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.

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