Thumb Bibles: Truly Concise Histories of the Old and New Testament


The Bible in Miniuture [sic], or, a Concise History of the Old & New Testaments. 
London: Printed for E. Newbery, 1780. (Prothro B-207)

“It is a sorrowful reflection, in a country where all may have the Bible in their hands, that there should be so many who seldom read this best of books, and are ignorant of the manner in which infinite wisdom hath, from the beginning, made known his will to man . . . . It is hoped the perusal of this little treatise will so attract the young mind, as to excite a curiosity and love for the scriptures at large.” 
History of the Bible

Thumb Bibles, condensed versions of one or both Testaments named for the diminutive size of the volumes, were published in England beginning in the early seventeenth century. The texts provided paraphrased summaries of well-known Bible stories or passages and were often illustrated. Providing an accessible text in a size easily managed by young readers, these miniature books were extremely popular in Great Britain and the United States throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.