It is the bible like you've never seen or read before. "I think people around this area are so amazed at the opportunity to see this exhibition," says Jan McCauley with Marketing and Public Relations at the Tyler Museum of Art. "Illuminating the Word: The Saint John's Bible" features pages from the first five books of the bible, or the Pentateuch, along with the Gospels, Acts and Psalms. The exquisite calligraphy is done entirely by hand, using some of the most ancient methods. "They're using quills, not pens, but quills that they hand sharpen to draw these letters. They hand grind the ink from ancient blocks of ink from China. Even down to the egg whites that they stir with the inks, it's really beautiful and unique the way they do it," says McCauley. The 24 x 16 inch pages are stretched pieces of calf skin called vellum. Illustrations are etched with pieces of 24 karat gold, helping the pages illuminate. So the lighting has to be just right. "You have to look at the details. I think this is the bible and people can read it and it's in English and we pretty much know the passages, so you want to get close to it and read it," says Tyler Museum of Art Curator Ken Tomio. The museum expect visitors to get real close, 300 pounds of stone are in each pedestal to keep the displays upright. Once you're surrounded by these holy scriptures in this form you'll never be the same when you leave. "People that have seen it have said it makes the word come alive," says McCauley.
Among the pages on view are The Seven Days of Creation, The Birth of Christ, The Death of Moses and The Crucifixion just to name a few. The exhibit opens on June 9th and continues through September 3rd. It's at the Tyler Museum of Art on the TJC campus. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 plus, children 13-17 get in for $5, children 3-12 for $2.