Hieroglyphic Catechism

Curieuser Bilder-Catechismus mit zierlichen Figuren: durch dessen Gebrauch die Kinder von ihrer zartesten Jugend an auf eine angenehme Weise zur Erkenntnis der Evangelischen Warheiten können angeführet werden.
Nuremberg: Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1773. (BRB1034)

The first and only edition of this Lutheran catechism for young students presents biblical texts in a combination of words and images, a puzzle to be solved and holy text to be read, understood, and memorized.  In translation, the following passages on display read:

Page 56 (upper portion): I Corinthians 2:2: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

Page 56 (lower portion): Romans 6.4: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death.”

Page 57 (entire page): Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This unusual catechism was based on earlier Bibles for children composed in a similar format. Hieroglyphic Bibles, presenting brief biblical passages in rebus form, were first compiled and published in German in the late seventeenth-century. Editions in Dutch, French, and English also appeared in the eighteenth-century, and several English versions continued to be published through the first half of the nineteenth century. In contrast to these picture Bibles, which also provided readers with the text of each passage, this experimental hieroglyphic catechism, without explanatory text, was apparently never attempted again.

Hieroglyphic Catechism