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Versifier: Christopher M. Idle
Christopher Martin Idle (b. Bromley, Kent, England, 1938) was educated at Elthan College, St. Peter's College, Oxford, and Clifton Theological College in Bristol, and was ordained in the Church of England. He served churches in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria; London; and Oakley, Suffolk; and recently returned to London, where he is involved in various hymnal projects. A prolific author of articles on the Christian's public responsibilities, Idle has also published The Lion Book of Favorite Hymns (1980) and at least one hundred of his own hymns and biblical paraphrases. Some of his texts first appeared in hymnals published by the Jubilate Group, with which he is associated. He was also editor of Anglican Praise (1987). In 1998 Hope Publishing… Go to person page >
Scripture References: st. 1 = Rev. 21:1-3 st. 2 = Rev. 21:4-6a st. 3 = Rev. 21:6b-14, 18-21
st. 4 = Rev. 21:15-17, 22-23 st. 5 = Rev. 22:1-5
In Revelation 21-22 we read about John's vision of the new heaven and new earth, of the new Jerusalem, and of the river of life where trees grow leaves "for the healing of the nations." This vision brings together features of Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden-both recreated! In pictorial language John describes the awe-inspiring cosmic renewal at the end of time.
Christopher M. Idle (PHH 20) versified this passage in London in 1972; his paraphrase was first published in the British collection Psalm Praise (1973) with the tune NEW HEAVEN by Norman L. Warren (PHH 15). It quickly came across the Atlantic and was published in Hymns for the Living Church (1974). The editor of that hymnal, Donald Hustad, had come across the song in the pews of All Souls' Church, London, England, late in 1972 while practicing for his Royal College of Organists exams. Since that time it has appeared in various other hymnals.
In worship focusing on the worldwide nature of the church; as words of encouragement and comfort for those in the midst of troubles and/or martyrdom; as an exultant doxology; Advent or other times when the church focuses on Christ’s return and the new heaven and new earth; All Saints’ Day; Reformation Day.
NEW HEAVEN has a folk-like charm; in some ways the first part reminds one of Appalachian tunes. It is one of the few tunes in the Psalter Hymnal that begins in minor and changes to major (another is ST. ANDREW OF CRETE, 575). Idle's text generally warrants this change. Warren wrote that "these marve…
Display Title: Then I saw a new heaven and earthFirst Line: Then I saw a new heaven and earthTune Title: [Then I saw a new heaven and earth]Author: Christopher IdleDate: 1999Subject: Seasons of the Christian Year | The Return of Christ; Living the Christian Life | Heaven and Victory over Death
Display Title: Then I Saw a New Heaven and EarthFirst Line: Then I saw a new heaven and earthTune Title: NEW HEAVENAuthor: Christopher M. IdleMeter: PMScripture: Revelation 21; Revelation 22:5; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:1-5Date: 1987Subject: King, God/Christ as | ; Return of Christ | ; Eternal Life | ; Lamb of God | ; New Creation |
Display Title: Then I Saw a New HeavenFirst Line: Then I saw a new heaven and earthTune Title: NEW HEAVEN AND EARTHAuthor: Christopher IdleScripture: Revelation 21Date: 2008Subject: Afflictions/Trials | ; Comfort and Encouragement | ; Funerals |