Tag Archives: Saint John’s Bible

Christmas Illumination from the Saint John’s Bible on Display in Payson

The new Saint John’s Bible display in the Payson Library lobby is currently featuring an illumination of a nativity scene, from the first page of the book of Luke. The nativity scene shows a manger surrounded by animals in front, Mary and Joseph to the right, and the shepherds and townspeople on the left. A beam of light connects the manger upwards towards heaven. The angels intersect this beam to form a gold cross, reminding us that the reason for Christ’s birth was to be fulfilled with the crucifixion and resurrection. You can see the illumination online here, or visit Payson Library to see it in person.

The Saint John’s Bible is a work of sacred art that unites an ancient Christian tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium. In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce the hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. The Heritage Edition, on display in Payson Library, is a fine-art reproduction of the original with the mission of igniting the spiritual imagination of people on all faith journeys. Pepperdine University Libraries embraced this mission by acquiring this Bible for the University in honor of its 75th anniversary. One volume will remain on display in the Payson Library lobby, while the others are available for viewing in Special Collections. Please contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu for more information.

Volume Three of the Saint John’s Bible Arrives at the Library

The Wisdom Books volume of the Saint John’s Bible arrived at Payson Library this week. Third in a set of seven volumes, this volume includes the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach. Women are celebrated in many of the illuminations throughout this volume, which highlights the feminine nature of wisdom. Images and themes from Creation are also brought back in this volume.

This volume joins two others already at Payson: Psalms and Pentateuch. The library will be receiving the other four volumes as they are completed.

You can see this volume online here. Better yet, come to the library and see the real thing! The volume is in the Special Collections Reading Room on the upper level of Payson Library. Stop by or contact Melissa Nykanen to see it: Melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu, (310) 506-4434.

Top Photo: Ecclesiastes, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2006, The Saint John’s Bible and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.
Bottom Photo: Librarians enjoy viewing the Wisdom Books volume at Payson.

Pepperdine University Libraries Shares Saint John’s Bible with Local Legatus Group

The Pepperdine University Libraries team recently had the pleasure of sharing the Saint John’s Bible with 62 members of the West LA chapter of Legatus, a nationwide organization that supports top-ranking Catholic business leaders and their spouses in the three areas of faith, family, and business.

At the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica, Pepperdine University Associate Vice Chancellor Sam Lagana shared the story of university founder George Pepperdine’s business and spiritual leadership that led him to found the college, drawing connections between George Pepperdine and the Legatus members. Dean of Libraries Mark Roosa discussed the decision to acquire the Saint John’s Bible as one of the ways the Pepperdine University Libraries supports the mission and heritage of the university.

Finally, Head of Special Collections and Archives Melissa Nykanen introduced the Saint John’s Bible project from the perspectives of book history and sacred art. The Legatus guests were then able to spend time exploring the Saint John’s Bible up close, turning pages, and hearing stories behind each of the art illuminations.

The Saint John’s Bible is a completely hand-written, hand-illuminated manuscript Bible that has been commissioned by the Saint John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota. Although the artists and calligraphers working on the Bible utilized medieval tools and techniques, including quill pens and hand-mixed inks, the Saint John’s Bible is a Bible for the 21st century, with the mission of igniting the spiritual imagination of people around the world.

Pepperdine University Libraries are acquiring the seven-volume Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible as a gift to the university in its 75th anniversary year. The Bible is available for visits by classes or others. A series of prints from the Saint John’s Bible is currently on display in the Payson Library gallery. Please contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu for more information.

Top Photo: Courtesy of Sam Lagana
Bottom Photo: Copyright © Terry Anderson Photography