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The Art of Saint John's Bible

A Reader's Guide to Pentateuch, Psalms, Gospels and Acts

Author(s): Susan Sink

ISBN13: 9780814690628

ISBN10: 0814690629

Publisher: Liturgical Press (1 July 2007)

Extent: 128 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm

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  • The Saint John's Bible provides an opportunity for people to experience the Scriptures in a new - but at the same time ancient - way. Here are illuminations that bring the words of the Bible alive for the contemporary world. Some of the world's top calligraphers, working in a tradition al but replaced by the printing press centuries ago, invite us into a rich and varied creation. The illuminations draw on and update Eastern iconographic and Western sacred art traditions, resulting in one of the most important sacred art achievements of our time.


    The Art of The Saint John's Bible: A Reader's Guide brings text and illumination together for reflection. This guide further opens up the significance of elements in the illuminations, and points out recurring visual motifs that connect the stories within and across the volumes. You will find here some of the history of the tradition of illuminated Bibles, as well as insight into the thought processes and artistic Vision behind the planning and execution of the images. The guide covers the first three published volumes of The Saint John's Bible, Pentateuch, Psalms,and Gospels and Acts. It includes information on the individual artists; an explanation of terms such as carpet pages and marginalia; an index of flora and fauna; and a chart of the chant tones used in Psalms. More importantly, it offers an invitation to experience the illuminations and the biblical text more deeply.


    This book features beautiful full color and black and white reproductions of more than 40 major artworks from the individual volumes and over two dozen reproductions of the minor elements (text treatments, marginalia, initials). It is the first book in a series of three, the second of which will feature the most recently released volumes, Prophets and Wisdom Books, while the third book will feature Historical Books and Letters and Revelation, the final volumes ofThe Saint John's Bible yet to be released.


    Susan Sink is a poet and writer, and is communications director at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is also an oblate of Saint John's Abbey and the author of a book of poems, The Way of al the Earth.

  • Susan Sink

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    Susan Sink offers her books as a starting place for a deeper experience of the images and text of The Saint John’s Bible. I believe she has eminently succeeded. She helps us to ask questions of ourselves and gives us some tools to find our own way without dictating ready-made answers. Finally she bids us God speed on our journey through the Scriptures.
     - Donald Jackson, Artistic Director of The Saint John’s Bible

    Every library on the planet should have a copy of this exquisite Guide—as well as the folio-sized reproductions of the Bible itself, of course.
     - Catholic Library World

    The Saint John’s Bible [has] contributions from some of the world’s top calligraphers. The illuminations within provide readers with a view into the time in which it was written and help point out recurring motifs that connect the stories within. . . . Seminary school libraries and larger university and public libraries with extended art history collections may want to add this inexpensive title as a supplemental volume in the reference collection.
     - American Reference Books Annual

    For those who have an interest in iconography, this book is a splendid introduction to a highly contemporary expression of that ancient tradition.
     - The Furrow

    Filled with unique insights into the planning, process, and people involved in the creation of the first handwritten, illuminated Bible of the modern era, this primer offers readers the opportunity to engage The Saint John’s Bible with a wealth of background information for a richer experience of the text and illuminations.
     - Interpretation

    Featuring rich color photography, The Art of the Saint John’s Bible: A Reader’s Guide to Pentateuch, Psalms, Gospels and Acts, is a beautiful tour of illuminated Biblical text in the first three published volumes of The Saint John’s Bible: Pentateuch, Psalms, and Gospels and Acts. The text examines specific illuminations with all the fine attention to detail, history, and context worthy of museum pieces, while the copious color pictures reveal the wondrous detail of visual elements and textual treatments. Highly recommended for church libraries as an aide to more deeply experiencing and understanding illuminated biblical text.
     - Midwest Book Review

    Those who have had the experience of seeing the traveling exhibit of the magnificent Saint John’s Bible realize what an artistic and religious triumph it is. . . . This book helps the reader appreciate some of the inspiration and spirituality behind the art that illumines the Bible.
     - The Bible Today

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The Art of Saint John's Bible

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