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Title: Abecedarian  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anabaptists, A-b-c-darian, History of Anabaptists, Trochaic septenarius, John W. Martin Mennonites
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


For the learning and teaching of the alphabet, see A-b-c-darian. For hymns, see Abecedarian hymn.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Abecedarian is "one learning the rudiments of something (as in the alphabet)".[1]

According to the original Catholic Encyclopedia, the Abecedarians were a 16th-century German sect of Anabaptists who affected an absolute disdain for all human knowledge, contending that God would enlighten his elect from within themselves, giving them knowledge of necessary truths by visions and ecstasies, with which human learning would interfere.[2][3]

They rejected every other means of instruction, and claimed that to be saved one must even be ignorant of the first letters of the alphabet; whence their name, A-B-C-darians. They also considered the study of theology as a species of idolatry, and regarded learned men who did any preaching as falsifiers of God's word.[2]

Nicholas Storch led this sect, preaching that the teaching of the Holy Spirit was all that was necessary.[2] Andreas Karlstadt adopted these views, abandoned his title of doctor and became a street porter.

John Bell stated their founder's name was Stork, a disciple of Luther, and that "this sect was some time considerable in Germany".[4]

No equivalent entry was present in the New Catholic Encyclopedia. This usage of the term has been recorded elsewhere, such as in dictionary lists. Historical references later than the early 20th century do not mention these claims.

Cultural references

In the graphic novel The Calculus Affair Captain Haddock uses the word "Abecedarian" as an epithet.


  1. ^ "Abecedarian". Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "A handy book of reference on all subjects and for all readers, Volume 1" - Google Books
  3. ^ "A dictionary of English phrases; phraseological allusions, catchwords, stereotyped modes of speech and metaphors, nicknames, sobriquets, derivations from personal names, etc., with explanations and thousands of exact references to their sources or early usage" - Internet Archive
  4. ^ Rev. John Bell, The Wonderings of the Human Intellect, Edward Walker, Newcastle, 1814

External links

  •  "Abecedarians".  

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