The Story behind The Hymn | William Kethe

ALL PEOPLE THAT ON EARTH DO DWELL

This is often called “The Old Hundredth” because it is based on Psalm 100. It is probably the oldest hymn of praise in the English language. William Kethe, a Scotsman, was a minister of the Church of England.

But during the reign of Queen Mary, which was a reign of terror for many English Protestants, Kethe fled to Germany and then to Geneva, Switzerland. In Geneva he was influenced by John Calvin.

There he assisted in the translation of the Geneva Bible and helped to produce a complete English version of the metrical psalms. From this Psalter, now more than four hundred years old, “The Old Hundredth” is taken.

The hymn was first published in London in 1561, shortly after Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne.

The music was written by John Calvin’s choir director, and the hymn has never been set to any other but the original tune.

Scriptures: Psalm 100:1-4; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:15

Themes: Praise, Worship, Joy

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