Monday, February 18, 2019

St. John’s Bible

And I found in that same 2001 letter with the description of the African travel book the following information:

“On Feb. 21, I attended a lecture at the Faculty Club about the St John's Bible, the first manuscript Bible in about 500 years.  The art work is really magnificent.  A monastery in MN has commissioned it, and the calligrapher lives in England.  Father Hollas had a video showing the artist at work--was absolutely fascinating, and slides of the sketches and mock-ups of several scenes, like the nativity (he calls them the infancy narratives) and the raising of Lazarus.  I was surprised that the new RSV was selected as the version.  I asked one of the librarians about it, knowing he is Catholic, and he claimed complete ignorance of any version.  "Oh, we Catholics don't read the Bible, we just rattle our beads," I think he said.  The December issue of Smithsonian has a cover story on this Bible.  It is projected to take 6 years--and of course you can sponsor a page, but the costs weren't as bad as some I've seen for getting your name on a brick of a building.  I think $1,000 was the price of an un-illuminated page.  $250,000 if you want to sponsor one of the Gospels.”

Well, this sounded interesting! Even 18 years later.  I vaguely remember the event, so I looked it up, and it has a blog and a web page.  I’ll for sure want to find that December 2000 Smithsonian (checked—it’s available for $36.)

Information on the calligrapher, Donald Jackson, scribe to the Queen of England.

The Heritage Edition.  Rev. Eric Hollas, O.S.B., Senior Associate for Arts & Cultural Affairs at Saint John's University.  Was apparently the person who gave the presentation that night in February 2001 at the Faculty Club.

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