History Bible

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History Bible, Mainz City Library Hs II 64, Diebold Lauber workshop, 2nd quarter of the 15th century

As history Bible or people Bible one is late middle -free processing of the biblical substance (starting at the beginning of the world and human history) in vernacular prose designated. History Bibles were widespread in various versions, especially in the late 14th and 15th centuries in Upper Germany . One of the best-known history Bibles is the 460-sheet Vorau Volksbibel from 1467 from the library of Vorau Abbey .

Before the advent of printed Bible translations , history Bibles, which were often richly illustrated, offered lay circles of the nobility and urban patricians who were ignorant of Latin an opportunity to read the history of the Bible at home. Over 100 manuscripts have been preserved. They vary greatly in text and wording, since the history Bibles are not based solely on the text of the Vulgate , but also include other sources in free editing: especially German and Latin world chronicles ( Petrus Comestor , Rudolf von Ems , Jans der Enikel , Heinrich from Munich ). According to the needs of the unlearned reader, the account of the Bible is expanded to include apocryphal and profane historical narratives (e.g. about the life of Mary or Alexander the Great ). Editing and commentary parts are pushed back.

The popular type disappeared in the 16th century because humanism and the Reformation rejected the mixing of biblical and apocryphal subjects.


  • Christoph Gerhardt: Article Historienbibel , author's lexicon, Vol. IV, Sp. 67–75.
  • Margarete Andersson-Schmitt: The Lübeck History Bible. The Low German version of the North Dutch History Bible. (Low German Studies 40) Vienna: Böhlau 1995 ( full text as .pdf)

See also

Web links

Commons : History Bible  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. For the corresponding French form, see en: Bible Historiale and fr: Bible historiale .
  2. Ferdinand Hutz (Ed.): The Vorauer Volksbibel. Facsimile reproduction of all 51 pages of the Book of Exodus from Codex 273 of the Vorau Abbey Library. With an introduction. Academic printing and Publishing house, Graz 1986, ISBN 3-201-01337-4 .