Bob Dylan has had a profound influence on the shape of modern pop music (folk, rock, blues). As a modern literary figure, he has also attracted enormous attention from both professional and amateur "interpreters." Although articles about Dylan's religious beliefs--born Jewish, Dylan converted to Christianity but then moved quickly away from the Christian faith--there has never been a book devoted to Dylan's use of scripture in his lyrics. Gilmour offers a thorough study of Dylan's reading of scripture in this book. He explores the ways that Dylan transforms biblical images and concepts when he incorporates them into his literary world; it is an attempt to listen to the echoes of scripture in Dylan's published works. Gilmour closely reads Dylan's poems and songs and provides commentaries on several themes found in Dylan's work: the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus; apocalypse, judgment, and justice; oppressive religion and religious irony. Through these readings, Gilmour suggests the various ways in which Dylan uses scripture both in an explicit and an implicit manner.
"In Tangled Up in the Bible: Bob Dylan and Scripture, Michael J. Gilmour gives the most comprehensive analysis to date of Dylan's long love affair with the characters, themes and lyrical possibilities of both the Old and New Testaments. Gilmour's slim book is essentially a monograph on a subject that has long deserved academic treatment. But Gilmour's credentials extend beyond academe. A professor of New Testament at Providence college in Otterburne, Canada, he also draws upon more than 20 years as a self-professed Dylan fanatic. The author also includes a valuable 28-page index of biblical references and parallels in Dylan's work." -America, 5/3/04