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Illuminating the word

Apr 11, 2014
by Staff

Much like the Bibles of medieval times, The Saint John’s Bible is massive, measuring two feet tall and three feet wide. This handwritten, illuminated Bible, which was created by the Benedictine Monastery at St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota, marks the first time in 500 years that a Benedictine Monastery has commissioned a handwritten Bible.

In October, versions of the Bible were on display at Flagler College’s Proctor Library in conjunction with a visit by Fr. Michael Patella, professor of New Testament at Saint John’s School of Theology. Patella, who chairs the Committee on Illumination and Text for the Bible, spoke at the Cecile & Gene Usdin Judeo-Christian Lecture Series, as well as classes at Flagler about the project.

The construction of the St. John’s Bible parallels that of its medieval predecessors: written on vellum, using quills, natural handmade inks, hand-ground pigments and gold leaf. The Bible also incorporates modern themes, images and technology of the 21st century.

An international team of calligraphers and artists were commissioned to create all seven volumes.

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