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In this illumination, the figure of Christ (the Living Word) steps from the darkness of “chaos and nothingness” (Explore The Saint John’s Bible, 2019), and moves toward light and order (Sink, 2013). Note also the stencilled crosses, which echo those from the Transfiguration illumination. At the left of the image there is reference to the tradition wherein manuscripts containing the Word of God were secured by lock and key (Sink, 2013).
In a departure from traditional approaches, the texture behind the head of Christ references an image taken from the Hubble Telescope and lends a breathtaking cosmic character to the whole action taking place (Explore The Saint John’s Bible: John - opening page, 2019). In the left half of the image we see the cursive text from Colossians 1:15-20, which “expands on the announcement in John’s gospel that ‘The Word became flesh and lived among us’ (John 1:14)” (Sink, 2013, p. 260).
Explore The Saint John’s Bible: John – opening page. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.saintjohnsbible.org/Promotions/Explore/#book/941
Sink, S. (2013). The art of The Saint John’s Bible: The complete reader’s guide. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.