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When he was 48 years old, Johann Sebastian Bach acquired a copy of Luther’s three-volume translation of the Bible. He pored over it as if it were a long-lost treasure. He underlined passages, corrected errors in the text and commentary, inserted missing words, and made notes in the margins.

Near 1 Chronicles 25 (a listing of Davidic musicians) he wrote, “This chapter is the true foundation of all God-pleasing music.”

At 2 Chronicles 5:13 (which speaks of temple musicians praising God), he noted, “At a reverent performance of music, God is always at hand with his gracious presence.”

At the beginning of many of his scores, Bach wrote the initials “J.J.” (Jesu, juva, “Jesus, help”) and “S.D.G.” (Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone be glory“) at the end.