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Heritage Edition of Illuminated St. John’s Bible on Display at the E.M. White Library

Jan 10, 2017
Through February 1, the Gospel/Acts Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible will be on display at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Ernest Miller White Library. This edition is a fine-art reproduction of the original hand-crafted version of the St. John’s Bible, which is the first completely hand-written and illuminated Bible to have been commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in the more than 500 years since the invention of the printing press.

St Johns BibleIn the late 1990s, the Benedictine Saint John's University and Abbey commissioned Donald Jackson, master calligrapher and Chief Scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, to create the St. John’s Bible. The manuscript was created using medieval methods and materials including calfskin vellum, goose quills and handmade inks, gold, platinum and silver. The illuminations illustrate biblical themes through a lens of modern theological and global issues, incorporating many scientific and historical references into the visual design, and utilizing divergent styles of traditional and more contemporary art throughout. Since its completion in 2011, the original has been on display at St. John’s University.

Part of the project was the Heritage Edition reproduction of the original hand-crafted version. The edition is limited to 299 sets of seven books of the Bible.

Louisville Seminary Distinguished Alum Ann Laird Jones played a significant role in helping to secure a space in the E.M. White Library to display the Heritage Edition. Jones graduated with her Master of Divinity from Louisville Seminary in 1982. She is a minister member of St. Andrew Presbytery. Since 1993, she has served as the director of arts ministry at Montreat Conference Center, where she focuses on collaborative worship planning and visual arts in worship, directing the Currie Craft Center/Sally Jones Pottery and leading lectures and conferences in the field of arts and theology.

Jones and Louisville Seminary Professor Brad Wigger are using the Heritage Edition for reference during the Doctor of Ministry seminar that they are co-teaching for the January term.

“It’s always special when we can offer our seminary community and the general public an up-close look at such a wonderful resource,” said E.M. White Library Director Matthew Collins. “Our thanks to Dr. Jones for making this available to us.”

The public is invited to view the Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible at the E.M. White Library during the library’s normal operating hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, noon - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

For more information, see www.stjohnsbible.org.
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