Mary E. Klassen
When adults read the Bible, they usually see only black letters on white pages, but the Saint John’s Bible, featured in an exhibit at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, brings vibrant colors, artistic imagination and hand-crafted beauty to the sacred Scriptures.
From September 1 to 18, AMBS is hosting an exhibit from the Saint John’s Bible, consisting of 20 high-quality reproductions of the hand-written and illustrated pages.
The Saint John’s Bible combines the contemporary artistic vision and skills with the ancient crafts of calligraphy and illumination of Scripture. As the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 500 years, it is the culmination of a ten-year effort by Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., to mark the turn of the century.
AMBS is displaying the selected prints in its gallery and library on the campus at 3003 Benham Avenue. The exhibit is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays, 9 am to 9 pm; and Fridays, 9 am to 6 pm. In addition, the exhibit will be open one Sunday afternoon, Sept. 13, from 2 to 6 pm.
“As a school that seriously studies the Bible, seeking to discern its meaning and guidance for our time, AMBS is privileged to have this exhibit on its campus,” Rebecca Slough, academic dean, said. “We pray that all who spend time reading each biblical passage and looking with curiosity and patience at the prints will find inspiration and a deeper connection with God.”
Included in the exhibit are prints illuminating the stories of creation, Jacob’s ladder, the Ten Commandments, the life of the Apostle Paul, the birth of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost.
The significance of this exhibit, according to Slough, is that people have opportunities to see new meanings in the biblical texts. “Passages from the Bible hold many meanings that work together revealing the freshness of God’s word.
hen we hear or read the words of scripture we sometimes miss how these meanings might work together. The Saint John’s Bible prints help us see new dimensions of the selected Scriptures. They inspire us to wonder and to pray.
There is no fee to see the exhibit. The bookstore at AMBS has items, such as greeting cards with Saint John’s Bible illustrations, for sale.