This month we’ll be hearing about Bach’s so-called Calov Bible, a rare surviving example of the composer’s once-robust theological library and, for many scholars, a window into Bach’s life and work. Joining us to discuss the Calov Bible is Dr. Robin Leaver, one of the first scholars to extensively explore Bach’s copy of what is really a three-volume German theological commentary built largely on Martin Luther’s writings. Dr. Leaver is author of numerous books and articles about Bach, theology, and Lutheranism. He is Emeritus Professor at Westminster Choir College and, until recently, Visiting Professor at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Click here to read about, or order, the Calov Bible Commentary facsimile published last year.
Read more about Dr. Leaver’s book J.S. Bach and Scripture: Glosses from the Calov Bible Commentary.
For an accessible and recent example of how one noted Bach scholar has used the Calov Bible to interpret aspects of Bach’s biography, read this New York Times article by Michael Marissen.
For more about Dr. Leaver’s background and academic career, check out this 2017 interview.
For more images from the original volumes, visit the webpage of Concordia Seminary, where the Calov Bible has resided since the 1930s. (Image of title page of Bach's Calov Bible Commentary, below, courtesy of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.)