By W. John Cocke
Copying the Bible by hand is a very old spiritual exercise in both Christianity and Judaism.
Unfortunately, the development of the printing press, starting in the 15th century, made the practice of this craft less common. The present work was finished in 1999. At that time, it seemed to be the only calligraphic edition of the four Gospels available in English.
It is appropriate to mention here a few points about the present work. First, the italicized words appearing in the most editions of the King James Version indicate clarifying additions to earlier versions. This distinction seems unnecessary, and in this work the text has been written uniformly. Second, large capitals are used here at the start of certain verses where some editions begin a new paragraph.
The scribe has carefully compared this copy with type-set editions, and he would appreciate being notified of any mistakes.
About the Author
W. John Cocke was born in Asheville, N. C., in 1937. He was fortunate enough to have parents who instilled in him a love of the arts and sciences. He attended N. C. State University, the University of Munich, and Cornell University, where he received the Ph. D. in physics in 1964. In 1968 he and his wife Claire moved to Tucson, Arizona. He taught astronomy and did research in astronomy and physics here until his retirement in 2000.
He has been using calligraphy as a vehicle for self-expression since about 1975. His skills in this area support his love of the written word and the graphic arts in physics and mathematics.