Biblia Pauperum

Also known as

  • Bible of the Poor


Books popular especially in the 15th century, consisting of about 40 pages of pictures illustrating the New Testament, with appropriate prophetic scenes from the Old on either side of each page and explanatory texts in the corners. Their invention is ascribed to Saint Anschar, Bishop of Bremen. With the introduction of the xylographic or block-book process they were published much more cheaply than the earlier picture bibles, and were thus more accessible to the poor. They were used by the mendicant orders, in instructing the people. When the printing of the whole Bible with illustrations became practicable they were gradually given up. Five copies are preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

MLA Citation

  • “Biblia Pauperum“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 August 2018. Web. 22 September 2020. <>