Hand-written St. John’s Bible displayed at Bellarmine

Bellarmine University’s W.L. Lyons Brown Library has a hand-written and hand-illustrated reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible on display through June 2015.

The seven-volume Bible, completed in 2011, was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota and the original resides at the university’s Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. The Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts volume, the reproduction on display at Bellarmine, may be viewed under glass during regular library hours. Small groups of adults and students may schedule a visit for a more detailed look.

Dr. Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, Bellarmine’s director of campus ministry, said in a news release from Bellarmine, “Examining The Saint John’s Bible offers lessons in art, Biblical scholarship, science, geography and cultural history. It’s beautiful as a significant art project and it’s remarkable as a visual guide to help understand the text.”

The project, which began in 1998, was led by Donald Jackson, a calligrapher and senior scribe to Queen Elizabeth II. He and several other artists used traditional ink and pigments, the release said. It also noted that the illustrations include “modern touches, such as a DNA helix and Jesus — in blue jeans — sowing seeds.”

According to a website about the Bible, www.saintjohnsbible.org, the manuscript is the first hand-written and hand-illustrated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the invention of the printing press.

To arrange a group tour, call Bellarmine’s campus ministry office at 272-8051.

Bellarmine plans to hold events this fall on the creation of The Saint John’s Bible.

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