32 End of the Lord’s Prayer
In most of the modern versions of the Bible, the doxology at the end of the “Lord’s Prayer” as recorded by Matthew, is omitted or printed in the margin. This doxology also does not appear in gospel according to Luke.
When we look at the facts some interesting possibilities are opened up.
Let us look at the facts recorded in the manuscripts available:
Matthew 6:13; end of the “Lord’s Prayer”:
|Witness||Greek:||Translations||Church Fathers||Greek||Translations||Church Fathers|
|201-300||Origen , Cyprian , Tertullian|
|301-400||א, B||Vulgate ,Boharic||Hilary Caesarius-N , Gregory-Nyssa ,Cyrel-Jerusalem||Gothic , Syriac||Apostolic Constitutions|
|401-500||D||7 Old Latin||Chromatius Augustine||W||2 Syriac , Armenian ,Georgian||Chrysostom|
|501-600||0170||Peter-Laodicea||Old Latin Ethiopic Version|
|601-700||Maximus-Confessor||Old Latin , Syriac|
|801-900||Vulgate||K, Λ, Θ, Π, 33||Old Latin|
|Minuscules||f1||f13, 28, Many lateMinuscules|
The question before us is whether this doxology had been given by Jesus Himself as the end of the prayer, or had been added to the prayer at a later stage?
1. In the manuscripts no less than 7 variations are presented. Some add words like: “…the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” or “…for ever and ever!” etc.
2. The only Greek manuscript before the year 700 having the doxology is Codex Washingtonianus. This manuscript is most probably a compilation of fragments from different origin. The codex has many unique variations throughout.
3. The doxology does appear in the Diatessaron of Titan, a document with some arbitrary additions and omissions.
4. Manuscripts lacking the doxology are widespread, while those containing it are almost all from the Byzantine area.
5. A possible explanation for the origin of this doxology could be a note in the margin (Gloss) as a meaningful ending of a prayer adapted from 1Chron.29:11-13.
1. Up to 700 A.D. which version is supported by most Manuscripts?_______ Translations?_______ Church Fathers?______
2. Does the inclusion of the doxology cause a break in the general course of the pericope?________________________
3. How do you consider the possible explanation given in remark 5 above? ____________________________________
4. Would it be appropriate to compile a personal doxology for one’s own prayers taking i.a. Rom.11:36 or 16:27 as guideline?_________________
5. Does the inclusion or omission of the doxology bring any aspect of faith in the balance?_____________________________
6. Own choice: _________________________
The doxology is beautiful and very appropriate. Yet if it had been added at a later stage by some pious priest or scribe, that is exactly what it is – an addition, putting his own words in the mouth of the Lord! Removing it from the gospel of Matthew would then be a restoration back to the original words of our Lord. Do we really need more than what the Lord deemed necessary?