Originally published in God Reports
Bob Dylan has just released his 35th studio album, full of references to his Christian faith. Dr A T Bradford, author of the book Dylan, Depression and Faith, analyzed Dylan’s previous works and found numerous references to the Bible and to active Christian faith. Dr Bradford has now reviewed Dylan’s latest album, “Tempest,” and found many references to the Christian faith, confirming his previous findings regarding Dylan’s on-going use of Scripture to communicate his beliefs.
Bradford quotes the following lyrics from Dylan’s latest offering:
Duquesne Whistle: “I can hear a sweet voice gently calling, must be the mother of our Lord …”
Soon After Midnight: “I’m searching for phrases to sing your praises, I need to tell someone …”
Narrow Way: “It’s a long and narrow way, I can’t work up to you, you’ll surely have to work down to me someday”… “Look down angel, from the skies, help my weary soul to rise”… “I heard a voice at the dusk of day, saying ‘Be gentle, brother, be gentle and pray …”
Pay in Blood: “I’ve sworn to uphold the laws of God … Man can’t live by bread alone, I pay in blood, but not my own …”
Tin Angel: “He renounced his faith, he denied his Lord …”
Tempest: “He read the book of Revelation …”
Roll on John: “I pray the Lord my soul to keep”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine about his new album Dylan said: “I wanted to make something more religious. I just didn’t have enough [religious songs]. Intentionally, specifically religious songs is what I wanted to do. That takes a lot more concentration to pull that off 10 times with the same thread – than it does with a record like I ended up with.”
Dylan, aged 71, continues to play 100+ shows a year. Could he still be communicating his faith? Bradford’s book, Dylan, Depression And Faith – The Messages Behind The Music Of Bob Dylan, shows that he is.