Schnepf, Erhard

Schnepf, Erhard an assistant in the Lutheran Reformation, born of a noble family at Heilbronn, November, 1498. He studied first at Erfurt, then at Heidelberg. As soon as Luther appeared, Schnepf welcomed his teachings. He preached first at Weinsberg, then (1523) at Wimpen, where he married. In 1525 he was called by Philip III of Nassau to introduce the reformation at Weilburg. Here his familiarity with Scripture enabled him to triumph in a disputation over Dr. Tervich of Treves. In 1528 Philip made him a professor in his new university of Marburg, whence he exerted a reformatory influence into Westphalia. He accompanied his patron to the diet of Spire in 1529, and to Augsburg in 1530. In 1534, at the request of duke Ulrich of Würtemberg, he united with Blaurer in the reformation of this country. His seat of operation was Stuttgart, while that of Blaurer was Tübingen. In 1544 he accepted a professorship in Tübingen, and represented the more rigid views of Luther in a Zwinglian community. Schnepf refused to accept the interim, and in 1548 gave up his position and fled to Heilbronn. At the suggestion of Johann Friedrich of Weimar, he became professor of Hebrew at Jena in 1549, and soon had more than sixty students. Here he became, alongside of Amsdorf and Strigel, one of the most eminent theologians in that region. Up to 1555 he had lived in peace with the synergistic Melancthonians at Wittenberg; but now he became involved in the rigid Lutheran party of Flacius, and he assumed a milder position only at the instance of the duke Johann Friedrich. In the midst of labors abundant, he died at Jena, November, 1558. See Jo. Rosae, De Vita Schnepfii (Leips. 1562); Heyd, Blaurer, and Schnepf, in the Tüb. Zeitschrift, 1838; Herzog, Real- Encyklop. 12, 618-620; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, 2, 314. (J.P.L.)

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