The release of a Dylan Christmas album has some people asking: "Is Dylan just recording these songs because he's sentimental, or because he believes in the One whom Christmas celebrates?" Some still prefer to consider the turn of the '80s his "Gospel phase." Can somebody born Jewish stop being Jewish? Can somebody born again abrogate that new birth?
From bobdylan.com: "Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year. Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Winter Wonderland," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Must Be Santa."" Not exactly Christian music!!!!
I was not at all sure about this album when I first heard about it. Now that I've read that all proceeds from the sale of the album, in perpetuity, will go to charities that feed the hungry I am all for it.
Dylan has drawn inspiration from Biblical themes for over 40 years. The question, "Why a Christmas album?" seems better framed, "What took so long?" As for his personal regard for Christianity; "Here Comes Santa Claus" certainly does not deny the faith just as a performance of "O Come All Ye Faithful" could not confirm. Regardless of his religious convictions; for me, every night until October 13 will feel like Christmas Eve.
Bob Dylan, in 1986, did a series of concerts in which he performed "In the Garden" from the SAVED album and he introduced the song by calling Jesus his "hero" . This was long after he was rumored to have abandoned Christianity. He still performs Christian songs in concert. Whether anyone else likes it or not, the evidence is there that Dylan still believes in Christianity.
I hear the evidence in his music, even in "It's All Good" from his latest album. That's such a parody on the world system and shows his discernment as a Christian, I believe. I think he may feel loyal to his Jewish inheritance, however, and understandably so.
People should keep in mind that Jesus was a Jew and claimed to be the Messiah of the Jews and this is why Jews who become Christian need not see themselves as rejecting their Jewish heritage. It's puzzling that many people don't seem to mind the idea of Jewish Buddhists or Jewish atheists but can't accept the idea of Jewish Christians.
I agree that it's often difficult to see a Jew as a Christian, but we need to always remember that Christ fulfilled the Jewish tradition, so it makes perfect sense that a discerning Jew would embrace Him without betraying their heritage. I believe this must be what Bob has done, because some say that he is Jewish now(meaning FAITH), not Christian.
I beleive that Dylan did turn Christian many years ago. But I don't think that is what this is about. It's about food for the poor during the holiday season - both in the US and in Europe. I don't think any of us know what Bob is - in any respect and he would assume keep it that way. I have purchased. I think this will end up a collectors item.
He sings Christian Christmas songs on it as well. The info has been out for about a month before the official release from Sony. "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is on it, as well.
He also regularly sings disctinctive Christian songs in his concerts now, and has been since 1979. His latest tour has several of his "Gospel" songs---
I so very much respect that 100% of his royalties are going to feed the hungry. Hunger doesn't discriminate. Given his popularity, proceeds should make a strong impact.
CompassionInternational.com is dedicated to feeding families. My family has been associated with them for years. I am glad Dylan has done this. There have been many reports over the last 20+ years of his touring that he has had gate proceeds going to hunger campaigns and literacy charties as well. I don't blame the agency at all for using this for publicity: reading the responses here and at BobDylan.com shows how many people are interested in helping the hungry.
My parents were Depression Era kids who waited on soup lines. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for their parents.
Jesus spent a lot of time feeding the hungry--in that sense, this is definitely a "Christian" album, if you look at where the proceeds are going. In the song, all the Little Drummer Boy had to offer was his music--and in the same spirit, Dylan is offering up his music as a gift, with many hungry mouths being fed in the process. I can't look into Dylan's heart, but his actions speak loud and clear. (I preordered my copy.)
OK, my simple and layman's understanding is (and I'm open to being corrected by someone who knows for sure):
Mr. Zimmerman was born Jewish, but along the way accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. There is a sect of Judaism called Messianic Jews. The difference between regular Judaism and Messianic Jews is that Messianic Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah, or Son of God. Jews in general reject the notion that Jesus was the Messiah (which is why they crucified him, 'cos he claimed to be, and they didn't dig that).
Most Jews reject Messianic's as being truly Jewish, having strayed from the faith as they have, and label them as Christians. Most Christians accept them as such. My brother went the other way. He was born Christian, born again and years after that became a Messianc Jew. I didn't know u could do that.
However, I'm not sure about Bob's views on organized religion and such. I have a feeling he probably rejects such labels overall. His seemed to be a personal spiritual awakening, more of a one on one relationship with Jesus.
I like a lot of his Christian era music, "Saved" is one of my favorites. It's a pretty kick a/s/s/ song. Third Day does a great cover. I'm looking forward to the Christmas album, to hear all these traditional songs sung in Bob's own inimitable style.
Me, I was kinda hopin' he'd do a cover of Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song"
I know a lot of you don't like all this talk of religion, but, well, you asked.
He sings his Christian phase songs because there were and are good songs. He generally only plays his better songs. When you listen again from Slow Train through Infidels... lots of really good songs... and some crappy ones. When I saw him perform in 1980 ONLY gospel... he was on fire in concert. Very very powerful.
No, he's not a Christian. Every year for the past 15 or so year he's been seen in Synagogue on the "High Holy" days, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. For instance, last year he was seen at a Synagogue in Atlanta. So while he may not be a devout Jew, he's definitely back on the Judaism train.
This doesn't prove anything. Going to synagogue can help Jewish believers in the Messiah keep in touch with their Jewish roots. I'm a gentile Christian but I've visited a synagogue and worshiped God the Father with my Jewish brothers and sisters because I know Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Dylan probably thinks of himself as being Jewish and Christian at the same time.