Fine art reproduction of Saint John's Bible on display - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fine art reproduction of Saint John's Bible on display in Waverly

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Visitors to Wartburg College in Waverly can get a very close look at a fine art reproduction of the Saint John's Bible.

"The original is on display at St. John's University in Minnesota. The edition we have here is the Heritage Edition, and it is a fine art reproduction. There were only 300 made," said Gail Sexton with Wartburg College.

The original Saint John's Bible is the first, hand-written Bible in 500 years!

"Donald Jackson is the scribe to Queen Elizabeth, and he took on this project. He had a childhood dream to number one be the Queen's scribe, and number two re-write the Bible by hand in calligraphy," said Sexton.

Donald Jackson and six other scribes re-wrote the Bible by hand. The calligraphy used is called Jacksonian. It's three styles of calligraphy merged into one.

"I saw the original on display in Minnesota when I was in high school. When I found out it was coming here, I was super excited and wanted to get involved with it," said student Ashley Lahti.

Ashley Lahti is one of the "Student Knights of the Page" trained to handle the Bible. All seven volumes are on display at the Schmidt Art Gallery through February 21st. After the 21st, two volumes will remain on display through the end of the year.

"I think it's huge for Wartburg. There's some days we have three groups in here at once, and it's incredible," said Lahti.

Wartburg College was able to get the Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition thanks to a donation from former interim president of the college Dr. William Hamm.

Also, Larry Trachte donated the wood and Julie Frantsen built the cases to display the bible.

"Currently only three places in Iowa have the Saint John's Bible, so it's not an opportunity you get all the time. I'd encourage people to come to Wartburg, see the Saint John's Bible, look at the calligraphy and fine art and just experience the Word," said Gail Sexton.

The first words of the Bible were written in 2000. The last words were written in 2011.

The Schmidt Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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