The Saint John’s Bible: Final Pages Unveiled

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“There were times when we thought this day would never come, but we’d absolutely do it again because it’s such a great work of both art and spirituality, and it’s capable of profoundly moving the people who use it and see it,” – Fr. Bob Koopmann

[Webmaster’s Note: Now that Saint John’s Abbey has completed this massive public relations stunt, perhaps they will spend an equal amount of energy working toward full disclosure of all misconduct by members of their community.]

The Saint John’s Bible: Final pages unveiled at Minneapolis event

MINNEAPOLIS — Not just a Bible but a work of art, the final pages of The Saint John’s Bible were unveiled Thursday at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, more than a decade after the project began.

The historic completion of the first handwritten, illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in 500 years was celebrated at a media-only event at the MIA.

“The Saint John’s Bible has been a labor of love,” said the Rev. Robert Koopmann, president of St. John’s University and one of many from St. John’s University and Abbey at the event.

The seventh and final volume, Letters and Revelation, was completed earlier this year and will be on view for the first time in “The Saint John’s Bible: Amen!” exhibit from now until Nov. 13.

“I believe The Saint John’s Bible is a gift for the world, and that it will be shared, beginning with the exhibition, here,” St. John’s Abbot John Klassen told those in attendance at the MIA.

An exhibition of 44 original pages from The Saint John’s Bible Wisdom Books and Prophets will be on view at the New Mexico History Museum from Oct. 21 to April 7.

“The Saint John’s Bible attempts to invite people in to make meaning with others through these visual images … and to reinforce the fact that the Bible is communal,” said Tim Ternes, director of The Saint John’s Bible project.

The excitement at the MIA was palpable, with handshakes and smiles dominating the room where original pages of The Saint John’s Bible curled ever so slightly due to a lack of humidity.

“There were times when we thought this day would never come, but we’d absolutely do it again because it’s such a great work of both art and spirituality, and it’s capable of profoundly moving the people who use it and see it,” Koopmann said.

The Saint John’s Bible is a 15-year collaboration of Scripture scholars and theologians at St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville with a team of artists and calligraphers at the scriptorium in Wales, United Kingdom, under the direction of Donald Jackson.

The first page of The Saint John’s Bible was unveiled at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2000, according to Kaywin Feldman, director of the MIA.

“The Saint John’s Bible has been called by the Smithsonian magazine one of the most extraordinary undertakings of our time,” Feldman said in her opening remarks.

Jackson is one of the world’s foremost calligraphers and Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords. He was not at Thursday’s event at the MIA.

“Upon seeing The Saint John’s Bible, Pope Benedict XVI declared that it is a great work of art, a work for eternity,” Klassen said.

Written and drawn entirely by hand using quills and pigments hand-ground from precious minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, silver and 24-karat gold, The Saint John’s Bible celebrates the tradition of medieval illuminated manuscripts.

“It represents an unparallel artistic achievement in our lifetime and is a major contribution to the book arts, so we’re very proud to be able to unveil the final pages,” Feldman said Thursday.

More than 1,150 pages of text and 160 illuminations from all 73 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament, The Saint John’s Bible’s illuminations include a satellite view of the Earth, DNA sequencing and scenes of genocide to reflect the time in which the Bible was created.

“We took on this challenge so that we could focus on the word of God, to renew interest in the calligraphic arts, to create a great work of art,” Klassen said of the multimillion dollar project.

“We believe that we have met these goals — and then some.”

The Saint John’s Bible: Final pages unveiled at Minneapolis event
St. Cloud Times
Frank Lee
Sep. 15, 2011

Source: http://www.sctimes.com/article/20110916/NEWS01/109150048/The-Saint-John-s-Bible-Final-pages-unveiled-Minneapolis-event

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Topics: John Klassen, Robert Koopmann, St. John's Bible

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