Biblia Pauperum, 1530
The Biblia pauperum ("Paupers' Bible") was a tradition of picture Bibles to visualize the correspondences between the Old and New Testaments. Unlike an "illustrated Bible", where the pictures are to illustrate the text, Pauper's Bible places illustrations in the main content, with only a brief text or sometimes no text at all. Words spoken by the figures in the miniatures could be written on scrolls (like modern bubbles) coming out of their mouths. One might see parallels with modern comics or even with memes and usually was annotated in the local language, rather than Latin.
Originally Paupers' Bibles took the form of colorful hand-painted illuminated manuscripts. A Biblia pauperum was not intended to be bought by the poor — some manuscripts were opulent and very expensive, although the block-book versions were far cheaper, and probably affordable by parish priests. The simpler versions were however probably used by the clergy as a teaching aid for those who could not read, which included most of the population.
The earliest manuscripts of the Biblia Pauperum were made in Bavaria and Austria in the 14th century, they have 34–36 groups. Later versions add more scenes, and one of the most detailed versions is the 50-part blockbook version, produced in the Netherlands in 1480–1495