Pentateuch Volume of The Saint John's Bible
The Saint John’s Bible is a work of sacred art that unites an ancient Christian tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium. In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce the hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. The Heritage Edition, on display in Payson Library, is a fine-art reproduction of the original with the mission of igniting the spiritual imagination of people on all faith journeys.
The Special Collections and University Archives at Pepperdine acquires materials of historical and cultural significance - materials that tell the story of our shared heritage and that support teaching, learning, and research at Pepperdine. Unique and rare photographs, maps, letters, books, and audio and video recordings document a wide variety of topics, including the history of our own institution and region. In addition to capturing and promoting our heritage, these materials provide rich resources for students’ research.
Pepperdine acquired the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible in honor of the school's 75th anniversary in 2012. Since then, the library has shared The Saint John's Bible in campus chapel services, at local churches, with visiting groups, and at events such as the Bible Lectures and a calligraphy conference. Most significantly, The Saint John's Bible is used in academic classes at Pepperdine.
One of the seven volumes is on perpetual display in the entrance to Payson Library. The other six volumes are kept in the Special Collections and University Archives department.
We welcome you to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an in-person viewing of The Saint John's Bible at Pepperdine, either as an individual, a group, or for a class.
Worshipers entering Stauffer Chapel on Good Friday encountered Donald Jackson's illumination of the crucifixion in the Gospels and Acts volume. The theme for the service, "Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit", grew out of one of the illuminations in the Saint John's Bible.
"It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' Having said this, he breathed his last." (Luke 23:44-46)
These books include useful information about The Saint John's Bible, including how it was made as well as its connections to art, theology, and justice, amongst other topics. Almost all of these books are available as eBooks, and most are also available as print books in Payson Library. Please click the link for access to the book.
The Saint John's Bible complements a growing collection of manuscripts in Pepperdine's Special Collections and University Archives. This image is manuscript leaf from a 13th century Bible in Otto Ege's portfolio, Original Leaves from Famous Bibles.
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