“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

some texts of  Matthew 6:13

Friday, 25 September 2020

Matthew 6:9-13

When said in church, or by ourselves, this is how we conclude the Lord’s Prayer. If we read the New Testament, the chances are that, depending on which translation we use, we won’t find it in either Matthew or Luke. A few editions, most famously the King James Version, include it. Many other translations note it in a footnote.

Why so? Our Bibles are translations (unless you lucky enough to read Greek or Hebrew) from original manuscripts, often fragments of the whole text. The earliest New Testament sources date back to around the third century. They are handwritten copies of copies. One of the problems with this is that sometimes lines and phrases are left out by accident. In addition, sometimes copyists would add in comments to texts to clarify want they meant.

This line appears in a few of the copies of the New Testament we have. The King James translators and a few other decided that the text was genuine – or at least that it served the purpose of concluding the Lord’s Prayer.

I agree with them. It is a beautiful conclusion to the prayer. It is also an excellent summary of the spirit of what has been said earlier. It reminds us that the reign or kingdom of God is ultimately God’s – not ours. We merely work with God to make it a full reality on earth. Similarly, whatever power we have has its source in God.

And above all, praise belongs to God alone. To a God whom we have seen and acknowledged as the loving creator who fills all of creation and only desires what is good for us.

To which believers say Amen. So we believe. May it be so, now and always.

Creator God,

May our lives be lived in union with you, May our world become what you have desired for it, May we embrace the power of your love in all our lives, Now and forever,

Amen.

 
Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for spotlight.africa. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

a.egan@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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