Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to Friday, April 10, 2020 - 1:00pm
Duke Divinity Library (Map)
Kinsley Whitworth
(919) 613-5332

Editor’s note: This event has been canceled as part of Duke University’s new policy that became effective March 10, 2020 in response to COVID-19. Visit Duke's COVID-19 response site for the most up-to-date information and policies for the university at

The Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) will hold docent-led tours of a volume of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible in the Methodist Reading Room of the Divinity School Library on selected days from noon to 1 p.m. throughout the spring semester. The docent-led tours will be held on:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 22
  • Wednesday, Jan. 29
  • Thursday, Feb. 13
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19
  • Thursday, Feb. 27
  • Wednesday, Mar. 18
  • Thursday, March 26
  • Wednesday, April 1
  • Thursday, April 9

During the tour, participants will have a unique opportunity to learn more about The Saint John’s Bible, the first commissioned handwritten, monumental, illuminated Bible in the modern era, in an up-close and hands-on way by examining one of its volumes. No registration is necessary.

DITA also is sponsoring an exhibition on The Saint John's Bible that will be on display in Duke Chapel from Jan. 17 to March 8. The exhibition is free and open to the public during Duke Chapel’s operating hours.

This contemporary bible was created by a group of 23 scribes, artists, and assistants in a scriptorium in Wales under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords. The team worked in conjunction with a committee of theologians, scholars, and artists from Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn. After 15 years of work, the pages were completed in 2011 and given a permanent home at Saint John’s Abbey and University.

The Saint John’s Bible incorporates many of the characteristics of its medieval predecessors: it was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments and gild such as gold leaf, silver leaf, and platinum. Yet, it employs the modern, English translation of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the bible, as well as contemporary scripts and illuminations. The prints displayed in this gallery showcase a small sampling of the approximately 160 illuminations in the completed work.