The Scribe

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Winter 2010


The Newsletter of the Heritage Edition–The Full-Size Reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible

St. Catherine University Celebrates Advent and the Arrival of the Heritage Edition


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Photo: Richard Marshall courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

t. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., has received a limited, fine art edition of The Saint John’s Bible. Three of the seven Heritage Edition volumes — Wisdom Books, Prophets and Psalms — were presented as part of the university’s annual Advent Vespers Service on Thursday, Dec. 10. Lois and John Rogers generously donated The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition to St. Catherine University. Lois Rogers graduated from St. Catherine in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Lois Rogers carries the Prophets volume to be displayed in front of Our Lady of Victory Chapel.

University of St. Thomas Receives Gift of the Heritage Edition

T Photo: Mike Ekern, University of St. Thomas

he University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., received a rare, fine art edition of The Saint John’s Bible from Saint John’s University. The Heritage Edition is a gift made possible by Robert Ulrich on behalf of Target Corp. Ulrich, Target’s former chairman and chief executive officer, is a member of St. Thomas’ Board of Trustees. Ulrich and Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB, president of Saint John’s University, presented the Bible to Fr. Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, on Aug. 27. continued on page 2 (l to r) of Fr. Dennis Dease, Robert Ulrich, Fr. Robert Koopmann,OSB, and John Pellegrene.

St. Thomas, continued from page 1

The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition has been presented to educational, religious, art and cultural centers around the world. Nearly a dozen institutions have received these editions, each displaying and sharing them within their communities in different fashions. To see photos and learn more, visit and click on Heritage Program and Follow the Journey. The Vatican St Martin-in-the-Fields Cathedral of Christ the Light The Naples Museum of Art Clarke College John Carroll University Regis University Santa Clara University St. Catherine University University of St. Thomas


a major in English. John Rogers graduated from Saint John’s University in 1963. Lois has served on the Saint John’s Board of Regents and the board of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at Saint John’s University, which oversees the creation of the Bible. “This is a gift of immeasurable proportions,” said Abbot John Klassen, OSB, “We couldn’t be more pleased to present this ‘holy splendor’ to St. Catherine’s.” The Advent Vespers Service, attended by alumni and friends of St. Catherine, included readings from the three volumes, liturgical dance by students, staff and members of the Saint Paul City Ballet, and music by the St. Catherine University Vespers Choir and Musicians. Each volume was led in by a procession of dancers and Bible bearers including Rogers who carried the Prophets volume to display in front of Our Lady of Victory Chapel. The gift arrives at the university following a well-attended exhibition of special prints from The Saint John’s Bible in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery on the St. Paul campus in 2008. To see more, visit St. Catherine University at news_events.nsf/stories/saintjohn_bible.

The Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible will be housed in the Department of Special Collections at St. Thomas’ O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center, which also owns a rare facsimile edition of another famous illuminated manuscript, the eighth-century Book of Kells. “We are so grateful for this internationally renowned work of art that will be treasured by our campus community for years to come,” Dease said. “For a library to have an example of calligraphy and illumination of this quality is very exciting,” added Daniel Gjelten, director of university libraries at St. Thomas. “At a time when the content of the library is becoming increasingly digital, when reading has become an activity requiring monitors, displays and screens, receiving a manuscript like this is a beautiful reminder of the very best of the book-making art. … We will care for and preserve The Saint John’s Bible for generations to come.”

Photo: Mike Ekern, University of St. Thomas

Photo: Richard Marshall ccourtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

St. Catherine, continued from page 1

Fr. John Malone, vice president for mission and member of the board of trustees at the University of St. Thomas, views Ecclesiastes Frontispiece from the Wisdom Books volume.

Photo: Craig Bruner

Diane von Arx, illuminator of The Saint John’s Bible, participated in Women of Wisdom conference at Clarke College. A print exhibition (shown behind von Arx) was part of the conference and exhibition.

Clarke College Presents Heritage Edition at Conference


s a part of the Women of Wisdom Conference hosted by Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, the Heritage Edition was exhibited through Dec. 6 in a dedicated gallery space. The gallery space is in the R.C. & Celeste Wahlert Atrium located in the heart of the 55-acre campus. Prints from Wisdom Books, Prophets and Psalms, and Clarke’s Heritage Edition’s

Wisdom Books and Prophets volumes, provided inspiration for the conference. The opening presentation on Nov. 1 featured Diane von Arx, illuminator, graphic artist and calligrapher. Diane spoke of her involvement in the creation of original images in The Saint John’s Bible Wisdom Books, and her work in the Heritage Edition.

Clarke College, which has a long history in the book arts, is one of nearly a dozen institutions to receive the Heritage Edition since the first volume was presented to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in April 2008.

Heritage Edition on Exhibit at Naples Museum of Art Photo: courtesy of Naples Museum of Art


Prophets and Wisdom Books volumes on display at the Naples Museum of Art.

he Saint John’s Bible and the Art of the Book” is on exhibit at the Naples Museum of Art until June 30, 2010. In addition to presenting for the first time the two Heritage Edition copies of the Bible, an extensive variety of the art of calligraphy, book-making and illustration is also exhibited. The Naples Museum of Art has received for its permanent collection the Wisdom Books volume and the Prophets volume of The Saint John’s Bible. The museum will receive the remaining volumes of the Heritage Edition set as they are produced. The gift of this fine art reproduction was made possible by Gene and Mary Frey. The Naples Museum of Art is exhibiting other contemporary calligraphy along with the Heritage Edition volumes to introduce and inform the public about the subject of calligraphy and book art. To see more, visit and click on “See the Bible.”


noted and celebrated

Follow the Journey on the Web


ou can “Follow the Journey” of the Heritage Edition by visiting the Heritage Edition’s Web site at There you will see the Heritage Edition in presentations and on display at churches, cathedrals, colleges, universities, libraries and museums from around the world.

Web Site Named Best in the Industry


he Saint John’s Bible new Web site received the Web Marketing Association’s 2009 WebAward for Arts Standard of Excellence. Larsen Design, a Minneapolis-based design firm, received the award at the association’s annual competition for its design work on the site. Independent expert judges from around the world reviewed sites in 96 industries. The best are recognized with a WebAward. The Web Marketing Association’s WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for Web developers and marketers worldwide.

We Are Now on Facebook


he Saint John’s Bible has a Facebook page which is regularly updated with inside information on Donald Jackson's work at the scriptorium, the latest Heritage Edition news, videos, new products and special offers. Interested in learning more about Historical Books and the new illuminations? We have posted new video clips that feature Tim Ternes, director of The Saint John’s Bible, presenting and explaining some of the imagery behind the illuminations. Want to learn about The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in the Twin Cities? Sign up today. It’s safe, easy and a great way to keep track of The Saint John’s Bible.

Three Volumes Displayed at World’s Largest Book Fair


Photo: Craig Bruner


n early October, Craig Bruner from the Heritage Program, and Connie Carlson from Liturgical Press attended the five-day Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. Taking three volumes of the Heritage Edition with them — only one volume was exhibited last year — their primary goals were to develop a representative network for the Heritage Edition in Europe, foster new licensing opportunities for the products of The Saint John’s Bible, and nurture relationships with contacts made at last year’s fair. “Having three volumes on display at the fair made the Heritage Edition and The Saint John’s Bible real to many people who saw the single volume on display last year and helped us to begin new relationships in Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said Craig Bruner. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest book fair in the world, hosting 290,000 visitors over five days each October.

Three Heritage Edition volumes on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Saint John’s University Heritage Program PO Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321




POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADDRESSEE The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY p.o. box 7222 collegeville, mn 56321-9973

The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition We welcome the opportunity for private showings of the Heritage Edition in personal meetings or small gatherings of family, friends and associates. Please indicate your interest using the options below:

q Please contact me to learn more about the Heritage Edition. q Please contact me about a possible referral for the Heritage Edition. q Please add me to the Heritage Edition mailing list. Name ____________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City_________________________________________State__________Zip____________________ Phone _____________________________Email Address ___________________________________ For more information, contact Jim Triggs, executive director of the Heritage Program, Saint John’s University, 320.363.3209 or

noted and celebrated

BBC 4 Sunday Worship Features Heritage Edition

Fine Art Award Recognizes Book’s Excellence


200 Year-Old Biblical Society Views New Bible


ith a history that includes John Quincy Adams and other notable founders, the Massachusetts Bible Society was the perfect organization to learn the story of The Saint John’s Bible. The society is a 200 year-old Christian organization that exists to promote biblical literacy, understanding and dialogue and is committed to bringing members the many voices of scriptural interpretation. Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB, senior associate director of arts and culture for Saint John’s University, and Jim Triggs, executive director of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Guests view pages of the Prophets volume. Program, presented to the Massachusetts Bible Society at Salem Covenant Church in Worcester, Mass., on Dec. 3.

Photo: Mike Nyman Photography

Photo: Rev. Canon Dr. James M. Rosenthal


BC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship was broadcasted live on Oct. 26 at St Martin-inthe-Fields on Trafalgar Square in London. The broadcast, “A Word in Season – Sunday Worship for Bible Sunday,” featured The Saint John’s Bible. Rev. Nick Holtam, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, spoke of the Heritage Edition that was presented to St Martinin-the-Fields on June 14: “In front of me is the most beautiful book … given to St Martin’s by the Roman Catholic Benedictine community at Saint John’s (Abbey) at Collegeville in Donald Jackson presents at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Minnesota in the United States.” Describing its arrival in London, Rev. Holtam explained: “What we have been given is a beautiful facsimile of the original of what will become a seven-volume Bible. It’s a limited edition and so far this is the only one in the United Kingdom.” The program was broadcasted to 1.6 million BBC 4 listeners.

he Heritage Edition’s Prophets volume received the 2009 Gold Ink Award in the area of Fine Art Lithography. Widely recognized as the print industry’s most prestigious event, the 2009 Gold Ink Awards received more than 1,000 entries across 45 competitive categories. The John Roberts Co., the Minneapolis-based printer of the Heritage Edition, entered the competition and was recognized along with Heidelberg, Monadnock Paper and Ink Systems for producing this award-winning book. “We are continually in awe of the superior work done by those publishers and printers who continue to produce the finest print products in the world, and we look forward to celebrating their excellence for many more years,” said Mark Hertzog, vice president/group publisher of Book Business and Publishing Executive, which run the Gold Ink Awards. Now in its 22nd year, the Gold Ink Awards competition has earned the respect of the industry’s most important producers of printed work. 5

Q& A

Abbot John Klassen, OSB, and the Heritage Edition Between international travels and Advent and Christmas preparations at Saint John’s Abbey, we caught up with Abbot John Klassen, OSB, to ask him about his experiences with the Heritage Edition.


You have participated in a number of ceremonies where the Heritage Edition is presented as a gift to an institution. How do those in attendance react to the Heritage Edition when they see it for the first time? As abbot I have been very fortunate to have been part of the presentation of the Heritage Edition to Pope Benedict XVI, to the Oakland Diocese, to Archbishop Harry Flynn, to St Martin-in-the-Fields and to St. Catherine University. Though very different in circumstance, in each case, there was a profound sense of gratitude for the gift of the Heritage Edition, an appreciation of the magnitude of the work and creativity that have gone into the project. People from widely different educational and professional backgrounds were in awe of the beauty of both the text and the illuminations, and the comprehensive vision that is operative in them. Pope Benedict paged through the Wisdom Books volume and spoke with the highest praise: “This is a work of art, a great work of art ... a work for eternity.” Other viewers look, look, and look again, gradually absorbing the layers of meaning.


What is your perspective on the role of the Heritage Edition vis a vis the original manuscript as the fine art reproduction is now being displayed around the world?


I am amazed and gratified at the quality of the Heritage Edition. The attention to detail, the quality of the reproduction, and the


Photo: Jose Aguire


Abbot John Klassen, OSB, blesses the Wisdom Books volume at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, Calif.

re-creation of the sheen and reflective character of the silver and gold leaf in the original, and the exquisite binding, make this itself a work of art. For us as an abbey, the Heritage Edition is also practical because we can readily use it in Liturgy of the Hours or Eucharist for special occasions. I have to be honest and acknowledge that I had no idea as to what would be involved in the production of these volumes. “High-end facsimile” was a phrase that I became skilled at saying, without a detailed sense of the skilled printers and the printing technology essential to achieving this level of excellence. The production of these volumes will set the standard for reproductions for years to come.


The Saint John’s Bible is a monumental project both literally and figuratively. How has this endeavor changed the abbey and the university?


At a recent meeting with many key players around the Bible project, the question was posed: “If we had known how difficult and challenging this project would be, would we have done it?” My quipped response to that question was, “Under those conditions, would anybody get married, or become a monk, again!” And the answer is, without much reflection, a resounding “yes!” The Bible has challenged Saint John’s at every level of the organization: our ability to raise money, to have resilience and patience in the face of so many unknowns, to change course when circumstances required it, to build effective communication systems between different parts of Saint John’s and to make sure that decision lines were clear, and the list goes on. All of this is apart from the issue of making sure that the resulting handwritten Bible is a stunning work of biblical scholarship and art, able to draw many people into the biblical world.

production notes

Production and Delivery in Full Swing on Four Volumes he summer and fall months were a busy time in the Heritage program with the delivery of the Wisdom volumes and the production of the Psalms volumes. In other production news, Donald Jackson, the artistic director, and Sarah Harris, his studio manager, were in the states in early August, working on various phases of the project. Their first stop was in Phoenix, Ariz., to review Psalms binding prototypes at Roswell Bookbinding. Their goal was to see where the binding could be modified to meet the needs of a slimmer volume. Headbands and a few minor things, like the amount of heat to apply to the cover deboss to get the correct look of the cover, were also decided. Donald plans to approve the binding for Psalms, which is a critical step toward the goal of delivering Psalms volumes in January and February of 2010.

Donald Jackson and embosser Dave McIntosh during a press check at The John Roberts Company.

Mr. Jackson and Ms. Harris then flew to Minneapolis to review the color and silver and gold treatments for the Pentateuch volume of the Heritage Program at The John Roberts Company, printer for the Heritage Edition. Pentateuch is scheduled for delivery in mid-2010. According to Craig Bruner, director of operations, the printing of Pentateuch went very well. “With the help of advanced profiling software from

Heidelberg Corporation, print quality has been further optimized and the printing of Pentateuch was completed in early October,� said Bruner. Folios from Pentateuch that have received their gold and silver treatments at McIntosh Embossing are returning to The John Roberts Company for final inspection. The first binding prototype for Pentateuch is being created.

Photos: Craig Bruner


The original Death of Moses, on the right, is being compared to a Heritage Edition press sheet during a press check at The John Roberts Company.


Saint John’s University

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Saint John’s Univ.

Heritage Program PO Box 7222 Collegeville, MN 56321

Exhibition Opens March 12

The Dead Sea Scrolls and The Saint John’s Bible When The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition makes its debut at the Science Museum of Minnesota on March 12, 2010, it will include a gallery devoted to The Saint John’s Bible. Displaying the original folios from The Saint John’s Bible, which is the world’s newest hand-scribed Bible, provides a compelling juxtaposition with the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are the oldest hand-written biblical manuscript by 2,000 years. “We’re thrilled to include The Saint John’s Bible in our exhibition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the The Dead Sea Scrolls,” said Mike Day, senior vice president of museum original folios making a debut in the enterprises at the Science Museum of Minnesota. “Many of the same Twin Cities at the Dead Sea Scrolls techniques used to transcribe the Dead Sea Scrolls more than 2,000 years ago exhibition. are still being used today on The Saint John’s Bible. At the same time, The Saint Image credit: Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2006, The John’s Bible is an extremely meaningful example of a biblical manuscript for Saint John’s Bible, Hill Museum & today’s contemporary world.” Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA Making their Twin Cities debut, the exhibition at the Science Museum will include original folios, or individual vellum pages, from Prophets and Wisdom This scroll fragment depicts Genesis Books. Neither of these volumes have been displayed in the Twin Cities before. 48: 8-10, which describes the patriarch “The Saint John’s Bible makes a statement about faith, as well as the Jacob and his blessing of Joseph's sons, importance of art and imagination,” said Tim Ternes, director of The Saint John’s Ephraim and Manasseh. This scroll was found in Cave 4. It is dated to the Bible. “We are pleased to share our work and introduce new elements of the first century BCE. project to Twin Cities audiences through this exhibition.” Image courtesy of the Israel For more information on tickets and visiting the Science Museum, visit Antiquities Authority. or

To see a complete listing of Saint John’s Bible events, visit and click on “See the Bible.”

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