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The Saint John's Bible

In 1995, Saint John’s University and Abbey in Minnesota initiated a major undertaking to produce a modern illuminated Bible using entirely medieval techniques and materials.

The Saint John’s Bible was created by Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office, along with a collaborative team of scribes, artists, theologians and scholars. This is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size (2’ tall x 3’ wide when open) to be commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery in 500 years. All 73 books of the Old and New Testaments are presented in seven volumes of approximately 1,150 pages — produced on calfskin vellum using goose, turkey and swan quills; lamp black ink from 19th century Chinese ink sticks; cakes and powdered pigments mixed with egg yolk and water; gold leaf; and stencils and stamps used to apply paint and gold powder throughout.


Malone University’s Cattell Library is the permanent home of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition – one of a limited number of full-sized, signed and numbered fine-art reproductions of the original masterpiece.

"One of the extraordinary undertakings of our time," says Smithsonian Magazine. (Image at left: To the Ends of the Earth, Donald Jackson with contributions from Sally Mae Joseph and Andrew Jamieson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.)

From December 5 – March 2,  Malone University is pleased to collaborate with the Canton Museum of Art in bringing to the Museum a magnificent exhibit featuring 34 displays with 68 original pages - the first touring exhibit to show works from all seven completed volumes. Also on display will be the materials used to create the work. In addition, the Museum will create a corollary exhibition entitled Sacred Voices, featuring national artists who express their faith through art, along with collaborative events from regional churches, synagogues, musical and choral groups, and curated by Malone University alumna Michele Waalkes.



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