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The Saint John's Bible: Virtual Tour

Copyright ©  Genealogy of Jesus, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Genealogy of Jesus

Matthew 1
Primary artist: Donald Jackson

The Genealogy of Jesus is the first full-page illumination in Gospels and Acts, and was the first artwork completed by Donald Jackson. This illumination is a family tree structured as both a tree of life and a menorah (the Jewish seven-branched candelabra). Placed at the beginning of the first Gospel, the menorah serves as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments (Poster notes for The Saint John’s Bible: The Genealogy of Jesus, 2019).

Inside the menorah is a series of circles surrounding a swirling mandala-type cosmic image, this signifies a sign of unity and wholeness found in many religious traditions (Sink, 2013, p.213). At the top of the menorah is an arrangement of gilded medallions which come from illuminations of the Koran. The combination of Islamic arabesques and mandalas give an inclusive perspective, signifying that we are all of one family (Genealogy of Jesus, 2019).



Genealogy of Jesus. (2019). Retrieved from

Poster notes for The Saint John's Bible: The Genealogy of Christ. (2019). Retrieved from

Sink, S. (2013). The art of The Saint John’s Bible: The complete reader’s guide. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.