The health and safety of our community is our top priority. In accordance with Duke University, all docent tours of the Saint John’s Bible is cancelled until further notice. Find updates and the latest information on Duke’s Coronavirus Response website.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Duke Divinity School will host the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible to share an unprecedented work of spiritual art, giving students, faculty, and the community-at-large an intimate, hands-on experience of the Illuminated Word of God. Duke Divinity will showcase two leather-bound volumes: the Pentateuch and the Gospels/Acts.

Throughout the Spring 2020 semester, Duke Divinity will host

  • a docent-led tour of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible most Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:00-1:00pm in the Duke Divinity Library Methodist Reading Room
  • a series of in-depth workshops for students, faculty, and community members (check back regularly for schedule updates)
  • a free, public exhibition at Duke University Chapel of 25 framed pages from January 17 – March 8, 2020.

The docent sessions for Spring 2020 are listed below:

  • Wednesday, January 22 at 12pm, featuring “A Narrow Bridge: A Jewish Artist Reflects on The Saint John’s Bible” by Galia Goodman, The Saint John’s Bible docent
  • Wednesday, January 29 at 12pm
  • Thursday, February 13 at 12pm
  • Wednesday, February 19 at 12pm
  • Thursday, February 27 at 12pm

These sessions will all take place in the Methodist Reading Room in the Duke Divinity Library. All are welcome.

Workshops for Spring 2020 include:

A free, public exhibition at Duke University Chapel of 25 framed pages will take place from January 17 - March 8, 2020.

The Saint John's Bible is a singular achievement: the complete text of the Bible, written on calfskin vellum using traditional tools endings. As a work of sacred art, it ignites the spiritual imagination of all those who view its pages. It stands alone. However, the beauty, richness, and inspiration of The Saint John's Bible are not limited to those able to see the original pages in a museum setting.

Because of the Heritage Edition, a masterpiece in its own right, people around the world can experience The Saint John's Bible. Limited to 299 sets, the seven volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible are true to scale, beauty, and artistic intent of the original manuscript.

Donald Jackson directed the making of the Heritage Edition throughout the entire process to assure its fidelity to the original. The pages are printed using state-of-the-art offset lithographic printing technology from Heidelberg Corporation. The paper of the Heritage Edition is designed specifically for this project. The weight and feel of the bottom pages approximate that of the vellum used in the original manuscript. After printing, golden silver foils are applied using a series of stamping and embossing processes. In places where results cannot be achieved through mechanical means, Donald Jackson's studio manager, Sarah Harris, has hand treated the illuminations. Therefore, no two Heritage Edition sets are identical.

The volumes are bound--by hand--in a single piece of Italian calfskin leather and adorned with a solid silver clasp. The headbands are hand-sewn in Pakistan. Each volume is numbered by Donald Jackson and protected in a burgundy clamshell box.

In addition to the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible, Duke Divinity is displaying six illuminated pages--one from each of the six other Heritage Edition volumes. These illuminated pages include Creation (Genesis Frontispiece), Joshua Anthology, Praise of Wisdom, Psalm 1, Messianic Predictions, and Letter to the Seven Churches. The display is located in the exhibition space adjacent to the Divinity Bookstore.