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Saint John's Psalms-NRSV (Saint John's Bible (Bibles)) (The Saint John's Bible) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (1 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814690564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814690567
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 25.4 x 38.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The St. John's Bible is unquestionably art. And in the practice of Jackson and his team members, so is calligraphy.Journal Star Lincoln, Nebraska

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Psalms are among some of the finest sacred songs in any language or culture, of immense importance and influence both in terms of mysticism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and in terms of simple poetry. But... its often very hard to get translation exactly right. While I usually love the KJV renderings of the Old and New Testament, I find its rendering of the Psalms very hard to take. When not very difficult to understand they come across as dualistic, aggressive and retributive, too often an expression of anger and bitterness or Absolutism than anything else. Meanwhile, most modern translations seem to drain them of any poetry at all.

Wonderful, then, to find this marvellous attempt at the impossible: rendering the Psalms in all their subtlety, their poetic sensitivity, their elusive mysticism. I don't know of a better set of translations. Suddenly one sees where Rumi came from, where St John of the Cross came from and where the great poets of Judaic Kabbalah drew their inspiration. This version has been done with real thoughtfulness, reverence and sensitivity to the music of the originals. Whole new arenas of meaning yield themselves up and the Psalms emerge in all their tenderness...

For me, then, this is a supreme achievement and a real treasure. The presentation, hand-written and illuminated, adds to the sense of reverence and wonder of the words and is typical of the care taken by the whole St John's Bible project.

Hats off from me. Five stars. Namaste.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Manuscript 20 Nov. 2007
By R. C. Miessler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Looking at some of the previous reviews, it seems that the other reviewers are missing the point. This wasn't done by a computer; it was done by hand. "Increase the font size?" It isn't possible. It's not like it is a TrueType font on a computer. As for the lack of ornamentation, everyone is missing the point: the calligraphy itself is the art. NOBODY does this by hand, they haven't since the printing press was invented. The monks at St. John's Abbey did not do this to make money, or impress people, it was done to glorify God. If you need lots of pretty pictures to distract you while reading the Psalms, you are missing the point of the Psalms as well as the point of this project. When I think of the monks pouring over every word, making sure each stroke is perfect, that's all the inspiration I need.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Stunning Caligraphy 24 Jun. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The beauty of this book is that it allows the words of the Psalms to sing. The calligrapher's art never gets in the way of the prayers. The other books that the monks of St John's Abbey have caused to be created are perfect and the illuminated texts are a feast for the eye. Sometimes though, we Americans just need to step back and savor the beauty of words. Donald Jackson has given us that opportunity. Savor it.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Calligraphy sorely misunderstood 4 Sept. 2007
By _ - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Donald Jackson and his colleagues let their calligraphic skills shine in this volume of The Saint John's Bible. Unfortunately, many readers purchased this book hoping for the same level of illustration found in the Gospels and Acts voulme. What the detractors of Psalms utterly fail to understand is Jackson's intent to let the text of the psalms speak free from the artist's interpretation. The Psalms are perhaps the most personal texts in all of the Bible; it would have been truly unfortunate if the artist had imposed his vision on the psalms, rather than respecting their integrity as texts of personal and liturgical prayer.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
St. John's Bible: Psalms 20 April 2009
By Jeffrey G. Matyas - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the earlier reviews that this edition lacked the beautiful pictures that other editions contained. While I agree there are less drawings. the beauty resides in the words. I do appreciate the wonderful drawings of the other editions but I enjoy the meaning found in the messages of the Psalms. One picture may be worth a thousand words but it would thousands of pictures to do these words justice.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed 15 July 2007
By Donald H. Rhoads - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compared to the other two Donald Jackson Bible books I bought, the Psalm book is a disappointment. I looked forward to seeing Mr. Jackson's illustrations of the Psalms, but was let down when I saw he had done very little. As far as I am concerned, Mr. J. missed an opportunity to make the Psalms glow. Jean Rhoads, Bloomington, Indiana
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