Isaac Watts: Father of English Hymnody

"Born July 27, 1674 in Southhampton, England, Isaac Watts became one of the world’s most prolific hymn writers!

The eldest of nine children, Isaac shared his father’s love of books—learning Greek and Hebrew as a young man.

He also had the “strongly held faith” of his father, a Dissenter from the Anglican Church. Because of his father’s beliefs, Isaac was banned from attending Cambridge or Oxford. Instead he attended an academy run by Dissenters.

His years of language and Bible study led to his prolific hymn writing! One of Watts’ most famous collections was called “The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament."

He wrote that he wanted “to imitate rather than to translate” the Psalms, including his “imitation” of Psalm 98—which became one of the most popular hymns of all time. . ."

Share

More Book Minute Features

March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...
March 09, 2020

Walt Whitman and the Bible in Poetry

Walt Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant 19th-century poets. Whitman references the Bible in several of his works. Evident in an...