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St. John's Bible - Truett Course Guide


The Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition is housed in Moody Library and volumes are available to view by appointment.

Baylor University's purchase of this beautiful work supports community outreach events, teaching, research, and inspiration in partnership with colleagues from St. John's University.  St. John's has given Baylor Libraries permission to post images from the Saint John's Bible online - this is a rare opportunity, please ensure you appropriately cite images if used in your class assignments. 


The Saint John’s Bible (Original)

  • commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University and directed by Donald Jackson
  • 1st illuminated, handwritten Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years
  • began work in 1998, ink to vellum started in 2001 – completed in 2011
  • New Revised Standard Version
  • 7 volumes
  • 160 illuminations
  • 8-12 hours to write each page of script
  • traditional materials: vellum (calfskin), ancient inks, gold, palladium, and platinum (no silver because it would tarnish and degrade vellum), and written with quill pens fashioned from goose, turkey and swan feathers

The Heritage Edition (in Baylor's collection)

  • an extension of the original work; full-size, limited, signed and numbered fine art edition
  • bound by hand in Italian leather, headbands are handsewn in Pakistan
  • binding of each volume hand-sewn with linen thread by former teacher from Bulgaria now living in Phoenix
  • 100% cotton paper
  • state of the art offset lithographic printing technologythe inked image is first printed on a rubber cylinder, which then offsets, or transfers, the image to paper or other materials
  • “show-through” technique developed to capture the transparency of the original vellum pages
  • gold and silver foils applied using a series of stamping and embossing processes 

For more information about the St. John's Bible, check out their webpage: St. John's Bible

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702