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.”

Share

More Book Minute Features

August 19, 2019

Hieroglyphic Bibles

Millions of Bibles are published each year for children — in all sizes, shapes and colors — in a variety of translations. But perhaps none are more in...
August 12, 2019

Wycliffe Translators Origins

In 1917, a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. He was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the...
August 05, 2019

Five Presidential Birthdays

Five former US presidents have birthdays in August, with the oldest being Benjamin Harrison, followed by Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton...