Friday, February 24, 2006

The 'Pepper Bible' in Dallas

Jame Pepper is holed away in a Dallas church copying the Bible by hand:
The embodiment of James Pepper's life during the past 18 years is spread out over the floor and tables of his apartment and in a special room set aside for him at Highland Park United Methodist Church, where he attends and volunteers.

Since 1987, Pepper, an investment manager, has painstakingly copied portions of the Bible word for word, and he's doing it the old-fashioned way, like scribes did centuries ago: with stylus pen and black ink on plain sheets of drawing paper, and with ancient styles of calligraphy. He shuns using a computer.

After spending as many as 16 hours on some days sweating over handwriting the entire New Testament, a task he completed in 1995, Pepper is days away from completing another phase: an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels - 304 entirely handmade, highly decorative pages in a 550-page, four-year project.

And like the St. John's Bible, Pepper is using modern themes in his illustrations:
Like the ancient scribes who placed items in their Bibles from their world, Pepper has added multicolored drawings of the Space Shuttle, Skylab, Texas flora and fauna, the Titanic, and the World Trade Center towers, where three of his friends perished during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

He's hoping to get a publisher for it. It really does look beautiful.

But for all their supposed rarity, there seems to be a lot of these lately!

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