Knipstro (also KNIEPSTROH or KNIPSTROW. Latin Knipstrovius), JOHN, a German reformer, was born at Sandow, near Lovelberg, Silesia, May 1, 1497. Educated among the Franciscans, he was sent by the abbot of his convent to finish his studies at the University of Frankfort-on-the-Oder.
Here he was a witness of the famous "Actus disputationis" in which John Tetzel attempted to overthrow Luther's theses against indulgences. Knipstro, who had read the theses, answered Tetzel so conclusively that the latter withdrew from the contest. Knipstro was then sent to the convent of Pyritz, in Pomerania. in the hope that quiet and rest would calm his revolutionary ardor; but he improved his time in reading the Bible and Luther's works, and finally brought the whole convent to share in his views. The town heard of this, and Knipstro was invited by the citizens to preach to them, which he did with such success that the whole town soon became Protestant, but the bishop interfered in favor of Roman Catholicism, and Knipstro was obliged in 1522 to flee to Stettin, where he married. In 1524 he went to Stargard, and thence to Stralsund, where his eloquence proved fatal to the Roman Catholic party, and where, in 1525, he was appointed superintendent of ecclesiastical affairs. He took part as such in the General Synod of Pomerania in 1535, and was then appointed the first general superintendent of the Church in Wolgast. In 1539 he was made professor at the University of Greifswald, Pomerania, and in 1547 became its rector. A controversy with Frever, a professor in the same institution, gave him such annoyance that he withdrew to Wolgast, and devoted the remainder of his life to teaching and to Church administration. He died at the last-named place Oct. 4, 1556. His works are: Vom rechten Gebrauch d. Kirchen - Guter (Stralsund, 1533): - Bedenken wider d. Interim, etc. (Stralsund, 1548): — Epistola ad D. Melanchthonem, qua, Consensus Ecclesiae Pomeranice ad suspiciendam Aug. Confessionem repetitionem declaratur (1552): — Widerlegung d. Bekentniss Andr. Osiandri v. dl. Rechtfertigung (1555?): — Forma repetendi catechismi (1555 ?). See Mayer, Vita Knipstrovii; Jancke, Gelehrtes Pommerland; H. Schmid, Einleitung z. Brandenburg Kichen Gesch.; J. I. Balthasar, Sammlung einiger Pommerschen Kirchen- Hist. gehourigen Schriften, i, 93; ii, 317 sq. Zeller, Universal Lexikon, s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 27:896; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 7:765. (J. N. P.)