In Reggae Songs
The four Gospels each tell the story of the life of Jesus
Christ upon this earth. In the Gospel accounts,
we learn of the parables that Jesus
told, the miracles he performed, the advice
and instruction he taught, and the warnings
he gave about the end of the present age. Many of his
words and deeds have inspired Reggae lyricists.
5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
The famous Beatitudes (Matthew
from the Latin word meaning 'blessed' (as in the Latin
Vulgate Bible: "beati
pauperes spiritu..."), bring a wonderful message of hope
for those whom this world has rejected. See, for example,
the song 'Zion Hut', by IJahman.
7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Not even Christ judged while on the earth: "I
came not to judge the world, but to save the world"
(John 12:47). God doesn't like hypocrites.
... See, for example, 'Judge Not', by Bob Marley.
7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall
find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
God will surely reveal himself to those who earnestly
seek him. This is the Bible's tripartite instruction for
prayer: When we earnestly ask, it will be given, but
God's ways are subtle, and so we may still need to seek
before we find, and even then, it's polite to knock
before entering. Prayer is powerful. God always answers
prayers, but often not in the ways we expect. ...See, for
example, 'Blackheart Man' by Bunny Wailer.
7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
We mustn't be led astray by teachers of falsehoods, who
seek only to devour the flock to further their own evil
cause. See, for example, 'Wolfes' by Messian Dread, or 'Roots' by Bob Marley.
7:24 - Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which
built his house upon a rock:
Jesus frequently spoke in parables when
addressing the crowds who flocked to hear him teach. Here
he compares the solid foundation of a life based on truth
to a secure house built on the rock. The image of the
rock used to denote solidarity is a common one throughout
the Bible. (Compare, for example, Psalm
LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer...".)
Look at songs such as 'Love Is The Light', by Horace Andy and Big Youth.
11:25 - At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank
thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou
hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast
revealed them unto babes.
The corrupted hearts of the wordly-wise prevent them from
seeing the most fundumental truths that are obvious to
one who sees with the eyes of a child. (Compare also Matthew
18:3.) Quoted in
Reggae lyrics, this verse of scripture is often merged
with Psalm 8 verse 2, "Out of the mouth
of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength
because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the
enemy and the avenger." See, for
example, 'Forever Loving Jah' by Bob Marley, and 'What About The Half' by Dennis Brown.
13:9 - Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus invites us to search for the hidden meanings in his
parables. This phrase is repeated on several occasions
throughout the New Testament. Placed in the context of a
Reggae song lyric, it often takes on added emphasis,
making the listener sit up and take note. We sometimes
also find an adapted version of this quotation, forming
the similar command, "Those who have eyes to
see, let them see!" Songs to check out
include 'The Coming Of Jah' by Max Romeo, 'Behold' by Alpha And Omega, and 'Reincarnated Souls' by Bunny Wailer.
19:24 - And again I say unto you, It is easier for a
camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich
man to enter into the kingdom of God.
It's easy to imagine Jesus saying these words with a
sparkle of humour in his eyes, for what indeed is more
ridiculous than the idea of a camel passing through the
eye of a needle?! Yet even so, "with God
all things are possible." See, for
example, 'Kingdom Of God' by Prince Far I.
22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen.
God calls every one of us, but few listen. See, for
example, 'Roots' by Bob Marley, or 'When Jah Come' by Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
24:6-7 - And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:
see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must
come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and
there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes,
in divers places.
How many thousand times have these lines been quoted, I
wonder? ... And not just in Reggae lyrics, of course, but
by people everywhere, observing this time of tribulation,
and interpretting the "wars and rumours
of wars" as signs of the imminent
end of the age. Examples of songs to look at
include: 'Rumours' (Capital Letters), 'Armageddon' (Bunny Wailer), 'Rumors of War' (Peter Tosh), etc.
13:33 - Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not
when the time is.
The need for watchfulness applies to believers throughout
all ages. See, for example, 'Watch And Pray' by The Gladiators.
23:34 - Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they
know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and
The first of seven utterances of Jesus from the cross.
Preparing for the ultimate sacrifice, he pardons even
those who crucified him. ... See, for example, 'The Harder They Come' by Jimmy Cliff, or 'Kingdom Of God' by Prince Far I.
1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God.
It is no coincidence that the opening phrase of St.
John's gospel reminds us of Genesis
1:1, and indeed
these verses are often linked when quoted in Reggae
lyrics. See, for example, 'Creation' by Peter Tosh. The eternal significance
of Jesus, the Word that "was made flesh,
and dwelt among us", is here stated,
as is his identity with God.
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Frequently Occurring Biblical Quotations in Reggae Lyrics