Volume Six of the Saint John's Bible, which includes the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, will travel to Fontbonne during the 2022-2023 academic year, just in time for our Centennial Celebration.

In 1998, Saint John's Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. At once a work of art and a work of theology, the Saint John's Bible brings together the ancient techniques of calligraphy and illumination with an ecumenical Christian approach to the Bible rooted in Benedictine spirituality. The result is a living document and a monumental achievement.

The Bible is divided into seven volumes. This was done for practical reasons—each completed, bound volume weighs as much as 35 pounds, with a combined weight of more than 165 pounds. It also produced interesting artistic results. While images and motifs repeat across volumes, each collection of Biblical books takes on its own character.

In 2020, Fontbonne President Nancy Blattner began the process that would bring the inspiration and energy of this extraordinary project to our campus and our community. Although housed in the library, the volume and its influence will make their way into our daily lives at Fontbonne, through classes, lectures, workshops, and outreach efforts that will allow us to connect with local high schools, churches, and countless individuals in the St. Louis community.

A Year With The Saint John’s Bible is a fulfillment of the promise of the original Saint John’s Bible project: to share the Word of God in a new way with as many people as possible. During the course of the coming year, we invite you to join us in exploring this work of art that unites an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium.

Text adapted from https://saintjohnsbible.org/.