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  #1  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:49 AM
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BigBossman BigBossman is offline
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Default Did Baptists originate from the Anabaptists?

I don't know too much about it, but I remember when I was in 10th grade, in my world history class they were talking about the anabaptists. They were labeled as extremists. What I am curious to know is does anyone know if the Baptists originated from the Anabaptists?
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:46 AM
ray Marshall ray Marshall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBossman
I don't know too much about it, but I remember when I was in 10th grade, in my world history class they were talking about the anabaptists. They were labeled as extremists. What I am curious to know is does anyone know if the Baptists originated from the Anabaptists?
I have read through biblical history that it is true.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:04 AM
Tom Butler Tom Butler is offline
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You'll get opinions on either side of the question.

I googled and found several lists of Anabaptist beliefs.

1. Infant baptism is false
2. Baptismal regeneration is false.
3. Salvation by grace through faith.
4. Separation of church and state.
5. The Bible is a closed canon.
7. The charismatic gifts have ceased.
8. The Bible is the supreme authority for our lives.

Sounds like some Baptists I know.

Some writers consider the Anabaptists of the 16th century as part of the Protestant Reformation. Yet they were also persecuted by some of the Protestant churches, nearly all of whom retained infant baptism.

Others say that the Anabaptists and similar groups (Mennonites, for example) were not Reformers, but restorers, seeking to reflect Christianity which had existed for centuries, but at odds with the established RC church, and in many cases underground.

Either way, their enemies considered them extreme and weird. they were condemned as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants. So were later Baptists, even in this country.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:02 PM
persona non grata persona non grata is offline
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Baptists DID NOT originate from Anabaptists.

The first group that became "Baptist" was a Separatist group that left the Church of England. These English Separatists, under the leadership of former Anglican priest John Smyth and Thomas Helwys, fled England due to persecution and wound up in the Netherlands in 1609.

It was during that time that these English Separatists, plunged into the Protestant milieu that was the Netherlands, were exposed to two different movements. THe first was the "Waterlander Anabaptists." It is thought that their interaction lead these English Separatists to adopt Believers Baptism (though immersion may have been an innovation that did not come for another couple of decades), to take the view that these were ordinances, not sacraments, and to affirm the idea that the local body was "the Church," rather than an institution or heirarchy (aka Catholicism or ANglicanism).

On the other hand, the English as a whole rejected some of the main tenants of Anabaptists, such as pacifism/non-resistance, withdrawal from any and all civil/governmental involement, and the Semi-Pelagian belief that no human was "born in sin" or was condemned by "original sin." THis brought an eventual split between John Smyth -- who adopted the Anabaptist beliefs -- while THomas Helwys and most of the other English believers rejected those beliefs specified above. The John Smyth Declaration of Faith (circa 1610-1611), as compared to the Helwys "A Declaration of faith of the English SPeaking Peoples remaining..." (circa 1611-1612) makes clear the lines of division between Smyth's ANabaptist convictions and Helwys' unique new "Baptist" distinctives.

The second group the Separatists ran across in the Netherlands were the "Remontrants." These were the theological followers of Jacobus Arminius, the "father" of Arminianism. THe English Separatists were steeped in the Calvinistic concepts of the Puritans in England, and in previous decades had espoused generally Calvinist views. But as they interacted with the followers or Arminus, very popular in Holland at the time, it appears they moved away from Calvinist extremes. While they held to Total Depravity, they also adopted a general atonement, the idea of resistiblity of grace and "free will," and also the possibility of apostasy -- or that a true believer could forfeit faith and be finally lost. Read Helwys' Declaration -- it's there in black & white.

THe Helwys group returned to England in 1612, and planted the first church known as a "Baptist" church, in the small town of Spitalfield, outside London. Helwys appealed to King James I (Yes, the King who "authorized" the KJV -- such a NICE Christian man) shortly after that for religious freedom and toleration. He was arrested and imprisoned by King James in late 1612, and remained a prisoner (I think in the Tower of London) until his death, 4 years later in 1616.

No, the Baptists are NOT descendents of the Anabaptists. They did "rub shoulders," and the Anabaptists were an early influence, but those that became the "original" Baptists came from the Separatist movement of the Church of England.

Okay -- dissertation over. :-)
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:00 PM
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The first baptist church was established in England \Gloucestershire) by the Welsh Baptist Churches, which were around long before Smyth, who never was a baptist. He poured water over his own head in Holland and called it baptism His followers did likewise. It wasn't until they got back to England the practiced immersion.

No one said the anabaptists (and there were many versions of anabaptists, not just the group you mentioned, were baptists per se, but the practiced certain baptistic principles. Such groups can be traced all the way back to NT times.

Even the Church of England immersed before Smyth!

Cheers,

Jim

By the way, last I knew, Spitalfield is in Scotland
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Last edited by Jim1999; 01-27-2009 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persona non grata
hose that became the "original" Baptists came from the Separatist movement of the Church of England.

Okay -- dissertation over. :-)
Yes, this is what I have read also. Which, in a way, makes Baptists the ecclesiastical siblings of Methodists, Wesleyans, Congregationalists, Puritans, and Nazarenes.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:15 PM
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Marcia Marcia is offline
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Quote:
By Persona non grata: No, the Baptists are NOT descendents of the Anabaptists. They did "rub shoulders," and the Anabaptists were an early influence, but those that became the "original" Baptists came from the Separatist movement of the Church of England.
Thanks for clearing that up. I always wondered how baptists could come from Anabaptists since the Mennonites and I believe the Amish come from Anabaptists. They are pacifists and tend to be separatists, as well as somewhat communal. I never thought the Baptists had much in common with them.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1999
By the way, last I knew, Spitalfield is in Scotland
For a moment there I was afraid it had been moved!
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2009, 09:53 AM
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Those of us who are Landmarkists do not claim that there were baptist churches per se all down through history, but organizations that embraced similar doctrines and in particular baptism by immersion of believers only and local church autonomy.

It is hard to trace history exactly in the first 4 centuries because its records were dominated by the Church of Rome.

The Baptist Churches however, did not originate with Smyth. They were in Wales long before they were in England. Welsh Baptist Churches even sent missionaries to Ireland and Scotland early on.

The early baptists in England were also split on theology and eventually divided. Some didn't even remain baptists. They theologically Reformed Baptists did remain and are still in existence to-day, true the doctrines of Calvinism.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:12 PM
Squire Robertsson Squire Robertsson is offline
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I look at the relationship between Anglo-American Baptists and our Continental brethren as cross pollinating. No, one group is not descended from the other. Both developed concurrently in their respective locations. Yes, there was a large influx of Separatists into the movement. One large enough to flood out any obvious signs of the original groupings. However, to flatly state that "Baptists" did not exist in England before the Separatist group took up the philosophy title is to try and prove a negative. By the very nature of "Baptist" polity, "Baptists" can and do exist without much visible evidence.
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