Monday, May 2, 2022

The Lord's Prayer: Are We Done Yet?

Before we discuss the final few words of the prayer, let’s consider whether we already have.

Many Bible translations include, “For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever,” only as a footnote.

The ESV Study Bible note says this closing was likely a later scribal addition. They also point out how the traditional closing echoes a line from one of David’s prayers.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. (1 Chron. 29:11)

Should we include this closing, if we know we’re doing so more from tradition than from Scripture? Personally, I do. Tradition is part of how we do things. That’s even a biblical idea.

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:1

As Stanley Hauerwas puts it, Christianity is something handed down to us; we don’t get to make it up as we go along.

It’s good to be mindful that this closing may not have been original to Matthew’s Gospel. It’s also good, in my opinion, to conclude the prayer with this traditional confession.

What say you?

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