A $145,000 Bible Heads to Austin Library

A rare Heritage version of the Saint John’s Bible will arrive in the Austin Public Library soon.

The Bible is said to be valued at $145,000 and was donated to the library by the family of Don and Dorothy Hodapp, according to the Austin Daily Herald.

There will only be 299 copies of this version printed which will make it a rare collectible and something to bring more attention to the library.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for the community,” said Library Director Ann Hokanson to the Austin Daily Herald. “It will have a lot of wide appeal to book lovers.”

What makes the Saint John’s Bible so special is its origin. The Heritage Edition is a precise printing of the original Saint John’s Bible, which was created using medieval techniques and is the first handwritten illuminated edition of the Bible commissioned by Benedictine Abby in 500 years, according to Jim Triggs, executive director of the Heritage Program at St. John’s University.

According to Hokanson this Bible holds artistic, historical and religious significance.

“When I saw the books in person I was blown away,” said Hokanson to the Herald. “I have never seen a more beautiful book in my life.”

The family Hodapps also expressed excitement for bringing the Bible to Austin in a news release.

“This unusual gift is our thanks to Austin for the many wonderful years our family enjoyed living there,” said Don Hodapp. “It is our hope that this Bible will be appreciated and enjoyed by all.”

According to Triggs, the Saint John’s Bible in general is meant to ignite spiritual imaginations around the world. It will be on display in both private and public institutions even though it is a religious book.

Although the Saint John’s Bible was created in medieval times, the new versions will feature modern art and the text will be from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

“It’s really meant to be a Bible for the 21st century,” said Triggs who added that the techniques used to create the Bible were the same used to create the originals including calligraphy on vellum and using quills, hand-made inks and hand-ground pigments.

He stated that the Heritage version in particular is meant to make the Saint John’s Bible accessible to the public and that great effort was made to make it identical to the original one.

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