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Carson-Newman University acquires rare illuminated Bible

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Julie Rabun, right, chair of Carson-Newman's Art Department, helps display a volume of the Saint John's Bible for guests following the University's Opening Celebration in September 2013. The event marked the opening of the Saint John's Bible Exhibit at Carson-Newman, which saw some 5,000 guests during its year-long display. Since then, the University has acquired its own volumes of the rare, illuminated Bible.

(Sept. 15, 2015) – Following its highly successful 2013-2014 gallery exhibit of the Saint John's Bible, Carson-Newman University has acquired its own seven-volume collection of the unique Bible. The previous exhibit welcomed over 5,000 visitors to campus.

The University is one of only four organizations in the Southeast to acquire the Heritage Edition of the Saint John's Bible, and is the only location in Tennessee where the public can view the volumes. Carson-Newman joins a select group of universities, organizations and museums to house the Heritage Edition volumes including Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Calif.; Yale University, New Haven, Conn.; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Naples Museum of Art, Naples, Fla.; and the Vatican Museum of Art, Rome, Italy.

From Monday, Sept. 21, to Sunday, Sept. 27, the public can view volumes of the rare, full-size artistic reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible in 500 years. The display coincides with a visit to the United States by Pope Francis. Throughout the week, a new page of the Bible will be on display, allowing visitors to view an impressive combination of art and scripture that has been called "one of the extraordinary undertakings of our time," by Smithsonian Magazine. During the week, Carson-Newman, along with all institutions across the country housing the volumes will display the same pages, serving as a rich symbol of Christian unity.

A fine art reproduction of the original housed at Saint John’s University in Minnesota, the Heritage Edition is the result of a process that engaged the finest printing experts and binders to ensure faithful representation of the manuscript. The entire project was overseen by Donald Jackson, the senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Crown Office at the House of Lords in London, England.

Each volume brilliantly maintains the awe-inspiring artistic intent of the original, which has been featured on NBC’s Today Show.

The seven volumes that make up The Heritage Edition are approximately 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide when open and weigh about 20 pounds each. Limited in number, each is signed and numbered.

The Bible will be located in the University's Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library on Russell Avenue in Jefferson City.

The University is planning a larger, regional display and public event for late 2016.

Display schedule:
Monday, September 21: Creation (Genesis)
Tuesday, September 22: Abraham and Sarah (Genesis)
Wednesday, September 23: Ten Commandments (Exodus)
Thursday, September 24: Peter's Confession (Matthew)
Friday, September 25: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes (Mark)
Saturday, September 26: Two Cures (Mark)
Sunday, September 27: Pentecost (Acts)

Library hours are as follows:
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.

For media inquiries, visit the University Relations page.

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