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The Saint John's Bible at Marian University

The Saint John's Bible Initiative

The purpose of the Saint John’s Bible initiative is to cultivate a renewed embrace of the Word of God through Christian scripture, as viewed through a contemporary lens. The Saint John’s Bible will serve as the inspiration for fostering artistic, scientific, and spiritual inquiry on campus, prompting constructive conversations with people of diverse faiths, and promoting social justice. The Saint John’s Bible initiative will offer opportunities for the Marian University community and its neighboring communities to reflect on the various ways in which we relate to God, our world, and ourselves today.

The Saint John's Bible is a handwritten, illuminated reproduction of the Bible, according to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation. Envisioned by master calligrapher Donald Jackson and his team of artists, the seven volume reproduction was officially undertaken by Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota during the mid-1990s and completed in 2007. The original folios currently remain unbound and on display at Saint John's University. The stated mission of The Saint John’s Bible is to ignite the spiritual imagination of people around the world of all faith journeys.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Marian University will host a Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible, specifically the Gospels and Acts volume. The Heritage Edition is a faithful reproduction of the original folios, hand-bound and embossed. It is the edition that Donald Jackson intended for public viewing and display.  More about the Heritage Edition can be read here. This project was made possible from a gift by donors Ed and Peggy Bonach.

If you are interested in viewing the Saint John's Bible, scheduling it for use in class, or would like more information please contact us at