Then I Saw a New Heaven and Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and earth

Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1973)
Published in 5 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

To view this media, please accept the license agreement:

Hope Publishing: one copy

In order to use resources from the Hope Publishing Company, you must reside in the United States or Canada. Hope Publishing Company owns or administers the contents in these territories.
You may download one copy of this selection for your own personal use. To make any further copies or to perform the work you must get permission from Hope Publishing Company or belong to and report the copying activity to CCLI, LicenSing or By selecting "I Agree" you are verifying that you reside in the U.S. or Canada and will only legally use this selection.

Source: Singing the New Testament #259
(This is the only representative text available.)^ top

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Then I saw a new heaven and earth
Title: Then I Saw a New Heaven and Earth
Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1973)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Copyright: © 1973 The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Co.)


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.

Liturgical Use:
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.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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…

Go to tune page >


[Then I saw a new heaven and earth]



Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
Page Scan

Complete Mission Praise #669

Text InfoTune InfoTextAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #236

Sing Glory #456


Singing the New Testament #259

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us