Modern Day Monks Create Biblical Masterpiece

By Eric Olson

March 5, 2011 Updated Mar 5, 2011 at 8:36 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--They’re the most valuable books on the planet, illuminated bibles, hand printed, hand decorated by medieval monks 6 to 800 years ago…expressions of faith that are priceless works of art.

A modern take on the illuminated bible can be found right here in Fort Wayne, at the University of St. Francis’s Lupke Gallery. This is the magnificent St. John’s Bible, created entirely by hand, commissioned in 1998 by the St. John’s Benedictine Abbey in Minnesotta. The world’s finest calligraphers and artists labored ten years to create it..the complete text of the Bible accompanied by breathtaking illustrations…the birth of Christ in the manger…the crucifixion described in the book of Luke. These are contemporary images created using the same techniques employed by those solitary monks in the middle ages.

“They show images of earth from space which a thousand years ago would not have been possible,” says gallery director Justin Johnson. “They show examples of the strides we’ve made in science and in understanding the world as well as the history of the world as well. So it’s really an updated expression of faith? Exactly.”

This is the story of Adam and Eve as told in Genesis, the first man and woman portrayed as Africans, reflecting modern sciences conclusion that humans first appeared in Africa four million years ago. There is another dimension to this incredible exhibit. These are actual pages from ancient Bibles and prayer books, this one printed in Italy in 1470..this lovely gem decorated with woodcuts, printed in 1506. Whether you’re a believer or not you can’t help but be moved by these expressions of man’s deepest longings for truth and enlightenment, that bring to life in such spectacular fashion, the timeless faith of our fathers. Eric Olson reporting, out in your country.




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