Matthew 6:13


"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

The argument raised concerning this text centers around the last half of the verse, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." It has been omitted from the Greek texts of the United Bible Societies and Eberhard Nestle. And, since most modern translations of the New Testament are based on these Greek texts, it is not part of the English text in most contemporary versions. Modern scholarship argues the passage is not genuine because it exists in various forms and is not harmonized in all of its citations. Professor James R. White states, "This kind of 'variant cluster' is a sure sign of a later addition." (The King James Only Controversy, [Bethany House, 1995], 252.) Bruce Metzger, as does White, argues the passage is a harmonistic corruption by scribes to unify the text with Luke 11:2- 4 (The Text Of The New Testament, 2nd ed. [Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1973], 197.).

Neither argument is substantive. To argue "variant clusters" is a lack of authenticity is to argue against the critical texts supported by modern scholarship. A review of either the United Bible Societies text or the Nestle-Aland text reveal a vast host of variant readings which modern scholarship supports. The argument for harmonization of Matthew 6 with Luke 11 is conjectural. This is revealed by Kurt Aland in his comment on the passage by asking, ". . . if the doxology originally stood in the gospel of Matthew, who would have deleted it?" (The Text of The New Testament, [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987], 306.) Questions and speculations do not alter the textual facts on this passage. While it is omitted in Alexandrian manuscripts such as Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Cantabrigiensis, it is found in a host of other sources.

Among the Greek uncials it is found in K (ninth century), L (eighth century), W (fifth century), DELTA (ninth century), THETA (ninth century), and PI (ninth century). It is found in the following Greek minuscules: 28, 33, 565, 700, 892, 1009, 1010, 1071, 1079, 1195, 1216, 1230, 1241, 1242, 1365, 1546, 1646, 2174 (dating from the ninth to the twelfth century). However, it is not without early witness. It is found in the Old Latin, the Old Syrian, and some Coptic versions (such as Coptic Bohairic).

Old Latin texts, such as Codices Monacensis (q-seventh century) and Brixianus (f-sixth century), read, "et ne nos inducas in temptationem. sed libera nos a malo. quoniam tuum est regnum. et uirtus. et gloria in saecula. amen."

The Syriac Peshitto (second to third century) reads, "And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever: Amen." (James Murdock, The Syriac New Testament from the Peshitto Version [Boston: H.L. Hastings, 1896], 9.)

John Chrysostom cites the verse in the fourth century. In his Homilies this blessed Saint writes, ". . .by bringing to our remembrance the King under whom we are arrayed, and signifying him to be more powerful than all. 'For thine,' saith he, 'is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.'" (St. Chrysostom, "Homily XIX," in The Preaching of Chrysostom, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan [Philadelphia: Fortress Press], 145.)

The oldest witness, which outdates all Greek manuscripts on this passage, is the Didache. Otherwise known as the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, this ancient catechism dates to the early second century, some dating it shortly after 100 AD. In it we have a form of the Lord's Payer which supports the reading found in the Traditional Text.

"Do not let your fasts be with the hypocrites. They fast on Monday and Thursday; but you shall fast on Wednesday and Friday. Do not pray as the hypocrites do, but as the Lord commanded in His gospel, you shall pray thus: 'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the power and the glory forever.' Pray thus three times a day." (W. A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers [Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1970], 3.)

It is also interesting to note that in his studies on old papyri, Dr. George Milligan includes a sixth century prayer which incorporates the Lord's prayer from Matthew 6. Despite the fact that this papyri is badly worn, it clearly contains the phrase in question. Milligan notes, "a passage which some may be tempted to quote in support of the A.V. rendering of Mt. vi 13." (George Milligan, Selections From The Greek Papyri [Cambridge: University Press, 1912], 132-134.) He is correct, for the papyri shows that the verse as it stands in the Traditional Text was commonly used by Christians.

The passage stands in the authoritative/standard foreign versions (Spanish, French, Italian, and German) which pre-date the King James. For example, we read in the Reina-Valera Version, "Y no nos metas en tentacion, mas libranos del mal: porque tuyo es el reino, y el poder, y la gloria, por todos los siglos. Amen." While one who does not read Spanish may not recognize "reino" for kingdom, or "poder" for power, the word "gloria" is easily recognized as glory. Additionally, the verse stands in all the early English versions which the KJV translators used such as the New Testament of William Tyndale (1525). "And leade us not into temptacion: but delyver us from evyll. For thyne is the kingdome and the power, and the glorye for ever. Amen."

 

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words which Jehovah promises." (Notes on the Psalms, Revel