The Christmas Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach’s "Christmas Oratorio" is a musical composition traditionally performed between Christmas Day and the Feast of Epiphany. It was taken largely from Luther’s German translation of the Bible. Martin Luther’s three-volume translation of the Bible was like a “long-lost treasure” to Johann Sebastian Bach.

He made many notes in its margins, including one next to the listing of musicians in 1 Chronicles 25:“This chapter is the true foundation of all God-pleasing music.” One scholar of the time said of Bach, that he was indeed “a Christian who lived with the Bible.”

Nearly three-fourths of Bach’s 1,000-plus compositions were written for use in church worship. He was the most noted organist and composer of the baroque era, and it’s been said he was a “theologian who just happened to work with a keyboard.”

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