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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – August 10, 2023

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – August 10, 2023

The University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland
The Book of Kells

By Jodie Montgomery

Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

The Book of Kells is referred to as Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure. It is an illuminated religious manuscript, written in Latin, of the four Gospels, crafted around 800 AD. It is considered miraculous in surviving its’ long history. Medieval monasteries produced these manuscripts of Biblical text. The Book of Kells is believed to be written on the island of Iona off Scotland. The relics of St. Columcille Monastery have an incredible history of movement throughout the ages. These sacred texts were vulnerable, even buried for safety and then rediscovered, through the years as the land suffered conflict after conflict, from Vikings to Kings.  The Book of Kells has been in Dublin for safekeeping since the mid-1600s. The Book is named for the Irish monastery, The Abbey of Kells, in which it resided to escape Viking raids around 1000 AD.

The Book of Kells is amazingly complete for a book so old. The book’s bejeweled and golden binding have been missing for centuries, along with about sixty of its’ pages. The book is an illustrated gospel, primarily a piece of overwhelmingly intricate artwork with the Biblical text. Those who could not read could gain some understanding of the text through the brilliant illustrations. This reminds me of the storying clothes used on missionary journeys.

Many historians consider the Book of Kells to be the greatest manuscript of all time due to the detailed illustrations. I know the inspiration of those illustrations to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. To see a page of the Book of Kells is to consider how precious God’s Word is in every age. His Revelation is a miraculous survivor of persecution and the greatest truth to the overcomer.