What is a hymn?


By BibleAsk Team

A Hymn

A hymn is a form of musical worship that has been an integral part of Christian tradition for centuries. It typically consists of lyrics that express praise, adoration, or devotion to God and is accompanied by music. They serve as a means of congregational singing, uniting believers in shared expressions of faith and reverence. The concept of songs is deeply rooted in the biblical tradition, reflecting the psalms and other scriptural passages that emphasize the importance of praising God through music.


Ephesians 5:19 (NKJV): “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” This verse highlights the role of hymns as a means of communication among believers, as well as a way to make melody in one’s heart to the Lord.

Biblical Basis for Hymns:

Colossians 3:16 (NKJV): “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This verse emphasizes the use of songs as a way to teach and admonish one another, enriching the worship experience with the Word of Christ.

Expressing Gratitude and Praise:

Psalm 100:2-4 (NKJV): “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” This psalm encourages the use of praise, which aligns with the essence of songs as expressions of gratitude and worship.

Worship through Music:

Psalm 98:1 (NKJV): “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.” Singing a new song to the Lord is a recurring theme in the psalms, reflecting the idea of fresh expressions of worship through music.

Hymns in Corporate Worship:

1 Corinthians 14:26 (NKJV): “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” This verse acknowledges the diversity of spiritual expressions in the corporate gathering, including the use of psalms for edification.

The Role of Melody and Song:

Psalm 104:33-34 (NKJV): “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.” These verses convey the joy and gladness that come from singing to the Lord and making melody in praise.

Hymns in Times of Trouble:

Acts 16:25 (NKJV): “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Even in challenging circumstances, hymns become a source of strength and testimony, as seen in the example of Paul and Silas singing in prison.

Theological Content:

Philippians 2:5-11 (NKJV): This passage, often considered a hymn itself, articulates the theological truths about Christ’s humility, obedience, and exaltation. It exemplifies how hymns can convey rich doctrinal content.

Declarations of Faith:

Psalm 118:14 (NKJV): “The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” Hymns often serve as declarations of faith, proclaiming the Lord as the source of strength, song, and salvation.

Unity in Worship:

Psalm 133:1 (NKJV): “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Singing hymns together fosters a sense of unity among believers, creating a shared experience of worship and praise.


A hymn is a sacred song expressing praise, devotion, and worship to God, often accompanied by music. Rooted in the biblical tradition, hymns find their inspiration in the psalms and various passages that emphasize singing as a means of worship and spiritual expression.

The New Testament also provides insights into the role of hymns in corporate worship and their ability to teach, admonish, and edify believers. Hymns, as a form of musical worship, contribute to Christian’s experience, providing a vehicle for believers to express their faith, declare theological truths, and unite in worshipful adoration of the Almighty God.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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