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Biblia Pauperum
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Biblia pauperum. Also called the “Bible of the Poor” or the “Pauper’s Bible.” In late medieval format, the biblia pauperum attempted to illustrate selective biblical and theological truths for the medieval poor and illiterate.The biblia pauperum illustrates the relationship of the New Testament to the Old Testament by making typological connections. Each New Testament scene of Christ’s life is drawn and paired with several illustrated Old Testament antitypes and quotations from the prophets. For example, the ascensions of Enoch, Elijah, and Christ are depicted in complex relationship (Elijah is viewed as both antitype of Enoch and type of Christ; Jeffrey, Dictionary, 129.). Likewise, the circumcisions of Abraham, Jacob, and Christ are intertwined by illustration.With the rise of printing and wood engraving, the illustrated papers that were first called biblia pauperum developed into books that included up to 50 carefully arranged illustrations. The minimal amount of text accompanying the illustrations was often written in the vernacular of common people, instead of in the church’s Latin. In addition to typology, various editions of biblia pauperum employ numerology, analogy, and mnemonic verse.Most of the 80 surviving manuscripts of the biblia pauperum are from 13th to 14th-century Austria and southern Germany, including the exemplary Codex Palatinus Latinus 871 (a 15th-century text; Fornberb, Annunciation, 165).The phrase biblia pauperum may have come from Bonaventura or from Gregory the Great’s statement that “pictures are the people’s bible” (Schaff and Schaff, History, 729). The term biblia pauperum was also used by medieval apologists to refer to the art of the great cathedrals—the stained glass, sculptures, paintings, and architecture—as vehicles of biblical truth to the illiterate (Webber, Music and the Arts, 490).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Biblia Pauperum
Biblia Pauperum Biblia pauperum. Also called the “Bible of the Poor” or the “Pauper’s Bible.” In late medieval format, the biblia pauperum attempted to illustrate selective biblical and theological truths for the medieval poor and illiterate.The biblia pauperum illustrates the relationship of the New
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Biblia Pauperum
Biblia Pauperum (Lat., ‘the Bible of Poor Men’). Though also employed from the early Middle Ages to describe various other short biblical summaries for elementary instruction, the title Biblia Pauperum is used to denote specifically a picture-book in which on each page a set group of figures illustrates
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Biblia Pauperum
BIBLIA PAUPERUM (bibʹli-a pawʹper-um; “Bible of the Poor”).1. The name given to a picture Bible, printed on wood blocks before the invention of movable type. It had forty leaves printed on one side, on which forty scenes from the life of our Lord were depicted, with some OT events, accompanied by an
A Catholic Dictionary
Biblia Pauperum
biblia Pauperum. The Bible of the poor. A representation in between forty and fifty pictures of events in the Old and New Testaments, with short explanations and Scriptural texts appended in Latin or German. The redemption by Christ is the central idea of the collection, so that the Old Testament subjects
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Biblia Pauperum
Bib′lia Pau′perum [the poor man’s Bible]. Some forty or fifty pictures of Bible subjects used in the Middle Ages, when few could read, to teach the leading events of Scripture history. (See Mirror of Human Salvation.)
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Biblia Pauperum
Biblia Pauperum (Bible of the Poor).—Collection of the principal passages of the Bible, engraved on wood, before the invention of printing, for the instruction and use of the people. This work, which dates from the fourteenth century, is one of the first monuments of xylography. The text has been drawn
The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, Volumes 1–3
Biblia Pauperum
Biblia Pauperum(Bible of the poor or of illiterates). Catchword for the theory that, in the early Christian and medieval periods, illiterates were able to “read” pictures as a substitute for reading the Bible. In or around 600, Pope Gregory I (590–604) wrote two letters (9.105; 11.3) to Bishop Serenus