The Year of the Bible is happening! How does that fit in with The Saint John’s Bible?
Whether it’s something you read in the eChimes, something you heard in a sermon, or just the excited chatter of your friends, it has been hard to miss the fact that The Saint John’s Bible is coming to our parish for an entire year, a year we’re calling the “Year of the Bible at St. John’s.”
It’s all very exciting! Both activities are part of our parish’s commitment to embracing the lessons of the Bible and living them out in community with each other and with our neighbors all across town.
Here’s a quick breakdown to satisfy your curiosity…
THE SAINT JOHN’S BIBLE
The Saint John’s Bible is the first Bible to have been hand-written and hand-illuminated in 500 years. The fact that it is called “The Saint John’s Bible” is just a happy (or some may say serendipitous) coincidence. The name actually comes from Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., the institution that commissioned the work. We will be hosting the Gospels and Acts volume of The Saint John’s Bible, Heritage Edition at our St. John’s until fall 2024.
The Saint John’s Bible is a unique work of art, combining ancient monastic traditions with the technology and vision of today.
On our campus, we will use it in worship, study, small groups, special events, and workshops. Several of these events are already on the calendar, including a special “Breakfast with the Bible” (Sept. 16), our next SALT Luncheon (Sept. 22), and a Painting Workshop sponsored by The Front Porch (Oct. 7). Come hear all about the Bible and see it up close and personal.
We are also planning to take The Saint John’s Bible to hospitals, education groups, our area prisons, and more. There will soon be an online form where anyone in the community can request time with the Bible.
THE YEAR OF THE BIBLE
In contrast, the Year of the Bible at St. John’s is about all Bibles (not just The Saint John’s Bible mentioned above). The Year of the Bible will be our parish theme for the next nine months of faith formation – nearly a year-long engagement with the Bible, and an exploration of God’s love story to all humanity.
Our deep dive into the Bible is for people of all ages, backgrounds, and time commitments. We kicked things off with Miqra, our 72-hour Bible reading marathon. And now, together, we will encounter afresh the ancient writings that provide the road map to a loving, life-giving, and liberating relationship with God.
So, plan to come to worship and join us for Sunday School classes. Offerings for ALL AGES begin on Sunday, September 10. There are weekly readings that you can dive into in advance of each Sunday’s sermon and our Sunday School discussion. If reading the entire Bible sounds daunting, you can get a companion guide to be a part of your studies. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions.
Every Christian—whether liberal or conservative, free-thinking or fundamentalist—has a right to holy scripture, and it is only together that we come to know it best. So, join us for this special and unique year. It is an exciting prospect to consider our whole church family reading the Bible in community – the stories we have read many times before or the complicated parts we’ve never really understood!
Special thanks to St. John’s parishioner Paula Kiger, for helping put this article together.