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St. Norbert College to Host One-of-a-Kind Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible

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From St. Norbert College, February 6, 2018
by Matthew Matuszak,, 920-403-3089

St. Norbert College will be hosting the Gospel and Acts Volume of the Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible from February 2018 to March 2019, in addition to five major illuminations from other volumes of the Heritage Edition. The installation and blessing will be held on Friday, Feb. 16, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. with the official blessing taking place at 2:30 p.m. in the Mulva Library, 400 Third St., De Pere. This event is free and open to the public.

A series of events is already taking shape for the coming year when the volume is being hosted. The St. Norbert College Baer Art Gallery's first exhibit of the 2018-19 academic year will be the Saint John's Bible, featuring the volume, the framed illuminations and other related works. This exhibition of the Saint John's Bible will be available at the community-wide event SNC Day in the fall of 2018. In early September, Tim Ternes, director of the Saint John's Bible Project, will give a public lecture on the making of the Saint John's Bible. Finally, on Oct. 9, Anton Koekemoer, research astrophysicist at the Hubble Space Telescope, will give a lecture entitled "Science and Faith in Harmony: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God" that includes connections between Hubble images and the Saint John's Bible.

No one hosts a volume of the original because the original folios are not bound. The Heritage Edition is the only full-scale, illuminated, fine-art edition of the hand-written Saint John's Bible. No two Heritage Editions are identical because many of the illuminations required hand treatments. The volume the college is hosting is approximately 2-feet tall by 3-feet wide when opened and will be on display in various public locations on campus throughout the year. The volume will also be available to be brought to classes or on-campus events so that smaller groups can learn about the volume and view it more intimately.

The Saint John's Bible was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of Saint John's Abbey and University in 1998 after Donald Jackson, the senior scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, presented his lifelong dream to handwrite the bible to the Rev. Eric Hollas, O.S.B. Jackson drew the first words on Ash Wednesday of 2000 and presented the final page to the abbey 11 years later in 2011. Six calligraphers, including Jackson, handwrote all 1,150 pages on approximately 300 sheets of calfskin vellum, and a Jewish scribe did the Hebrew script. The translation of this bible is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

For more information, contact Julie Massey at 920-403-3014 or

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