Robert Lowry, 1876
A Philadephia born author and composer, Lowry was a pastor in Philadelphia, New York, Brooklyn, and Plainfield, New Jersey.
This is a classic example of a gospel song, featuring call and response. Hymnologist C. Michael Hawn writes,
“Nothing but the Blood” has all the earmarks of a classic gospel song. It focuses on a single theme and hammers it home. The singer will repeat the text, “nothing but the blood of Jesus” twelve times if he or she sings all four stanzas. The refrain is succinct and reinforces the theme. The language is direct and obvious, with all one- or two-syllable words. The theme of cleansing from sin is prominent in gospel song literature.”
(Nothing But the Blood) William Doane and Robert Lowry, 1876
Hymn history by C. Michael Hawn at Discipleship Ministries
In the original publication, the text of Hebrews 9:22 was included at the top of the hymn. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”
Hawn, C. Michael. “History of Hymns: “Nothing But the Blood.’” Discipleship Ministries. The United Methodist Church. Web. 4 Sept. 2016.
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