Pilgrims and Exiles: Recommended Resources
Although the Anabaptists have valued humility and privacy highly, they have attracted a lot of attention from curious tourists and serious students alike. In whichever category you may fall, you will find in the following resources a wealth of carefully researched information and interpretation on the Anabaptists.
Anyone interested in learning about the origins of Anabaptism would do well to start with William Estep's The Anabaptist Story (3rd edition, Eerdmans, 1996). Estep covers the heady days of the Radical Reformation in engaging prose, from Conrad Grebel's and George Blaurock's courageous baptism through the spread of the movement into Holland, where Menno Simons assumed the mantle of leadership, and then finally over the Atlantic where the movement took root in America.
Next to the Bible, no book is held dearer by Anabaptists today than Thieleman J. van Braght's Martyrs Mirror (Herald Press, multiple editions). Originally published in 1660, the book traces a terrifying yet venerable tradition of Christian martyrdom beginning with Christ and his disciples and quickly moving to Anabaptists who died at the hands of Catholics and Protestants alike. Today the Martyrs Mirror serves as a reminder to American Anabaptists of the price they paid in Europe for nonconformity. The complete set of 104 etchings added to the 1685 edition by Jan Luiken may be viewed at http://www.bethelks.edu/services/mla/images/ martyrsmirror/, which also provides a link to the full English text of the Mirror.
Donald Kraybill is one of the foremost historians and interpreters of the Anabaptists today. The reader new to Anabaptist studies would do well to begin with almost any one of the more than 18 books Kraybill has authored. In On the Backroad ...