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Question and Answer

I don’t see the phrase, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory” in Matthew 6:13. Is it part of Scripture?

Scholars who believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Old and New Testaments debate the origin of the Greek words behind the phrase, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,” which is found in the King James Version. These words do not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts we have, but they do appear in more than 98 percent of all available Greek manuscripts—though none of them gives evidence of this phrase before the late 4th century. The late appearance of the words argues against them being original, for the earlier manuscripts—the ones closest to the original manuscript penned by Matthew—would be more likely to contain the original wording than later manuscripts.

Just as Adam and Eve are historical figures—real people who lived on this Earth—so too is the serpent a historical figure.

In addition to a lack of earlier manuscript evidence, commentators on the Gospels in the early church, such as Origen, Tertullian, and Cyprian, do not seem to have had the words in the manuscripts available to them, for they make no comments on this phrase. Most modern translations omit these words from the text and include a footnote citing the lack of early textual evidence for this phrase.

The words likely were adapted from 1 Chronicles 29:11: “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory. . . . Yours, Lord, is the kingdom.” Therefore, there is nothing wrong with praying the words, for they are true, even though they do not appear to have been part of the original text of Matthew 6:13.

BY Eric C. Redmond

Eric C. Redmond serves as an assistant professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Mens’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway). He blogs at ericcredmond.wordpress.com.

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