Gabriel Zwilling

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This article is about the Lutheran reformer. For the knife manufacturer, see J. A. Henckels.

Gabriel Zwilling (c. 1487 – 1 May 1558) was a German Lutheran and Protestant Reformer born near Annaberg, Electorate of Saxony. He was educated in Wittenberg and Erfurt. He like Martin Luther was a member of the Augustinian order, which he left in 1521.

Zwilling became prominent in the Wittenberg reform movement in mid-1521, when Luther was secured in the Wartburg after the Diet of Worms. Along with Carlstadt, Zwilling guided the Wittenberg movement in a more radical direction. In January 1522 he participated in iconoclasm in Wittenberg.

When Luther returned to Wittenberg and regained control in March 1522, Zwilling publicly admitted his errors, and gave his support to Luther’s more conservative vision of reform. He became a prediger (“preacher”) in Altenburg in 1522, and moved to Torgau in 1523 where he became successively prediger, pastor (1525), and superintendent (1529). He was removed from his final office because he opposed the Leipzig Interim of 1549. Zwilling died in Torgau.