A Complete Set: APU Secures Seven Volumes of The Saint John’s Bible

by Abigail E. Peck

In August 2013, Azusa Pacific University welcomed the first two volumes of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition. This summer the final three volumes arrive, completing the collection. Designed by Donald Jackson, The Saint John’s Bible is a seven-volume set of artistic renditions of the Scriptures. Jackson is a world famous calligrapher, elected chair of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, and the artistic director of The Saint John’s Bible. The first hand-illustrated Bible in more than 500 years, The Saint John’s Bible was initiated by Jackson and commissioned by the Benedictine monks at Saint John’s Abbey and University.

The Saint John’s Bible is a work of art and theology created by teams of artists in Wales and scholars in Central Minnesota who brought together the ancient techniques of calligraphy and illumination with an inclusive Christian approach to the Bible. The result is a living document and a monumental achievement. On his recent trip to the United States, Pope Francis gave a set, in commemoration of his visit, to the Library of Congress.

The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition exemplifies the intersection of faith and learning,” said Luba Zakharov, MA, MTS, MLS, MFA, librarian and curator of Special Collections and Rare Books. “This completed set, alongside other APU Special Collections Bibles, including the 1999 Pennyroyal Caxton Press Bible and the 1935 Oxford University Press Lectern Bible, strengthens our scholarly commitment to the Biblical heritage on which APU was founded.”

The Saint John’s Bible travels into classroom settings campus wide to demonstrate the confluence between ancient scribal techniques and those newly employed by modern calligraphers, artists, historians, and theologians. In this way, The Saint John’s Bible is an interdisciplinary work of scholarship that enhances teaching and learning while igniting the spiritual imagination.

With the acquisition of all seven volumes, APU joins an exclusive group of institutions that own the entire set, including Yale Univeristy, the Mayo Clinic, and the Morgan Library. Special Collections plans to hold a university dedication of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition during the 2016-17 academic year.

To learn more, visit http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/.

Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.