An illuminated, handwritten version of the Bible recently took 13 years to complete. You won’t believe how much it cost!
The invention of the printing press made it possible for every person to own a Bible (if they so wished), but it also brought an end to the art of hand-writing the important book.
Or so everybody thought! On 19 October 2011, a handwritten, illuminated Bible, named the St. John's Bible, was unveiled.
It was handwritten by world-renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson. St. John's University in Minnesota commissioned the Bible in 1998. It took 13 years to complete and the very last word was written in 2011.
It contains 1,150 pages and weighs 165 pounds! When opened, it measures two-feet tall by three-feet wide and it will be bound in seven volumes. Every single one of the 775,000 words was carefully handwritten in 130 year old Chinese ink dispensed through quills made of goose, turkey and swan feathers.
Will the younger generation be able to appreciate the magnitude of his work? Donald believes anybody could appreciate it because, as he puts it, a quill is a delicate instrument and picks up every movement and breath of the writer. "I just do believe that on one level, people pick up on that energy," said Jackson.
The handwritten Bible cost St. John's Abbey $8 million, but Abbot John Klassen seems very happy: "It has far surpassed what any of us ever imagined in our most optimum moments!"