Word as a Work of Art

When we think of art in worship we often think stained glass windows, carvings on the Communion Table, or liturgical vestments. But can a Bible be a work of art? Can it make a visual connection with the reader? Of course we have seen this throughout history especially during the Medieval times. Have we lost this tradition in our contemporary society? We certainly have many--maybe too many--options for Bibles today but here are a few that include amazing art intermingled with and supporting of the Word.
The St. John's Bible
For several years I have follow the work (online) of the Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey in Minnesota who have worked with a team of calligraphers and artists to create the St. John's Bible. This morning I have discovered that La Roche college, in  my home town, has acquired one of these hand-illuminated Bibles. I am bubbling over with anticipation of being able to see it. One can also visit the Abbey or view the Bible while it tours to a variety of museums.


The Four Holy Gospels
Secondly, The Four Holy Gospels is an exquisitely designed and produced edition of the four canonical Gospels in the English Standard Version, published in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version Bible in 1611. Makoto Fujimura is the artist behind this work. He works tirelessly on behalf of quality, faith based media. His art skillfully combines ancient art techniques with contemporary interpretation.




And lastly I have long been enamored by the work of expressive calligrapher Timothy Botts. Many years ago I was able to attend an artist talk of Mr. Botts. I think it was long enough ago that the presentation was done with a slide projector! I believe he was the first artist that I ever heard speak openly and passionately about how his faith was intertwined with his work. There need to be more artists like him today! Including an illustrated Bible he has a published a variety of Christian books. A Carrot Top Studio favorite is his visual interpretation of the Psalms.


In ministry and worship we should not neglect that fact that Word can be a work of art and can draw us closer to God so we may learn better how to worship and serve Him.