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Research Paper on Balthasar Hubmaier

Introduction

Balthasar Hubmaier was well known and a leading forerunner of German Anabaptist. The work and life of Balthasar Hubmaier are indisputably substantial to the substance and history of Protestant Christianity. He has made a significant contribution being a reformer as well as devoted himself toward theology studies. He was an outstanding student and belongs to a low-income family. His steadfast stance still outlines the deeds of numerous Protestants worldwide. He was against infant baptism because for him it was against the baptism of Christ.in case of infant baptism, no one has right to impose religion on anyone. The right carrying of Christ baptism was to preach and teach the oral confessions of faith for people who are not aware of it and let them decide for their good. This small analysis of his work and life will demonstrate his audacity as well as indicate his devotion to the elevation of God. This paper will explore all the essential elements of his life and work till the death. This paper will start with a small biography of Hubmaier.

Biographical Information on Balthasar Hubmaier

Balthasar Hubmaier was a persuasive and well known German Anabaptist pioneer. He was a native of Friedburg that is a town in Bavaria. He was born in 1481. In 1511, he received a Master’s degree from the University Of Freiburg being a good student. At that time he overlooked his academic mentors, who considered his views as admirable were he to be educated as a physician, and dedicated himself to theological studies. In a little while[1], his reputation being a pulpit orator raised, and as a chief pastor, he went to Regensburg. With every passing year, a great revolution in his spiritual beliefs was proceeding due to his analysis of Scriptures. In 1522, he started to openly orate that Roman Catholic Church had wiped out practices and doctrines of Scriptures. He visited Zwingli and Erasmus in Switzerland and soon after incorporated Protestant theology. In 1525, he started baptizing by intentness the transforms that originated from his traveling and preaching over western and Eastern Europe[2] His life was constantly in danger due to various political and religious authorities.

In Austria, he had progressed to priest the church where he started investigating with means to introduce that parish with greater faith. Despite his fame among many people, the stress from Bishop enforced him to strive for shelter. He inscribed one of his momentous tracts, explaining heretic and persons who scorch them. It was the time where his position hard-boiled in contradiction of notion of infant baptism.At Waldshut, He started investigating and examining with methods to initiate this parish into intense conviction. He assumed that he became successful in learning all the preaching that is necessary to become a disciple of Christ. He began to deliver these words to others without considering any rules. All this situation brought Hubmaier into the fight with the practices of Bishop. Due to all this happening, he tried to find some safe place among many friends. At that moment, he also got married, and that practice would make deeper the hardship of his lifespan. He was the writer of various pamphlets and articles criticizing and condemning Rome. Catholic authorities seized him along with his spouse in 1528 in Vienna as well as convicted him as a nonconformist and scorched him. His trustworthy wife enthused him to stick to the Word of God. After Eight days, she was drowned in the river named as Danube River.

The Theological Development of Balthasar Hubmaier

Hubmaier has same views as Luther has in salvation arises from Scripture alone, and faith alone is the ultimate power that is Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. They decided that Scriptura must use those word that people can understand. Scriptura ought to be read and taught in the tongue style of common people[3] Also, people have right to use the Word of God for herself or himself. Hubmaier excluded the power of the pope, as well as the progression of priest amongst man and God, purgatory, intersession of saints and mandatory celibacy. Penitence work also included in this that contains relics, pilgrimages, indulgences as well as festivals. It is the point where the convention with Luther terminated. Balthasar Hubmaier excluded infant baptism. Hubmaier said consentience and belief could not be enforced and human is gifted to act on free will. And he has a belief if a human born in Christian area and have a Christian parent that does not mean he can hold the status of Christian. People have right to choose their paths by experimenting and practicing it. Therefore, Scripture would be helpful to assist the people and to provide them with guidelines. He was agreed with the work of other people who were also supporting the practices of Scripture. There must be the direct link between man and God to communicate the word. No one even Holy father can impose the words to anyone for his faith. By discussing the concept of infants, they cannot be baptized due to their little understanding. So it should be omitted. Use of simple and clear language will help out to understand the meaning of Scripture.

The Protestant Reformation and Balthasar Hubmaier

Balthasar Hubmaier was the writer and theologian of radical reformation, and that reformation is considered as the Anabaptists. The theology of Anabaptist described the point that Church ought to be free of manipulation as well as governmental control. It is consist of believers that confess through baptism[4]. There is not a sacramental guarantee of Lord’ Supper for God’s grace. In the start, the authoritative government-church governance is not the scriptural depiction for Church. Every person has right to believe according to his will[5]. Therefore, the administration cannot enforce membership or belief in any particular Church. Hubmaier made an input to the reformation that was also the working of Calvin, Zwingli and Luther’ work[6]. Apparently, Church today may look like more as Catholic Church only due to the working of Calvin or Luther. Due to ample contribution of Hubmaier Scriptural church must be thankful[7]. Most of the work of Hubmaier is based on the subject of baptism because of the evolving movement of Anabaptist or other reforms of magisterial; He denied the views of infant baptism[8] He rejected the notion of infant baptism. The significance of this notion in the theology of Hubmaier is illustrated as the first part of his religious teaching is earmarked for interpretation of the issue. Furthermore, he prohibited the Catholic principle of baptism. It is uncertain to consider what approach of baptism he accomplished, but it looks as however, he continued performing affusion to be baptized himself.

The Theological Struggles of Balthasar Hubmaier

The main focus of Balthasar Hubmaier was to have faith and scripture. Scriptura is the concept that means that the words should be used that can be easily understood by people. This is necessary so that the preaching can be communicated effectively. It helps people in getting the right thing in their mind and keeping them away from any misguidance. The tongue style used by common people should be used for reading and teaching. The common tongue is referring to the Word of God that can be used by anyone for his or her self-expression[9]. Here a person is given full autonomy on his feelings, and he can decide about his faith depending on the way he understands the preaching. Holy Father’s power is excluded by Balthasar Hubmaier, and the evolution of priest between the communication of man and God is not appreciated. This means that there should be a direct connection between God and man for a better relationship and understanding. At that point, the use of infant baptism is discouraged by Hubmairer because for him faith is a thing that cannot be enforced on anyone[10] This comes to a person after he understands it. Also, it is the nature of a human to act according to his free will. In this situation, if baptism is enforced on him, he will never take it fully, and this will be of no benefit[11]. In this modern society, children carry out the faith carried by their parents, and this is not right. It is not necessary for Christian parents to give their children his status of being a Christian[12]. The preaching should be communicated to him as an adult, and then he should decide how he feels comfortable and which religion he wants to opt.

The Death of Balthasar Hubmaier

Balthasar Hubmaier and his wife were arrested and taken by authorities of Austria. Austrian authorities seized them in Vienna in 1527. At that moment his wife and Hubmaier seized in the citadel of Kreuzenstein. After seven months, he reverted to Vienna where he feels the pain of torture and torment. In this situation, despite the fact Hubmaier was under threat, he presented no retraction. His intimidators scrubbed sulfur as well as gunpowder in his facial hair. He was also passed through the torture of some sticks. Circumstances were getting worse with every passing day. Balthasar Hubmaier remained true to his words and turned into a martyr in March 1528. He remained to stick to his Christian faith. He devoted his life to true faith as well as did not waver in his conviction and faith. His faithful and truthful wife also fortified him to linger faithful beliefs. His wife motivated and encouraged him to stay realistic. He was executed by scorching by taking him to Public Square. After three days of Balthasar Hubmaier execution, his wife went down in river named as Danube River. At the time of drowning, the stone was also knotted around the collar of his wife at the time of the drowning.

The Ongoing Legacy of Balthasar Hubmaier

Balthasar Hubmaier has made a great contribution and reformation as an Anabaptist in the religion of Christian. He was an open-minded reformer to examine and investigate the various aspects of Scripture. He was against the concept of infant baptism. His thinking and preaching made a profound contribution to the Protestants over the world. He deliberately conveyed the things in a very new way that would be beneficial for others. Even his story of death delivers a big lesson of bravery and courage. He showed his views and opinions are righteous and true[13]. Other people can learn from this lesson how you can remain stick to your views, but the condition of these views is to be true. At this moment his partner encouraged him a lot to stay authentic and faithful. He meditates that everyone has a right to take his faith by understanding the outlines and guidelines of Scripture. Scripture should make sure the use of those simple words that people can understand in their own words. Without a doubt, the theology of Balthasar Hubmaier is exclusive and unique that only follows the practices of Scripture. He has approved the work of those people who are only following the guidelines of Scripture. He pointed out infants cannot decide their faith in this age with little knowledge. Therefore, infant baptist is a wrong way to oppress the beliefs and faith according to his point of view. To execute this practice, there should be a direct link between man and God to custom words of God. One person that born in a Christian family is not enough to become a Christian. The religion of a person cannot be judged by the beliefs of parents of someone. On the other hand, it cannot be forced to anyone. It is a right of a person to use the outlines of Scripture and made a faith accordingly.

Conclusion

Balthasar Hubmaier’s point referring the basic Christiane was exceptionally comprehensive and inclusive. Such as he had a reflective insight of how the authority and church should harmonize in public with the dedication to settle for Christ. Church and authoritative leaders must synchronize in a community to spread the preaching. As a result of Balthasar Hubmaier, the valiant of Anabaptists and executor of baptism became re-experienced and accomplished by the Anabaptists, Baptist church and the Mennonites, The significant part of Balthasar elaborates the real and factual grounds for his agony, imprisonment, and martyrdom. He deliberately declared that no one has right to force or impose religion on others. The person can decide on his own will. Infants must follow the guidelines and read the Scripture to understand the faith.His death story also has an influential impact on others. Even though Balthasar Hubmaier was neither a proper Anabaptist nor a Magisterial Reformer, and his spirituality led as well as shaped the Extremist Reformers. Consequently, his preaching provided the Baptist revolution in their religion. This revolution in baptism is the basis for independence in a religion where oppression has no place. The belief of Hubmaier in defending the righteous is shown by his work clearly

End Notes

    1. Chadwick, Owen. The Early Reformation on the Continent. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001.
    2. Greyerz, Kasper von. Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008.
    3. Klager, Andrew P. “Truth is Immortal”: Balthasar Hubmaier (c.1480-1528) and the Church Fathers. Glasgow, Scotland: University of Glasgow Press, 2011.
    4. Linder, Robert Dean. The Reformation Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 2008.
    5. McGrath, Alister. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007.
    6. McGrath, Allister. Reformation Thought, An Introduction, Fourth Edition. Oxford, UK: John Wiley and Sons, 2011.
    7. Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
    8. Payton, James R. Jr. Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010.
    9. Roth, John D. and James Stayer. A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700: Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700. Boston, MA: Brill Publishing, 2007.
    10. Woodbridge, James D. and Frank A. James III. Church History, Volume II. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Press, 2013.
  1. Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009
  2. Greyerz, Kasper von. Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  3. Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
  4. Roth, John D., and James Stayer. A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700: Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700. Boston, MA: Brill Publishing, 2007.
  5. Linder, Robert Dean. The Reformation Era. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 2008.
  6. Chadwick, Owen. The Early Reformation on the Continent. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  7. Woodbridge, James D., and Frank A. James III. Church History, Volume II. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Press, 2013.
  8. Payton, James R. Jr. Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010.
  9. Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009
  10. Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
  11. Roth, John D., and James Stayer. A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700: Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700. Boston, MA: Brill Publishing, 2007.
  12. Klager, Andrew P. “Truth is Immortal”: Balthasar Hubmaier

    (c.1480-1528) and the Church Fathers. Glasgow, Scotland: University of Glasgow Press, 2011.

  13. Klager, Andrew P. “Truth is Immortal”: Balthasar Hubmaier

    (c.1480-1528) and the Church Fathers. Glasgow, Scotland: University of Glasgow Press, 2011.

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