Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (MTh)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

David Jacobsen

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis is concemed that with the growing practice of hymn-text revision, a lack of consistency and quality is evident in some alterations which do not have the benefit of clear criteria and guidelines for such revision. This is of particular interest to preachers and pastors because of the significant relationship between preaching and hymn singing which have complemented and supported each other in the proclamation of the gospel. Sixteen issues or concerns about language usage and imagery are identified. Each of these issues is explained and examples are given to illustrate why individuals and faith groups today may have questions or difficulties with the wording in particular hymns. Homiletic theory and practice is used as the basis of a proposed hermeneutic for hymn-text revision. The five steps of this hermeneutic provide guidance to those who revise hymns, and offer a process which will lead toward consistency and quality in hymn-text revision. The revisions of two well-known hymns are critiqued to demonstrate the process.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season