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Rare fine art Bible coming to Louisiana for the first time

Rare fine art Bible coming to Louisiana for the first time
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POSTED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 8:04am

Saint John’s University is pleased to announce the inaugural Louisiana exhibition of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition. Four volumes from this exquisite Bible will be on open display on the first floor of the State Library of Louisiana during the Louisiana Book Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 in Capitol Park in downtown Baton Rouge.

The Heritage Edition is a full-size fine art edition of the original The Saint John’s Bible masterpiece—the first handwritten illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the advent of the printing press. The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned in 1998 by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University with a mission to ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world and to illuminate the word of God for a new millennium. A team of scribes, artists and craftspeople in a scriptorium in Wales under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson--one of the world’s foremost calligraphers and the Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Crown Office at the House of Lords in London, England--worked on The Saint John’s Bible for over thirteen years.

It is through the fine art The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition that individuals and artistic, religious and cultural institutions can intimately experience and share the inspiration of The Saint John’s Bible. “The Heritage Edition provides an accessible link to the original artwork for those who wish to bring its beauty, spiritual and historic significance into their lives and the lives of others,” said Eric Hollas, OSB, Deputy to the President for Advancement. “It is a work of art in its own right and ignites imagination as it imparts the word of God.”

Saint John’s conducted a worldwide search for the finest papermakers, printing experts and binders to create a printed work worthy of the original manuscript. The best archival-quality 100 percent cotton paper, fade-resistant permanent inks and gold and silver metallic foils, have been used to closely approximate the look and feel of the original. The edition is printed with a special printing technique using ultraviolet light. Each of the seven volumes that make up The Saint John’s Bible is approximately 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide when open and weighs between 13 to nearly 20 pounds.

Four of seven the Heritage Edition volumes, Gospels & Acts, Pentateuch, Wisdom and Psalms, will be on display during the Louisiana Book Festival on November 2, 2013 and available for visitors to turn pages and examine closely without glass. Visitors are encouraged to attend the screening of the BBC film The Illuminator and a Bible for the 21st Century at 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Capitol Park Welcome Center Screening Room, which documents the creation of The St. John’s Bible by Donald Jackson and his team of calligraphers and artists. The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition Director, David Allaway, will be on hand to answer questions and explain the project in greater detail to visitors and will present a formal program about the illuminated Bible in the Louisiana State Capitol, House Committee Room 6, at 4:00-4:45 p.m. All are encouraged and welcome to explore this once-in-a-lifetime Bible!

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