LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beauty and the Word

I came across something last week that I found beautiful. It combines the beauty of the Word with the art of calligraphy and painting. It takes the timely and timeless and adds a new dimension of beauty to it. It's called The Saint John's Bible. It's a hand-written Bible--the first one since the invention of the printing press. And it's gorgeous.

The website says this:

In the Middle Ages, monasteries helped preserve knowledge and culture for the sake of the greater community. By commissioning a handwritten Bible, Saint John's revives a tradition and affirms its commitment to the study of scripture, to the book arts and to educational, artistic and spiritual pursuits.

The website says this:
At the dawn of the 21st century, Saint John's Abbey and University seek to ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world by commissioning a work of art that illuminates the Word of God for a new millennium.

And this:

In the 8th Century, near what are now Scotland and England, Benedictine monastic scribes created a Bible that today is one of the longest surviving monumental manuscripts in the Western world.

Nearly 1,300 years later, renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson approached the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s University and Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, with his life-long dream: to create the first handwritten, illuminated bible commissioned since the invention of the printing press. The Saint John’s Bible uses ancient materials and techniques to create a contemporary masterpiece that brings the Word of God to life for the contemporary world.

Go see it for yourself.


Pam said...

leanne, i don't know if you were able to see this in person or not, but it's absolutely incredible! it was on exhibit in phoenix last spring and we got to see it up close and in all it's different stages. it really takes your breath away to see the amazing, hand-wrought lettering and artwork and to learn about how they do it. it is something that will stay with me forever! it's an absolute treasure ~ a double treasure (!) as the Word itself is a treasure, and then to see it wrought so beautifully and lovingly is a treasure! words really don't do justice to this beautiful creation.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...


I would love to see it in person. I'm glad you were able to! The pictures from the site were stunning--I can only imagine what they must look like in person.

The exhibits aren't close to us so we will have to travel to them, unless they come here later.

Thank you for reading and for commenting!



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