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The Saint John's Bible at Gumberg Library: Welcome!

Illumination from the Saint John's Bible

Baptism of Jesus, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

What is The Saint John's Bible?

The Saint John's Bible is a seven-volume handwritten, hand-illuminated manuscript. It was created using medieval materials and techniques. 

The Benedictine monks of Saint John's Abbey in Minnesota commissioned Donald Jackson, the official scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, to create a handwritten Bible to celebrate the new millennium. The work took thirteen years to complete. With a team of 15 scribes and illuminators located on two continents, Jackson has created a Bible for the modern world, which reconciles Christian values with contemporary science, and places technology and current events within the context of the traditional biblical text.

The Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible is a life-size reproduction of the original manuscript. Printed on 100% uncoated cotton paper, using state of the art offset lithographic technology, each volume is bound by hand, and includes hand-treated illuminations. Every Heritage Edition volume is signed by Donald Jackson.

The Saint John's Bible Manuscript


The Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible will be on exhibit at Gumberg Library from November 11-

December 20, 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in the events for The Saint John's Bible at Duquesne. While programming has ended, the Bibles will remain on display in the Gumberg Library Popular Reading Area. Please go to the Visiting tab on this page for exhibition information, including group requests.

Public Talk

This event is free and open to the public.

"From Inspiration to Illumination, an Introduction to The Saint John’s Bible"

Attendees of this lecture will be guided through the story of The Saint John’s Bible by Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible project. In this hour-long lecture, Ternes will present on the processes, tools, and methods used in the creation of the first handwritten illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in over 500 years.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Power Center Ballroom

Other Events

"A Visual Discussion of Social Justice & Science in The Saint John’s Bible"

What did Adam and Eve look like? How do you draw monks chanting? Where do galaxies and the cosmos appear in scripture? The Saint John’s Bible has over 160 beautiful illustrations that illuminate the Word of God. Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library will guide Duquesne students through a visual discussion of the social justice and science behind the images. Be prepared to see the Word in ways you never imagined.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Power Center Ballroom

This event is for current Duquesne students. RSVP by email to


"Illustration, Illumination, Imagination in The Saint John's Bible"

A Part of the Catholic Artistic Imagination Series

Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library will join the Catholic Artistic Imagination (CAI) to discuss illustration, illumination and imagination in The Saint John’s Bible. Please join us for a reception, talk, and hands-on look at this amazing artifact truly capturing the Catholic Artistic Imagination.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Power Center Ballroom

This event is for Duquesne faculty, staff, and administration. Find more information and RSVP here.


"Igniting the Spiritual Imagination with The Saint John’s Bible"

This Liebermann Luncheon will introduce participants to the first illuminated Bible created in 500 years by the Benedictines at St. John’s Abbey and University. Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library will describe how The Saint John’s Bible was created through spiritual imagination and how it continues to ignite the spiritual imagination of those who engage with it. Some of the over 160 illustrations will be shared to demonstrate how art, image, science and faith came together to share the Word. The Heritage Edition will be on-site to give participants a hands-on experience with this amazing artistic and spiritual biblical artifact.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Africa Room, Student Union

This event is for Duquesne faculty, staff, and administration.

Please RSVP by email to Jody Iannelli


Pop-up Q & A with the Director of The Saint John's Bible, Tim Ternes

An informal Q&A session with Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John’s Bible and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. Members of the Duquesne community are invited to bring their questions, share their impressions, and hear a personal firsthand account of The Saint John’s Bible from Tim. This informal event will be held in the exhibition room so attendees will experience a guided look at the manuscript’s pages, led by the expert!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Gumberg Library Popular Reading Room

This event is for the Duquesne community.

This research guide is based on original content created by Kelci Baughman McDowell of the Santa Clara University Library. It is used with her kind permission.