Ripon Medical Center is displaying'The Saint John's Bible' in its admitting area through Feb. 18. Shown with one of the volumes, from left: Jodi Shrock, Katherine Vergos and Pam Schmitz.
Ripon Medical Center is now sharing a piece of history in its Central Admitting area - a limited edition, replicate version of a single volume from The Saint John's Bible. The brightly-colored and massive bible version will be on display until Feb. 18 for the public to see.
The Saint John's Bible project was a task of biblical proportions - drawing every letter and illustration in a Bible painstakingly by hand. Now, 13 years after its inception, The Saint John's Bible is complete, and pages from the finished work are on display at Ripon Medical Center, thanks to the Congregation of Sisters of St Agnes.
The Benedictine monks at St. John's Abbey and St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., commissioned the Bible in 1998 to celebrate the beginning of a new millennium. The first words were written on Ash Wednesday 2000, and the seventh and final volume - "Letters and Revelation" - was completed last year, with the final word - "Amen" - written on May 9, 2011.
Scribes working in Wales under the supervision of chief calligrapher Donald Jackson used quills cut from goose or swan feathers (Jackson was the sole writer and illuminator of Revelation). Words were written on large sheets of prepared vellum, or calfskin, and paints were hand-ground from such precious minerals or stones as gold, silver or malachite. Gold or silver leaf gild was then used to illuminate or bring pages to light.
All 73 books from the Old and New Testaments using the New Revised Standard Version are contained in seven volumes of approximately 1,150 pages.
Two volumes, the book of Wisdom and the book of Pentateuch, are on display at Ripon Medical Center and Waupun Memorial Hospital - one at each location. Each volume is approximately two feet tall by three feet wide when open and each weigh 13 to 20 pounds.
"The quality of the workmanship and the quality of the artistry is phenomenal," says Katherine Vergos, Ripon Medical Center chief operating officer. "From an artistic, religious or historical perspective, it is a beautiful work of art. We hope the community will join us and witness firsthand this dramatic piece of history."
More information about the project is available at www.saintjohnsbible.org/