Thursday, February 18, 2016

The St. John's Bible-Vision of the New Jerusalem

Vision of the New Jerusalem, 2011
Revelation 21:16-27
Donald Jackson
Scribe: Donald Jackson
Vellum, with ink, paint and gold

"The last chapters of Revelation 
bring God's creation full circle 
with many allusions to the first chapters in Genesis.
 These final passages provide hope in the face
 of all the misery so far described in the book. 
Unlike much of the other apocalyptic 
literature of its day,
 revelations does not swell on destruction. 
Rather it focuses on fulfillment 
and redemption of creation 
by describing the heavenly Jerusalem, 
constructed in perfect measurements, 
adorned with precious stones, 
and paved in gold. 
All evil, pain and death are banished
 by the eternal goodness of God. 
There is no sun or moon, 
for the divine light will shine eternally.

In the Saint John's Bible, the New Jerusalem 
is reminiscent for the temple 
described by the prophet, Ezekiel. 
Golden ribbons double up as rivers or canals, 
descending from the throne, the source of light,
 and nurturing the Tree of Life on the far right. 
The repetition of the number twelve-
 twelve pearls, twelve gates, twelve fruits on the tree-
emphasizes perfection as it calls to mind 
the foundation of the Church in the twelve apostles.

On June 18, 2011, Donald and Mabel Jackson 
presented this illumination to the community
 of Saint John's Abbey and University 
in the great Abbey Church on the Collegeville campus.
 Abbot John Klassen,  
and Fr. Robert Koopmann, 
 president of Saint John's University, 
placed the folio on the Abbey Church altar
 and burnished two gold Benedictine crosses
 (seen on the lower right corner of the folio)
 marking this last folio with a symbol of its new home,
 thus bringing the 15-year creation phase
 of the Saint John's Bible to a celebratory close."

Thus ends the sharing of the photos
 from our trip to see the Saint John's Bible,
 in Dover, Delaware at the Biggs Museum.
On this blog I have shared 
a piece of the exhibited work.
What an appreciation 
I have for this amazing work
 by this collection of artists. 
Illuminated journaling in the margins,
telling a piece of the story visually,
to Bring Him Glory.
 The study of this work 
gives me encouragement to continue
 Bible Journaling- 
the journey in the margins of my Bible. 

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