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The Saint John's Bible: Wisdom Books [Hardcover]

By Donald Jackson (Editor)
Our Price $ 55.21  
Retail Value $ 64.95  
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Item Number 139128  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   136
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 15.25" Width: 10" Height: 0.75"
Weight:   3.56 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814690556  
EAN  9780814690550  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"A full-color reproduction of the handwritten and illuminated work, The Saint John's Bible, in seven volumes"--Provided by publisher.

Publishers Description

"Wisdom Books," the fifth volume of "The Saint John's Bible" to be released, includes some of the Old Testament's literary masterpieces, including Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs. Also in this volume is the much-loved book of Job and two Old Testament works including the Wisdom of Solomon, which was originally written in Greek, and Sirach, which comes to us from the Greek tradition. "Wisdom Books" continues the work of earlier volumes, with a script created by calligrapher Donald Jackson specifically for this project. Artists that will be familiar to readers, Thomas Ingmire, Suzanne Moore, Chris Tomlin, and Sally Mae Joseph, are joined by new contributing artist Diane M. von Arx to bring light 'that is, illumination 'to the text. And the images are not to be missed. There are over fifteen large illuminations, among them the spectacular frontispiece for Ecclesiastes and another titled Creative Wisdom. Additionally, to recognize the team of calligraphers that have bonded during six years of work and to capitalize on the aphoristic nature of these books, there is a special emphasis on text treatments. As you spend time with "Wisdom Books," you will find yourself treasuring both the words and the images in your heart.

The Wisdom books exemplify the practical spirituality of the people of Israel. Using story, poetry, and aphorisms, the books collect practical wisdom to help guide people in how to live 'faithful to God, with praise and thankfulness, walking in ways that are upright. The profoundly moving story of Job asks how a good person can suffer if God is just. The Song of Solomon, long read as an allegorical love poem between God and the chosen people of Israel, or as Christ and the church, takes us beyond the commands of the prophets and lessons of history. It steps back from Israel's struggle to be faithful to the Lord and concentrates on the loving relationship between the Lord and the Beloved. Sirach and Proverbs, along with Psalms, are quoted throughout the Rule of St. Benedict. Like the Rule, their pages are filled with wisdom for how to live a godly life. "The Saint John's Bible" volume "Wisdom Books" draws out these themes 'wisdom as a female figure, use of Proverbs in the Rule of St. Benedict, and God's love for us. If we today want to live wisely, we would do well to look to this beautifully illuminated collection of ancient texts.

"Donald Jackson is one of the world's leading calligraphers and the artistic director and illuminator of "The Saint John's Bible." He is a Senior Illuminator to the Queen of England's Crown Office and is an elected Fellow and past Chairman of the prestigious Society of Scribes and Illuminators. His 30-year retrospective exhibition, "Painting with Words," premiered at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in August, 1988 and traveled to 13 museums and galleries. "

"The launch of a national museum tour of the "The Saint John's Bible" began at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota in April 2005 where record crowds greeted the inaugural exhibit during its three-month run. "The Saint John's Bible" will continue its national exhibition tour that includes museums and galleries from throughout the United States and Europe including The Tyler Museum of Art in Tyler, Texas, June8-September 3, 2006; The Museum of Biblical Art in New York, New York, September 6-November 26; The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., October 6-December 15, 2006; The Naples Museum of Art in Naples, Florida, January 26-April 16, 2007; The Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, December 21, 2007-March 7, 2008; and The Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, October 10, 2008-April 10, 2009. "

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More About Donald Jackson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! An internationally respected calligrapher, Donald Jackson is the artistic director and illuminator of "The Saint John's Bible". He is a Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Crown Office at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, a position in which he is responsible for the creation of official state documents. He is an elected Fellow and past Chairman of the prestigious Society of Scribes and Illuminators. His 30-year retrospective exhibition, Painting with Words, premiered at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August, 1988 and traveled to 13 museums and galleries. Donald Jackson works with a team of theologians and artists from Saint John's University and Abbey on "The Saint John's Bible". From his scriptorium in Wales, he oversees scribes, artists, and craftsmen who work with him on the handwriting and illumination of the seven-volume, 1,150-page Bible.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
outstanding project inspired by medieval illuminated texts  Dec 16, 2007
Scribe to the Crown Office of British royalty, Jackson has undertaken a long-term project of illuminating and transcribing the Saint John's Bible held at the Benedictine Saint John's Abbey in Minnesota as medieval monastics illuminated Bibles centuries ago. The monks of the Abbey wanted a project that would bespeak their own regimen focusing in scripture, books, and religious art while at the same time be contemporary, interreligious, multicultural, and prophetic. This Wisdom Books counting Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach is part of this singular project of 1,150 pages over seven volumes. The other volumes are Pantateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels and Acts, and Letters and Revelation.

Besides being large in size, Jackson's volumes stay true to the making of the original illuminated manuscripts in both materials used and craftsmanship. Natural materials such as egg shells and calf skins were used for hand-ground inks. The manuscripts were entirely handmade by teams of craftspersons with various skills such as calligraphy, making parchment, and binding pages. This Wisdom Books goes so far in imitating medieval manuscripts as to also have some illustrations of small animals in the margins; in this case, a butterfly and bumblebee. One of the common examples of this touch in medieval manuscripts is an illustration of a cat; imagined to be whimsically put in by a monk in a moment of boredom with his task. Collaborators on this work include artists, designers, and specialists in Hebrew and Greek script (all listed on the copyright page).

Despite its inspiration in the medieval manuscripts which are treasures of Western civilization and reference to them as artistic models, the Wisdom Books is modern to be sure. The style of the illustrations manifests this, as does the script and footnote-like entries on many pages. And of course, this and other Saint John's Bible volumes have been multiplied beyond their original hand-crafted copy by modern-day publishing production technology.

In the volume, the original hand-drawn script, whatever size it was, is about twelve point type, much smaller than the size in medieval texts. The script displays the constrained ornate touches of medieval script, though it has the polish of many computer-generated scripts for easy legibility and comprehension. The smaller size of the script means much more text per page than in a medieval manuscript even with the folio-size pages. The illustrations--i. e., the illuminations--too manifest modern influences; most notably influences of collage, expressionism, and graphics. A couple are almost psychedelic in meaning to portray the dazzle and glory of spirituality. A couple have perspective missing from medieval illustrations (perspective having come into art not until about the time of the Renaissance). The planned volume on the making of the Bible will give more background on the making of the text and artistic choices and intentions of the art work.
Great for any serious book collector.  Nov 21, 2007
Beautiful! Gorgeous to hold and read and reflect on.
Arguably the most beautiful book published in the past 50 years.

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