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Makoto Fujimura’s Illuminated Gospel Book Project: “The Four Holy Gospels”

In Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible

Makoto Fujimura, one of the century’s most highly regarded artists, has illuminated the Four Holy Gospels. Fujimura is known for his use of traditional Japanese Nihonga techniques and his passion for reconnecting Christian faith with fine art. This will mark the first time in nearly 400 years that an illuminated book of the four Gospels has been undertaken by a single artist.

The Four Holy Gospels is based on the ESV translation of the Bible and also coincides with the 400th anniversary of the King James Version (KJV) Bible, published in 1611. The ESV is a direct descendant of the KJV Bible; first published in 2001, the ESV carries forward this classic Bible translation legacy.

Fujimura explains, “By using the ESV translation, we honor the King James Version by allowing contemporary vernacular to reflect the timeless truth of the Bible. This project brings a reconciled whole of the Gospels to a new century and a global audience.”

Editions of The Four Holy Gospels will be available January 31, 2011. An exhibition of the works featured in The Four Holy Gospels will take place from December 9 through January 9 at the Dillon Gallery in New York City. You may download the preview PDF here.

November 15, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,Life / Doctrine,News,The Arts,The Christian Life,Video | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 10:11 am | (11) Comments »


  1. Are there any plans to take this artwork and place it alongside a Japanese translation? I think that would be a wonderful way to introduce many in Japan to God’s word. I realize Crossway publishes the ENGLISH Standard Version but I was just wondering.

    Comment by Jessica Mapa — November 15, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  2. I love this. I could watch this video over and over again because it truly encourages my spirit. My hope for beauty and search for Truth are really the same thing – found in the gospels and crucified as my Savior.

    Wow. Tell that old, old story!

    Comment by Caroline — November 16, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  3. Is this available to buy? and Yes I also think that a Japanese version would be really cool!

    Comment by jacob anthony — November 22, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

  4. Jessica — great suggestion! I’ll look into it.

    Caroline — nice blog! Keep up the great work!

    Jacob — you can pre-order the “cloth over board” set here: http://www.crossway.org/bibles/the-four-holy-gospels-1370-fab/ … and the “genuine leather over board” set here: http://www.crossway.org/bibles/the-four-holy-gospels-1352-gltr/

    Comment by Ted Slater — November 23, 2010 @ 8:46 am

  5. This is very uplifting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing with the world, Mako.

    Comment by yshekster — March 17, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  6. What color is the cover of the book? In some images it looks black but in the preview it looks white.

    Comment by Paul — October 21, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  7. Hi Paul – thanks for the note. The cover is black.

    Comment by Angie Cheatham — October 24, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  8. I like the way you conduct your posts. Have a good Thursday!

    Comment by Folie A Deux Menage A Trois Red — January 20, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  9. I am so encouraged and inspired by the work of this artist, especially because I am a follower of the Jesus Christ, an artist, and live in Japan! I just came back from an art education workshop in Singapore which was great. It was spiritual but in a humanistic way. I feel so refreshed that there are Christians living out their faith in the LORD through their art. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Comment by Chad Chrysler — May 5, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

  10. How much time did it require u to publish
    “Makoto Fujimura

    Comment by http://tinyurl.com/congyates35236 — January 14, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  11. “Makoto Fujimura

    Comment by http://tinyurl.com/monoyates31125 — January 15, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

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