I know from experience that Bob Marley’s music carries a life affirming, transformative message, replete with religious insights. As a musician and theologian, I set out to understand this message and how it is articulated. I found that Marley’s art takes on an exegetical aspect in its treatment of Scripture and human existence; however, the former has been overlooked, resulting in difficulty for even Marley scholars in deciphering his lyrics. I therefore methodically address the scriptural underpinnings of Marley’s music in my book, to be released by Cascade Books, a growing publisher in the field of religious studies. Please sign up to be notified of the publication date.
This is the first book written on Bob Marley as biblical interpreter. It seeks to answer the dual question: What light does biblical scholarship shed on Marley’s interpretation, and what can Marley teach the biblical scholars? By focusing primarily on Marley’s direct biblical quotations, as opposed to the more plentiful and subjectively determined allusions, I provide a close analysis of what Marley is up to—specifically how he interprets Scripture. For students of Marley, this affords a deeper appreciation and understanding of his thought and his art. For students of Scripture, it demonstrates the nature of Marley’s unique contribution to the field of biblical interpretation, which can be appreciated as an excellent example of what R. S. Sugirtharajah calls “vernacular interpretation” of Scripture.