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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Handwritten, 7-Volume Bible Replica on Display in Arizona

Handwritten, 7-Volume Bible Replica on Display in Arizona

A reproduction of a handwritten, seven-volume Bible reminiscent of those created during the Medieval Times has found its home at a worship and retreat center in Phoenix, Ariz., which will be showcasing the intricate work, as well as using it at masses during the Easter season.

The Franciscan Renewal Center in Paradise Valley has purchased the seven-volume reproduction of a handwritten Bible created by the Benedictine St. John's University in Minnesota as part of their millennium project. The creation includes handwritten text and hand-painted images recording all of the books found in the Catholic Bible, and can be illuminated from behind. The original manuscript remains on display at the university.

The original handwritten project was taken on by the Benedictine St. John's University 15 years ago. The university has now teamed with a Roswell Bookbinding, a Phoenix-based book binding company, to produce 299 replicas known as the Heritage Edition. The replicas will be sold to churches all over the world so they may be displayed for viewing.

Mike Roswell, president of Roswell Bookbinding, told The Associated Press that the massive reproduction is inspiring because it has made people curious about the Bible. "The most fascinating part of this is how many people have come through to see the Bible," he said. "People actually come down to the bindery to see us work on it. They'll call us and say, 'Hey, I'm in Arizona on vacation. Can I come in and look at it?' "

Although the Benedictine St. John's University has mastered the art of re-creating a handwritten Holy Book, others have attempted to modernize the reading of the Bible using social media. One U.K. man took on the feat of tweeting the entire Bible, completing his task in only three years.

Chris Juby, who worked as a worship director at Kings Church in Durham, U.K., began tweeting Bible chapter summaries back in 2010, eventually completing his task in 2013. The worship director said he decided to tweet 1,189 chapter summaries every day for three years using the Twitter handle @biblesummary to spread the Word of God and help those unaccustomed to reading the Bible learn more about Christianity.

"People know the influence the Bible has had on Christians and general culture but a lot of people don't feel confident enough to read the Bible themselves and actually know what's in there. A lot of people were curious about following along so they could get a sense of what's actually in there," Juby said in an interview last November.

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