American author Dean MacNeil’s book, The Bible and Bob Marley, which was published last year, has been receiving rave reviews from scholars in the fields of reggae, Rastafari and Biblical studies.

MacNeil, who researched Marley’s music for over 20 years before writing his book, focuses on parts of the bible that Marley referenced in some of his famous songs from his Natty Dread album.

Among the songs MacNeil linked back to the bible are Running Away, Africa Unite andSmall Axe.

Talking about the book on his blog, MacNeil wrote: “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.”

The book has been embraced by scholars in Jamaica, including Dr Carolyn Cooper from the Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies. The unit recently added it to a list of highly recommended books for the Reggae Poetry Course.

MacNeil is the holder of a MA in Theology and has an interest in the intersection of music and theology.