions of the Church fathers in Zwingli's library (see table 1 below). Although no catalog of Zwingli's library has survived, a large portion of Zwingli's personal library remains extant in the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. Works by Walther Kohler and Johann Martin Usteri, and a critical two-volume edition of Zwingli's marginal annotations in Zwinglis Samtliche Werke series, has helped to reconstruct the contents of his collection. (122)
Church Father Zwingli owns Number of times Zwingli

Theophyiact - 0 works; 0 glosses

Origen [square root of] 32 works; 313 glosses

Eusebius of Caesarea [square root of] * 7 works; 12 glosses

Athanasius [square root of] 14 works; 1 gloss

Basil of Caesarea [square root of] 1 work; 28 glosses

John Chrysostom [square root of] 34 works; 8 glosses

Cyril of Alexandria [square root of] 7 works; 4 glosses

ps.-ClementRm. [square root of] ** 0 works; 0 glosses

Tertullian [square root of] *** 49 works; 0 glosses

Cyprian [square root of] 14 works; 8 glosses

Ambrose [square root of] 60 works; 391 glosses

Jerome [square root of] 486 works; 387 glosses

Augustine [square root of] 217 works; 295 glosses

Church Father Zwingli's edition Hubmaier makes reference

Theophyiact - -

Origen Paris, 1512. [square root of]

Eusebius of Caesarea Strasbourg,1500. [square root of]
(Rufinus) or Basel, 1523.

Athanasius Paris, 1520. [square root of]

Basil of Caesarea Paris, 1520. [square root of]

John Chrysostom Basel, 1517. [square root of]

Cyril of Alexandria Paris, 1508. [square root of]

ps.-ClementRm. Mainz, 1525 [square root of]

Tertullian Venice, 1515 and [square root of]
 Basel, 1521?

Cyprian Basel, 1520. [square root of]

Ambrose Basel, 1516. [square root of]

Jerome Basel, 1516-19. [square root of]

Augustine Basel, 1506 [square root of]

Notable Patristic in Zwingli's library also not cited by Hubmaier

Johan of Damascus [square root of] 2 works; 4 glosses

Gregory Nazianzen [square root of] 1 work; 0 glosses

Gregory of Nyssa [square root of] 1 works; 0 glosses

Lactantius [square root of] 2 works; 0 glosses

Johan of Damascus Paris, 1507 -

Gregory Nazianzen Strasbourg, 1508; Nurnberg, 1521. -

Gregory of Nyssa Strasbourg, 1512. -

Lactantius Venice, 1515. -

Notable absences in Zwingli's library also not cited by Hubmaier

Hilary of - 14 works; - -
Poitiers 38 glosses

Irenaeus of - 7 works; - -
Lyons 0 glosses

Pseudo-Dionysius - 4 works; - -
 0 glosses

Ignatius of - 1 work; - -
Antioch 0 glosses

Justin Martyr - 1 (2) - -
 0 golosses

Melito of Sardis - 2 works; - -
 0 glosses

Table 1: Comparison between Zwingli's Patristic Library and Hubmaier's
Patristic References

* Zwingli's references to Eusebius demonstrate that he must have owned
this popular church historian's Ecd. Hist.

** Zwingli owned this edition after he and Hubmaier met in May 1523.

*** Zwingli owned the 1515 Aldine edition of Tertullian's Apologeticum,
but it is likely that he owned Rhenanus's 1521 edition, which Hubmaier
also used.

The first thing to notice in Table 1 is that Hubmaier cited only one Church father that was not represented in Zwingli's patristic library. (123) Second, although Hubmaier failed to cite four Church fathers in Zwingli's library, these are also names that Zwingli rarely referred to in his own works. The third section lists those Church fathers that Zwingli

It thus seems clear that Zwingli's collection is the only one that conforms to all of the criteria noted above: (1) Zwingli and Hubmaier met and had a meaningful and comprehensive conversation at a time when the latter began challenging infant baptism; (2) Zwingli was also questioning the validity of paedobaptism at the time of their conversation; (3) Zwingli's library included the fathers that Hubmaier cites in his works and were available in Zwingli's collection before they met in 1523; and (4) Hubmaier met with Zwingli immediately before commencing his composition of the Urteil and Gesprach.

The father-by-father analysis that follows makes it even more evident that Zwingli's patristic editions were Hubmaier's likely sources for his study of the Church fathers.


This summary of the range of Church fathers that were available to Hubmaier and insights into how he might have accessed them provides a context for examining more carefully which Church fathers Hubmaier actually interacted with in his own writings. The survey that follows is generally limited to Hubmaier's overt references to a particular Church father or his writings. The goal of the survey is to outline the reasons why Hubmaier appealed to the Church fathers and to identify more precisely exactly which writings he read, and from which editions or florilegia he accessed these writings. Judgments on how Hubmaier viewed the Church fathers will be the focus of the final section.

The basis for the survey comes from information that Wayne Walker Pipkin and John Howard Yoder assembled in their English translation of the Urteil, which reproduces Carl Sachsse's findings regarding Hubmaier's patristic citations, supplemented with notes compiled by Rollin Armour in his study of Anabaptist baptism, information in Bergsten's biography of Hubmaier, and my own research. (124) For the reader's convenience, information surrounding Hubmaier's references to the Church fathers and their writings is consolidated in separate tables, with each table listing the treatises, commentaries and letters that Hubmaier read; the compositions in which he cites the fathers; source references to modern editions; and the theological or ecclesiological issue for which Hubmaier cites the fathers. The following symbols indicate the manner in which Hubmaier cites the fathers:

[section] - quotations or paraphrases

[+ or -] - explicit references

[DELTA] - implicit references

Greek Fathers

Theophylact, bishop of Ohrid (c. 1050/60-1107): Hubmaier mentions Theophylact, the eleventh-century Eastern Orthodox bishop of Ohrid, Bulgaria, five times in three separate works, all commentaries on the Gospels rather than on the Pauline epistles. I list him here first because Hubmaier mistakenly believed that Theophylact worte in 189 A.D. The references to Theophylact are all positive and are deployed in defense off his credobaptist convictions, the distinction between John and Christ's baptisms, and, therefore, the institution of baptism at the Great Commission.
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol./
commentary patristic/Hubmaier eccl. issue
or letter

[double dagger] Gesprach PG 123: 679ff./ HS 185; BH credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 194.

[double dagger] Gesprach PG 123: 485ff./HS 190; BH credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 200.

[double dagger] Gesprach PG 123: 171ff.;123:1202ff./ distinction
Comm. on 1526 HS 197; BH 210 between
Matthew & Christ's and
John John's baptism

[section] Urteil I PG 123:679ff.;123:679ff./ credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 HS 231f.; BH 253
Mark &

[section] Urteil II PG 123:679ff.;123:679ff./ credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 HS 244; BH 265.
Mark &

The most popular translation of Theophylact's commentaries was by Oecolampadius, published by Andreas Cratander in Basel in 1524, 1525 and 1527. (125) Because Hubmaier's Gesprach was written near the end of 1525, either of the original two editions could have been Hubmaier's source. This is the only father Hubmaier mentions who was absent from Zwingli's library; however, Oecolampadius's edition had not yet been printed when the two met.

If Hubmaier did indeed draw his citations of Theophylact from the edition by Oecolampadius, it is possible that he supplemented the notes on the fathers that he compiled during his meeting with Zwingli at a later occasion, perhaps during his sojourn in Augsburg while traveling to Nikolsburg. (126) It appears that Urbanus Rhegius, the Augsburg preacher and Hubmaier's fellow student at both Freiburg and Ingolstadt, was familiar with Theophylact and may have owned the edition by Oecolampadius. (127) A more intriguing and more plausible possibility is that Hubmaier became aware of Theophylact's views on baptism during his brief visit to Zurich in late October 1524, on his way back to Waldshut from Schaffhausen. During this visit, he had a conversation about baptism with Zwingli and Jud at which point the differences between Zwingli and Hubmaier on the issue became increasingly clear. (128) Only a month before this meeting, Conrad Grebel sent a letter to Thomas Mtintzer in which he argued that Theophylact, along with several other Church fathers, taught that baptism should be reserved for "mature adults." (129) So, it appears that an edition of Theophylact's commentaries was circulating in Zurich very soon after its publication. And since Hubmaier and the Grebel circle had become close beginning in the fall of 1524, it is possible that the two conferred on Theophylact's interpretation. (130) Further, Hubmaier reminded Zwingli of Theophylact's teachings on three separate occasions in his Gesprach, which suggests that he may have brought it up during their meeting in late October 1524, soon after Theophylact's commentaries were printed in Basel and over a year before he published his Gesprach.

Origen (c. 185-254): The renowned third-century Alexandrian theologian Origen is certainly among the most instrumental Church fathers in Hubmaier's defense of believer's baptism. Hubmaier referenced him seven times in his small corpus of writings, and there are strong indications that Origen may have inspired him on other occasions. (131)
Treatise, commentary Hubm. work Source reference
or letter patristic/Hubmaier

[double dagger] Comm. Gesprach 1526 PG 14:1040B/HS 197; BH 210.
on Paul's Epistle to
the Romans

[DELTA] De Gesprach 1526 PG 11:250ff./HS 202;BH 217.

[section] Comm. on Urteil I 1526 PG 13:1858; 12:354D-355A;
Romans & Exodus; 1 4:1040B/HS 230;
Homilies on Luke BH 250.

[section] Comm. on Urteil II 1526 PG 13:1858; 12:354D-355A;
Romans & Exodus; 14:1040B/HS 244;
Homilies on Luke BH 266.

[double dagger] Comm. Von der PG 13:1858; 12:354D-355A;
on Romans & Exodus; Kindertaufe (1525) 14:1040B/HS 261;
Homilies on Luke 1527 BH 281.

none Von der HS 267 BH 290.
 Kindertaufe (1525)

none Von der HS 267; BH 292.
 Kindertaufe (1525)

[DELTA] Comm. on Das andere PG 14:1146C-D; FC 104:117/
Paul's Epistle to the Buchlein 1527 HS 420; BH 477.

Treatise, commentary or letter Theol./eccl. issue

[double dagger]Comm. on Paul's distinction between John and
Epistle to the Romans Christ's baptisms

[DELTA] De Principiis credobaptism/
 an infant's ability
 to decide

[section] Comm. on Romans & Exodus; credobaptism
Homilies on Luke

[section] Comm. on Romans & Exodus; credobaptism
Homilies on Luke

[double dagger] Comm. on Romans & credobaptism
Exodus; Homilies on Luke

none credobaptism/
 avoiding Scripture

none credobaptism

[DELTA] Comm. on Paul's Epistle to free will
the Romans

Origen's writings were exceptional in that many had been translated into Latin since antiquity and were therefore easily accessible in the early sixteenth century. Hubmaier could have accessed any of Origen's writings that came off the Venetian press, which produced both his Commentary on Romans (1506) and De Prineipiis (1514); but he also could have read the widely available Aldine edition containing Origen's homilies on the Pentateuch (1503), and Traversari's corrected translation of Origen's Homilies on Luke could very well have been Hubmaier's source for his exposition on Luke 3:8.

The most likely scenario, however, is that Hubmaier relied on Jacques Merlin's edition of Origen printed in Paris in 1512, which was part of Zwingli's patristic collection. (132) Four items of interest suggest that this was the case: (1) Zwingli's edition is heavily annotated, which suggests his great affinity for Origen; (2) the annotations in his Origen edition appear to be from the period in which he made Zurich his permanent residence; (133) (3) Zwingli made approximately 340 overt references to Origen in his works--some 300 of these in his marginal notes in Erasmus's Novum Instrumentum--suggesting his appreciation for Origen as an exegete of Scripture; (134) and (4) Hubmaier provides a page number from Origen's Commentary on Roman in his Gesprach, suggesting that he was aware that Zwingli could have consulted these folios in his own edition that Hubmaier must also have seen to have known this.

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263-c. 339): Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History was well known and readily available in Hubmaier's day. Hubmaier mentions Eusebius five times in three different works.
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference
commentary or patristic/Hubmaier

[DELTA]Eccl. Gesprach 1526 PG 20:302ff./ HS 185;
History BH 193.

[double dagger]Eccl. Gesprach 1526 PL 21:486B-88A/ HS 188;
History BH 197.

[double dagger]Eccl. Urteil I 1526 PL 21:486B-88A/ HS 232;
History BH 253f.

[section]Eccl. Urteil II 1526 PL 21:486B-88A/ HS 245f;
History BH 268.

[double dagger]Eccl. Rechenschaft PG 20:211-302/ HS 476f;
History 1528 BH 545.

Treatise, Theol./
commentary or eccl. issue

[DELTA]Eccl. historical
History reference to
(Rufinus) heretical

[double dagger]Eccl. credobaptism

[double dagger]Eccl. credobaptism

[section]Eccl. credobaptism

[double dagger]Eccl. daily cycle
History of prayer

On three different occasions - once each in his Gesprach, urteil I and II - Hubmaier mentioned the popular report of Athanasius, as a young boy, mimicking a bishop by baptizing the local children. Hubmaier claimed that the story appears in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, book 10, chapter 14. The history, however, consists of only nine books, none of which contain the story, which had not yet even occurred when Eusebius wrote it. Wayne Pipkin believes that the reference is incorrect and suggests that Hubmaier might have in mind Sozomen's Ecclesiastical History. (135) The more likely explanation is that Hubmaier actually used Rufinus's Latin translation of Eusebius and gave credit to Eusebius for the final two books that Rufinus wrote himself and affixed to the Ecclesiastical History. In fact, book 10, chapter 14 is the correct reference in the Rufinus edition. (136)

Although several editions of Rufinus's translation had been in print since 1475, (137) the most likely contemporary edition Hubmaier accessed or owned is the one prepared by Rhenanus and printed in Basel by Froben in 1523. (138) Although not extant in Zwingli's surviving library, Zwingli almost certainly owned Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History based on its popularity and versatility. (139) Indeed, it would have been difficult for Zwingli to cite Eusebius and Rufinus seven times in his works and twelve times in his marginal notes if he did not own a copy. (140) If it was not the Rhenanus edition, it might have been the volume by George Husner printed in Strasbourg in 1500, which was housed in the Grossmunster library in Zurich at the time. (141)

Athanasius (c. 293-373): Hubmaier refers to Athanasius, the great champion of Orthodoxy against Arius and his disciples, only three times. It is important to note, however, that in the sixteenth century Theophylact's Commentary on the Pauline Epistles was often erroneously credited to Athanasius. (142) Hubmaier seems to have made this same mistake, attributing insights from Theophylact's Commentary on the Pauline Epistles to Athanasius.
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol./eccl. issue
commentary or patristic/Hubmaier

[section] Urteil I 1526 PG 125:249ff.; credobaptism
Comm. on 1 124:563ff.;
Corinthians & 124:751ff./ HS 230f.;
Hebrews BH 251.

[section] Urteil II PG 125:249ff.; credobaptism
Comm. on 1 1526 124:563ff.; 124:751
Corinthians & ff./ HS 245; BH 266f

none Von der HS 267; BH 292. credobaptism
 (1525) 1527

Zwingli owned the 1520 Paris edition of Athanasius' Latin Opera, much of it based on Traversari's translation efforts, which contain the misattributed commentaries actually authored by Theophylact. (143) Significantly, the commentaries on the Pauline epistles are the only selections from the Athanasian corpus that Zwingli annotates in the margins. (144) A close comparison of Hubmaier's distillation of Athanasius' exegesis in his Urteil with Theophylact's commentary on Hebrews 6:2 and 6:6 and I Corinthians 1:13 and 15:29 makes it clear that he did indeed mistakenly attribute Theophylact's testimony to Athanasius. (145)

Basil of Caesarea (330-379): Basil of Caesarea is the only Cappadocian father that Hubmaier enlisted to support his views. In his Urteil I and II, Hubmaier cited Basil's Contra Eunomium in defense of his interpretation of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19), (146) and he referred to one of Basil's homilies, Exhortatione ad Baptismum, in support of his claim that baptism must derive from a desire of the will since there was nothing to prevent the Ethiopian eunuch from receiving baptism (Acts 8:36f.). (147) Hubmaier also referred to Basil in connection with a treatise called Quid instruendi monedique sint ad Baptismum venientes (What is to Be Taught and Instructed to Those Coming to Baptism). However, Basil did not write anything with this title and Hubmaier almost certainly meant his De Baptismo, since the first book is entitled Quod oportet primum Domini doctrina imbui, tumque baptismate sancto initiari (That we should become disciples of the Lord before we are accounted worthy of holy Baptism), and proceeds to outline the repent/baptize/ teach (doceie/baptizantes/docents) sequence that Hubmaier derived from Matthew 28:19. (148) Basil's Homiliae in Psalmos is the last of his works that Hubmaier mentioned. In his homily on Psalm 28:10, Basil claimed that the psalmist "calls the grace of baptism a flood" (Baptismi ... gratiam diluvium nominat), which Hubmaier related to the biblical flood and the sanctuary of the ark as a figure of baptism and its salvific character (Gen. 7:7,17; 1 Pet. 3:20f.). (149)

Basil was prominent among the Church fathers translated into Latin by both Italian and Northern Europe humanists. Of the writings Hubmaier cited, Basil's homilies had been translated by both Lorenzo Valla and Traversari, and George of Trebizond translated his Contra Eunomium. Hubmaier could also have acquainted himself with Basil's writings through Lefevre's final patristic project, printed in 1523, which, in addition to Argyropoulos' translation of his Hexameron, included Basil's Contra Eunomium and a selection of his homilies and letters. The most likely source for Hubmaier's exposure to Basil, however, again seems to be Zwingli's patristic library. Zwingli owned a copy of the 1520 edition of Basil's Opera printed in Paris. (150) Zwingli referenced Basil twenty-nine times in his works, most of these, in his marginal notes to Jerome's Quadruplex Psalterium. (151)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./ect.
commentary to work patristic issus
letter /Hubmaier

[section]Contra Urteil PG 29:665/666 C; credobaptism
Eunomium, I 1526 31:437/438 AB;
Exhortatione 31:1513/151
ad Baptismum, 4B29:303/304B-C/
De Baptismo, HS 230;BH 250F
and Homilix
in Psalmos

[section] Urteil PG 29:665/666C; credobaptism
Contra II 1526 31:437/438AB;
Eunomium, 31:1513/1514B;
Exhortatione 29:303/304B-C/
 ad Baptismum, HS 247;BH 270
De Baptismo,
and Homiliae
in Psalmos

non Von der HS 267; BH 292 credobaptism
 (1525) 1527

Hubmaier also provided folio numbers for the particular edition that he used: folio 44 for his citation of Contra Eunomium and folio (142) cum cumseqquez for his reference to Exhortatione ad Baptismum.(152) This shows that Hubmaier was likely acquainted with Zwingli's library since he knew the latter would be able to look up these references for himself.

John Chrysostom (347- 407): Hubmaier did not cite John Chrysostom in either versions of his Urteil but he does mention him twice, both times in an affirming manner. (153)
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol./eccl.
commentary or patgristic/Hubmaier issue

[DELTA] Opus Gesprach PG 56:653; 57:185/HS distinction
Imperfecrtum 1526 197; BH 210. between John
in Matt. or and Christ's
Homiliae in baptisms

[DELTA] Von der PG 57:405ff/ HS 260; sectarianism
Homiliae in Kindertaufe BH 278.
Matthaeum (1525) 1527

It is very difficult to determine which of Chrysostom's works Hubmaier had in mind for his first reference in his Gesprach. Armour suggests that his references to Chrysostom are from either the popular yet spurious Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum, (154) erroneously attributed to Chrysostom during the Middle Ages, or to his authentic Homiliar in Matthaeum. (155) A second reference to Chrysostom is even more vague. in his Von der Kindertaufe, Hubmaier declared, "Oh, that is a blessed sectarianism and separation, says Chrysostomus" (O, das ist ein selige rottierung unnd zertrennung, spricht Chrysostomus) (156) The most likely source for his belief that Chrysostom understood such separation (zertrennung) from the established Church as blessed (selige), is Homily 35 (Matthew 10:34) in his Homiliae in Matthaeum where Chrysostom uses similar language to Hubmaier's. (157) Specifically, the Latin translation speaks of a separation (separator) that is good (bona) rather than blessed. (158) However, the essence of Hubmaier's sentiments is clearly reflected in the subsequent surgical image that Chrysostom uses that links healing with the excision of the diseased part. (159) Evidence that Hubmaier indeed had this homily in mind is strengthened by the fact that he cited Matthew 10:34 in addition to Luke 12:52f. as scriptural support for the sectarian consequences of reforms -a point also made in this homily. Moreover, like Hubmaier, Chrysostom discusses the episode in Luke 12:52f. where he contends that the rifts that ensue among "those that are dearest, and extremely near to each other" induce cooperation due to the intolerability of the discord. (160)

These speculations gain even more credibility given the fact that Chrysostom's Homiliae in Matthaeum enjoyed a great deal of attention by Latin translators. Burgundio of Pisa translated the entire text into Latin already in the twelfth century. This translation, which had apparently survived in the West only in fragments, was the basis for George of Trebizond's more accessible complete rendering. (161) However, Zwingli's two-volume Opera omnia, translated by Trebizond and printed by Froben in Basel (1517), is the most likely source for Hubmaier's knowledge of Chrysostom. (162) The high number of Zwingli's manuscript annotations (42 in all) attest to the influence of the Homiliae in Matthaeum and Homiliae in Joannem on Zwingli, particularly on his preaching methods. (163)

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 378-444): Hubmaier's appeal to Cyril of Alexandria-four times in his writings-is perhaps the clearest example of how writings of the Church fathers ended up in his hands after migrating from Byzantium to Italy and eventually to Northern Europe.
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./ecd.
commentary work patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

[section] Gesprach HS 1751./ BH 180 credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 /OT types

[double dagger] Gesprach PG 73:258C-265A/ HS distinction
Comm. on John 1526 197; BH 210 between
 Christ's and

[section] Urteil I PG 73:239A-B/ HS credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 231; BH 253 /OT types

[section] Urteil II PG 73:239A-B/ HS credobaptism
Comm. on 1526 246; BH268 /OT types

Carl Sachsse was the first to identify this Cyril as the bishop of Jerusalem, arguing that Hubmaier's reference here was to Cyril's seventeenth lecture, "On the Holy Spirit," which appeared in his popular Catechetical Lectures. (164) Bergsten concurs with this identification of the author, but suggests that Hubmaier was referring instead to Cyril's Commentary on John. (165) But it was Cyril, bishop of Alexandria (not Jerusalem), who wrote the Commentary on John. Armour agrees with Sachsse, providing the same reference to Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures, but seems to contradict himself by indicating that Hubmaier was referring to Cyril of Alexandria when he argues for the distinction between the baptisms of John and Christ. (166) Pipkin is the last to follow Sachsse's lead and claims, "The reference to John cannot be found and must be incorrect." (167)

The likely reason why historians have deduced that Hubmaier's references are to Cyril of Jerusalem is the marginal note indicating that he lived in 373 A.D., and therefore before the birth of Cyril of Alexandria. Yet Hubmaier or his copy editor frequently mishandled dates, so this detail should not be given more weight than internal primary source evidence. And the internal evidence is clear that Hubmaier's reference to "Vber den Johan" is indeed to Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on John. This commentary was translated by George of Trebizond and later printed in an edition prepared by Josse Clichtove in 1508 and 1519. Of the three book and chapter references that Hubmaier provided in his own writings, the two from book 2 line up with the chapter divisions in Cyril's commentary. (168)

Hubmaier's Gesprach referred to "Bk. 2, chs. 57-60" as a counter to Zwingli's arguments for the uniformity of John and Christ's baptisms. Here, Cyril wrote, "For enlightened by the Divine Spirit to the exposition of things most needful, he knew that it would exceedingly profit his readers to know clearly, how great the excellence, and by how great measures, the baptism of Christ surpasses that of John." (169) Admittedly, these quotes appear in chapter 56, and not within chapters 57-60 cited by Hubmaier; however, these chapters also speak of "the baptism of their own teacher," namely John, and of "Christ's Baptism." (170) These chapters also align with the reference to John 3:22ff. that Hubmaier also provides. (171)

Hubmaier's references in his Gesprach and Urteil I and II to "bk. 6, ch. 15" of Cyril's Commentary on John, however, present some problems. First, book 6 was not included in Clichtove's original edition because he could not locate the Greek manuscripts. Since Oecolampadius's complete edition of Cyril's Commentary on John was not published until 1528, the year Hubmaier faced his execution, there appear to be only two viable explanations: (1) either Hubmaier used Clichtive's 1520-1521 edition--which included the four middle books (V-VIII) attributed to Cyril but likely written by Clichtove himself--rather than the 1508-1509 edition, or (2) he used a version of the 1508-1509 edition that contained Clichtove's four middle books, inserted by Wolfgang IIopyl in 1514, but without changing the title page, colophon or date (1508-1509) of the original edition. (172) Indeed, Rice confirms, "This second edition is commonly catalogued 1508, and confused with the first." (173)

Zwingli clearly owned a copy of the 1508 edition, but I have not been able to verify if he possessed the 1520-1521 edition that included books V-VIII (174) or if Zwingli's 1508 edition was the one that included the insertions of books V-VIII by Hopyl in 1514. Also, a 1521 edition of the Commentary on John, presumably including the four middle books, housed in the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich, was apparently in the possession of Heinrich Bullinger, Zwingli's successor in Zurich. (175) It is possible that this edition passed from Zwingli to Bullinger upon the latter's ascension to the pastorate of Zurich.

Latin Fathers

(pseudo-)Clement of Rome ([dagger]c. 101): I have included the pseudo-Clement of Rome--the only apostolic father that Hubmaier invokes--among the Latin fathers because of his geographic origin, even though he predates the distinction between Greek and Latin and, like all the apostolic fathers, actually wrote in Greek. Hubmaier refered explicitly to Clement of Rome only once in his writings, an addition to the Urteil II over his original version. (176)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Thel./eccl.
commentary work patrislic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

[section] Urteil HS 243f.; BH 265. Credobaptism
Canones II
Apostolorum 1526

Although Hubmaier did not name the particular treatise from which he makes his argument, it is likely that it was the Apostolic Constitutions, a late-fourth-century document considered in the sixteenth century to have apostolic origins and mistakenly attributed to Clement. (177) Hubmaier refers to "the 29th Article," which does not seem to reconcile with the book and section divisions of the Apostolic Constitutions. Nevertheless, Hubmaier might be referring to one of two passages. The first is in a section bearing the title "That We Ought Not to Rebaptize, nor to Receive that Baptism which is Given By the Ungodly, which is Not Baptism, but a Pollution." The second, and more likely, possibility appears in the appended Canones apostolorum. Given Hubmaier's near-verbatim citation, canon 47 is undoubtedly what he had in mind:
Canones Apostolorum Hubmaier

"If a bishop or presbyter rebaptizes "Clement ... sets out in the 29th
him who has had true baptism, or does Article ... that the baptism of
not baptize him who is polluted by heretics should he neither
the ungodly, let him be deprived, as recognized nor accepted.
ridiculing the cross and the death Therefore ... whoever has
of the Lord, and not distinguishing received baptism should not be
between real priests and counterfeit baptized again. Whoever does not
ones." (178) again baptize those stained and
 those baptized by the godless or
 the heretics should be cut off as
 one who mocks the cross of Christ
 and his death and does not
 differentiate the false priests
 from the true." (179)

The absence of this argument from Clement in the first version of Hubmaier's Urteil could reflect the fact that it was not a part of his notes from his meeting with Zwingli in May 1523. In fact, the first opportunity Hubmaier would have had to study the Canones apostolorum was after the publication of Jacques Merlin's edition printed in Paris in 1524. (180) The canons also appeared in a similar compilation of conciliar decisions published the following year by the German humanist Johann Cochlaeus. (181) The Zentralbibliothek catalog suggests that Zwingli owned this edition. (182) Since Hubmaier composed his Urteil I and II in Waldshut probably in early 1525, but did not complete it until after he had arrived in Nikolsburg, it is possible that he printed the initial version from his original notes compiled in Zurich in 1523 and then provided additional support from the pseudo-Clement text in his second version, either in Nikolsburg or while seeking sanctuary among friends in Zurich in 1525, or somewhere in between.

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220): It is not surprising that Hubmaier was eager to enlist Tertullian as one of his supporters since he was perhaps the earliest Church father to declare publicly that it would be better if those born into Christian families were withheld baptism until later in life. It is somewhat peculiar, therefore, that he did not make use of Tertullian's De baptismo in which he famously asserts, "according to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, of each individual, the delay of baptism is preferable; principally, however, in the case of little children." (183) All told, Hubmaier mentions Tertullian on four separate occasions:
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol./eccl.
commentary patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

[section] De Urteil I PL 2:1351f.; 2:79/ credobaptism
Poenitentia 1526 HS 231; BH 252.
and De

[section] De Urteil II PL 2:1351f.; 2:79/ credobaptism
Poenitentia 1526 HS 244; BH 265.
and De

none Von der HS 267; BH 290. credobaptism
 Kindertaufe avoiding
 (1525) 1527 Scripture

none Von der HS 267; BH 292. credobaptism
 (1525) 1527

When we examine Hubmaier's few references to Tertullian's treatises, the reason why he did not cite De baptismo becomes clear. By comparing the folio numbers that Hubmaier provides with those of reprinted incunabula and early modern printed editions of Tertullian's works, it is clear that the edition he used was Beatus Rhenanus's Opera. (184) Further, this edition lacks De baptismo, which was first printed in the 1545 Mesnart edition and more popularly in Gelenius's 1550 edition printed in Basel. (183) Although we do not have solid evidence that Zwingli owned Rhenanus's edition, it is extant in the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. (186) A letter by Heinrich Glarean confirms that Zwingli purchased the 1515 Aldine edition of Tertuallian's Apologeticum; yet Zwingli references Tertullian explicitly some fifty times, frequently from works other than the Apologeticum. (187) Many of these references were to Tertullian's Contra Marcionem, which was printed for the first time in Rhenanus's 1521 edition. (188) Although this edition is not among the surviving volumes of Zwingli's library, it seems likely that Zwingli would have owned this popular patristic edition produced by his close colleague Rhenanus, and that Hubmaier drew from it also.

There is, however, another intriguing alternative scenario. While traveling to Zurich in the spring of 1523 to meet with Zwingli for the first time, Hubmaier stopped at St. Gall to meet with Joachim Vadian. (189) Since he was on his way to discuss baptism with Zwingli, who first made known his intention to write against the Anabaptists in a 1525 letter to Vadian, it is possible that Hubmaier and Vadian may have also discussed baptism. From other sources, we know that Conrad Grebel had sent Rhenanus's edition of Tertullian's Opera to Vadian in 1522. (190) Since Vadian had access to the text for the previous year, another possibility is that Hubmaier discussed credobaptism with Vadian during his visit and took notes from the Rhenanus edition.

Cyprian (+258): Hubmaier referred to Cyprian primarily in negative terms as historical evidence of when the Church began to practice paedobaptism. However, Hubmaier affirmed two of Cyprian's teachings: (1) Cyprian was correct to readmit into the Church, upon sincere repentance and without rebaptism, Christians who had lapsed during the Decian persecution. The Novatians, who disagreed with Cyprian, precipitated a schism over this issue, introducing the challenge of how to receive Christians who were baptized by heretical or schismatic bishops. In this instance, (2) Hubmaier also agreed with Cyprian's rigorist position that those who had been administered baptism by a schismatic bishop, such as the Novatians, must receive baptism again. The difference between the two circumstances is that the former concerns the effect of sin to nullify a previous baptism, which Hubmaier rejected (along with Cyprian), whereas the latter concerns the form of baptism being sanctioned by the ecclesia universalis, which Hubmaier believed was credobaptism and not the paedobaptist practice of an errant ecclesia particularis, as the Roman Catholic Church had become. (191)
The Mennonite Quarterly Review

Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol. /eccl.
commentary patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

none christlichen HS 153; BH 138 credobaptism
 Taufe 1525 /historical

none Von der HS 261; BH 280 credobaptism
 (1525) 1527

none Von der HS 267; BH 290 credobaptism
 Kindertaufe / avoiding
 (1525) 1527 Scripture

[DELTA] De Urteil I PL 4.473A-B, infant
Lapsis 1526 484C-486A/HS 227;BH communion

[DELTA] various Urteil II Oberthur, Cypriani, credobaptism
Epistles & 1526 110-35;222-54,
De lapsis 71-83; P
 244f.;BH 266

[DELTA] various Grund und Oberthur, Cypriani, credobaptism
Epistles & Ursach 1527 110-35; 222-54,
De lapsis 71-83;
 PL4:463-494B/ HS
 331; BH 369

In his discussion of infant communion in the Urteil I, Hubmaier was possibly referring to Cyprian's treatise, De Lapsis. (192) Regarding Cyprian's conviction that Christians baptized by schismatic bishops must be re-baptized, Hubmaier cited De Hereticis Baptizandis (On the Baptizing of Heretics) in a marginal note of his Grund and Ursache. (193) Cyprian, however, did not write a treatise with this name but did include it as a caption to a few of his letters. The likely sources are therefore his letters to Januarius, Qunitus, Stephen and, especially, Jubaianus, as well as letters to Pompey and Magnus. (194) Another possible source was Jerome's Dialogue Adversus Luciferianos, which Hubmaier mentioned explicitly. There Jerome reflected on the controversy in which Cyprian was engaged, stated clearly that Cyprian required re-baptism of those who previously received heretical baptism, and even referred to Cyprian's many letters that addressed these matters. (195)

Hubmaier mentioned Novatian twice in his writings, and agreed with Zwingli that he "acted badly" when he demanded re-baptism for the lapsed. (196) To further familiarize himself with the Novatians, Hubmaier might also have read Cyprian's letters to Cornelius (197) and Antonianus, (198) as well as his De lapsis, which contains no direct reference to Novatian but stipulates clearly Cyprian's beliefs regarding how to readmit lapsed Christians. (199) The Novatian sect is described by many Church fathers other than Cyprian, as well as in the anonymous Ad Novatianum, which Erasmus attributed to Cornelius and included in his 1520 edition. (200) Another anonymous work, A Treatise on Re-baptism, is also a very likely source for Hubmaier's knowledge of the perceived impropriety of re-baptizing the lapsi, although the Novatians are not mentioned in it. The only work by Cyprian that directly explores whether or not to administer baptism to the lapsi, while also mentioning Novatian in the same work, is his letter to Jubaianus, mentioned above.

Hubmaier might have had access to Berthold Rembolt's edition of Cyprian's Opera, printed in Paris in 1512. (201) However, the most readily available and much more reliable edition of Cyprian's works was the one by Erasmus printed with assistance from Rhenanus in Basel in 1520. (202) In a letter of April 24, 1519, Zwingli requested a copy directly from Rhenanus. The edition was sent to him in April of 1520, only two months after publication. (203) Zwingli mentions Cyprian overtly twenty-two times in his works; most of his marginal notes seem to be restricted to Cyprian's letters. (204) Hubmaier's attempt to absolve himself of any indictment of Novatianism in his Gesprach suggests that the two had perhaps discussed the inherent difficulties of baptizing adults who had already received baptism as infants.

Ambrose (c. 337/40-397): The only time Hubmaier cited Ambrose is in support of the view that faith must precede baptism, claiming that the bishop of Milan believed the "external ceremony" (eusserlichem) and "human repetition" (mensclien nachsprechung) of the baptismal rite does not affect anything, but instead what matters is the "heart and the confession of faith" (Hertzen vnd bekennen des glaubens).(205)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./
commentary work patristic/Hubmaier eccl. issue
or letter

[section] Urteil PL 16:392B, 395B/ credobaptism
De II HS 246; BH 269
mysteriis 1526

Although Ambrose wrote on baptism in many places, there is strong evidence that Hubmaier used his De Mysteriis as his source. Before offering his own interpretation of Romans 14:23, Hubmaier claimed that Ambrose argued two things: (1) that the "baptism of apostates and unbelievers does not heal" and (2) that "the baptism of those who do not come near to the Lord through the flood does not make whole or pure, but makes impure."(206) The first reference seems to be a loose rendering of Ambrose's statement, "the baptism of unbelievers heals not, but pollutes" (Non sanat baptismus perfidorum, non mundat, sed polluit).(207) Regarding the second claim, Hubmaier mentioned the flood as an Old Testament figure of baptism and the outcome of purity or wholeness as contingent on first coming "near to the Lord." In De Mysteriis, Ambrose also recalled the flood as a figure of baptism in the face of which "the grace of the Spirit is turned away by carnal impurity and the pollution of grave sin."(208) Indeed, the properties of purity, wholeness and healing were central in this treatise. However Hubmaier seems to have conflated the two passages so that Ambrose's initial mention of baptism that "heals not, but pollutes" is reflected in his assertion that the flood "does not make whole or pure, but makes impure."

Traversari was involved early in correcting and editing manuscripts containing Ambrose's writings, and Oecolampadius prepared a combined edition of Ambrose and Augustine that was printed in Basel in 1524. Although this volume was available before Hubmaier printed his Urteil II, Zwingli's 1516 Basel edition of Ambrose's Opera might have been Hubmaier's source. (209) A copy of this same edition, apparently now thought to have been in Zwingli's possession, is extant in the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich. (210) Still, it is difficult to explain why Hubmaier waited until his second version of the Urteil to record Ambrose's thoughts on baptism, unless he had an alternative source--perhaps even Oecolampadius's edition.

Jerome (c. 347-420): Hubmaier seems to have been very well acquainted with Jerome--whom he refers to as "heiligen Hieronymj" and "der heylig leerer"--and cited his works twelve times.
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference
commentary work patristic/Hubmaier
or letter

none Gesprach HS 172; BH 176.

[double dagger] Gesprach PL 23:162Aff./HS 197; BH
Against the 1526 210

[section] Gesprach PL 26:218B-C/HS 206; BH
Comm. on 1526 225.

[double dagger] Gesprach PL 26:218B-C/HS 208; BH
Comm. on 1526 225.

none Gesprach HS 209; BH 227

[section] Urteil I PL 23:164B; 26:218B-C/HS
Against the 1526 231; BH 252
& Comm. on

Treatise, Theol./eccl. issue
or letter

none credobaptism/distortion of Scripture

[double dagger] distinction between John and Christ's baptisms
Against the

[section] credobaptism
Comm. on

[double dagger] credobaptism
Comm. on

none credobaptism

[section] credobaptism
Against the
& Comm. on

[section] Urtril II 1526 PL credobaptism
gainst the HS 245; BH 267.
Luciferians &
Comm. on

none Von der 1527HS 267; BH 292 credobaptism
. (1525)

[double dagger] Enlschuldi-gung HS 274; primacy of
Eoundations? 1526 BH 300. Scripture

none Lehriafel 1526 HS 310; primacy of
 BH 344. Scripture
 over glosses

[double dagger] Das andere PL 26:649A/ free will
Comm. On Buchlein HS 409f; Comm.
Philemon 1527 BH 463.

[DELTA] Rechenschaft PL 23:183-206/ perpetural
Against 1528 HS 471; virginity of the
Heluidius BH 538 Theotokos

The first time Hubmaier invoked Jerome's interpretation of Matthew 28:19 it is clear that he had in mind his Commentary on Matthew, for which Jerome depended heavily on Origen. (211)
Jerome Hubmaier

"First, they teach all the nations, "In the first place, they teach
then they baptize with water those all the people. After that they
who have been taught. For, it dip the taught ones into the
cannot happen that the body receives water. For it should not be that
the sacrament of baptism unless the the body receive the sacrament of
soul has first taken up the truth baptism, unless the soul has
of the faith." (212) received the truth of faith
 beforehand." (213)

In this same treatise, Hubmaier pitted Jerome against Augustine and explicitly endorsed Jerome's interpretation. "Read to us the Word of Christ, not of Augustine," he exclaimed. "Or we read to you the above-mentioned word of Jerome on the last chapter of Matthew." (214) In his Urteil I and II, Hubmaier provided the above citation from Jerome's Commentary on Matthew and quoted from Against the Luciferians. (215) However, rather than clarify the distinction between John and Christ's baptisms as he had done in his Gesprach, Hubmaier quoted directly from Against the Luciferians to defend the validity of credobaptism.
Jerome Hubmaier

"If a bishop lays his hands on " Those on whom the bishop lays
men he lays them on those who his hands are those who have been
have been baptized in the right baptized in the right belief, who
faith, and who have believed that have believed in the Father and
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons
are three persons, but one and one nature." (217)
essence." (216)

In a final explicit patristic reference in support of free will in Andere Buchlein von der Freiwilligkeit des Menschen (1527), Hubmaier exhorted his readers to "look at Jerome" concerning the words of Philemon 13-14. Here Hubmaier was clearly alluding to Jerome's Commentary on Philemon, for which he again relied heavily on Origen. (218) The passage to which Hubmaier referred reads:
 This verse answers the question of why God, in creating human beings,
 did not constitute them invariably good and upright. If, indeed, God
 is good not out of some impersonal necessity but because in his
 essence he freely wills his own goodness, he should in making man
 have made him to the divine image and likeness, that is, that he be
 good willingly and not by necessity. (219)

Similarly, Hubmaier recounted how Paul wanted to keep Onesimus to serve in Philemon's stead, and continued, "However, without your will I did not want to do anything so that your goodness might not be forced but voluntary." (220)

Hubmaier likely encountered Jerome's writings through the nine-volume edition by Erasmus that Zwingli owned. (221) Backus informs us that Zwingli was quite anxious to acquire each volume as they ran off the press from 1516 to 1519. (222) In a letter to Beatus Rhenanus on May 2, 1519, Zwingli noted that he had all the volumes in his possession by February of that same year. (223) Zwingli was also influenced greatly by Jerome's exegesis, citing him 387 times in the marginal notes of his copy of Erasmus's Novum Instrumentum. All together, Zwingli mentioned Jerome 873 times in his works, 402 of them appearing in his Commentaries on the Old Testament. (224)

Pope Boniface I (+ 422); Hubmaier mentioned Pope Boniface I three times, once in the initial printing of the Urteil and twice in the expanded version. All three citations were extracted from Gratian's decretum. In his Urteil I, Hubmaier outlined Pope Boniface I's beliefs under the heading, De Conseer. Di. 4. C. Queris, a canon in which Boniface claimed that when godparents bring the child to baptism, they "may not truthfully answer in place of the child that it renounces the devil or that it believes." (225) This citation is reproduced in the Urteil II, except this time Hubmaier granted Boniface a separate section among the fathers. (226) Hubmaier later identified this same citation under the heading "Decrees and Order of the Old Popes and Teachers" in Gratian's decretum, immediately followed by the canon prima, which Hubmaier attributed to Boniface. (227) However, the decretum actually identifies Augustine as the author of the latter text and nowhere mentions Boniface. (228)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./eccl. issue
commentary work patristic/Hubinaier
or letter

[section] Urteil CIC 1:1402, c. credobaptism/futility
decretum I 1526 CXXIX/HS 232; BH of godparents
gratiani 254.

[section] Urteil CIC 1:1402, c. credobaptism/futility
decretum 11 CXXIX/HS 247; BH of godparents
gratiani 1526 269.

[double Urteil CIC 1:1402, c. credobaptism/futility
dagger] II CXXIX/HS 248; BH of godparents
decretum 1526 271.

Augustine (354-430): Of all the Church fathers, Hubmaier cited Augustine the most frequently, referring to him some nineteen times. As will become apparent later, Hubmaier vilified Augustine for his alleged role in the popularization of infant baptism. However, Hubmaier also invoked Augustine favorably on the issue of free will to overturn what he perceived as the abuse of Augustine by his Lutheran-inspired congregants in Nikolsburg, seeking to replace this with the moderate Augustinianism that characterized his academic preparation. For instance, Hubmaier declared, "We will not confess that God is a doer or creator of sin," and quoted Augustine in concurrence: "Of what God is not the planter he is neither the maker nor effecter." (229) Here Hubmaier provided only a marginal note - Augustinus am 3. buck, 8. cap. - stating that Augustine wrote "against Julian the Pelagianist." And, indeed, the concerns expressed in book 3, chapter 8 of Augustine's Contra Julianum reflect those of this passage in Hubmaier's Andere Buchlein von der Freiwilligkeit des Menschen precisely. (230) Augustine composed this treatise around 421 A.D., directing it not against Pelagius himself, but against one of Pelagianism's most prominent leaders, Julian of Eclanum (c.386-c.455). The scriptural passage under which Hubmaier invokes Augustine's support in this instance is Isaiah 45:7, wherein the prophet suggests that God "makes peace and creates evil." Augustine also referred to this verse in book 3, chapter 8.
Treatise, Hubm. work Source reference Theol./eccl.
commentary patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

none christlichen HS 153;. credobaptism/
 Taufe 1525 BH 138 historical

[double dagger] christlichen CIC 1:1362, c. infant baptism
decretum T aufe 1525 III/HS 154; BH
gratiani 139.
(Letter to

none Recantation BH 152. infant baptism

none Gesprach 1526 HS 171; BH infant baptism

none Gesprach 1526 HS 172; credobaptism /
 BH176. distortion of

none Gesprach 1526 HS 184; BH credobaptism /
 192. distortion of

[double dagger] Gesprach 1526 CIC infant baptism
decretum gratiani 1:1362, c.
(Letter to Petrus III/ HS
Diaconus) 205; BH

none Gesprach 1526 HS 2071f.; infant baptism /
 BH 224f. damnation of
[DELTA]Contra Urteil I 1526 PL 42:176; primacy of
Epistolam Scripture
Manichaei quam NPNF1 above the Church
vacant Fundament! 4:131/ HS
 228; BH

[DELTA]Contra Urteil II 1526 PL 42:176; primacy of
Epistolam Scripture
Manichaei quam NPNF1 above the Church
vocant Fundamenti 4:131/ HS

[section] decretum Urteil II 1526 CIC credobaptism
gratiani 1:1393, c.
 c. CXXXI/
 HS 245; BH

[section] De gratia Urteil II 1526 PL 44:391; credobaptism /
Christi et de NPNF will
peccato originali 5:240/ HS
 246; BH

[double.tagger] Von der CIC infant baptism
decretum gratiani Kindertaufe 1:1362, c.
(Letter to Petrus (1525) 1527 III/ HS
Diaconus) 261; BH

none Von der HS 267; BH credobaptism /
 Kindertaufe 290. avoiding
 (1525) 1527 Scripture

none Entschulddigung HS 274; primacy of
 1526 BH300. Scripture

[section] Unterricht 1526 HS 296; BH overuse of
De doctrina 328. rhetoric

none Lehrtafel 1526 HS310; BH primacy of
 344. Scripture

none Freiheit 1527 HS 392; BH free will

[Section] Das andere PL 44:710f.; free will
Contra Buchlein 1527 FC35:121f./
Julianum HS 492; BH488.

In response to Julian's allegation that he viewed the different sexes as deformities, and hence an evil, Augustine clarified his position in this section of Contra Julianum by affirming that "God cannot be the author of an evil." (231) Thus, Hubmaier here appeals to Augustine to support his conviction that evil flows from our free will to disobey the precepts of Christ. This is in opposition to those who cite Isaiah 45:7 as evidence that God works both good and evil in all human beings. Instead, the "evil" that God creates in Isaiah 45:7--which Augustine identifies as lust--is a punishment for the original disobedience of Adam. Therefore, the evil is generated by our own will rather than by God. This appears to be the crux of Hubmaier's summary of Augustine's views in his Andere Buchlein von der Freiwilligkeit des Menschen. (232)

Although Hubmaier's implication of Augustine in the rise of paedobapusm was derived almost exchisively from his reading of Gratian's decretum, he may have also drawn on Zwingli's patristic library for his reading of Augustine. (233) For example, Hubmaier could have looked at Zwingli's edition of Augustine's Opera for his references to De natura et gratia and De doctrina Christiana, the only two treatises that he mentions explicitly, as well as to Contra Julianum, as just discussed. (234) If Zwingli and Hubmaier did study the Church fathers together in an effoit to clarify their positions on baptism, it seems that they avoided Augustine altogether, perhaps out of the realization that the bishop of Hippo opposed their emerging views.

Donatus ([dagger] c. 355): Given Augustine's fierce opposition to the Donatists, Hubmaier's use of Donatus is of special interest. In his Urteil II, Hubmaier included a brief section on Donatus ("ain gelerter zu Bischoff Cartago") who, in agreement with Hubmaier's own understanding, "teaches that one should baptize no child who does not confess faith." (235) Oddly, the Urteil II suggests that Donatus was living in the year 137. Although Augustine wrote against the surviving Donatist sect, rather than against Donatus himself, Hubmaier was likely aware that the eras in which Donatus and Augustine lived were proximate to each other.
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./eccl.
commentary work patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

none Urteil HS 244; BH 265. credobaptism

In the Gesprach., Hubmaier cited the opposition to credobaptism of Zwingli who drew on Augustine's Contra Donatistas to formulate his own understanding that "the universal church holds that one should baptize young children." (236) Since the inception of the Anabaptist movement, opponents have denounced credobaptism as Donatism reborn. (237) Zwingli's admonishment of Hubmaier by invoking the Donatists seems to corroborate this interpretation. (238) However, Hubmaier did not respond to Zwingli's accusation directly and gave no indication that he consulted Augustine's Contra Donatistas in order to refute Zwingli's allegations. (239)

Pelagius (c. 354-c. 420/40): In his Urteil II, Hubmaier noted that Pelagius, another one of Augustine's opponents, denied the doctrine of original sin, thereby signaling the futility of paedobaptism. (240)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol. /
commentary or owrk Patristic/Hubmaier eccl. issue

[section] Urteil PL 44:391; NPNF credobaptism
(Augustine's) II 5:240/ HS 246; BH / free will
Degratia 1526 268f.
Christi et de

Hubmaier's use of this argument is noteworthy since he actually took great pains to defend the doctrine of original sin elsewhere, in an effort to retain his own orthodoxy while making believer's baptism compatible with the doctrine of original sin. (241) In essence, Hubmaier believed that while original sin exists, it does not obliterate "the freedom of the will in the newborn human beings," but instead gives something that adults could repent of before receiving baptism. (242) Hubmaier's description of Pelagius' beliefs was drawn from Augustine's De gratia Christi et de peccato originali, where Augustine transcribed the acts of the regional synod in Palestine convoked by John, bishop of Jerusalem. (243)
Augustine Hubmaier

"That a man is able to be "Pelagianus ... says that children
without sin if he wishes; are without original sin; therefore,
that infants, even if they baptism, for them is in vain. Young
arc unbaptized, have eternal children, if they are not baptized,
life; that rich men, even if are nonetheless saved. On the other
they are baptized, unless hand, the rich cannot be saved even
they renounce and give up if they are baptized if they do not
all, have, whatever good deny all that which they have. "(245)
they may seem to have done,
nothing of it reckoned unto
them, neither can they possess
the kingdom of heaven. "(244)

One oddity regarding Hubmaier's reference to Pelagius is his description of him as "a disciple of Augustine, a bishop. "(246) Pelagius, of course, was never a disciple of Augustine; nor was he a bishop. It is possible that Hubmaier confused Pelagius with Julian of Eclanum, whom he called Julianunm Pelagianus, since the Contra Julianum was Hubmaier's reading material at the time. Julian was bishop of Eclanum and, even though Augustine and Julian apparently never met, Augustine was initially quite close to his family and his father, the bishop Memorius. (247)

Fulgentius of Ruspe (468-533): In response to those who quote Malachi 1:2 and Romans 9:13--"Jacob have I loved, but Esau I have hated"--as proof "that we are all from eternity and originally already predestined, and already foreordained to good or evil by God," Hubmaier cited the first book of Fulgentius of Ruspe's Ad Monimum. (248)
Treatise, Hubm. Source reference Theol./ecel.
commentary work patristic/Hubmaier issue
or letter

[section] Das FC 95:190-232/ free will
Ad Monimum andere HS 422;BH 479.
 Buchlein 1527

Here Hubmaier reflected on the distinction between foreknowledge and predestination, a point defended by Fulgentius in his Ad Monimum with guidance from Augustine. The first book of Ad Monimum frequently alludes to the belief that God does not order human beings to sin, as Hubmaier sought to prove. (249) "The origin of sin," Fulgentius claimed, "never proceeded from the will of God. (250) Instead, he argued, it is "an evil will, which is the origin of all sin." (251)

To defend his argument, Fulgentius invoked Augustine's On the Predestination of the Saints, where Augustine claimed that "there can be foreknowledge on God's part without predestination but that, on the other hand, there could not be predestination without foreknowledge." (252) Fulgentius continued his paraphrase of Augustine by alleging that "God foreknew even what he himself did not do [namely, sin]," (253) which is why "He foreknew human wills good and evil, but he predestined not the evil ones but only the good ones." (254) "I think that in these words of the blessed Augustine," Fulgentius concluded, "it is clearly shown that God foreknew and predestined his good works ... but the evil works, i.e., sins, he only foreknew but did not predestine. ... "(255) Thus, here again, Augustine, via Fulgentius, became Hubmaier's ally in the defense of the freedom of the will.

Popes Siricius, Leo I, Gregory the Great and Isidore of Seville: Finally, Hubmaier referred one time each to four different popes, although these references had very little impact on his understanding of baptism.
Church Treatise, Hubm. Source reference
father commentary work patristic/Hubmaier
 or letter

Pope [section] Urteil II CIC 1:1364, c.IX/HS
siricius decretum 1526 247; BH 269.

Pope Leo [section] Urteil II CIC 1:1365, c.
I decretum 1526 XII/HS 247; BH
 gratiani 270.

Gregory none Gesprach HS 172; BH 176.

Isidore [double dagger] Untericht HS 290; BH 319.
of Etymologiae 1526

Church Theol./eccl. issue

Pope Credibaptism

Pope Leo credobaptism/against
I hemerobaptism

Gregory credobaptism/distortion
the of Scripture

Isidore eucharist

Hubmaier devoted two brief sections to Pope Siricius (d. 399) and Pope Leo I (d. 461) in his Urteil II, both meant to oppose hemerobaptism by demonstrating that the original practice was to baptize candidates only on Easter and Pentecost, knowledge of which he gained from Gratian's decretum.(256) In his Gesprach, Hubmaier listed Gregory--by whom he likely meant Gregory the Great (c.540-604)--along with Augustine, Jerome and papal law as distorters of Scripture. (257) And Hubmaier cited the "school teachings" of Isidore of Seville (560-636), referring to his popular encyclopedia, the Etymologiae. Specifically, Hubmaier invoked Isidore's understanding of the eucharist among a list of some fifteen interpretations in his Unterricht (1526).(258) Hubmaier could have read the 1472 Strasbourg edition of Isidore's Etymologiae, which was then housed in the Zurich Grossmunster library.(259)


Based on this overview of Hubmaier's encounters with specific patristic texts, what general conclusions might we draw about his interaction with the Church fathers? Clearly, his appeal to the patristies reflected his appreciation for humanism,(260) his adherence to the principles of Ad fontes and restitutio,(261) his desire for the convocation of a universal council,(262) his defense of his own orthodoxy and continuity with the historical Church,(263) his awareness that the fathers allegedly not only taught credobaptism but were baptized later in life themselves,(264) and his perception of the fathers as scriptural exegetes who lived subsequent to the apostolic era, not unlike Hubmaier himself.(265) One aspect of Hubmaier's hermeneutical approach that sheds light on his view of the Church fathers was his insistence that the Church could practice only what was explicitly commanded in Scripture. "It is not necessary that we point out a prohibition," Hubmaier argued to Zwingli,
 For Christ does not say, "All plants which my Heavenly father has
 forbidden should be uprooted," Matt. 15:13. Rather, he says, "All
 plants which my Heavenly Father has not planted should be uprooted."
 Here you must point out clearly the institution of infant baptism in
 the Scriptures, or it must be uprooted.(266)

Zwingli, by contrast, believed that a Christian was restricted from believing and practicing only that which was explicitly denounced in Scripture. Thus, in his Von der Taufe (May 1525), Zwingli suggested the pertinent question to ask: "Does it stand anywhere that one should not baptize infants?"(267) This divergence in their hermeneutical approach was the basis for their disagreement on the form of baptism: since Scripture did not command infant baptism, Hubmaier rejected it, whereas Zwingli accepted it because it was not overtly denounced in Scripture.

For Hubmaier this incompatible hermeneutical approach became a catalyst for his discussion of the Church fathers in his Urteil I and II. In the introduction, he wrote about an infant's inability to both participate in the eucharist and be baptized, since the former requires "a person to examine oneself before going to the Supper" and the latter requires one to "believe beforehand and confess faith with the mouth before one received water baptism." (268) Any distortion to the sequence of instruction, confession and baptism, he argued, was a result of Zwingli's faulty hermeneutical approach. Hubmaier therefore compiled "the opinion of the very ancient and wholly new teachers on infant baptism." (269) Since infant baptism was a long established practice, drawing on the Church fathers in his defense of credobaptism was an obvious rhetorical step. For Zwingli, the very survival of paedobaptism presupposed its historicity. Therefore, if infant baptism was not forbidden in Scripture and had a long historical continuity with the original practice of the apostolic era, it must be the true form of baptism. When Hubmaier quoted Zwingli as writing, "I know well, as the fathers pointed out, that from the ancient time until today children sometimes have been baptized," he did so to accentuate Zwingli's subsequent admission that "it has not been so commonly practiced as in our time." (270)

By the time Hubmaier wrote his Urteil, he knew that Zwingli now espoused only the first part of the observation. Since Scripture also clearly showed that the apostles baptized only adult converts upon confession of faith, Hubmaier believed the evidence was sufficient to silence his opponents. (271) However, he also felt compelled to answer his critics by demonstrating that the practice of believer's baptism continued beyond the close of the apostolic era. Hubmaier did this by citing Beatus Rhenanus, who apparently wrote that "the old practice has been that adults have been baptized and washed with the bath of rebirth, which custom was kept until the time of the emperors Charlemagne and Louis." (272) Further, according to Pipkin, "The citations from the fathers [in Hubmaier's Urteil] were to prove that the original practice of the early church had in fact been believers' baptism," (273) and Armour makes the same point. (274) Since the nature of Zwingli's hermeneutic and the survival of paedobaptism to the present day took for granted its historicity, the burden of proof was on Hubmaier to demonstrate instead the historicity of credobaptism, the fathers being natural allies.

Preference for Greek Fathers and Their Commentaries

As the table below makes clear, in his appeal to the fathers Hubmaier relied heavily on Greek patristic commentaries and homilies.
Greek fathers

Father Work Source reference

Theophylact * Comm. on HS 185, 231f,. 244;
 Mark BH 194, 253, 265.

 * Comm. on HS 190, 231f., 244;
 Matthew BH 200, 253, 265.

 * Comm. on HS 197; BH 210.

Origen * Comm on HS
 Romans 197,230,244,261;BH

 De HS 202; BH 217.

 * Comm. on HS 230, 244, 261;
 Exodus BH 250, 266, 281.

 * Homilies HS 244, 261; BH
 on Luke 266, 281.

Eusebius Eccl. HS 185, 188, 232,
 History 245f., 476; BH 193,
 (Rufinus) 197, 253f., 268,

Athanasius * Comm. on 1 HS 230f., 245; BH
(Theophy1.) Cor. 251, 266f.

Latin fathers

Father Work Source reference

Clement of Canones HS 243f.; BH 265.
Rome Apostolorum

Tertullian De HS 231, 244;
 poentitentia BH 252, 265.

 De corona HS 231, 244;
 milities BH 252, 265.

Cyprian De Lapsis HS 227,
 244f., 331;

 Various HS 244f.,
 Epistles 331; BH 266,

Ambrose De mysteriis HS 246; BH

Pope decretum HS 247; BH
Siricius gratiani 269.

Jerome Against the HS 197, 231,
 Luciferians 245; BH 210,
 252, 267.

 * Comm. on HS 206, 208,
 Matthew 231, 245; BH
 222, 225,
 252, 267.

 * Comm. on HS 230f.,
 Hebrews 245; BH

Basil of * Homiliae in HS 230,
Caesarea Psalmos 247; BH

 Exhortatione HS 230,
 ad Baptismum 247; BH

 De Baptismo HS 230, Pope
 247; BH Boniface
 250f, I

 Contra HS 230, Augustine
 Eunomium 247; BH

John * Homdiae HS 197,
Chrysostom Matthaeum 260; BH

Cyril of * Comm. HS175f.,
Alexandria on
John 197, 231,
 246; BH
 180, 210,

 Foundations HS 274;

Basil of * Comm. on HS
Caesarea Philemon 409f.;

 Against HS 471;
 Helvidius BH

 decretum 232,
 gratiani 247,
 248; BH

 decretum HS 154,
 gratiani 205,
 261; BH

John Contra HS 228,
Chrysostom Epist. 242; BH
 Mani. 247.

Cyril of De doctrina HS 296;
Alexandria Christiana BH328.

Pope Leo I decretum HS 247;
 gratiani BH 270.

Isidore of Etymologiae HS 290;
Seville BH 319.

Table 2: Comparison of Green and Latin Fathers
* Commentaries or homilies on Scripture

Further, when Hubmaier did cite a theological treatise by a Greek father--such as Basil's two treatises on baptism, his Contra Eunomium275 and Origen's De principiis (276)--his reference was primarily to their interpretation of Scripture rather than to their more abstract theological and philosophical musings. Although he used Eusebius's (i.e., Rufinus's) Ecclesiastical History to substantiate his continuity with the historical Church by distancing himself from several ancient heretical sects, Hubmaier also retold the story of Athanasius baptizing children beyond the age of infancy to corroborate the sequence of docete-baptizantes-docents in Matthew 28:19. (277)

Hubmaier also consistently grouped the Latin fathers together to repudiate their errors, while grouping the Greek fathers to affirm their fidelity to Scripture.
Patristic Group (neg.) Explanation

Augustine, Jerome, Gregory Negative appraisal of those who
the Great, Papal law, have turned Scripture "into a
scholastics rope and net of confusion."

Augustine, Cyprian Introduces his Urteil by
 claiming that infant communion
 has been erroneously practiced
 since the time of Cyprian;
 Augustine's axiom, Evangelionon
 crederem. ... is rejected.

Augustine, Cyprian Juxtaposed with positive
 references to Chrysostom and
 Origen below, Augustine
 "greatly erred," and Cyprian is
 given as ultimatum to comply
 with Scripture if he is to be

Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Chastises Oecol. for neglecting
Augustine, councils, Scripture in favor of these
histories, old customs fathers; Origen is invoked only
 because Oecol. introduced him
 earlier in support of the
 apostolicity of paedobaptism.

Patristic Group (pos.) Explanation

Origen, Cyril of Alexandria, Positive estimation of those
Theophylact, John who agree with Hubmaier that
Chrysostom, Jerome John's baptism is distinct from
 Christ's; Jerome seems to be a
 favorite of Hubmaier as he was
 for Erasmus - Jerome is the
 only Latin father whose
 commentaries, heavily dependent
 on Origen, Hubmaier cites. In
 this case, the passage in
 Jerome's Adversus Luciferianos
 interacts with Acts 19:2f.;
 John 1:29; Luke 1:43f.; Matthew

John Chrysostom, Origen Juxtaposed with the negative
 references to Augustine and
 Cyprian above, Chrysostom
 agrees that Hubmaier's a
 "blessed sectarianism," and
 that Origen supported

Origen, Basil of Caesarea, Harbiangers of his patristic
Athanasius, Tertullian, usage in the Urteil these
Jerome fathers support credobaptism;
 Tetullian is referenced because
 he so clearly believed baptism
 should be delayed (see
 commentary Jerome above).

Patristic Group Source

Augustine, "Gesprach," HS 172:
Jerome, Gregory BH 176.
the Great, Papal
law, scholastics

Augustine, "Urteil I," HS
Cyprian 227f.; BH 246f.;

Augustine, "Kindertaufe," HS
Cyprian 260f,; BH 278-81.

Tertullian, "Kindertaufe," HS
Origen, Cyprian, 267; BH 291.
histories, old

Patristic Group Source

Origen, Cyril of "Gesprach," HS 267;
Alexandria, BH 292.
Theophylact, John

John Chrysostom, "Kindertaufe," HS
Origen 260f.; BH 278-81

Origen, Basil of "Kindertaufe," HS
Caesarea, 267; BH 292.

Table 3: Grouping of Greek and Latin Fathers

With a few exceptions, Hubmaier regarded the Greek much more favorably than the Latin. Here, Hubmaier may have been drawing on Erasmus, who argued that "if ingenuity and erudition contribute anything to scriptural interpretation, what could be more acute and perspicacious than the Greek mind?" (278) Erasmus further observed that the Latins were "less fruitful than the Greeks," in the sense that they did not write as much on the Scriptures, but accepted the Greeks' "helpful inheritance." (279) Zwingli also clearly preferred the Greek fathers, perhaps drawing on Erasmus as well. (280)

Hubmaier's Negative Appraisal of Augustine

Although Hubmaier could draw on Augustine positively for several arguments related to the freedom of the will, on the issue of baptism his appraisal of Augustine is thoroughly negative. Hubmaier argued that the fall of the Church began with the practice of infant baptism, and it was Augustine who was responsible for initiating, or at least popularizing, this change in Church doctrine. In a written recantation composed during his imprisonment in the Wellenberg tower in Zurich, Hubmaier argued that "Augustine, and many others since his time ... have been wrong about baptism." (281) In his Gesprach, he maintained that the Church erred in its promulgation of infant baptism "for the past thousand years, Augustine being not a little responsible for this." (282) Hubmaier claimed further that Zwingli's Augustinian argument is of no account since "Augustine also writes that the children of Christians who die either in the mother's womb or outside without water baptism are not only robbed of the divine countenance, but are tortured with eternal fire." (283) After a lengthy tirade against Augustine and his abuse of Scripture, Hubmaier then suggested that Zwingli read Jerome's Commentary on Matthew instead. (284) Although Hubmaier and Zwingli disputed the date when infant baptism was introduced into the Church, suggesting variously 1,000, 1,300 and 1,400 years ago--or perhaps even during the apostolic era (285) -Hubmaier concluded that the Church had not known true baptism for "the past thousand years," fixing the blame on Augustine. (286) This chronology, favoring the origin of infant baptism at the beginning of the sixth century, is also consistent with Hubmaier's other writings. (287)

The Agreement between the Church Fathers and Scripture

By juxtaposing the authority of the Church fathers with Scripture, scholasticism and the papacy, it is clear that Hubmaier's preference for patristic commentaries underscored his confidence in their interprelation of Scripture and in the authority of Scripture over appeals to tradition or the authority of the pope. Indeed, aside from Augustine's view of baptism, Hubmaier generally believed that the writings of the Church fathers conformed to the precepts of Scripture. After Zwingli claimed that baptism was not instituted in Matthew 28:19, Hubmaier declared, "Show us in the Scripture," and continued, "If you will gladly, then show us also Theophylact." (288) However, Hubmaier never requested that his opponents support their convictions with references to the Scholastic theologians or to the pope. And the credibility of patristic arguments is linked for him to the proximity of their writings to the apostolic era; for example, Hubmaier felt it important to highlight that Clement of Rome wrote " (91) years after the birth of Christ" and was a "disciple of the apostle Peter." (289) Hubmaier demonstrated this same objective in Von tier Kindertaufe, where he noted that Oecolampadius defended Origen's credibility on the basis of his proximity to the apostles. Here Hubmaier did not deny the importance of that proximity, but instead urged Oecolampadius to read Origen more carefully, and to turn back to Scripture itself. Thus, Hubmaier vigorously countered Oecolampadius's accusation that he was "introducing a new sect" and "grafting [himself] to the devil" by declaring, "Blasphemy. Give testimony with the Scripture, Scripture, Scripture, that baptizing according to the indisputable order of Christ is grafting oneself to the devil." (290) In Hubmaier's view, Origen, unlike Oecolampadius, had avoided blasphemy by conforming to Scripture as Hubmaier's subsequent invocation of his commentaries sought to attest.

Hubmaier also defended patristic conformity to Scripture by citing Origen, Cyril of Alexandria, Theophylact, John Chrysostom and Jerome, all of whom correctly perceived the distinction between the baptisms of John and Christ. Here, he claimed that what the fathers say is "just the same" as Paul writes in Romans. (291) Hubmaier also contrasted Jerome--whom he encouraged Zwingli to read regarding Matthew 28:19-with Augustine who, "if one had asked [him], where infant baptism is found in the Scriptures, he would have answered, it has not been established in the councils, but it has always been practiced." (292) in the Urteil, Hubmaier contended that Christ's instructions in the Great Commission clearly "do not apply to young children, also according to the understanding of Jerome, Erasmus, and Zwingli, yea, the old and new teachers." (293) in addition, he seemed to place the teachings of the fathers alongside and supplementary to Scripture when he declared in the conclusion to his Urteil I and II, "[W]e have so many stronger words, works, teaching, examples, and Scriptures" that speak against the present practice of infant baptism. in a marginal note Hubmaier called this a "faithful admonition" (Trewe ermanung). (294)


Hubmaier introduced a Scholastic argument in his favor only once--a Scotist argument that he advanced sardonically against Oecolampadius. (295) Otherwise, he was remarkably consistent in his criticism of Scholastic theologians. The chief targets of his criticism were Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, Bonaventure, William of Occam, Robert Holcot, Gabriel Biel and John Major, his contemporary from the University of Paris. (296) The first three are associated with the realist school of Scholasticism; the latter four were nominalists. Among his denunciations, Hubmaier claimed that when Scholastic theologians "play tricks ... with the treasure of the divine Word," it was akin to turning "holy theology" into "Anaxagorean philosophy"--a "favorite name used by Reformers to refer to the Scholastics." (297) He also scolded Zwingli for employing "sophistic word battles" (298) and deseribed assent to "human reason" and "human teachings"--a standard reference to Scholastic teaching--as being "drowned and stuck in the mud of the long-practiced usage that we can no more reach solid ground. ..." Hubmaier intensified his rhetoric by highlighting the "stupidity and awkwardness" of such approaches. (299)

Hubmaier objected most to the Scholastic tendency to diverge from Scripture. He frequently denounced the Scholastic tendency to impose "glosses" on the text--that is, a selective emphasis on certain passages of Scripture which the Scholastics anthologized to give the impression of Scripture's harmony with their own thought. (300) Hubmaier described the Scholastic abuse of Scripture as heaping "weeds, thorn bushes, sticks, and rocks" on top of Christ's words, so that "three times as much work" must be exerted to resuscitate the nugget of scriptural truth hidden underneath. (301) In the place of Holy Scripture, the writings of Scholastic theologians have been "our hellish scriptures." (302) And he equated Scholastic thought to "the mire and mud puddles of human precepts" and "poisoned cistern water sullied by human feet," which we "have been drinking" instead of the "spring of living water." (303)

With this negative assessment of Scholastic theologians as a foil, the positive manner in which Hubmaier invoked the fathers becomes even more evident. Especially as Hubmaier's theology and ecclesiology began to take shape over time, Hubmaier's contrast of the fathers' compliance with Scripture with the self-serving interpretations of the Scholastics became increasingly evident. Thus, in the early stages of his Anabaptist career, Hubmaier in his Axiomata urged Eck, his mentor at both the universities of Freiburg and Ingolstadt, to search the Scriptures, since he was worried that Eck was placing too much emphasis on papal law, councils, fathers and Scholastic theology. (304) This might arguably reveal an early, perhaps premature, suspicion of the fathers' faithfulness to Scripture, but is nevertheless consistent with his evaluation throughout his writings--human teachings must square with Scripture. (305) By contrast, Hubmaier composed his Urteil I and II, which enlisted the support of theologians from the Church fathers to contemporary colleagues, without conscripting a single Scholastic theologian. Also, near the end of his life, Hubmaier stated in the preface to his Andere Buchlein that one of his objectives in the work was to dismantle "the arguments and objections of [his] friends so that no one be deceived and sophistrated (sophistriert)." (306) After attending to this objective in part III of the treatise, Hubmaier did not hesitate to cite the Church fathers--including Origen, Fulgentius of Rupse and Augustine--to support central elements of his argument in favor of the freedom of the will.


In a similar way, Hubmaier's criticism of the papacy sheds further light on his view of the Church fathers. In his Christlichen Taufe (1525), Hubmaier warned his readers to "beware of papal cancer," and lamented that "until now we had to wait for the pope and the councils," which had distorted the words of Christ now gratefully in his possession. (307) Hubmaier also rejected transubstantiation as a "papal belief," (308) declared that the pope was at variance with Scripture on the matter of usury, (309) and alleged that the popes were "enmeshed in worldly affairs." (310)

Hubmaier's affirmation of the authority of the Church fathers over that of the papacy rested first on his conviction that the influence of the papacy emerged after the fall of the Church in its acceptance of paedobaplism. In his Gesprach, Hubmaier accused Zwingli of being a "new papist" because he conceded that God would not let the Church practice an incorrect form of baptism for one thousand years. (311) Zwingli's hermeneutic, which accepts new practices as long as they are not forbidden in Scripture, is actually a characteristic of the papacy. Hubmaier refuted this position in his Urteil anyone who declares, "Christ has not forbidden infant baptism; therefore one can safely baptize," is making a "popish assertion." Anyone making this claim, he continued, must explain why the fathers of the Church taught and practiced credobaptism, acting as if infant baptism was indeed forbidden. (312)

Furthermore, Hubmaier argued that the inflated authority of the pope must be replaced by the authority of Scripture and of the Church. In response to Oecolampadius's claim that he knew "enough of the histories that children's baptism has never been forbidden from the time of the apostles until now" and that it "has been the custom of the mothers in the church to baptize children," Hubmaier responded that the practice as Oecolampadius described it was "of the papist but not of the Christian mothers in the church." (313) Since Hubmaier had just recently printed his Urteil-in which he established that the Church fathers not only taught credobaptism but were themselves baptized later in life (their mothers presumably delaying the baptism)-there is no reason to doubt that the fathers, with the possible exception of Augustine, were included in this Church. They therefore provided an alternative to the illegitimate authority of the pope.

Another facet of Hubmaier's attentiveness to the unity of the Church was his understanding of the ecclesia universalis and ecclesia particularis (314) In Hubmaier's paradigm, the particular church constitutes a congregation whose obligation it is to conform to the universal Church as unto Christ. Hubmaier, however, classified the apostasy of the papal church as the actions of an ecclesia particularis-that is, the disobedience of a single, separate congregation. "The particular congregation may err," he argued, "as the papist church has erred in many respects. But the universal church cannot err." (315) Therefore, the universal Church remains unified and undefiled on the basis of a uniform interpretation of Scripture. Hubmaier agreed that many past heresies deserve condemnation since their "opinion is against Scripture." (316) However, since he equated errors in doctrine and practice with an abuse of the Scriptures, his claim that "the universal church cannot err" led to two related principles: (1) the Church fathers that Hubmaier cited do not belong to the erroneous papist ecclesia particularis; and (2) the fathers-save Augustine-must, by virtue of their accurate exegesis of Scripture, belong to the universal Church to which Hubmaier also belongs. (317) Since the basis of the fathers' inclusion in the true, universal Church is the accuracy of their scriptural interpretation, Hubmaier implied that he was a co-exegete of Scripture with the fathers and accepted them as co-affiliates in the ecclesia universalis.


Hubmaier validated the Church fathers by conscripting them as allies in his reforming program, which is a testament to their distinction among all other prospective extra-biblical sources. By enlisting the voice of the fathers in support of his views on baptism and free will, he manufactured a unique ecclesiology with the assistance of patristic testimony. When we consider the Anabaptist emphasis on ecclesiology and the demarcation of the true Church, it is no small matter that Hubmaier appears to include the Church fathers in the ecclesia universalis. The possibility that Hubmaier accessed Zwingli's patristic library in the spring of 1523, at a time when he was developing suspicions about the validity of paedobaptism, further increases the role of the Church fathers in the development of a credobaptist theology in the sixteenth century.

Human words, of course, are not God's Word. And what Hubmaier said of his own fallibility, he might also have said of the fathers: "I may err, I am a human being--but a heretic I cannot be, for I constantly ask instruction in the Word of God." (318) However, he contended that the fathers, here referring to Clement of Rome, personify the "truth of the church" (319) precisely because their fallibility is overshadowed by what matters most--conformity to the truth of Scripture.

As is well known, Hubmaier concluded many of his treatises with his famous aphorism, Die Warhait ist vntodtlich, or "Truth is Immortal." (320) If truth is immortal, is it not reasonable to suggest that this truth is preserved even beyond the era about which the New Testament is written? Might not this truth also belong to the fathers of the Church who wrote their own treatises and biblical commentaries on the texts of the apostles whom Hubmaier so revered? In the development of his thought, Hubmaier clearly believed that the Church fathers, by virtue of their conformity to Scripture, do indeed preserve the immortality of this truth and that they practiced it, as Hubmaier himself sought to do, in the one, true Church.

*Andrew P. Klager holds a Ph.D. in ecclesiastical history from the University of Glasgow and is currently a visiting scholar at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown, Pa. This essay is drawn from his doctoral dissertation, "'Truth is Immortal': Balthasar Hubmaier (c. 1480-1528) and the Church Fathers" (Ph.D. diss., University of Glasgow, 2010), which offers a fuller development of the arguments presented here.

(1.) Historical studies on Anabaptism and the Church fathers include Antonia Lucic Gonzalez, "Balthasar Hubmair and Early Christian Tradition" (Ph.D. Diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 2008); Irvin B. Horst, "Menno Simons and the Augustinian Tradition," MQR 62 (Oct. 1988), 419-430; Andrew P. Klager, "Balthasar Hubmaier and the Authority of the Church Fathers," Historical Papers 2008: Canadian Society of Church History: Annual Conference, University of British, Columbia, 1-3 June 2008, 18 (2008), 133-152; and Dennis D. Martin, "Menno and Augustine on the Body of Christ," Fides et Historia 20 (Oct. 1988), 41-64.

(2.) Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic, and Humanist Strands (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1961), 80.

(3.) Eugene F. Rice, Jr., "The Humanist Idea of Christian Antiquity: Lefevre d'Etaples and his Circle," Studies in the Renaissance 9 (1962), 126-160.

(4.) Irena Backus, "Erasmus and the Spirituality of the Early Church," in Erasmus' Vision of the Church, ed. Hilmar Pabel (Kirksville, Mo.: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1995), 95-114; Jan den Boeft, "Erasmus and the Church Fathers," in Tin' Reception of the Church Fathers in the West [hereafter RCFW], ed. Irena Backus (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2001), 2: 537-572; John C. Olin, "Erasmus and St. Jerome: The Close Bond and its Significance," Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook 7 (1987), 33-53; Robert Peters, "Erasmus and the Fathers: Their Practical Value," Church History 36:3 ("1967), 254-261.

(5.) John Dyck, "Johannes Oecolampadius: Lighthouse of the Reformation," Western Reformed Seminary journal 3 (Aug. 1996), 22, 25-29; William James Malley, "The Contra Julianum of St Cyril of Alexandria and St Peter of Canisius," Theological Studies 25 (March 1964), 70-74; Hughes O. Old, "The Homiletics of John Oecolampadius and the Sermons of the Greek Fathers," in Communio Sanctorum: melanges offerts a

Jean-Jacques von Allemen, ed. Yves Congar, et al. (Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1982), 239-250.

(6.) Manfred Schulze, "Martin Luther and the Church Fathers," in RCFW 2: 573-626.

(7.) Irena Backus, "Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer and the Church Fathers," in RCFW 2: 627-60; Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants, "Sola Scriptura in Zurich?" in The. Free Church, and the Early Church: Essays in Bridging the Historical and Theological Divide, ed. Daniel H. Williams (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2002), 77-99; Alfred Schindler, Zwingli and die. Kirchenvater (Zurich: Kommissionsverlag Beer AC, 1984).

(8.) John F. D'Amico, "Beatus Rhenanus, Tertullian and the Reformation: A Humanist's Critique of Scholasticism," Archiv fur Reformationsgesehichte 71 (1981), 37-63; Pierre Fraenkel, "Beatus Rhenanus, Oecolampade, Theodore de Beze et quelques-unes de leurs sources anciennes," Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance 41 (1979), 63-81.

(9.) Backus, "Ulrich Zwingli," 627-660; Irena Backus, "Martin Bucer and the Patristic Tradition," in Martin Bucer and Sixteenth Century Europe. Actes du Colloque de Strasbourg (2831 aout 1991), ed. Christian Krieger and Marc Lienhard (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993), 55-69; Amy Nelson Burnett, "Martin Bucer and the Church Fathers in the Cologne Reformation," Reformation & Rennaisance Review 3 (June and Dec. 2001), 108-124.

(10.) Peter Fraenkel, "Revelation and Tradition: Notes on Some Aspects of Doctrinal Continuity in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon," Studia Theologica 13 (1959), 97-133; Peter Fraenkel, Testimonia Patrum: The Fuucion of the Patristic Argument in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon (Geneva: Librairie E. Droz, 1961.); E. P. Meijering, Melanchthon and Patristic Thought: The. Doctrines of Christ and Grace, the Trinity and the Creation. (Leiden: Brill, 1983).

(11.) Chris Armstrong, "The Bible Alone? Not for Calvin!" Christian History and. Biography,, posted Jan. 9, 2004; Anthony N. S. Lane, John Calvin Student of the Church Fathers (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1999); Johannes van Oort, "John Calvin and the Church Fathers," RCFW, 2:661-700.

(12.) Robert Kolb, "The Fathers in the Service of Lutheran Teaching: Andreas Musculus' Use of Patristic Sources," in Auctoritas. Patrum II: Neue Beitrage zur Rezeption der Kirchenuater im 15. und 16 Jahrhundert, ed. Leif Grane, Alfred Schindler, Markus Wriedt (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1993), 105-123.

(13.) Irena Backus, "The Early Church in the Renaissance and Reformation," in Early Christianity: Origins and Evolution to A.D. 600, ed. fan Hazlett (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991), 291-303; Noel L. Brann, "Humanism in Germany," in Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy [hereafter Renaissance Humanism,], ed. Albert Rabil Jr. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988), 2:123-155; John F. D'Amico, "Humanism and Pre-Reformation Theology," in Renaissance Humanism, 3:355-357, 365, 370-373; Natalie Zemon Davis, "Gregory Nazianzen in the Service of Humanist Social Reform," Renaissance Quarterly 20 (Winter 1967), 455-464; William P. Haaugaard, "Renaissance Patristic Scholarship and Theology in Sixteenth-Century England," Sixteenth Century journal 10 (Autumn, 1979), 37-60; Kristeller, Renaissance Thought, 74-75, 80-82; Eugene F. Rice Jr., "The Renaissance Idea of Christian Antiquity: Humanist Patristic Scholarship," Renaissance Humanism, 1:380-411; Lewis W. Spitz, "Humanism and the Protestant Reformation," Renaissance Humanism, 3:140; David C. Steinmetz, Die Patristik in der Bibelexegese des 16, Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1996); Charles L. Stinger, Humanism and the Church Fathers: Ambrogio Traversari (1386-1439) and Christian Antiquity in the Italian Renaissance (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1977), esp. 226.

(14.) Peter C. Erb, review of Kenneth Davis, Anabaptism and Asceticism: A Study in Intellectual Origins, MQR 50 (July 1976), 254f.

(15.) Jonathan Selling, review Geoffrey Dipple, "just as in the Time of the Apostles": Uses of History in the Radical Reformation, Conrad Grebel Review 25 (Winter 2007), 106.

(16.) Chris K. Heubner, "What Should Mennonites and Milbank Learn from Each Other?" Conrad Grebel Review 23 (Spring 2005), 12.

(17.) Among them, Eck, Zwingli, Bullinger, Oecolampadius and Erasmus.

(18.) Torsten Bergsten, Balthasar Hubmaier: Anabaptist Theologian and Martyr, ed. and trans. William R. Estep (Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson Press, 1978), 397f.

(19.) Robert Friedmann, for example, admitted to only a modest impact of Hubmaier's thought on the Anabaptist movement, though he did concede that his teachings on free will, baptism and the Lord's Supper had "crept into Anabaptist thinking."-Friedmann, Theology of Anabaptism, 19, 37.

(20.) Snyder, Anabaptist History, 63f., note 13. See also Dipple, Uses of History, 128-37; Windhorst, Tauferisehes Taufverstandnis, 2f.

(21.) The English titles for these works are: Dialogue with Zwingli's Baptism Book; On Infant Baptism against Oecolampadius; and Old and New Teachers on Believers Baptism, respectively.

(22.) Bergsten, HS 225f.; Pipkin, BH 246 Cf. "Entschuldigung," HS 304; BH 277.

(23.) Antonia Lucic Gonzalez, "Balthasar Hubmair and Early Christian Tradition" (Ph.D. diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 2008).

(24.). Deno John Geanakoplos, Greeks Scholars in Venice, Studies in the Dissemination of Greek Learning from Byzantium to Western Europe (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962), 1. See also Deno John Geanakoplos, "Italian Humanism and the Byzantine Emigre Scholars," Renaissance Humanism, "1:350-353.

(25.) Geanakoplos notes that there were 700 Greeks in Florence during the council.- Geanakoplos, Greek Scholars in Venice, 33. See also James Jorgenson, "The Debate over the Patristic Texts on Purgatory at the Council of Ferrara-Florence, 1438," St. Vladimir's Theological Review 30, no 4 (1986), 309-334.

(26.) Backus, "Early Church," 296. See also Robert S. Nelson, "The Italian Appreciation and Appropriation of Illuminated Byzantine Manuscripts, 1200-1450," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 49 (1995), 210; N. G. Wilson, From Byzantium to Italy: Greek Studies in the Italian Renaissance (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 87.

(27.) D' Amico, "Humanism," 356. See also Wilson, Byzantium, 62; Anthony Levi, Renaissance and Reformation: The Intellectual Genesis (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002), 91.

(28.) Paul Oskar Kristeller, "Erasmus from an Italian Perspective," Renaissance Quarterly (23.) (Spring 1970), 9, note 33. See also Stinger, "Humanism in Florence," 187f.; Stinger, Church Fathers, 38; and Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 285.

(29.) Backus, "Reformation," 299f.

(30.) Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 19. At the request of both Pope Nicholas V and Bessarion, George of Trebizond translated into Latin at least eleven great works of the Greek fathers. See also Geanakoplos, "Italian Humanism," 359-362.

(31.) Geanakoplos, "Italian Humanism," 360.

(32.) Backus, "Reformation," 298. For more on Trebizond's Latin translation of Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on John, and Josse Clichtove's subsequent 1508-1509 and 1520 printed editions in Northern Europe, see Rice, "Lefevre," 140,145f.

(33.) Trebizond also translated Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Moses, Cyril of Alexandria's Thesaurus against Heretics, a few works by Gregory Nazianzen, and Eusebius' De praeparatioue evangelica.

(34.) Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 13, 281 and 286. See also Benjamin G. Kohl, "Humanism and Education," Renaissance Humanism, 3:14.

(35.) Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 22, 87, 288. See also Backus, "Reformation," 297; Deno John Geanakoplos, "Theodore Gaza, a Byzantine Scholar of the Palaeologan Renaissance in the Italian Renaissance," Medievalia et Humanistica 12 (1984), 61-81.

(36.) Apostolis copied Eusebius' De praeparatione evengelica from Bessarion's collection. - Geanakoplos, Greek Scholars, 108.

(37.) Charles L. Stinger, The Renaissance in Rome (Bloomington, lnd.: Indiana University Press, 1998), 302.

(38.) Wilson, Byzantium, 87. An even more complete list of scholars who actively took up patristic translating projects would have to include John Simeonachis, Chrysoloras, Pietro Balbo of Pisa, Giannozzo Manetii, Franciscus Aretinus, Lilius Tifernas, Teodoro de' Lelli, Cian Matteu Giberti, Gasparo Contarini, Jacopo Sadoleto and Paolo Giustiniani.

(39.) Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 288.

(40.) The same edition was also printed in 1512. Cf. Origenis ... epistola Pauli ad Romanos (Venice: Benalium, 1512).

(41.) Backus, "Reformation," 297. Cf. Origenis opus ... De principijs (Venice: Lazaro Soardo, 1514).

(42.) Geanakoplos, Greek Sciioiars, 138. See also Peters, "Erasmus," 261.

(43.) Geanakoplos, "Italian Humanism," 361f.

(44.) Geanakoplos, Constantinople, 22, 289. See also Wilson, Byzniium, 69; D'Amico, "Humanism," 357.

(45.) Stinger, Church Fathers, 45.

(46.) Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church: The Middle Ages: From Boniface VIII to the. Protestant Reformation, 1294-1517 (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2002), 6:619f.; Brann, "Humanism," 127; Olaf Pedersen, "Tradition and Innovation," in A History of the University in Europe: Universities in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800), ed. Hilde de Ridder-Symoens (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 2:458f.

(47.) Kristeller, "Erasmus," 8f.

(48.) Ibid., 3, note 6.

(49.) Edward H. R. Tatham, "Erasmus in Italy," English Historical Review 10 (Oct. 1895), 347-355, 358-361. See also Kristeller, "Erasmus," 1-14; Deno John Geanakoplos, "Erasmus and the Aldine Academy of Venice: A Neglected Chapter in the Transmission of Greco-Byzantine Learning to the West," Greek. Roman, and Byzantine Studies 3 (I960). 107-134, esp. 131-134.

(50.) Geanakoplos. Greek Scholars, 263f.

(51.) Levi, Renaissance, 288.

(52.) Stinger, Church Fathers, 225. See also Spitz, "Humanism," 400.

(53.) John D. Rempel, The Lord's Supper in Anabaptism: A Study in the Theology of Balthasar Hubmaier, Pilgrim Marpeck and Dirk Philips (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press,' 1993), 43f.; Williamson, Erasmus, 36f.

(54.) Backus, "Reformation," 299. See also Olin, "St. Jerome," 33-53. Cf. Hieronynn opera ... (Basel: Froben, 1516); Opera ... Cypriani (Basel: Froben, 1520). The Commentary on the pauline Epistles in the 1522 edition of the opera omnia of Anthanasius were actually written by Theophylact and misattributed to Athanasius. But Erasmus's correctly attributed Athanasius edition came out in 1527.--Backus, "Erasmus," (95;) Levi, Renaissance, 289. We will retain the 1522 date because it shows that what Hubmaier thought were Athanaisus' works were available to him before he wrote his relevant treatises. See also Backus, "Zwingli," 630f; Peters, "Erasmus," 256-258; Collected Work of Erasmus, 12:94.

(55.) "Letter to Adelphi (23 June 1522)," in Veesenmeyer, Uber Balthasar Hubmaier, 4:233. Cf. Williamson, Erasmus, 47f.; Bergsten, Hubmaier, 352-354.

(56.) Additional patristic editions prepared by Erasmus include Arnobius the Younger (1522), Hilary of Poitiers (1522-1523), Irenaeus (1526), Lactantius (1529), Epiphanius (1529) and a preface to Pirckheimer's Gregory Nazianzen (1531), all of which Hubmaier does not mention in his writings, while his editions of John Chrysostom (1525-1530), Ambrose (1527), Augustine (1528-1529), Basil of Cesaerea (1532) and Origen (1536) were all printed after Hubmaier had already written his Urteil, Gesprach and Von der Kitidertaufe.--Stinger, Church Fathers, 225; Backus, "Erasmus," 95f.

(57.) Levi, Renaissance, 163.

(58.) Ibid., 164.

(59.) Ibid., 208.

(60.) Ibid., 167f.

(61.) Rice, "Lefevre," 140.

(62.) Additional patristic editions prepared by Lefevre's circle include the entire psuedo-Dionsyian corpus: Celestial Hierarchy, the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, the Divine Names, the Mystical Theology and eleven letters, which was bound in a single volume with the epistles of Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp, believing of course that tike these two, pseudo-Dionysius belonged to the company of the apostolic fathers (1499); John of Damascus' De fide orthodoxa (1507); Nemesius of Emesa's De natura hominis, from a translation by Burgundio, edited by Rhenanus, and erroneously attributed to Gregory of Nyssa (1512); Origen's Commentary on Leviticus, translated by Rufinus, that Clichtove eventually edited as if it were instead a Cyrillian composition (1514); possibly an edition of Theodoret of Cyrus (1519); Gregory Nazianzen's funeral oration on Basil of Caesarea, translated by Volaterranus; and Rufinus's translation of Basil's two monastic rules, Regulae fusius tractatae and Regulae brevius tractatae, together entitled the De institutis monarchorum within a single volume (1523). - Rice, "Lefevre," 140,142,148-152; Levi, Renaissance, 209.

(63.) Rice, "Lefevre," 149f. Cf. Cyrilli Alexandrini ... (Paris: WolfgangHopyl, 1513-1514).

(64.) Levi, Renaissance, 211. Cf. Cyrilli patriarche Alexandrini ... (Paris, Mazarine, 1508-1509); 2nd ed. (Paris: Wolfgang Hopyl, 1520).

(65.) "Urteil: I," HS 230; BH 250f. "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 270. Cf. Divi Basilii Magni Caesariensis ... opera (Cologne: M. Gottfried Hittorp, 1523).

(66.) Rice, "Lefevre," 143.

(67.) Ibid., 143f.

(68.) "Urteil: II," HS 246; BH 268.

(69.) Christof Windhorst, Tauferischcs Taufverstanduis: Balthasar Hnbmaiers Lehre zwicshen Traditioneller und Reformatorischer Theologie (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976), 8; Williamson, Erasmus, 39f., 49; Yoder, "Introduction: [6] Letter to Oecolampad," BH 67.

(70.) Davis, "Gregory Nazianzen," 457f.

(71.) Theophylacti ... (Basel: Cratander, 1524/1525/1527).

(72.) Theophylacti ... (Antwerp: Jacobus Mazochius, 1527).

(73.) Hughes Oliphant Old, Worship: Reformed According to Scripture (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 71f. Cf. Diui loannis Chrysostomi ... Genses[0]s ... (Basel: Cratander, 1522/1523).

(74.) Wider die Wiicherer, und wie schadlich es sey, wuchergelt auff sich zunemen, newlich verteuschet durch Oecolapadiu (Augsburg: Sigmund Grimm, 1521).

(75.) In Evangeliain Joannis commentariorum lib. 12. In Leviticum lib. 16. ... (Basel: Cratander, 1528).

(76.) Augustini et Ambrosii opuscula (Basel: Wolffius, 1524).

(77.) Omnia Opera ... Diui Hieronymi (Basel: Froben, 1520).

(78.) D'Amico, "Beatus Rhenanus," 37f.

(79.) Additional patristic editions prepared by Rhenanus include John of Damascus (1507), Nemesius of Emesa and Gregory of Nyssa, with orations by Gregory Nazianzen and the spurious De Differentia Usiae et Hypostasis by pseudo-Basil (1512-1513), some works of Syesius of Cyrene, prepared with Erasmus and printed in Basel four times from 1515 to 1522, Prudentius (1520), the posthumous publication of Erasmus's edition of Origen (1536), and perhaps an edition of John Chrysostom (1540).--Ibid., 38.

(80.) Autores historiae ecclesiasticae (Basel: Froben, 1523).

(81.) Opera Q. Septimii Florentis Tertvliani (Basel: Froben, 1521/1528/1539).

(82.) See Bergsten, HS 225f.

(83.) Williamson, Erasmus, 38.

(84.) Ibid., 41, 47; cf. "Gesprach," HS 209; BH 227; "Urteil: I," HS 233; BH 255; "Das andere Buchlein," HS 402-431; BH 452-491, notes 8 to 41. See also Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami opera omnia 7:146.

(85.) "Urteil: I," HS 234f.; BH 257.; "Gesprach," HS 167-214; HS 170-233; BH 285, note 40. See also Christof Windhorst, "Das Gedachtnis des Leidens Christi und Pflichtzeichen bruderliclier Liebe: Zum Verstandnis des Abendmahls bei Balthasar Hubmaier," in Umstrittens'- Taufertum 1525-1975: Neue Forschungen, ed. Hans-Jurgen Goertz (Gottingen: Vandenhoeek and Ruprecht, 1975), 116.

(86.) Gerald Knox Zeman, The Anabaptists and the Czech Brethren in Moravia: A Study of Origins and Contacts (The Hague: Mouton Press, 1969), 125; Williamson, Erasmus, 46. Cf. "Letter to Adelphi," 234.

(87.) "Letter to Oecolampad," BH 68, notes 5 and 6; "Gesprach, HS 209; BH 226f.; Pipkin, "lntroduction: [18] On Infant Baptism Against Oecolampad," BH 275.

(88.) "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 2701.

(89.) BDS 1:245, 247, 257f. It is interesting to note that Hubmaier wrote a brief treatise with the same title: "Grund und "Ursach," HS 329-336; BH 367-371.

(90.) "Gesprach," HS 195; BH 207.

(91.) "Lehrtafel," HS 309; BH 343.

(92.) Williamson, Erasmus, 33.

(93.) Pipkin, BH 514, note 13.

(94.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 329.

(95.) Bergsten, HS 328.

(96.) "Rechenschaft," HS 461; BH 526.

(97.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 72. Sec also Williamson, Erasmus, 42. Cf. "Letter to Sapidus (October 26,1521)," in Elsass I. Teil: Stadt Strassburg 1522-1532, ed. Manfred Krebs and Hans Georg Rott (Gutersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1959), 7:41f. See also Bergsten, Hubmaier, 71-73.

(98.) Eddie Louis Mabry, Balthasar Hubmaier's Doctrine of the Church (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1994), 25. See also Bergsten, Hubmaier, 73f.; Williamson, Erasmus, 38f.

(99.) Ibid., 2, 23. See also Bergsten, Hubmaier, 71-73, 403; Williamson, Erasmus, 38.

(100.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 187, 285.

(101.) Ibid., 198.

(102.) "Urteil: I," HS 237; BH 260.

(103.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 187,285.

(104.) Ibid.

(105.) Ibid., 252, 284f.

(106.) John Horsch, Infant Baptism: Its Origin Among Protestants and the Arguments Advanced For and Against It (Scottdale, Pa.: [n.p.], 1917), 26.

(107.) Ibid. See also Bergsten, Hubmaier, 251f., 255.

(108.) Carl Sachsse, Doktor Balthasar Hubmaier als Theologe (Berlin, 1914); rpt. (Aalen: Scienta Publishers, 1973), 40.

(109.) Rollin Stely Armour, Anabaptist Baptism: A Representative Study (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1966), 52.

(110.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 309f.

(111.) Carter Lindberg, The Reformation theologians: An introduction to 'theology in the Early/Modern Period (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 110.

(112.)C. Arnold Snyder and Linda Huebert Hecht, Profiles of Anabaptist Women (Waterloo, Ont: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1996), 82ff.

(113.) Bergsten, H5 225f.; Pipkin, BH 246. Cf. "Entschuldigung," HS 304; BH 277.

(114.) Pipkin, BH 245; ME 2:522f.

(115.) "Philip's and James' day."-HS 186, note 109; BH 194, note 74; Windhorst, "Abendmahls," 116. Cf. Sebastian Ruggensberger, Biechlen, in Beitrage zur Erlauterung der Kirchen-Reformationsgeschicte des Schweizerbundes, ed. J.C. Fusslin (Zurich, 1741), l:252f.

(116.) The details of this first encounter between Hubmaier and Zwingli were recorded by a contemporary historian, Johannes Kessler, in his Sabbata, and Zwingli also mentioned it briefly. Johannes Kessler, Sabbata: Chronik der Jahre 1523-1539, ed. Ernst Gotzinger (St. Gallen: Scheitlin & Zollikofer, 1866), 197, 276-278.

(117.) "Gesprach," HS 186; BH 194-195.

(118.) ZB 139; Huldreich Zwinglis Samtliche Werke, ed. Emil Egli, et al. 14 vols. (Berlin / Leipzig / Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1905-1956) [hereafter cited as ZSW], 4:228.

(119.) "Gesprach," HS 186; BH 195. The Graben is today overlaid by the modern thoroughfare of Seiler- and Hirschengraben.

(120.) "Gesprach," HS 186; BH 195.

(121.) Ibid. In his analysis of Hubmaier's Urteil, Rollin Armour argues that this statement signals that they did indeed study the Church fathers together during their meeting: "It is very likely that Hubmaier had examined the Fathers from very early in his questionings about baptism, for his conversation with Zwingli in 1523 included the point of early Christian baptism practice"- Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 51.

(122.) Walther Kohler, Huldrych Zwinglis Bibliothek (Zurich: Beer, 1921); ZSW 12.2. See also UIrich Gabler, Huldych Zwinglis His Life and Work, trans. Ruth C.L. Gritsch (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), 33ff.; Johann Martin Usteri, "Initia Zwinglii," Theologische Studien und Kritiken 58 (1885), 607-702; 59 (1886), 95-159; ZSW 12.1; 12.2. Since Backus's article on Zwingli and Bucer's reception of the Church fathers uses this list as a guide, it will be our chief source for comparison with Hubmaier's patristic references.--

(123.) Possible discrepancies regarding Eusebius, pseudo-Clement of Rome and Tertullian will be addressed in the father-by-father analysis below, where Hubmaier's invocation of Theophylact is also explained.

(124.) Sachsse, Hubmaier, 33-40. Unfortunately, Westin and Bergsten did not attempt to check the accuracy of Hubmaier's citations in their critical edition of his works nor did they identify the modern editions against which one might be able to compare his patristic references.

(125.) Theophylacti ... (Basel: Cratander, 1524/1525/1527).

(126.) Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 52.

(127.) Gerhard Uhlhorn, Urbanus Rhegius: Leben und ausgewahlte Schriften (Elberfeld: R. L. Friderichs, 1861), 7:344; Lindberg, Reformation Theologians, 112ff.

(128.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 156f.

(129.) The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism, ed. Leland Harder (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1985), 290.

(130.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 151.

(131.) For the reasons why Hubmaier cited Origen, see Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 50.

(132.) Operum Origenis ... (Paris: Jean le Petit, 1512). Shelf mark: III H 120 (all shelf marks are from the Zentralbibliothek in Zurich where Zwingli's personal library is currently housed).

(133.) Backus, "Zwingli," 638.

(134.) Ibid. See also Schindler, Kirchenvater, 96.

(135.) BH, 253, note 33; Cf. PC 67:217ff.

(136.) Patrologia Latina Cursus Campletus, ed. Jacques Paul Migne (Paris: Vives, 1844-1890) [hereafter PL], 21:486B-488A.

(137.) Historia ecclesiastica (Strasburg: Heinrich Eggestein, 1475).

(138.) Antores historiae ecclesiasticae (Basel: Faber, 1523).

(139.) W. Peter Stephens, Zwingli: An Introduction to his Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 15.

(140.) Schindler, Kirchenvatvr, 94, 97.

(141.) Historia ecclesiastica (Strassburg: Georg Husner, 1500). Shelf mark: Ink K 249.2. Backus makes the same argument about the 1516 Basil edition of Ambrose's Opera, which was also housed in the Grossmunster library. - Backus, "Zwingli," 630.

(142.) Backus, "Zwingli," 630f. Pipkin cannot locate Hubmaier's references to Athanasius among his works, observing only that "a similar assertion" to that given on Hebrews 6:6 appears in Athanasius' letter to Serapion. - BH 251, note 18. Similarly, Armour concedes, "The reference to Athanasius is uncertain." - Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 157, note 214.

(143.) Opera ... (Paris: Jean le Petit, 1520). Shelf mark III K 12. As Backus observes, Zwingli often engages Athanasius' interpretation of Paul's letters that were actually from Theophylact's commentaries.--Backus, "Zwingli," 630f.

(144.) ZSW 12:134f.

(145.) Patrologia Graeca Cursus Completus, ed. Jacques Paul Migne (Paris: Vives, 1857-1866) [hereafter PG] 125:249ff.; 124:563ff.; 124:751ff.

(146.) PG 29:665/666C.

(147.) PG 31:437/438A-B.

(148.) PG 31:1513/1514B; The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1947ff) [hereafter FC], 9:339.

(149.) PG 29:303/304B-C; FC 46:210f.

(150.) Backus, "Zwingli," 632f.

(151.) Ibid. Sec also Schindler, Kirchenvater, 93.

(152.) "Urteil I," HS 230; BH 250f.; "Urteil II," HS 247; BH 270.

(153.) "Gesprach," HS 197; BH 210; "Kindertaufe," HS 260; BH 278.

(154.) PG 56:653.

(155.) PG 57:185.

(156.) "Kindertaufe," HS 260; BH 278.

(157.) PG 57:405ff.

(158.) PG 57:405.

(159.) Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers: Series I, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereafter NPNF1] 10:232; PG 57:405.

(160.) NPNF1 10:232; PG 57:406.

(161.) Patrology, ed. Johannes Quasten (Notre Dame, Ind.: Ave Maria Press, 1995), 3:438.

(162.) Opera ... (Basel: Froben, 1517). Shelf mark: 111 K 83, 83a.

(163.) Backus, "Zwingli" 633. Schindler, Kirchenvater, 59ft., 93. See also Gabler, Zwingli, 45. It is worth noting that the lower of the two page numbers that Hubmaier provides are in book 2 rather than in book 1 (which logically could not be the case if both were bound in a single volume), suggesting that he was alluding to two separate volumes. This is compelling since Zwingli's edition of Chrysostom was also bound in two volumes. -Shelf mark III K 83, 83a.

(164.) Sachsse, Hubmaier, 36, note 3; Cf. PG 33:1009; Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers: Series 11, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereafter NPNF2], 7:132.

(165.) HS 246, note 23, 225. See also Bergsten, Hubmaier, 281.

(166.) Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 51, 158, note 219.

(167.) BH 253, notes 26 and 27.

(168.) Augmenting the confusion, however, is the numbering system, which is arranged seemingly haphazardly, assigning one, two or three numbers, and sometimes no number, to each chapter. The reason for the confusion is that Cyril devises his own thematically organized chapter divisions that he transposes on lop of the chapter and verse divisions of John's gospel account. Cyril states at the end of his preface that the numbering and chapter titles are his own formulation, which was apparently novel at the time. However, if we begin counting section titles without giving notice to this somewhat capricious numbering arrangement beginning with the first title of the first thematic chapter after the introduction, in both cases it aligns well.--Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, ed. E.B. Pusey, et al. (Oxford: Parker, 1838-1885) [hereafter LE], 435.

(169.) LF 43:178; PG 73:258D

(170.) LF 43:179; PG 73:259D-262A.

(171.) "Gesprach," HS 197; BH 210.

(172.) Eugene F. Rice, The Prefatory Epistles of Jacques Lefeure d'Etaples and related texts (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972), 182.

(173.) Ibid.

(174.) Commentarii in Ioannem ... (Paris: Wolfgang Hopyl, 15O8). Shelf mark: III K 71.

(175.) Commentarii in loannem ... (Paris: Wolfgang Hopyl, 1521). Shelf mark III K 74.

(176.) "Urteil: II," HS 243f.; BH 265.

(177.) BH 265, note 66.

(178.) Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004) [hereafter ANFI, 7:503. Cf. Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum, ed Francis Xavier von Funk (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoningh, 1905), 1:579.

(179.) "Urteil: II," HS 243f.; BH 265.

(180.) Conciliorum quatuor generalium (Paris: In edibus Galioti a Prato, 1524).

(181.) Canones Apostolorum ... [Mainz: Schoeffer, 1525).

(182.) Shelf mark III H 101.3.

(183.) Tertullian's Homily on Baptism, ed. and trans. Ernest Evans (London: SPCK, 1964), 38; ANF 3:678.

(184.) Opera Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani ... (Basel: Froben, 1521). Jn this edition, Tertullian's De poenitentia lies between folio numbers 432 and 444 and his De corona militis between 408 and 426. Since Hubmaier states that his citations are found on folios 440 and 416 within the two respective works, this confirms that Rhenanus's edition is the one Hubmaier read. - Roger Pearse, "Early Editions, Translations & Studies (1450-1850)," The Tertulian Project, (accessed April 25, 2009).

(185.) Evans, Baptism, xxxvi.

(186.) Shelf mark: RAR 1135 q.

(187.) Backus, "Zwingli" 638. See also Schindler, Kirchenvater, 97.

(188.) Ibid. Cf. Evans, xxi.

(189.) Bergsten, Hubmaier, 79f. See also William R, Estep, The Anabaptist Story: An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1975), 81

(190.) ME 4:699.

(191.) "christliche LehrtafeL," HS 315; BH 352.

(192.) Chaps. 9 & 25: PL 4:473A-B, 484C-486A; ANF 5:439, 444. "Urteil: I," HS 227; BH 246.

(193.) "Grund," HS 331: BH 369.

(194.) Franz Oberthur, S. Caecilii Cypriani Episcopi Carthag. et Martyris Opera Omnia, (Wurzburg: Staheliana, 1782), 222-283; ANf 5:375-402.

(195.) PL 23:177B-181 A; NPNF2 6:332-334.

(196.). "Gesprach," HS 198; BH 212; "Form zu Taufen," HS 352; BH 391.

(197.). Oberthur, Cypriani, 110-3; ANF 5:325f

(198.). Ibid,, 116-35; ANF 5:327-335.

(199.). PL 4:463-494B; ANF 5:437-447.

(200.). William Smith, Dietionary of Creek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Boston: C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1849), 1:915.

(201.). Opera ... (Paris: Rembolt & Waterloes, 1512); cf. Rice, "Lefevre," 156-160.

(202.). John C Ohn, "Erasmus and the Church Fathers," in Six Essays on Erasmus and a Translation of Erasmus' Letter to Carondelet, 1523, ed. John C. Olin (New York: Fordham University Press, 1979), 33-47, here 41.

(203.). Backus, "Zwingli," 633. Cf. Opera divi Caecilii Cypriani ... (Basel: Froben, 1520). Shelf mark: III L 11.

(204.). Schindler, Kirchenvater, 93. See also Ibid.

(205.) "Urteil: II," HS 246; BH 269.

(206.) Ibid., HS 246; BH 269.

(207.) PL 16:395B; NPNF2 10:320.

(208.) PL 16:392B; NPNF2 10:318.

(209.) Backus claims that this edition is not extant, but that J. M. Usteri has made a convincing case that Zwingli indeed possessed a copy.-Backus, "Zwingli," 630.

(210.) Divi Ambrosii episcopi Mediolanensis omnia opera ... (Basel: Andreas Cratander, 1516). Shelf mark:III L 60.

(211.) "Gesprach," US 206; BH 222. See also Patrology, Quasten, 4:235.

(212.) Cited in Williamson, Erasmus, 86. Cf. FC 117:327; PL 26:218B-C

(213.) "Gesprach," HS 206; BH 222.

(214.) Ibid., HS 208; BH 225.

(215.) "Urteil: I," HS 231; BH 252; "Urteil: II," HS 245; BH 267,

(216.) NPNF2 6:324; PL 23:164B.

(217.) "Urteil: I," HS 231; BH 252.

(218.) Patrology, Quasten, 4:232.

(219.) Peter Gorday and Thomas C. Oden, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, vol. 9 (New York: Routledge, 2000), 315; PL 26:649A.

(220.) "Das andere Buchlein," HS 409f.; BH 463.

(221.) Omnium Operum Divi Eusebii Hieronymi ... (Basel: Faber, 1516-1519). Shelf mark: III ZZ 124-129.

(222.) Backus, "Zwingli," (637).

(223.) Ibid.

(224.) Schindler, Kirchenuater, 94f.

(225.) "Urteil: I," HS 232; BH 254. Cf. Corpus iuris amunici, ed. Emil Friedberg (Lipsiae: Tauchnitz, 1879-1881), 1:1402, c. CXXIX. Hubmaier claimed that Augustine outright lied in response to this conviction. - " Urteil: 1," HS 232; BH 254.

(226.) "Urteil: 11," HS 247; BH 269.

(227.) Ibid., HS 248; BH 271.

(228.) Ibid. Cf. Corpus iuris canonici 1:1386f. c. LXXIII.

(229.) "Das andere Buchlein," HS 429; BH 488.

(230.) PL 44:710f.; FC 35:121f.

(231.) PL 44:710f.; FC 35:12-lf,

(232.) "Das andere Buchlein," HS 428; BH 488.

(233.) Opera omnia ... (Basel: Amerbach, Petri, & Froben, 1506). Shelf mark: DrM 417 a-h.

(234.) Backus, "Zwingli," 631.

(235.) "Urteil: II," HS 244; BH 265.

(236.) "Gesprach," HS 207; BH 224. Cf. ZSW 4:321.

(237.) Leonard Verduin, 'The Reformers and their Stepchildren (Grand. Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, "1964'). "The Donatists," Verduin writes, "were the original Anabaptists." -ibid., 192.

(238.) PL 43:174; NPNF1 4:461f.

(239.) "Gesprach," HS 207; BH 224.

(240.) "Urteil: II," HS 246; BH 268f.

(241.) "Gesprach," HS 203; BH 218. See also HS 193, 385f., 473; BH 204, 434, 540.

(242.) "Freiheit," HS 388; BH 437,

(243.) Bernhard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, trans. F. Ernest Stoeffler (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980), 119.

(244.) NPNF 5:240. PL 44:391. Cf. Justo L. Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1987), 2:33.

(245.) "Urteil: II," HS 246; BH 268f.

(246.) Ibid.

(247.) Serge Lancel and Antonia Nevill, Saint Augustine, trans, Antonia Nevill (London: SCM-Canterbury Press, 2002), 413f.

(248.) "Das andere Buchlein," HS 421; BH 478.

(249.) FC 95:204, 214-219, 2251, 230-232.

(250.) FC 95:214.

(251.) FC 95:2:17. 252.1-C 95:230. 253. FC 95:230.

(252.) FC 95:230.

(253.) FC 95:230.

(254.) FC 95:220.

(255.) FC 95:230. Cf. p. 232.

(256.) "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 269 and "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 270. Corpus iuris canonici 1:1364, c. IX and Corpus iuris canonici 1:1365, c. XII respectively.

(257.) "Gesprach," HS 172; BH 176.

(258.) "Unterricht," HS 290; BH 319.

(259.) Etymologiae (Strasbourg: Johann Mentelin, 1472). Shelf mark: Ink K 114.

(260.) 'Truth is Immortal', secs. 4.2., 5.1.

(261.) Ibid., sec. 5.3.

(262.) Ibid., sec. 5.4.3.

(263.) Ibid., sec. 5.4.

(264.) Ibid., sec.

(265.) Ibid., sec. 5.3.3.

(266.) "Gesprach," HS 178; BH 184. See also HS 81f, 178,181; BH 44,184,187.

(267.) ZSW 4:211. Translated in BH 183.

(268.) "Urteil: I," HS 2271f; BH 247. "Urteil: II," HS 241f.

(269.) "Urteil: I," HS 228f.; BH 248. "Urteil: II," HS 242f.

(270.) "Urteil: I," HS 233; BH 257.

(271.) See HS 79, 210f.; BH 23f., 41, 229.

(272.) "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 270. See also BH 270, note 88.

(273.) Pipkin, CRR 245.

(274.) Armour, Anabaptist Baptism, 49.

(275.) "Kindertaufe," HS 267; BH 292;"UrteiI: I," HS 230; BH 250f.; "Urteil: II," HS 247; BH 270.

(276.) "Gesprach," HS 202; BH 217.

(277.) "Urteil: II," HS 245f.; BH 268.

(278.) Emsmus-Luther: Disccurse on Free Will, trans. and ed. Ernst V. Winter (New York: Continuum, 2002), 15f. Hubmaier made significant use of this text by Erasmus.--Cf. "Das andere Buchlein," HS 402-431; BH 452-491, notes 8 to 41.

(279.) Ibid., 16.

(280.) Backus, "Zwingli," 639; G. R. Potter, Zwingli (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 43.

(281.) "Recantation", BH 152.

(282.) "Gesprach," HS 171; BH 175.

(283.) Ibid., HS 207; BH 224.

(284.) Ibid., HS 208; BH 225.

(285.) Ibid., HS 180,198; BH 186, 211f.; see also "Uiteil: I," US 227; BH 246. Cf. Schindler, Kirchenvater, (59).

(286.) Ibid., HS 171; BH 175.

(287.) "Lehrtafel," HS 314; BH 349; "Freiheit," HS 381; BH 428.

(288.) "Gesprach," HS 190; BH 200.

(289.) "Urteil: II," HS 243; BH 264.

(290.) "Kindertaufe," HS 262; BH 281.

(291.) "Gesprach," HS 197; BH 211.

(292.) Ibid., HS 207f.; BH 225.

(293.) Ibid., HS 209; BH 227.

(294.) "Urteil: I," HS 240; BH 263; "Urteil; II," HS 254.

(295.) "Kindertaufe," HS 261; BH 280.

(296.) "Achtzehn Schlufircden," HS 73; BH 33; "Unterricht," HS 290f.; BH 320; "Lehrtafel," HS 309; BH 343.

(297.) "Christlichen Taufe," HS 131; BH 112; Pipkin, BH 112, note 20.

(298.) "Gesprach," HS 191; BH 201.

(299.) "Unterricht," HS 303; BH 336.

(300.) HS 130f., 133, 298, 401; BH 109-111,113,330,452.

(301.) "Unterricht," HS 295; BH 326.

(302.) Ibid., HS 309; BH 343.

(303.) "Lehrtafel," HS 308-310; BH 341, 344.

(304.) "Axiomata," HS 88; BH 53.

(305.) "Entschuldigung," HS 274; CRR 300.

(306.) "Das andere Buchlein," HS 401; BH 452.

(307.) "Christlichen Taufe" HS 153,157; BH 136,142.

(308.) "Entschuldigung," HS 274; BH 300f.

(309.) "Strafe," HS 341; BH 377f.

(310.) "Schwert," HS 452; BH 516.

(311.) "Gesprach," HS 180; BH 186f.

(312.) "Urteil: I," HS 228f.; BH 248.

(313.). "Kindertaute," HS 260; BH 279.

(314.). See Williamson, Erasmus, 204f.

(315.). "Christliche Lehrtafel," HS 315; BH 352.

(316.). "Gesprach," HS 185; BH 193.

(317.) Ibid.

(318.) "Entschuldig," HS 279; BH 308.

(319.) "Urteil: II," HS 243; BH 265.

(320.) "Urteil: I," HS 240; BH 264; "Urteil: II," HS 255.

Prof. Andrew Klager, The Young Center, Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA, 17022. E-mail:
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Author:Klager, Andrew P.
Publication:Mennonite Quarterly Review
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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Next Article:Toward an Anabaptist covenantal soteriology: a dialogue with Balthasar Hubmaier and contemporary Pauline scholarship.

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