Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who commissioned and created The Saint John’s Bible?
    • The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, MIN. It was executed by Donald Jackson, Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office, along with a collaborative team of scribes, artists, theologians and scholars.
  • What makes The Saint John’s Bible significant?
    • This is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery in 500 years. All 73 books of the Old and New Testaments are presented in seven volumes of approximately 1,150 pages.
  • What translation of the Bible was used?
    • The Saint John’s Bible uses the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
  • How many illuminations are included in The Saint John’s Bible?
    • There are over 160 illuminations throughout the seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible.
  • When was The Saint John’s Bible created?
    • Planning and work began in 1995. The first words were penned on March 8, 2000, and the final word was written on May 9, 2011. The pages are complete, but Bible remains unbound at this time.
  • Where was the work done on The Saint John’s Bible?
    • The creation work of The Saint John’s Bible was done in a scriptorium located in Wales. The theological work of the Bible was done at Saint John’s University in Minnesota by a group known as the Committee of Illumination and Text (CIT).
  • Where is the original The Saint John’s Bible kept?
    • The home of The Saint John’s Bible is the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library on the campus of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, MN. The gallery is located on the lower level of Alcuin Library.
  • How were the illuminations and handwritten script created?
    • The Saint John’s Bible was made using traditional materials such as vellum (calfskin), ancient inks, gold and silver leaf and platinum and was written with quill pens fashioned from goose, turkey, and swan feathers.
  • What is the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible?
    • Created under the direction of Donald Jackson, the Heritage Edition is the only full scale, fine art edition of The Saint John’s Bible. There are 299 Heritage Edition copies distributed throughout the world.
  • How did Incarnation come to have a Heritage Edition copy of The Saint John’s Bible?
    • The Heritage Edition was provided to Incarnation by a generous donor.


For other questions, contact Grant Rykken at

Back to The Saint John’s Bible page.