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The Zwickau Prophets were early sixteenth century Anabaptists in Zwickaumarker in Saxonymarker. They were led by Nicholas Storch and attempted to achieve temporal rule by the spiritually elect (in a theocracy). They claimed to be directly commanded by the Holy Spirit and believed that they were acting in anticipation of the end times, and they held anti-Catholic doctrines, such as rejection of infant baptism and doctrine by appeal to tradition and authority. In 1521, they moved to Wittenbergmarker and grew in power and influence. However, they were opposed by Martin Luther and were removed from power by him in 1522.

While Luther was at Wartburg, Nicholas Storch and Markus Stubner, who were known as the Zwickau prophets, appeared at Wittenberg and began preaching ideas similar to some of the Anabaptists' ideas. They taught that the kingdom of God would soon appear on earth and that their followers would have special revelations. In 1522, after eight fiery sermons, in which he stressed the authority of the Bible and the need for gradual change in the church, Martin Luther defeated the Zwickau prophets.


  • Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through the Centuries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1996) p285

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