Joy to the World

Joy to the World—one of the most beloved Christmas hymns of all time!

But did you know?. . .it wasn’t written as a Christmas song?

Sung by carolers and choruses for generations—English hymn writer, Isaac Watts, never intended “Joy to the World” to herald the nativity stories in the Gospels.

The song was first heard in 1719 in his work called: “The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament.” His intent was to “imitate rather than to translate” the Psalms—reimagining them as if David had actually lived in the days of Christianity.

“Joy to the World—the Lord is come, let earth receive her King!” are the first words of Watts’ reimagining the second half of Psalm 98!

Join with the generations who’ve engaged with the Bible in remembering and celebrating the great events of their faith traditions!

Brought to you by Museum of the Bible.


More Book Minute Features

August 03, 2020

Presidential Birthdays -

Five former US presidents have birthdays in August, with the oldest being Benjamin Harrison, followed by Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton...
July 27, 2020

Isaac Watts: The 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 sha...
July 20, 2020

U.S. Historic Sites and the Bible -

A close look at the walls, floors, and ceilings throughout our nation’s capital reveals a heritage of biblical impact and influence! On the ceilin...