The Saint John's Bible

by Ann Marie Keene

St. Johns BibleThe Saint John’s Bible is a hand-written and illuminated bible commissioned by the monks of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Celebrated calligrapher Donald Jackson and a team of scribes and illuminators completed the bible over a fifteen-year period employing techniques and materials that untold scribes before them used prior to the invention of the printing press. 

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten Bible that interprets and illustrates scripture from a contemporary perspective, reflecting a multicultural world and humanity’s enormous strides in science, technology and space travel. In the Benedictine tradition of inclusion, The Saint John’s Bible incorporates elements from the world religions, including Judaism and Islam, as well as influences from the Native American cultures in the Minnesota area. It also documents Minnesota as the birthplace of The Saint John’s Bible through illustrations of flora and fauna indigenous to the region. The seven volumes comprise 1,150 pages of calfskin vellum, the script is written using hand-cut goose, turkey and swan quills, and the ink is hand-ground lamp black from 19th century Chinese ink sticks. Egg tempera and gold leaf provide vivid color to the illuminations.

Once the project was started, Saint John's Abbey and Donald Jackson decided that a full sized, museum quality reproduction of the original Saint John's Bible would enable other individuals and institutions to celebrate and have access to the sacredness and beauty of this project. Thus was born the Heritage Edition, the name given to the limited edition full sized reproductions that were produced by The John Roberts Company, Roswell Bookbinding and McIntosh Embossing. To ensure ultimate integrity, Donald Jackson was the art director of the Heritage Edition, overseeing production throughout the process. The John Roberts Company printed the manuscript, Roswell bound the books in fine leather, and McIntosh Embossing foil stamped and embossed the illuminations that appear throughout the text. 

View upcoming events for Illuminating the Word: The Saint John's Bible by clicking here

If you would like a personal viewing of The Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition, please contact your John Robert's Salesperson or submit a request for more information below: 

 Get in Touch

 


Comments