'The Bible and Bob Marley' is First Book Written on Marley as Biblical Interpreter
Author Dean MacNeil knows from experience that Bob Marley's music carries a life-affirming, transformative message. "His music helped me and my family endure the loss of my sixteen-year old brother Scott, who was killed in a car crash," said MacNeil. This experience led MacNeil on a quest to uncover the source of Marley's message, resulting in his new book, The Bible and Bob Marley: Half the Story Has Never Been Told. The product of over twenty years of research, it is the first book to explain how Marley interprets the Bible in his lyrics.
"This is quite simply a wonderful piece of innovative scholarship," said Daniel Smith-Christopher, Professor of Old Testament, Loyola Marymount University. "Marley's many followers will surely be impressed with how seriously his words are treated in this book."
"This lucid and well-researched book is a salutary example of careful and sympathetic theological engagement of an important figure in popular culture by a musician-cum-biblical scholar who knows and loves his subject," said J. Richard Middleton, Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis, Northeastern Seminary.
The book focuses on the parts of the Bible that Marley quotes most often in his lyrics, and provides background information on each song and biblical quotation. It explains how Marley is not merely quoting biblical texts, but rather thinking deeply about them, interpreting them, and finding relevance in them for the struggles of today.
"The book offers a new perspective on Marley," stated MacNeil. "Over four hundred books have been written about Marley, not a single one devoted to the Bible until now."
The foundation of the book is a comprehensive analysis of biblical references in all of Marley's songs. "It took a lot of effort to be this thorough, but I felt it was necessary in order to really understand Marley's use of the Bible," said MacNeil. The book features tables and graphs summarizing the author's findings.