FRANKENTHAL COLLOQUY: A conference between representatives of the Reformed Church of the Palatinate and Anabaptists, held at Frankenthal (20 m. n. by w. of Speyer) May 28-June 19, 1571. There were Anabaptists in the Palatinate from 1525, both native and immigrants. They had settled in great numbers along the Hardt River after they had been cured of the wild fanaticism of the earlier time. As they were industrious cultivators of the soil, Elector Ottheinrich did not dislike them. Hoping to win them over to the Church of the Palatinate, he ordered a colloquy to be held at Pfeddersheim in 1557. No agreement was reached, but the Anabaptists were still tolerated under the condition that they should keep aloof from disturbances and innovations. As some of their teachers from Moravia tried to incite them against the Reformed, Elector Frederic III. the Pious called the colloquy at Frankenthal. It was opened in the presence of the Elector by Chancellor


Christoph Ehem, who had been joined by the Electoral delegates, Wenzelaus Zuleger, Hans Rechklau, and Otto von HSvel. On the side of the Reformed seven prominent preachers were called to the conference, most of them Netherlanders who had entered the service of the Palatine Church or who were preachers of foreign congregations court preacher Petrus Dathenus, Gerhard Verstegus, Petrus Colonius, Franz Mosellanus, Engelhert Faber, Konrad Eubulaeus and Georg Gebinger. Prominent Anabaptists were Diebald Winter, Rauff Bisch, Hans Rannich, and Hans Bfchel. Thirteen important points of doctrine in which the Anabaptists deviated from the Reformed were dis cussed-the authority of the Old Testament, the Trinity, the substance of the body of Christ, original sin, good works, the resurrection of the body, the relation of the Christian to the secular authority, to the sword, and to the oath, and others; finally the baptism of children. The chief speaker of the Reformed was Dathenus, while Rauff Bisch was the most efficient defender of the Anabaptist cause. The Anabaptists showed great haughtiness and stubbornness, refusing to acknowledge in some points the authority of even such Anabaptists as Menno Simons, Jakob Hutter, and Matthmus Cervas. They rejected a thorough theological in vestigation as a quibble of words. Thus an agree ment was impossible, but the two bodies departed without hostility, after a comprehensive protocol had been examined and signed on both sides. The Elector was not satisfied with the result, but decided not to expel the Anabaptists; their leaders, how ever, were strictly forbidden to teach or baptize in his country.

(F. W. Cuno.)

Bibliography: The proceedings (Protokoll) were printed, Heidelberg, 1571, by Johann Mayer. Consult: B. G. Struve, Beriqht von der pftiWschen Kirchen-Historie, pp. 238 sqq., Frankfort, 1721; H. Alting, Historia eccleaix Palatine, Groningen, 1728; F. W. Cuno, Bl&tter der Erin nerung an Dr. K. Olevianue, pp. 37-38, Barmen, 1887.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 08/11/06. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely