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Paynesville Press - January 1, 2003

Top 12 Stories of 2002: ColorMax copies Bible

By Michael Jacobson

The St. John's Bible, when finished, will be the first commissioned completely hand-written Bible in 500 years, since the advent of movable type by Johann Gutenburg revolutionized the printing industry nearly 550 years ago.

St. John's Bible project at ColorMax And it's coming to Paynesville. One page at a time.

The pages of the historic Bible are coming to ColorMax, where their 21st Century technology is being utilized to reproduce these pages digitally. The St. John's Bible project is a long time in the making, requiring four calligraphers and three illuminators, and ColorMax's job is to preserve the pages digitally and make high-quality reproduction possible in the centuries to come.

Cal Sixta and Steve Miller of ColorMax examine a proof of their digital duplication of a page of the St. John's Bible.

Calligrapher Donald Jackson, the scribe to the Queen of England, who did the calligraphy for Princess Diana's wedding invitations, first mentioned his desire to do a hand-written version of the Bible in 1970. He started discussions with St. John's University in 1995, after giving a calligraphy presentation sponsored by the university, and signed a contract to write the Bible in 1998.

The St. John's Bible was broken into seven volumes, with the first finished volume being the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Future volumes include the first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the remainder of the New Testament.

The seven volumes of the St. John's Bible will total over 1,100 pages, which will be finished by Jackson and his staff and photographed and reproduced by ColorMax over the next four years. ColorMax will create 25 full-size, limited edition, replica copies of the original St. John's Bible. Each of these replicas will have 16" by 25" pages and will cost over $100,000.

They will be printed on demand. Just to print these pages will take ColorMax over 2,000 hours. In the future, smaller versions of the St. John's Bible - or posters of its unique artwork - may be offered for sale as well.

(Editor's Note: the Press has identified these 12 stories as the top news in the Paynesville area for 2002. For the top accomplishments in sports, see the 2002 sports review.)

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