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Clarke Announces Gift of Limited Edition Saint John’s Bible

posted on April 3, 2007

Clarke College President Joanne M. Burrows, SC, Ph.D. is pleased to announce that through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the College has been given a limited Heritage Edition of the world-renowned Saint John’s Bible.

The College currently has a few sample pages of the hand-scribed version, which is initially worth approximately $115,000. The samples were presented at a reception announcing the gift on April 3.

The Heritage Edition is a completely handwritten and illustrated re-creation of the original Saint John’s Bible. Only 360 will be created, immediately making the book a rare treasure. In the next year or so, Clarke will receive the first complete volume of the seven total volumes in the edition. Approximately every six months thereafter, the College will receive additional volumes, with the total set containing 1,150 pages.

“The Saint John’s Bible is a significant representation of the Word of God and a compelling work of art,” said Burrows. “This rare gift to Clarke will serve as a testament to our Catholic heritage and it will be a source of pride for the College and our community.” The College plans to exhibit the Bible as volumes are received and is planning a speaker series to accompany each volume’s arrival.

In the 8th Century, near what are now Scotland and England, Benedictine monastic scribes created a Bible that today is one of the longest surviving monumental manuscripts in the Western world. 

Nearly 1,300 years later, renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson approached the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s College and Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, with his life-long dream: to create the first handwritten, illuminated bible commissioned since the invention of the printing press.  This edition uses ancient materials and techniques to create a contemporary masterpiece that brings the Word of God to life for the contemporary world.

Jackson’s original Saint John’s Bible was officially commissioned in 1998, introduced to the public in 1999 and is scheduled to be completed in 2008. The original, costing approximately $4.5 million to produce, uses the text of the New Revised Standard Version.

For more information, contact the Clarke College Public Relations Office at (563)588-6318.

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