German Sabbath Keepers in the 1500s
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
In the 1500s, there was a tremendous revival of the Sabbath in Germany, especially in Bohemia and Moravia. Two of the leaders of this Anabaptist Sabbath movement were Oswald Glait and Andreas Fischer.
They convinced most Lutherans in Moravia to keep the Sabbath. Desidarius Erasmus is one of the celebrated scholars of European history. He discusses these believers in his letters:
1533 – Desiderius Erasmus
“At this present time, we hear that in the realm of Bohemia is springing up a new (or fresh) kind of Judaism, called Sabbatarians, which are greatly superstitious in keeping (guarding) the Sabbath, so that if something crosses their eyes they will not move it…” (De sarcienda Ecclesiæ concordia, Page 152 [Latin translation mine]).
These Sabbath groups had such a large following that Martin Luther wrote an entire letter to denigrate them called “Against the Sabbatarians: Letter to a Good Friend.” The letter was written in 1538. It was also about this time Luther began his downward spiral into anti-Semitism.
We can see that in the midst of this movement away from the Catholic Church, God was drawing people to honor His holy Sabbath.
Kelly McDonald, Jr. BSA President
You can follow Kelly on his website: www.kellymcdonaldjr.com