Modern influence, relevance shown in St. John’s Bible

| By Susan Klemond | February 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

As artistic director of the St. John’s Bible, British calligrapher Donald Jackson found inspiration for some of its 160 illustrations in the modern world he observed, including scenes of the Twin Cities.

Calligrapher Donald Jackson speaks about the process of creating the St. John’s Bible at a Feb. 12 talk at Concordia University as part of the university’s St. John’s Heritage Bible Program. Susan Klemond/For The Catholic Spirit

Calligrapher Donald Jackson talks about creating the St. John’s Bible at a Feb. 12 event at Concordia University as part of its St. John’s Heritage Bible Program. Susan Klemond/For The Catholic Spirit

As he created each page, he said he found hope in the ancient biblical stories and also realized they were not so different from those of our time.

“This is the wonderful thing about working on the Bible so long is you realize how relevant it is,” said Jackson, who spoke about his career as a calligrapher and the process of creating the St. John’s Bible at a talk at Concordia University on Feb. 12 as part of the university’s St. John’s Heritage Bible Program. About 450 people attended the presentation.

Jackson is the official scribe and calligrapher to the Crown Office of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The St. John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible created in the last 500 years, according to Jackson. It was commissioned by St. John’s Abbey and University in 1998. Jackson and his team of calligraphers and artists completed the seven-volume work on vellum pages in 2011.

Jackson said he has been pleased to see how the Bible is now being used around the world.

“The Bible has gone out of our hands, and it’s now doing its own thing. Other people are taking it and running with it,” he said.

Concordia is hosting an exhibition of all seven volumes of the St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition — a full-size art reproduction — during February and two volumes through July 2015. The exhibit is located in the campus Library Technology Center at 1282 Concordia Ave., St. Paul.

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Category: Faith and Culture