Our Hymn today came from Roman Catholic Jesuits in Germany and originally had six verses. Although it appeared first in the Jesuit hymnbook of 1677, the text of the hymn was found in a manuscript dating back 15 years before in 1662. The origin of the words remains a mystery. Who translated it into English too is largely a mystery. The first three stanzas are the work of an anonymous translator. The fourth stanza was translated by Joseph Seiss and it first appeared in a Lutheran Sunday School book in 1873.
Maybe it is appropriate that no human author draws attention away from the great theme of this hymn…no story to detract from the Saviour. This hymn emphasizes the beauty and wonder of Christ, and it alludes to His dual nature. He was both human and divine. He was God made flesh. “Thou of God and man the Son….” “Glory and honour, praise, adoration…Now and forever more be Thine!”
One thing is for sure, this hymn has been a favourite…helping individual believers’ express worship and honour to God Almighty, for almost 5 centuries!