Rare St.John's Bible on display at Carson-Newman University

Rare St.John's Bible on display at Carson-Newman University

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The reproduction took 23 artists and calligraphers 15 years to create. The reproduction took 23 artists and calligraphers 15 years to create.
The bible will be on display at Carson-Newman University for a month. The bible will be on display at Carson-Newman University for a month.
What stands out is the artwork. What stands out is the artwork.
The public is invited to an opening celebration of the exhibit on Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. The public is invited to an opening celebration of the exhibit on Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY (WATE) – A rare copy of the St. John's bible is on display at Carson-Newman University.

The school will be one of a few in the country to showcase it. The seven artistic volumes will be open to the public to view and thumb through starting Thursday, September 26. The reproduction took 23 artists and calligraphers 15 years to create. What stands out is the artwork. It connects the words in the bible to modern day events and scientific discoveries.

On one page they pair the Gospel of Luke, all about sin and forgiveness, with an image of the Prodigal Son and the twin towers, depicting 9/11.

"Prodigal Son is all about forgiveness and here we have an image of the twin towers. As Christians, we're called to forgive. So as Christians, are we able to forgive the unforgivable?" explained Tim Ternes, Director of the St. John's Bible Project.

The bible is a reproduction of an original that's meant to mimic the work of ancient monastic scribes.

"It took 7 to 13 hours to write one page, depending on the scribe. The calligraphers used traditional methods and materials. So the bible was written with a turkey, swan, or goose quill. The inks came from the 1870's so they were actually made from soot," he explained.

The bible will be on display for a month. There's already some buzz about it being on campus.

"Once I started doing some research on it and what it contains, I realized this is an extraordinary piece of art. So I'll definitely be here more than once," said Emily Musick, a Graphic Design major, who is waiting to see the exhibit.

"It's a bible for this millennium. It references the twin towers, DNA, and satellite imagery. The richness of that and the ability to use it in an instructional way, is special," said  Julie Rabun, Assistant Professor of Art.

"This is not an ordinary bible. The St John's Bible is a bible for the 21st century," Ternes said.

The public is invited to an opening celebration of the exhibit on Thursday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City.

More details about the exhibit are on the Carson-Newman University website.

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