The Ten Commandments- 2003
Exodus 20:1-21 NRSV Translation
Scribe: Donald Jackson
Vellum, with ink, paint and gold
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library,
The theological brief from the
Committee on Illuminations and Text
required the artist to combine five different passages
from Exodus into a single illumination. The brief also
suggested that the giving of the Ten commandments
represented a new creation-the gift
of law bringing order
to the chaos of human affairs. This was chosen as
the principal image around which to group the others.
Depicted along the top of the composition
are the burning bush,
the first Passover, the crossing of the Red Sea,
and the twelve pillars,
representing the twelve tribes of Israel,
erected at the foot of Mount Sinai.
God's words are arrayed across them in gold letters.
The lower half of the page contains
the Ten Commandments,
overlapping and dissolving the colored background.
Instead of writing the words, the artist stenciled them,
using the typeface of Stone Sans
to emphasize the authoritarian nature of God's words.
(from the description of this work at the Biggs Museum)
What I especially liked in this visual translation
is the thought of the 10 commandments
bringing order to the chaos of human affairs.
How much our Heavenly Father wants us to live the abundant life.
Living within the framework of the commandments
brings His grace to our daily life.