Experience the Word Come to Life

A Presentation of The Saint John’s Bible

February 12–14, 2019

Psalm 107 (detail), Donald Jackson and Sally Mae Joseph, Copyright 2004, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.saintjohnsbible.org

“One of the extraordinary undertakings of our time.” —Smithsonian Magazine

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in over 500 years. Its hand-written lettering and stunning artworks truly present the Word of God in an engaging and inspirational way. Discover the beauty and splendor of The Saint John’s Bible at a captivating and lively presentation which shares the story behind this once-in-a-millennium undertaking and showcases some of the many artworks in this world-renowned project.

Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible Project, will be bringing large-size prints of the art for an exhibit at Binghamton University’s Art Museum, and will be telling the story, teaching about the process, and leading us in visio divina (experiencing the word visually) in this special 3-day event, presented by the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton in partnership with Binghamton University.

A vast illuminated manuscript, The Saint John’s Bible, was commissioned by Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, from the contemporary scribe and illuminator, Donald Jackson. Mr. Jackson was the artistic director and led a team of calligraphers and artists in writing and illuminating the Bible at his scriptorium in Wales. The team was made up of skilled scribes, some who worked at the scriptorium and others who took pages of vellum back to their own studios. They met at regular intervals to hold together the weight, texture, and appearance of the script. The Saint John’s Bible also incorporated art works from several “guest artists” selected by Mr. Jackson.


Creation, Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin, Copyright 2003, The Saint John’s Bible, Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.

Public lecture on the art of Creation, the Psalms, and Ezekiel’s Valley of the Dry Bones

  • Tuesday, February 12, 6:30–8pm at the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton
  • ~or~ Thursday, February 14, 5–6:30pm at the Binghamton University Art Museum

A reception with beverages and light snacks will precede the lecture on Tuesday evening, starting at 5:45pm.


The Garden of Eden, Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin, Copyright 2003, The Saint John’s Bible and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sally Mae Joseph applies gesso over a frisket stencil in preparation for the gilding of the small squares and rectangles which appear throughout the book of Psalms. Once the gesso has dried and the gold has been laid and burnished, the frisket is pulled away, leaving perfectly sharp edges. This new technique gives Sally tremendous control gilding the geometric shapes.


Photograph: Copyright Derek Evan, HUW Evans Agency, Cardiff, Wales.

Day of Immersion

Wednesday, February 13, 10am–4pm at the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton

[ Click to RSVP ]

10:00 Opening Prayer

10:30–12:30 Morning Presentation — From Inspiration to Illumination, an Introduction to The Saint John’s Bible

12:35–1:20 Lunch

1:25–3:25 Afternoon Session — Visio Divina, Sacred Seeing

3:30 Closing Prayer


Ecclesiastes, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2006, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.