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Analysis of Matthew 6:13
A study of the
of the
New Testament
ęCopyright 2001 Randall Duane Hughes

This is a rather interesting passage found within Matthew's rendering of the Lord's Prayer.  Our focus will be primarily on the ending clause of this, the 13th verse of chapter 6.

In textual criticism, there are several avenues one may use to try and determine the correct text.  One of these is internal evidence.  While it is true that each New Testament writer did not always record the same events in the same language, (just like no two people seeing the same event today would use the exact words to describe it), we often can compare the various accounts and from there make a determination.

Luke records the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11:2-4. However, Luke ends his account of this prayer with "...lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."

Where Matthew continues on, "...deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

It is believed that the writings of Matthew were later influenced by liturgical usage.  Thus the doxology at the end is believed to have been added at a later time.

It is interesting to note, that in this same passage in some of the manuscripts, some scribes felt it needful to include a reference to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in this location.  There are some three manuscripts that are rather recent that contain such a rendering.

Dr. Bruce Metzger comments on this verse:  "The ascription at the close of the Lord's Prayer occurs in several forms.  In K L W  D  Q  P  f 13 al it is the familiar triple strophic forms, whereas the Sahidic and Fayyumic (like the form quoted in the Didache) lack                        , the Curetonian Syriac lacks                                , and the Old Latin k reads simply "for thine is the power for ever and ever."  Some Greek manuscripts expand "for ever" into "for ever and ever," and most of them add "amen."  Several late manuscripts (157 225 418) append a trinitarian ascription, "for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen"  The same expansion occurs also at the close of the Lord's Prayer in the liturgy that is traditionally ascribed to St. John Chrystostom."

"The absence of any ascription in early and important representatives of the Alexandrian (└ B), the Western (D and most of the Old Latin), and the pre-Caesarean (f 1) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord's Prayer (those of Tertullian, Origen, Cyrian), suggest that an ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of 1 Chr 29.11-13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church"  A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Metzger, 2000, pages 13-14.  (For PDF including the Greek missing above, click here)

The above mentioned manuscripts that contain a Trinitarian addendum are from the following time periods.

Manuscript Date
MS 157 12th  *
MS 225

12th  *

MS 418 15th  *

This Trinitarian addendum is not believed to be original by any textual critics!  In fact, they don't even mention it. I have read New Testament Introductions (or similar works) by K. & B. Aland, F.G. Kenyon, J.H. Greenlee, A. T. Robinson, C. R. Gregory, J.W. Burgon, F.C. Conybeare, E. F. Hills, L. Vaganay, and Metzger.  This variant is not mentioned in any of their Intro's.   I have found it mentioned only in Metzger's Textual Commentary, mentioned above, and in Reuben Swanson's New Testament Greek Manuscripts:  Matthew, 1995, page 47.

*  These dates are found in Kurt Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, 2nd newly revised and expanded edition (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1994).

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ęCopyright 2001 Randall D. Hughes