Rich in Grace: The Bible of the Poor for 21st Century Christians

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by Kathryn Ann Hill

This book is a fine resource for the pastor who is looking for devotional material suitable for parishioners’ personal use or as a resource for Bible classes.

When it was first published, ALPB Treasurer Dorothy Zelenko wrote the following on the back of the 2007 ALPB Christmas Appeal Letter to introduce the book:

“At the start of this lovely volume, Kathryn Ann Hill quotes from Matthew 13:52: ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ And that is exactly what she has done in Rich in Grace: The Bible for the Poor for 21st Century Christians.

The ‘old’ things are the 38 woodcut images carefully reproduced from a 15th-century ‘blockbook’. Each image depicts a scene from the life of Christ along with two scenes on either side usually from the Old Testament. The ‘new’ things are the brief meditations in poetic form that Hill has written for each image. The original Biblia Pauperum was intended to teach ordinary people both Bible stories and the elements of the Christian faith. This volume can be used in the same way, even by Christian parents with their children. But a thoroughly Biblically literate pastor or layperson will also find much that is surprising and new here in some of the Old Testament stories chosen by the 15th-century artists and in many of the connections that are made in the poems. This is a large size volume (8” x 10”) with a beautifully colored cover … and full-page images printed on rich creamy paper. Jesus Christ is literally at the center of each image and is at the heart of each poem.”

Dr. Francis C. Rossow, Professor Emeritus, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in reviewing Rich in Grace for the ALPB wrote: “Repeatedly in her poems Kathryn Hill takes the jewels mined by the medieval authors and gives them the kind of setting that enhances their worth and splendor…. Her poems are not only an orthodox and devout witness to the Gospel – they are an artistic witness to that Gospel.”

Paper, 86 pp. $5.00 + postage