I was privileged to visit St. John’s University in June of 2009 and spending several hours before the New Testament volumes of the SJB, housed at the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library (HMML). My own experience is echoed in the words of Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, the Chair of the CIT, “The illuminations are not illustrations. They are spiritual meditations on a text. It is a very Benedictine approach to the Scriptures.”
The Saint John’s Bible is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery in over 500 years. The project was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University in 1998, it is being created by Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.