So, I was writing an answer to a question a few minutes ago, and I was going to smugly tell all you Protestants that your "thine is the Kingdom" doxology is so non-Biblical, it's apocryphal.

Well, it is apocryphal, but if anything it's anachronistically apocryphal as no Protestant between the time of the Reformation, whenever that was, and the time of Martin Van Buren's presidency, whenever that was, would have had access to said tidbit of apocryphal lore.

The problem is, it's SOOO nearly verbatim.

...for Yours is the power and the glory for ever. Didache Chapter 8

as opposed to

for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory, now and forever.

Catholic's have a similar doxology said during Mass, in English it's:

...the kingdom the power and the glory are Yours now and forever

and I always console myself when praying with Protestants that I'm not doing anything unTraditional in saying their doxology (any more than I am in saying trespasses instead of debts).

But, how did it come about, and what, if anything does the English version of the Protestant ending to the Lord's Prayer have to do with the Didache?

  • 2
    This doxology appears also in some editions of The Gospel according to Matthew. I don't get your point.
    – zefciu
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 6:27
  • @zefciu, well that's interesting information that I didnt know. Do you know why it was added or why it was removed?
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 11:06
  • 3
    @PeterTurner It was not "added or removed". It simply appears in one family of Greek Manuscripts and not in another family. It does appear in the KJV, which uses the Textus Receptus family.
    – Narnian
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 15:15

4 Answers 4


In the record of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, the additional phrase appears in the 1611 edition of the KJV, the Tyndale Bible, and, it appears, in the German Luther Bible of 1545.

I can't read German, except for "Amen", but it looks like it's there.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:13 KJV

And leade vs not into teptacion: but delyver vs fro evell. For thyne is ye kyngedome and ye power and ye glorye for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:13 Tyndale, 1525

Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung, sondern erlöse uns von dem Übel. Denn dein ist das Reich und die Kraft und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit. Amen. Matthew 6:13 German Luther Bible, 1545

These translations are at the very beginning of the Protestant Reformation, and Tyndale's even predates it a bit.

This phrase does represent a variant in the Greek Manuscripts, but the origin is in the Greek.

So, this doesn't come from the Didache, but from Matthew's Gospel.

  • Maybe I asked the wrong question, but that's not particularly convincing answer since it ignores at about 1400 years of Christianity. Is there anyway of knowing that the no longer used translation of the Greek wasn't an interpolation of the lost Didache?
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 16:15
  • @PeterTurner Blog article "How Does the Lord's Prayer End?" part 1 and part 2 argue that Didache got it from Matthew ! : "Inasmuch as the Didache was probably composed when people who knew the apostle Matthew were still alive, this is an extremely weighty witness for the inclusion of the doxology in the original text of Matthew 6:13." (see conclusion of part 1) Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 19:27

Sort of? Strictly speaking it comes from the medieval manuscripts which the reformation theologians inherited, but it is not quite that simple.

The text is clearly missing from the most ancient manuscripts of Matthew, but it was present in the Renaissance. Someone in some scriptorium added that passage at a later date. On the other hand, we know that the Didache clearly included that doxology in the first (early second?) century. We also know that the Didache influenced the earliest Christian liturgies.

It is my interpretation that the text originally comes from the Didache but was added to Matthew. It seems likely that this was probably the honest mistake of a scribe remembering how it was said in Mass and writing that part from memory instead of sticking to the page.

FWIW, the doxology is found in the Liturgy of St. James, the oldest complete liturgy available to us today:

Our Father, which art in heaven: hollowed be Your name...

For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever.

But it is not in the Tridentine Mass, nor is it in the Ambrosian Rite.


I'm not sure how directly relevant this is, but in 1 Chronicles 29:10-11 are found the phrases "our father", "for ever and ever", "the power and the glory", and "thine is the kingdom".

Matthew must surely be telling us that our Lord Jesus took these phrases from David's prayer to make the Lord's Prayer. At least, that would be the case if these phrases were in Matthew originally. There remains the possibility that they were not originally in Matthew but were added later. But either way the phrases are originally biblical because they are in Chronicles.

It is worth reflecting on the wonder of the choice of these phrases at the end of the Lord's Prayer just after the phrases "forgive us our trespasses..." and "lead us not into temptation..." seeing they were originally prayed by David at the end of his life and at the coronation of Solomon, the son of Bathsheba.

The Lord's Prayer may very well in part be based on the prayer of a forgiven sinner, and a big sinner too, seeing he sinned so badly after he had already received so much blessing from God. Might it not be reasonable to subtitle The Lord's Prayer "The Sinner's Prayer"?

  • Thanks, that seems very relevant
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 23:21

The earliest known Scriptural manuscript in which it appears is the Codex Washingtonianus (third-oldest Bible), dated to the late 4th/early 5th century. Interestingly enough Jerome would have been working on the Vulgate at a similar time to this; the Vulgate does not contain the doxology.

The King James Bible and a small selection of other translations use transcriptions from what is commonly known as the "Textus Receptus" - a full version of the Bible based upon a collection of manuscripts that includes the Codex Washingtonianus. Out of the two different collections of manuscripts, this collection is known as the Majority text, and indeed the majority of manuscripts seem to correspond with this, having obviously been transcribed initially from an earlier version back as far as the Washingtonianus, as far as we can tell.

The Vulgate (and its English version, the Douay-Rheims), and many other translations (eg. NAB, RSV, etc) use a different, smaller selection of transcriptions that include the codex Sinaiticus (oldest Bible). Known as the Minority text. When non-Catholic Christians reject these translations (and NOT all non-Catholic Christians DO reject these translations) they do so on the basis of i. speculation (based, I think, in Origen's work) that the Alexandrian texts are less reliable; ii. some redaction technicalities; iii. there are less manuscripts that correspond with this translation.

On the one hand, the fact that the Didache contains this doxology is interesting; this could be a deliberate allusion to the original text of Matthew, if one believes that the doxology WAS contained in the original text. Bear in mind, whether Jesus said these words or not is actually irrelevant here (some pious Protestant scholars of the 19th century seem to momentarily forget their academic objectivity when they speak about this) - what is disputed is whether or not the original Evangelist PENNED these words here in the first place. At any rate, the presence of these words in the Didache could potentially support their original presence in Scripture.

On the other hand, the minority text DOES take from the oldest manuscripts that have been discovered. That manuscript represents the Bible as it was in that time to that group of people (Egypt) and that time predated any mention of the doxology.To write off a discrepancy as a mistake made by an unreliable scribe is NOT an answer. Such a response is to posit a theory for which only a conclusive proof against it can be found. A conclusive proof FOR this theory can never be produced, and therefore we cannot accept it as fact. The whole thing just becomes moot.

And so, the scholarly search continues...

  • Welcome to Christianity SE. We typically take a kinder, gentler tone here. We explain and present rather than telling people they're wrong. Using all caps looks like you're shouting, too.
    – Narnian
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 23:11
  • 2
    I wanted to upvote this as it contains some good, relevant information (Codex Washingtonianus). But, unfortunately, it also contains several errors: 1) The MT and TR are not the same thing; 2) The Vulgate certainly does not use the critical text (or as you call it the "minority text") - it predates its advent (And the MTs for that matter) by more than a thousand years & thus represents its own textual traditional; 3) the critical text is accepted by ALL modern translations (except NKJV), not just Catholic ones; 4) textual criticism is not primarily "speculation" but rather a controlled science
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 17:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .