Sunday, May 22, 2011


Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the Christian Encounters Series of Biographies. The book is interesting as much for what it isn’t as well as for what it is.

It isn’t the boring biography we’ve all read for a high school report. You know the drill. JS Bach was born in such and such place in year such and such. He went to this school and that school. He wrote his first piece of music at the age of whatever. In his lifetime he composed so many symphonies, so many cantatas, so many chorales, and so many concertos. He died in year such and such. Really takes you back, doesn’t it?

Instead of dry facts, this book provides a window into the man himself. Clearly Bach was a pre-eminent musician and composer and we can know him best through his work. And that is what this book does. It places him into the cultural context of his times while providing us with an understanding not just of what Bach did, but what he believed. How did his Christian faith manifest itself in his daily life? What part did it play in his work?

Rather than the one-dimensional portrait we often get from the recitation of statistics, by the end of the book we find ourselves knowing a real man. A genius, true, but nonetheless a believer who was working out his salvation on a day-by-day basis the same as the rest of us. I think you will find Johann Sebastian Bach to be, enlightening, informative and entertaining.
—E G Lewis
We thank Thomas Nelson for a review copy of this book.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1595551085

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