THE SAINT JOHN'S BIBLE, Wisdom Books. (NRSV). Handwritten and Illuminated by Donald Jackson. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2007. $69.95 hb 16 X 24. ISBN 978-0-8146-9055-0.
Reviewed by Shannon SCHREIN, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH 43560

As the third volume of The Saint Johnís Bible, Wisdom Books continues in the tradition of the books that have preceded it. Wisdom Books once again demonstrates the magnificent artistic skills of calligrapher Donald Jackson the artistic director and illuminator of the Saint John's Bible. He is a Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabethís Crown Office at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, and an elected Fellow and past Chairman of the prestigious Society of Scribes and Illuminators. This stunning volume is handwritten and beautifully illuminated with diverse images. The symbolism leaps from the page to capture the mind and the heart of the reader. Wisdom is not only personified in word, but in the creative splendor of Jacksonís imaginings. When the project is complete there will be seven superb volumes

It was through the vision of the monks of Saint Johnís Abbey and University that this work was specially made and brought to life. The purpose was ďto ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world by commissioning a work of art that illuminates the Word of God for a new millenniumĒ (Mission Statement of the St. Johnís Bible Commission). This incredible volume adds to the spectacular work of the artists of the Saint Johnís Bible, the first of its kind since the invention of the printing press. It provides readers today, who are accustomed to the wonders of the computer age, insight into the ancient world of the Scribes who for centuries worked painstakingly to bring the World of God to an educated few. Now all can appreciate not only the glorious gift of revelation that comes from the Spirit of God, but also the beauty of the words themselves brought to life by the pen and ink of those dedicated to this project. This volume in particular is a great spiritual gift, for it brings the words of the Prophets to life and sheds light on their meaning and relevance in toadyís world.

Every library, college and university will want to make these lovely volumes available to their patrons and students. Single pages of the volume are suitable for framing. Both the text and the illuminations effectively lift the mind and heart to meditate on the wonder of Godís gracious gift.

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