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Denck was born in 1495 in the Bavarian town of Habach. After a classical education, he became headmaster at the St. Sebaldus school in Nuremberg in 1523. He became involved in the trial of the artist brothers Sebald and Barthel Beham, who were expelled from the city in 1524 at the instigation of Andreas Osiander. In Nuremberg, he met Thomas Müntzer, and so first came in contact with radical theology, which he accepted with modifications. In consequence of his convictions, he was banished from Nuremberg in January 1524, and forced upon a wandering life, which he henceforth led until his death.
For Denck the living, inner word of God was more important than the letters of the Scripture. He thought of the Bible as a human product, the individual books being different witnesses of one truth. He did not value the scripture as the source of all true religious knowledge, but instead the spirit that speaks from within each person. For Denck the sacraments were only symbols: baptism a sign of commitment, communion a ceremony of remembrance.
Denck held that Christ is the embodiment the perfect person, never separated from God because he has always done God's will. Thus does Christ serve as model. Luther taught the doctrine of justification by faith whereas Denck's whole emphasis was put instead on discipleship to Jesus. Indeed his motto was: "No one may truly know Christ except one who follows Him in life".
It is not clear if Denck was Anti-Trinitarian. His enemies as well as modern Unitarian scholars have presented him as Anti-Trinitarian, despite the lack of evidence of this in Denck's own writings. Clearly though, he was a non-dogmatic Christian.
Georg Baring, ed., Schriften Hans Denck Teil 1. Bibliographie. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann 1955.
Walter Fellmann, ed., Schriften Hans Denck Teil 2. Religiöse Schriften. Gütersloh: Bertelsman 1956.
Walter Fellmann, ed., Schriften Hans Denck Teil 3. Exegetische Schriften, Gedichte und Briefe. Gütersloh: Mohn 1960.
Ludwig Keller: Ein Apostel der Wiedertaeufer. Leipzig: Hirzel 1882.
Gerhard Haake: Hans Denk, ein Vorläufer der neueren Theologie: 1495 - 1527. Soltau: Norden 1897.
Hans Pöhlmann: Die Reformation, das Volk und die Schwarmgeister in Nürnberg: (Hans Sachs, Hans Denk, Sebastian Franck). Nürnberg: Selbstverlag der Vereinigung ev. Akademiker in Nürnberg, Kommissionsverlag der ,,Fränkischen Wacht", (1925). Serie Die Reformation in Nürnberg. Vier Vorträge gehalten in der Vereinigung evangelischer Akademiker in Nürnberg. (S. 50 - 64.).
Otto Erich Vittali: Die Theologie des Wiedertäufers Hans Denck. Offenburg, 1932 (Dissertation Freiburg 1930).
Georg Baring: Bibliographie der Ausgaben der ,,Theologia Deutsch" (1516 - 1961); Ein Beitrag zur Lutherbibliographie mit Faksimileabdruck der Erstausgabe. Baden-Baden: Heitz 1963.
Clarence Baumann: The spiritual legacy of Hans Denck : interpretation and translation of key texts. Leiden [u.a.]: Brill, 1991. ISBN90-04-09291-9
E. J. Furcha: Selected Writings of Hans Denck, 1500-1527 (Texts and Studies in Religion)ISBN0-88946-833-8