Launch: The Saint John’s Bible

October 3, 2013 – 11:18 am

The Saint John’s Bible on display in the chapel at Melbourne.

ACU students and staff will have received an invitation to the launch of The Saint John’s Bible that will happen on all campuses on Wednesday 9 October.

You will need to RSVP to the address on your invitation by the close of business, Thursday 3 October.

What is The Saint John’s Bible?

In 2013, ACU acquired a Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible – a limited edition reproduction of the first hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in nearly 500 years. There are seven volumes and one volume is on display in each ACU campus library.

The original The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned in 1998 by Saint John’s Abbey and University in the USA. Renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson led a team of artists using traditional techniques and materials, including feather quills, calfskin vellum, egg-based paint and gold leaf illumination. The project took until 2011 to complete, and resulted in a unique work that is recognisably modern and yet accords with ancient Benedictine traditions.

The Heritage Edition is printed using modern inks and techniques on custom-made cloth paper. The paper has a translucent quality which mimics the appearance of the vellum of the original The Saint John’s Bible. Metallic illuminations are done by hand after the initial printing.

The translation used for the text of The Saint John’s Bible is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). The NRSV was released in 1989 and is renowned for its modern, accessible language.

The seven volumes are distributed as follows:

  • Wisdom Books – Vice Chancellors Office
  • Historial Books – Strathfield campus library
  • Pentateuch – North Sydney campus library
  • Psalms – Ballarat campus library
  • Prophets – Melbourne Chapel
  • Gospels and Acts (v.6) – Canberra campus library
  • Letters and Revelations (v.7) – Brisbane campus library

ACU is the only institution in the southern hemisphere that owns a set of the Bibles.

YouTube Preview Image

Library staff have produced The Saint John’s Bible guide that give information about the creation process for The Saint John’s Bible; about illuminated manuscripts and links to videos, books and other resources.


The Saint John’s Bible on display in the chapel at Melbourne.

Pages are turned on a regular basis, not only to display different pages for viewing interest but also to adjust the spine and position of the The Saint John’s Bible on the custom made book rest. This is done to relieve stress on the binding.

We hope to see you at our celebrations for the launch.

Please take time to see the The Saint John’s Bible on your campus.

Tags: , , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.