For God So Loved the World, He Gave His Only Begotten Son

"For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not die, but have everlasting life."

This is perhaps the most famous salvation verse in the Bible - now it is set to one of the prettiest of all Irish melodies.  

John 3:16

Please scroll down the page for the sheet music PDF links.

Here is a video (just an audio file made by my iPhone) to let you hear what this music sounds like:


Jesus does NOT say that the ones who are condemned are condemned because

  • they did not keep the ten commandments
  • they did not live a sinless life
  • they did not perform enough good works

No, He said they are condemned because they did not BELIEVE.

Believe WHAT?  In God's only begotten Son.  It is the OBJECT of our faith that is the important thing, not how great or how little our faith is.

Notice that the setting begins very simply, and then develops more speed and energy.


Here is a close-up look at the beginning of the song:

A closeup look at the song

Near the end of the song, the chords become thicker and bigger to add weight to the arrangement.

Take a careful look at the VERY LAST CHORD.  It is a glissando symbol, DESCENDING.


The small arrow at the bottom of the glissando indicates to play from top to bottom.  The two open chords are played by first the right hand, then the left.

This arrangement is VERY THICK with chords.  If you are interested in using this melody, but with just three chords, please check out the arrangements at my other site, Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

In the penultimate line - the second line from the end - the words are spaced very closely together.  Unfortunately there just wasn't room to arrange them right beneath the notes to which they belong.

If you examine the lead sheet, it is more plain:

For God So Loved the World song, set to the tune of Star of the County Down, lead sheet


You may recognize this melody from another arena - it is commonly known as "Star of the County Down."  You can see a really fun video of a group called The Orthodox Celts performing this music at my other website!

And if you want guitar tabs for this piece, check out this page at Music-for-Music-Teachers.com. 

Why did I pick this particular melody to set this most beloved of Bible verses?  Because I have found over the years that my music students LOVE this tune, and do not seem to get tired of it.  When it is "request" time, this Irish melody is always a sure bet!

It doesn't HAVE to be sung fast... it is beautiful sung or played slowly as well.

Here are the lyrics in a block of text, including permission from the creator of  SingTheBibleStory.com to copy, paste, and use in your church or meeting on an overhead projector, computer, or bulletin:

For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son

that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life.

Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe

is condemned because he does not believe in the only Son of God.

For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son

that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life.

John three, sixteen, seventeen.




The piano link:


Download piano arrangement of "For God So Loved the World" in Em



The lead sheet link:


Download lead sheet arrangement for John 3:16 song





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