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Saint John's Bible: Gospels and Acts Hardcover – January 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Saint John’s Bible is intended to assist Jews, Muslims, and Christians in seeing shared commonality in the Bible. . . . In a time when people have so much to learn about different faiths, it is refreshing still to believe that experiencing the material and iconic aspects of the Bible can assist this understanding.
Catholic Biblical Quarterly


Hands down the most exciting of the books presented this year. The Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are presented in a way that literally illuminates each page with the inherent dignity and grace of the scripture. This book is not only ornate in a way the average Bible couldn’t. It is worth the price and will be cherished forever in a persona library or a house of worship.
The Catholic Press Association


The book reproductions are exquisite.
Catholic Library World


Words alone cannot describe the experience of reading and contemplating this hand-written and illuminated Bible.
Catholic Library World


An impressive achievement.
The Catholic Answer


Holding Gospels and Acts in one’s hands invites a spirit of reverence and wonder!
Prairie Messenger


The St. John's Bible is unquestionably art. And in the practice of Jackson and his team members, so is calligraphy.
Journal Star Lincoln, Nebraska


The experience of studying The Saint John's Bible has caused me to consider what happens to us when we welcome sacred words into our hearts.
Real Live Preacher

About the Author

An internationally respected calligrapher, Donald Jackson is the artistic director and illuminator of The Saint John's Bible. He is a Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Crown Office at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, a position in which he is responsible for the creation of official state documents. He is an elected Fellow and past Chairman of the prestigious Society of Scribes and Illuminators. His 30-year retrospective exhibition, Painting with Words, premiered at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August, 1988 and traveled to 13 museums and galleries. Donald Jackson works with a team of theologians and artists from Saint John's University and Abbey on The Saint John's Bible. From his scriptorium in Wales, he oversees scribes, artists, and craftsmen who work with him on the handwriting and illumination of the seven-volume, 1,150-page Bible.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: The Saint John's Bible; First Edition edition (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814690513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814690512
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 10 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I saw the exhibit for the Saint John's Bible when it was on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It was literally breath-taking seeing the intricate detail and craftsmanship that went into this amazing and inspired project.

The work is not only crafted well, but is approached with extreme thoughtfulness and obvious reverence and love. The thematic devices woven through the illuminations tell the wonderful stories of the scriptures in picture and the weaving of imagery, symbology, typography and design embrace all periods of book arts, from traditional and calligraphy type faces to modern geometrical type design.

As a graphic designer, I appreciate the thought and planning that had to have taken place even before the illustrations and type were laid out. This is a very important work created with deep respect and love for the holy scriptures.
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Format: Hardcover
Just got the book today. I was excited when I opened the package. The book was in pristine condition. Nice packaging and no nicks or scratches on the cover. But the real treasure is in the individual pages. The pages approximate the color of the original vellum used (creamy to beige). The colors are crisp and the primaries are the dominant ones: reds, greens, blues of different hues. The gold color could not capture the original gold foils. I saw some pages from SD Museum of Natural History. I was spellbound. HOWEVER THE GOLD COLOR OF THIS EDITION COULD BE MANIPULATED: TRY READING IT USING NATURAL LIGHT (COMING FROM THE SUN) AND ANGLE THE PAGES A LITTLE BIT OBLIQUELY AND YOU CAN SEE WHAT I MEAN. If you are not satisfied what this edition could offer, try getting the facsimile edition which looks like (from the measurements down to the gold foils) the real thing. But the asking price is $150,000 to cover up the expenses in making the original one. This edition is printed on alkaline paper and the individual pages are thick, made in China but the quality is excellent. I even went further of my perfectionist stint when I examined the print using x10 jeweller's loupe. The print is a little bit grainy which is no different from the best printed books of today. I was just hoping it was a Giclee print (much more expensive, though) which does not reflect on the book's price. As usual, the technique used in this printing is the time-honored color separation. The artworks used in the Gospels are superb and strikingly modern. Some, though, still mimick the Greek-Byzantine icons of the 5th to 17th centuries. I really like the full-page artworks especially the opening pages of each Gospels, Transfiguration, Good Samaritan-Prodigal Son and the page in the Acts depicting St. Paul.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The Saint John's Bible is a one of a kind illuminated creation. As a calligrapher I am thrilled to look at the professional detail Donald Jackson and his crew have put forth into this project. Its remarkable illuminations are full of color and vigor.

True, the text may be somewhat 'small' for the page, but in fact it is proportionate to the actual Bible (a size which would be way too large to print). The gold illumination may not look like 'gold' at first glance, it resembles a bright yellow, but this is difficult to capture in a book.

All in all if you are interested in the art of calligraphy, this is a keeper. As an atheist the text does not captivate me, I am solely interested in the art. So if you are Christian/Catholic and love art, you can hit two birds with one stone and have double the pleasure!
2 Comments 22 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I've got the Gospels and Acts, and have also seen the originals done by Donald Jackson and team. The originals on vellum are amazing and measure about 2 1/2 x 3 feet for two open pages with a superb look of calligraphy and illumination drawing. The print copy is smaller (coffee table size) and definitely is not the feel and impression of the originals, but that would be impossible. The fonts are small, but no smaller than a small print bible.

I bought this because I really wanted one, and to support the project. I will read it as a devotion in the morning, or in a dim room candlelit to get a real feel of reading traditional writing. The fonts will force me to slow down and digest it and the illuminations will reinforce the thought. I'd like Genesis (or the Pentateuch) when it comes out, but doubt if all buy all the sections.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, this volume is fantastic - great color and the calligraphy is easy to read (something which is lacking in a lot of 'handwritten' works). There's been much good written about this volume already, so I won't rehash it all here.

However, I do have one (and only one) complaint about this volume. The binding is weak. I've looked at three different books and they all have the same poor binding.

Despite the binding, this book sill gets 5 stars from me. It's just too beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover
Outstanding illuminations - very spiritual. A must for anyone who wants to read the Bible with a renewed spirit!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Never will I forget the morning when I was packing for a pilgrimage to British cathedrals and abbeys and had the TODAY show on the bedroom tv as I worked. There was Donald Jackson, and there was his extraordinary rendering of the convoluted genealogy which opens Matthew's Gospel. Yes, it's a gorgeous, amazing piece of art in its own right, and this from a priest who once held a Gutenberg Bible in her bare hands in Germany. What struck me far more deeply was the intelligence, the heart, the soul, and the depth of the insights which had come together to empower the kind of prophetic, spiritual rendering he produced. I was stunned!

Since then I've told dozens about Mr. Jackson and his workshop in Wales, and I've gotten on board with St. John's Abbey as both a financial contributor and a newsletter recipient. Originally I didn't dare hope that the mss. would be made available in book form for "us mere mortals" to own. This one would definitely be on my proverbial "the 10 books I'd want if I were marooned on an island" list.
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