Origins of Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

If you’ve been to just about any Chistian church for any regular period of time, or have taken your child to Sunday School, you are likely to have heard the song “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” It is easy to figure out that this quote is not in the Bible due to its modern day rhyme. However, it has become the iconic children’s song when it comes to the love of Jesus.

“Jesus loves me, this I know.” – Anna Bartlett Warner, American Writer

The song Jesus Loves Me was not originally writen as a song. It was written as a poem, but not in a book of poetry. It actually comes from a 19th century novel written by Anna Bartlett Warner (August 31, 1827 – January 22, 1915). In her novel Say and Seal, the main character in the story recites a poem to a dying child, a poem to comfort the little one with the love of Jesus. Then in 1860 William B. Bradbury, considered to be a major force in American church music, read the book Say and Seal and discovered the poem. He was immediately inspired by the message and put it to music, completing it by adding the chorus. The rest is history.

Complete Lyrics to Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me!  This I know, For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong; They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! Loves me still, Tho I’m very weak and ill,
That I might from sin be free, Bled and died upon the tree.


Jesus loves me! He who died, Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in.


Jesus loves me! He will stay, Close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me; I will henceforth live for Thee.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

I was surprised to learn that the song Jesus Loves Me had 4 verses (I’ve only heard it with the first verse and chorus). Also take special note to how focused it is on the story of salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus. This is much more than a kid’s Sunday School song, it is the Gospel in simplicity.

To learn more about Anna Bartlett Warner and Say and Seal go here. You can download the free ebook here.

To learn more about William B. Bradbury go here.

To get the sheet music for Jesus Loves Me (This I Know) go here.


Origins of Jesus Loves Me, This I Know — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting Anna Warner’s fine children’s hymn, and a bit of the background. Here’s a bit more. The singer, a Mr. Linden, and the sick boy was Johnnie Fax. The man was the boy’s Sunday School teacher, and he wanted to share with him a song they’d learned in Sunday School. Interesting that the song was first sung by a man who never existed (i.e. a fictional character)!

    Today is the 186th anniversary of Anna Warner’s birth. If you’d like to learn more about her, I invite you to check out Wordwise Hymns for today, my daily blog on the subject.

  2. Thanks you so much for bringing the information on the song Jesus Loves Me. It has inspired me to read the book.

    God Bless You from the bottom of my heart!

  3. I am happy about all the informations, God bless every source IJN. Bamidele, Nigeria.

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