Sunday, September 15, 2013

Matt 6:13 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

[For a limited supplemental bibliography, see the bottom of this post.]

The so-called doxology of the Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:13) was labeled a spurious addition to the text and vociferously attacked by Erasmus and most later Greek New Testament editors, even though it occupies a place in 98.6% (1507 of 1528) of all Greek NT manuscripts, including the following from the 9th century and earlier: E G K L M U V W Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω 047 0211 0233 0257 0287 [f1-pt f13] 33. 399. 461. 565. 566. 892. 1080. 1424. 1500. 2224. The doxology is absent in ℵ B D Z 0170 [f1-pt] 1090c and in 10 other insignificant witnesses from the 14th century or later.
     The basic arguments against accepting the doxology into the text include: (1) the various forms in which it is found, indicating a supplemental nature; (2) its absence from early Greek witnesses (ℵ B D Z) and the Latin version; (3) its absence from early church fathers (particularly Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine); (4) the lack of any apparent reason why anyone would have deleted it. But these reasons seem insufficient in light of the following considerations:
     1. The doxology is present not only in 98.6% of all Greek manuscripts (see the Text und Textwert information below) but also in Old Latin manuscripts k/1 (quoniam est tibi virtus in saecula saeculorum) f/10 g1/7 q/13, in the Old Syriac Curetonian (but without "and the power") and the Syriac Peshitta, Harklensis and Palestinian versions, in the Coptic Sahidic, Fayyumic (though both without "the kingdom and"), and part of the Bohairic versions, and in the Gothic, Ethiopic, Georgian, and Armenian versions. The Didache from ca. 100 has the doxology (though without "the kingdom and"), and it appears in the 3d-century pseudonymous Gnostic text Prayer of the Apostle Paul (cf. Mueller, 28). The doxology is also cited in the 4th century by Gregory of Nyssa (De oratione Dominica 5 [end]; also without "the kingdom"), Ephrem the Syrian (Paraeneticus 50), Caesarius (Dial. 1:29), the Apostolic Constitutions (3.18), and Chrysostom (Ad populum Antiochenum 17; In orationem Dominicam 5; Hom. Matt. 19.6 (twice); 22.2; Hom. Rom. 16.10), in the 5th century by Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. 4.24 (twice), and in later centuries by many others including Euthymius Zigabenus (Comm. Matt. 6.13) and Theophylact (Ennarratio Matt. 4).
     2. Historical criticism does not allow that Jesus would have ended the model prayer without a doxology (cf., e.g., Luz, 323; Schlatter, 217). While this observation does not necessarily commend the doxology present in most Greek witnesses as primary, it does however emphasize the internal consistency of those manuscripts that contain it. Also, this observation cannot be used to argue that early scribes would have added the doxology to preserve the Jewish reputation of Jesus, for not even a single scribe of the 1600 manuscripts of Luke gives evidence of such a motive. Even if one grants the validity of a motive to include a doxology where none was present originally, the manuscript evidence indicates what one might expect, namely, that Matthew the Jew would have been more inclined to add it than Luke the Gentile.
     3. The doxology attested by the manuscript tradition shows no signs of Christian theology; rather, it is completely Jewish in formulation and theology (cf. Betz, 414). This not only argues in favor of a 1st-century origin of the doxology, but also questions whether later Christian scribes or editors, had they their choice, would have added a decidedly Jewish formulation to Matthew's Gospel rather than a distinctly Christian one.
     4. Form-critical considerations do not allow the doxology to be regarded as a natural emanation from the earliest Christian doxologies, which generally begin with or use the dative in indirect speech and not, as the doxology found in most manuscripts of Matt 6:13, a οτι followed by a genitive in direct speech (cf., e.g., Weber, 45–6). On these distinctions compare the form of Matt 6:13 with that in the following passages: Rom 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 16:27; 1 Cor 15:57; 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 3:21; Phil 4:20; 1 Tim 1:17; 6:16; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 13:21; 1 Pet 1:3; 4:11; 5:11; 2 Pet 3:18; Jude 25; Rev 1:6; 7:12; 12:10; 19:1–2. Except for three passages in a literary genre quite unlike that of Matthew (Rev 4:11; 15:3–4; 16:5–6), the form-critical differences between the doxological form found in Matthew and those found everywhere else are striking. The Christian doxologies from the NT are in the third person, but the one in Matthew is in the second person, as if Jesus were standing face to face with God his Father. Moreover, the likelihood that the supposedly later Christian interpolator not only would have departed from the normal Christian doxological forms used in the many passages adduced above but also would have put words into the mouth of Jesus himself at the climax of his universally popular model prayer is extremely low, especially when a pietistic doxology in the third person would have been more appropriate to such a one's purpose (e.g., "to God be the kingdom . . .").
     5. The nearly universal use of the doxology in the liturgies of the early churches gives rise to a historical-critical problem if one assumes the original absence of the doxology in Matthew. It is remarkable that Paul, when alluding to the final request of the Lord's Prayer for deliverance from "evil," himself moves immediately into a doxology, "to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen!" (Gal 1:4; cf. also 2 Tim 4:18). Did Paul himself originate this practice, or was his practice merely derivative of the pattern of one higher than himself? If Paul originated the pattern, the failure of the presumed interpolator to imitate his form and indirect terminology is striking (cf. point 4 above). If anyone other than Jesus or Paul began the tradition, who could it have been, and, more importantly, how did it come to pass that nearly everyone in the living tradition of the church imitated it? The same critical questions apply to all the liturgies that include the doxology in various forms after the Lord's Prayer (but to my knowledge always beginning with οτι). It is with this rationale in mind that Wolf (1:133) concludes, "It is more probable that these words were brought into the liturgies from the text of Matthew than from them into it."
     6. The problem of the doxology's origin only increases due to its dissimilarity from other precedents. "The passage in 1 Chr 29:11–12 that is often adduced as the model for [the doxology] is too far removed in its wording. Rabbinic traditions also offer only analogies" (Niederwimmer, 137). The object of Jewish benedictions (such as after the beginning of the Shema or after the Alenu prayer) is always only "the kingdom." Furthermore, it is unexpected, to say the least, that it is precisely any mention of the kingdom that is missing from a number of early variations of the doxology. Why should this be, given that the kingdom was so central to all Jewish doxologies? (See point 9.9 below for a possible solution to this dilemma.) Additionally, why should a reference to the kingdom have been added (presumably later on) to nearly all Greek manuscripts if it was not central to Christian doxologies?
     7. Besides obvious but minimal contamination from the actual liturgical traditions (see point 8 below), the amount of variation one finds in the Greek manuscript tradition containing the doxology is not abnormal for a text of its length (cf. the Text und Textwert information below). First, fully 1416 manuscripts contain the entire doxology as printed in the Robinson-Pierpont GNT (2005) without a single letter of variation, while 13 additional manuscripts have it with minor transcriptional omissions or dittographies. Second, 3 late manuscripts omit "amen" and 16 omit "forever amen." Third, 20 late manuscripts add "and ever" following "forever," perhaps from liturgical influence. Fourth, 5 late manuscripts omit "and the glory," probably accidentally. Fifth, 6 manuscripts (all late) omit "and the power," again, probably by accident. Sixth, a single manuscript omits "the kingdom and," perhaps accidentally or for other reasons (see particularly point 9.9 below). Seventh, a single manuscript in place of "forever amen" reads "of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, forever," no doubt influenced by the actual wording of the most popular liturgical formulas. Finally, 3 late manuscripts omit "amen." The salient points are that: (1) 1416 (94%) of the manuscripts that have the doxology preserve it completely intact, letter for letter; (2) all the manuscripts from the 10th century and earlier (105 witnesses!) contain the doxology completely intact, letter for letter (E G K L M S U V W Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω 047 0211 0233 0257 0287 14. 24. 27. 29. 33. 34. 36. 63. 67. 100. 106. 123. 144. 151. 161. 175. 262. 274. 278. 299. 344. 364. 366. 371. 399. 405. 411. 420. 461. 478. 481. 564. 565. 566. 568. 584. 652. 773. 875. 892. 942. 994. 1073. 1076. 1077. 1078. 1079. 1080. 1110. 1120. 1166. 1172. 1203. 1223. 1225. 1266. 1281. 1346. 1347. 1357. 1392. 1421. 1422. 1424. 1452. 1458. 1500. 1582C. 1663. 1701. 1816. 2142. 2172. 2193. 2224.  2290S. 2324. 2369. 2373. 2414. 2509. 2545. 2722. 2812. 2835); (3) any witnesses that contain variations of the doxology are all very late (a couple from the 11th century but mostly much later), few in number, have little claim to authenticity, and mostly result from the commonest type of scribal error, namely, omission. Needless to say, such a state of the manuscript tradition is certainly not what one should expect to find were the doxology added to Matthew's Gospel little by little over time, or added in one form or another from the very beginning in various parts of the Greek-speaking Christian world. Even if only one form of the doxology were added at a certain time and in a single place, it does not seem very likely that that particular form would have been incorporated almost ubiquitously and so uniformly into the manuscript tradition to the extent that it has.
     8. There is no doubt that various forms of the doxology present in liturgical traditions had an influence on the Greek manuscript tradition of the doxology, but the influence was minimal. Briefly, after the word "glory" 9 manuscripts add "of the Father," 1 adds "of the Father and the Son," and 15 add "of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (5 of which expand "forever" into "now and always and forever (and ever)." Of these, 4 omit "and the power," 6 omit "amen," and 1 omits "and the power and the glory." That all of these alterations are evidently secondary to the earlier and overwhelmingly attested form (see point 7 above) is very likely due to the facts that (1) they are all reflected in the liturgical traditions from which they must derive and (2) their representation in the manuscript tradition is very late. In fact, of these 25 witnesses, only one is from the 11th century, while 4 are from the 12th, 6 from the 13th, 5 from the 14th, 6 from the 15th, and 3 from the 16th. With this in mind, it is truly remarkable that 105 manuscripts from the 10th century and earlier (namely, all of them) display the doxology of the majority of manuscripts (94% of those that have it, or 1416 mss) without any variation at all (cf. point 7 above).
     9. The problem why the doxology, if possibly original, might have been omitted in a few manuscripts or passed over in silence by certain fathers deserves serious consideration.
     9.1. Scrivener (Introduction, 2:324) mentions that the silence of some writers might be due partly to the absence of the doxology in the form of the Lord's Prayer as given in Luke 11:2–4, and that, while it is probable that the doxology was interpolated from the liturgies, "it is just as probable that it was cast out of St. Matthew's Gospel to bring it into harmony with St. Luke's (xi. 4)." If this were the only explanation it would not warrant much attention, but its force is better felt in tandem with other weightier reasons.
     9.2. The doxology's appearance to some to be a cumbersome addition, in combination with its absence in the account of Luke (11:2–4), could have aroused the motive of a critic, especially one familiar with the reckless "Western" additions of the second century, to remove the words (cf., e.g., Whitney, 1:71; Baumgarten, 28–9). Scholz's criticism (1:16) is instructive in this regard: "For inasmuch as the thought of verse 12 is strengthened by the argument of verses 14 and 15, can anyone really persuade himself that the entire doxology for the purpose of assurance was superficially attached in such a way that in verse 14 Jesus could only with great roughness return to the subject of verse 12?" Scholz's comment draws attention to the circumstance that critical minds, no matter the century, could have observed the apparent disruption of the flow of thought between vv. 12 and 14 and sought to remedy the situation. By removing the doxology the remedy would only have been partial, though, as the petitions for delivery from temptation and the evil one (v. 13) keep the apparent interruption intact. At least Wettstein (1:327), who dismisses the doxology, honestly concedes that not just the doxology but also what precedes it (i.e., v. 13) non inter se cohaerere ("is internally inconsistent") with the flow of the passage.
     9.3. The absence of the doxology in various witnesses of the Old Latin version, putting aside the cause of its omission for the moment, could have contributed to the doxology's omission in all those under its vast influence. Two examples may suffice. First is the circumstance that the so-called Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7–8) found its way into a multitude of Latin manuscripts and many church fathers even though it occupies a place in only a few late and otherwise insignificant Greek manuscripts. Second, in Matt 5:44 the Old Latin and Vulgate offer virtually the only textual support for the absence of only the second clause, "bless those who curse you," while including the other three clauses (cf. the four clauses in the Byzantine text). The likeliest explanation is that the earliest interpreter, whether aware of the textual problem there or not, intentionally or unintentionally and yet rather uniquely caused benefacite ("do good") to follow diligite inimicos vestros in Matthew just as it does in Luke 6:27 and 35. Although I have not searched out the quotations of the Latin fathers at this place, it is likely that many of them follow the early editorial pattern of the Old Latin and Vulgate, and also that comparison with Luke was a contributing factor. Needless to say, if the doxology were already absent in the Latin copies, e.g., of Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine, there should be no wonder why they failed to comment on it. In addition, one cannot rule out the possibility that the Old Latin version, which was often copied alongside the Greek text in bilingual manuscripts of the early period, came to affect the transmission of the Greek tradition. To this cause may be attributed those many Western accretions that are attested only in a single or a few Greek copies, just as Bengel himself (Apparatus, 465) draws attention to a certain bilingual Greek NT manuscript in his excursus on 1 John 5:7–8 in relation to omissions, that that manuscript ex Latino tamen sine dubio derivatum, "is derived without a doubt from the Latin."
     9.4. The editorial industry of an early critic, perhaps a precursor to or in emulation of famous critics such as Marcion and Tatian, could have eliminated the doxology in imitation of a literary technique seen elsewhere in religious literature. For example, the middle verse of Psalm 145, namely the so-called nun strophe, was omitted perhaps intentionally, since it formed the center and locus of climax for that psalm. As is well known, the Lord's Prayer forms not only the center of the present pericope on almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, but also the very center of the entire Sermon on the Mount. From a critical Marcion-like editorial perspective, a more fitting place for such an elliptical procedure, especially at a place where the words were already universally known, can hardly be imagined. The stunning correspondence between the two "omissions" (the doxology in some witnesses of Matthew and the nun strophe of Psalm 145:13b [LXX 144:13b] in the Massoretic text) is that just before the omission in the psalm reference is made to "thy kingdom/dominion" (4x), "thy power/might" (2x), "glory" (2x), and "everlasting/for all generations" (2x) (cf. 145:11–13a).
     9.5. Burgon (Causes, 85) was adamant that it was liturgical use itself that caused not the addition but rather the omission of the doxology: "It was the invariable practice from the earliest of time for the Choir to break off at the words 'But deliver us from evil.' They never pronounced the doxology. The doxology must for that reason have been omitted by the critical owner of the archetypal copy of St. Matthew" from which those few manuscripts, Origen, and the Old Latin derived their text. This plausible explanation, without other contributing factors, cannot be seen as decisive due to (1) the lack of certainty regarding the time of this practice's origin and (2) the possibility that the absence of the doxology in certain Greek copies is what caused the doxological words not to be spoken in the first place. In other words, the explanation involves a non sequitur but nevertheless might be true.
     9.6. The function of the doxology in direct speech rather than indirect, discussed in point 4 above, is encumbered with enough theological tension to present a motive for its alteration or removal. Put simply, the doxology ascribes all the kingdom, power, and glory to God alone, and nothing to Jesus himself. The fact that most liturgies of the Lord's Prayer ascribe glory not just to God but rather to the triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit affirms this difficulty. An early copyist, knowing that Jesus mentions his own glory in his other famous prayer (John 17:22, 24) and also his own ubiquitous authority at the end of Matthew (28:18), could well have felt the tension. In fact, the difficulty is exacerbated due to the time period of the variation's rise, the obscure second century during which the battles of orthodoxy and heresy raged the hottest. What better proof-text for a separationist theology than Jesus himself ascribing all the glory to God alone in a prayer! And so from this perspective what might be termed an anti-separationist orthodox corruption could have spawned.
     9.7. The severe warning against vain repetitions issued by Christ himself just a few verses earlier (6:7) may have caused some to tamper with the clause, or omit it altogether, out of fear that the clause was beginning to approach the status of "vain repetition" in liturgical services. In fact, Wettstein (1:327) argues that whoever added the doxology took Christ's admonition into account when formulating its supposedly awkward order (kingdom-power-glory), which otherwise should have aligned more properly with the order of the three petitions (i.e., glory-kingdom-power = hallowed be thy name ... thy kingdom come ... thy will be done), as if altering the order in such a way were somehow better at complying with Jesus' command. The point is that prayer is to be engaged in with an attitude of sincerity and not in imitation of magical repetitions.
     9.8. Evidence shows, however, that heterodox groups from the early period also used the the Lord's Prayer (including the doxology). Thus we find in the 2d- or 3d-century the Gnostic Prayer of Paul the Apostle: "For thine is the kingdom and the glory and the praise and the greatness for ever and ever amen” (cf. Müller, 28). And so we also find in the Greek magical papyri a certain Silvanus praying both to God and to "holy Serene" to deliver him from a demon and every sickness and malady, and to this end he recites the "evangelistic healing prayer," which is none other than the Lord's Prayer, followed by "for thine is the glory forever," and then closing with other "magical" phrases: "In the beginning was the Word. The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. O Light from light, true God, be gracious to me, your servant, O Light! Holy Serene, fall upon me, that I may be completely healed" (cf. Papyri Graecae magicae: Die griechischen Zauberpapyri (ed. K. Preisendanz and A. Henrichs; vol. 2; 2d ed.; Stuttgart: Teubner, 1974). As fascination with the apparent magical powers of the Lord's Prayer grew, especially in Egypt, the act of an orthodox scribe or editor to "protect" the doxology from unholy use may have been, rather paradoxically, to remove it from a written copy. In fact, some scholars regard Christ's prohibition in 6:7 as directed specifically against magical formulations (Betz, Sermon, 364; see also Betz's other works cited below).
     9.9. A final motivation for the doxology's omission in a few witnesses is found in the disciplina arcani, "the discipline of the secret," which fell on especially fertile soil in the environs of Egypt and Italy where the philosophical attractiveness of secret knowledge was extremely popular. Yet even apart from this, the precedent for secrecy is already present in the biblical record itself. In the Gospel of Matthew we see reference made to the "mystery of the kingdom" (13:11). Jeremias (130) in particular states that "when we turn to the early Christianity, we repeatedly come across cryptic sayings and a concern to keep the most sacred things from profanation," a popular example being the secrecy surrounding the prediction of the death of Jesus (Mark 8:27–33; 9:9). One sees in 2 Esdras 12:13–39 that the revelation is commanded to be revealed only to those with enough wisdom to understand the words and to keep them safe, i.e., protected from abuse and misuse. Some scholars even hold that the author of the Gospel of John intentionally omitted the account of the Lord's Supper because he did not want to reveal the sacred formula to the general public, or rather that he "hid" the significance of the ritual within the Bread of Life discourse in John 6. Kilpatrick, moreover, argues that the shorter Western text of Luke 22:19–20 can be explained by Hellenistic influences and that the omission is especially indicative of the mystery cults that preserve knowledge of the most sacred practices (especially ritualistic) for only the initiated. Similarly, as the Lord's Prayer was inextricably tied to the rituals of baptism and the Lord's Supper from the earliest of times, there is evidence that it too fell under the disciplina arcani as practiced by some Christian groups. Even Ambrose (Cain et Abel 1.9.37 [PL 14:335]) in fourth-century Italy instructs Christians: "Beware of revealing out of carelessness the secret of the confession or of the Lord's Prayer." Well before Ambrose was Clement of Alexandria, who interpreted all of Scripture as a series of symbols and allegories. For Clement, the meaning of Scripture was of its very nature hidden and mysterious to all but the initiated, and thus he argued that Christianity, as the true philosophy, ought to be more mysterious than those worldly and false philosophies (cf. Strom. 5.8–8). But even before Clement's time the mysterious Kabbalah system was developing from the esoteric and theosophical currents present among the Jews of Palestine and Egypt by the end of the first century (cf. Scholem, 8), and eventually the doxology itself became a prooftext for that cult's sephirothic triad: kingdom (malkuth [מלכות]), power (netzah [נצח]), and glory (hod [הוד]) (cf. Olearius, 218–20). It is along these socio-historical currents that a case can be made that in one place or another the doxology held such a sacred and mysterious position (cf. point 9.8 above) that it too fell under the disciplina arcani of certain practitioners and thus, not out of vice but rather out of extreme reverence, it was removed from some Greek copies and especially from an important archetype of the Latin version (cf. esp. Ambrose above). Indeed, a corroborating factor for some (cf. point 9.1 above) may have been that even Luke himself hid the doxology from his readers. For others, removal of just the reference to the kingdom in the doxology was enough to satisfy the desire to keep the "mystery of the kingdom," well, truly mysterious to all but the initiated (cf. the absence of "the kingdom" in the Didache, Sahidic, Fayyumic, Gregory of Nyssa, etc.).
     When all the above arguments are considered, it seems more likely that the doxology could have been truncated by a few, especially by the creator(s) of the Latin version, which those who opposed the authority of the words may have followed as their supreme guide and authority, than that the means and opportunity were at hand for some unnamed powerful force to add the expression so successfully that nearly all the Greek manuscripts and most early versions exhibit it. Still the biggest problem for those who oppose the textual primacy of the doxology is that if it was the frequent habit of leaders from the beginning to add doxologies to the end of their prayers (cf. point 4 above), and if they habitually added it fully in the Greek manuscripts and mostly in this version or that, why is no interpolation of even a single word of the doxology attested at the end of the Lord's Prayer in Luke's Gospel, whether from the form found in Matthew's Gospel or, more essential yet for the opposing theory to have any weight, from any of the forms found in the dozens of different liturgies that existed among the early churches? By far the most common liturgical traditions include reference to the Trinity after the threefold ascription, but as it turns out this liturgical accretion only came to affect a few Greek manuscripts (cf. point 8 above). In the end, it is reasonable to conclude that the liturgical formulas of the doxology all derive from the doxology's prior presence in the canonical Gospel of Matthew, and not the other way around.
     Finally, if the doxology belongs at the end of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew, its presence following the petition for deliverance from the evil one is striking. The οτι followed by the threefold ascription transports one immediately back to the threefold temptation of Christ by the evil one himself (4:1–11), where in the final temptation all the kingdoms (βασιλεια) and their glory (δοξα) were shown to Jesus, who replies that the Lord "thy" (σου) God alone was to be worshiped and served. The devil's immediate departure demonstrates to whom the power, the second or central of the doxological ascriptions, belongs. It is in this simple contextual sense that the doxology, which should no longer be so immediately spurned as a near-universal and spurious addition to the text of Matthew, may be explained.

Text und Textwert #19 results:

1 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην
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796 797 798 799 800 801 803 804 805 806 808 809 811 817 818 819 820 822 824 825 826 828 830 833 834 835 836 839 843 844 845 852 854 855 856 858 860 861 863 864 867 871 875 877 878 880 881 888 889 892 893 895 896 898 899 900 901 902 903 904 905 906 922 923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 932 933 934 935 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 948 949 951 952 953 954 955 956 957 958 959 960 961 962 963 964 965 966 968 970 971 972 973 974 975 978 979 980 982 983 986 987 988 989 991 992 994 995 996 997 998 999 1000 1001 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1011 1012 1013 1014 1015 1017 1018 1019 1020 1023 1024 1025 1026 1028 1029 1030 1032 1033 1035 1036 1037 1038 1039 1040 1041 1042S 1043 1044 1046 1047S 1048 1052 1054S 1056S 1057 1058 1059 1061 1062 1063 1064 1065 1068 1071 1072 1073 1074 1075 1076 1077 1078 1079 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086 1088 1089 1090* 1091 1092 1093 1095 1096 1097 1110 1111 1113 1114 1117 1118 1120 1121 1122 1123 1125 1126 1127 1130 1131 1132 1133 1135 1136 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1435 1436 1438 1439 1441 1443 1444 1445 1446 1447 1448 1449 1450 1451 1452 1453 1454 1455 1456 1457 1458 1460 1461 1462 1463 1464S 1465 1466 1467 1468 1470 1471 1472 1473 1474 1475 1476 1477 1478 1479 1480 1481 1482 1483 1484 1485 1486 1487 1488 1489 1490 1491C 1492 1493 1494 1495 1496 1497 1498 1499 1500 1501 1502 1503 1505 1506 1508 1510 1511 1519 1521 1528 1530 1531 1533 1535 1536 1538 1539 1540 1541 1542 1543 1544 1545 1546 1547 1548 1549 1550 1551 1552 1553 1555 1556 1557 1558 1559 1560 1562 1563 1564 1570 1572 1573 1575 1576 1579C 1580 1581 1582C 1583 1584 1585 1586 1587 1588 1589 1590 1591 1592 1594 1595 1597 1600 1601 1603 1604 1605 1606 1609 1613 1615 1617 1620 1622 1623 1625 1626 1628 1629 1630 1631 1632 1633 1634 1635 1637 1639 1640 1641 1642 1643 1645 1646 1647 1649 1651 1652 1653 1659 1660 1661 1663 1664 1665 1666 1667 1668 1670 1672 1675 1676 1677 1678 1680 1682 1685 1686 1687 1690 1691 1692 1693 1694 1695 1697 1698 1699 1700 1701 1702 1703 1704 1712 1713 1797 1800 1802 1804 1808 1813 1814 1816 1823 1901C 1966 2095 2097 2099 2101 2107 2108 2109 2117 2118 2120 2121 2122 2123 2126 2127 2131 2132 2133 2135 2139 2141 2142 2146 2147 2159 2172 2173 2174 2175 2176* 2177 2178 2181 2191 2193 2195 2199 2201 2204 2206 2207 2213 2215 2217 2220 2221 2224 2229 2236 2255 2260 2261 2263 2265 2266 2267 2273 2277 2278 2280 2281 2283 2284 2287 2290S 2291 2292 2295 2296 2297 2301 2307 2314 2315 2317 2321 2322 2323 2324 2328 2352 2354 2355 2356 2362 2367 2369 2370 2371 2372 2373 2374 2375 2381 2382 2383 2386 2387 2388 2390 2394 2396 2397 2398 2400 2404 2405 2406 2407 2411 2414 2415 2420 2422 2426 2430 2439 2442 2444 2446 2451 2452C 2454 2458 2460 2465 2470 2471 2472 2474 2475 2476 2477 2478 2479 2482 2483 2487 2488 2489 2490 2492 2494 2496 2497 2499 2502 2503 2507 2508 2509 2510 2511 2515 2516 2518 2520 2521 2524 2525 2528S 2530 2533 2539 2545 2546 2549 2550 2554 2555 2559S 2561 2562 2571 2577 2578 2579 2581 2583 2585 2586 2590 2591 2592 2598 2603S 2604 2605 2606 2608 2610 2612 2613 2614 2615 2616 2620 2622 2623 2624 2633 2634 2635 2636 2637 2645 2646 2650 2651S 2653 2656 2658 2660 2665 2670 2673 2676 2680 2684 2685 2687 2691 2692 2694 2695 2702 2703 2705 2706 2707 2709 2710 2713 2714 2718 2721 2722 2724 2726 2727 2728S 2734 2735 2745 2749 2754 2756 2757 2760 2765 2766 2767 2770 2774 2775 2779 2780C 2781 2783 2787 2788 2806 2808 2809 2810 2812 2819 2831 2835 2836

1B οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

1C οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

1D οτι εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

1E οτι σου η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

1F οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα τους αιωνας αμην
752* 1248* 1579* 1901*

1G οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις αιωνας αμην

1H οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας μην

1I οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας
22* 679C 688

1J οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις ωνας

1K οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις ωνας αμην

1L οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος εις τους αιωνας αμην
422 731 1206 2708

1M οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η και η δοξα του πατρος εις τους αιωνας αμην

1N οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του εις τους αιωνας αμην

1O οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος αιωνας αμην

1P οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος

1Q οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δοξα του πατρος εις τους αιωνας αμην
1780 2729

1R οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου εις τους αιωνας αμην

1S οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος εις τους αιωνας αμην
225 310 418 1050 1228 1348 2715 2730

1T οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος εις τους αιωνας αμην

1U οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος εις τους αιωνας αμην

1V οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος νυν και αει και εις τους αιωνας
513 740 1060

1W οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος νυν και αει και εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων
931 2693S

2 Omit
01 03 05 035 0170 1 118* 130 205 209 372 890 1090C 1582* 2701S 2737 2780* 2786

3 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα
154* 306 354 590 596 719 723 733 737 842 891* 1021 1137 1532 1534 2100

3B οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα αμην

4 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων αμην
31 38 113 131 324 552 760 873 969 1053 1186 1227 1375 1578 1688 2148 2176C 2182 2223 2523

5 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις εις τους αιωνας αμην
57 827 886 1671 2112

6 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην
61 152 375 555* 1221 1342

7 οτι σου εστιν η δυναμις και η δοξα εις τους αιωνας αμην

8 οτι σου εστιν η βασιλεια και η δυναμις και η δοξα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος εις τους αιωνας

9 αμην
17 30 288*

U Homoeoteleuton: αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω (6:6) [... αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω (6:18)]

Supplemental Bibliography:

Bandstra, Andrew J. "The Lord's Prayer and Textual Criticism: A Response." Calvin Theological Journal 17 (1982): 88–97.

------. "The Original Form of the Lord's Prayer." Calvin Theological Journal 16 (1981): 15–37.

Baumgarten, Siegmund Jakob. Authentiam doxologiae Matth. VI. com. xiii obviae a recentissimis oppugnationibus vindicatam. Halae: Hilligeriana, 1753.

Benzenberg, Heinrich. "Vindiciae breves doxologiae Matth. VI, 13," pages 97–119 in vol. 2 of Symbolae literariae. Edited by Johann Peter Berg. 4 vols. Hagae comitum et Duisburgi: C. Plaat Bibliopolae, 1784.

Betz, Hans Dieter. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Including the Demotic Spells. Edited by Hans Dieter Betz. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

------. "Secrecy in the Greek Magical Papyri." Pages 153–76 in Hans G. Kippenberg and Guy G. Stroumsa (eds.), Secrecy and Concealment: Studies in the History of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions. Studies in the History of Religions 65. Leiden: Brill, 1995.

------. The Sermon on the Mount. Edited by Adela Y. Collins. Hermeneia 54. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995.

Breitinger, Johann Jakob. Dissertatio epistolica qua argumenta quibus clausulae O. D. αυθεντια vulgo propugnari solet modeste expenduntur. Zürich: Museum Helveticum, 1748.

Bruggen, Jakob van. "Abba, Vader! Tekst en toonhoogte van het Onze Vader." Pages 9–42 in De biddende kerk. Edited by C. Trimp. Groningen: De Vuurbaak, 1979.

------. "The Lord's Prayer and Textual Criticism." Calvin Theological Journal 17 (1982): 78–87.

Heumann, Christoph August. Erklärung des Neuen Testaments. 12 vols. (esp. 1:83–88). Hannover: Förster, 1750–63.

Jeremias, Joachim. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Translated by Norman Perrin. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1966.

Kannaday, Wayne C. Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal Tradition. SBLTCS 5. Atlanta: SBL, 2004.

Kilpatrick, George D. “Luke xxii. 19b–20.” Journal of Theological Studies 47 (1946): 49–56.

Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 1–7. Translated by James Crouch. Hermeneia 61A. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.

Mueller, Dieter. "The Prayer of the Apostle Paul." Pages 27–8 in The Nag Hammadi Library. Edited by James M. Robinson. Revised ed. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990.

Morus, Alaxandre. Causa Dei. Medioburgi: Anthonii de Later, 1653.

Niederwimmer, Kurt. The Didache: A Commentary. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. Translated by Linda M. Maloney. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.

Olearius, Gottfried. Observationes sacrae ad Evangelium Matthaei. Lipsiae: Theophili Georgi, 1713.

Schlatter, Adolf. Der Evangelist Matthäus. 6th ed. Stuttgart: Calwer, 1963.

Scholem, Gershom. Kabbalah. Jerusalem: Keter, 1974.

Twells, Leonard. A Critical Examination of the Late New Text and Version of the New Testament. London: R. Gosling, 1731.

Weber, Michael. Eclogae exegetico-criticae ad nonnullos librorum N.T. historicorum locos. Halis: Schimmelpfennigianis, 1827.

Wernsdorf, Gottlieb. Vindiciae orationis Dominicae. Wittembergae: Christiani Gerdesil, 1714.

Whiston, William. The Sacred History of the Old and New Testament. 6 vols. (esp. 5:268–72). London: n.p., 1745.

Witsius, Herman. Sacred Dissertations on the Lord's Prayer. Translated by William Pringle. Edinburgh: Thomas Clark, 1839.

Literature that may quote the doxology (listed chronologically):

Didache 9.4 (Lake, 1:322)

Didache 10.5 (Lake, 1:324)

Prayer of the Apostle Paul (cf. Dieter Mueller, "The Prayer of the Apostle Paul," in The Nag Hammadi Library (ed. James M. Robinson; rev. ed.; San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990), 28.

Ephrem the Syrian, Oratio in vanam vitam et de poenitentia (Assemani, 3:314B)

Ephrem the Syrian, In illud: Attende tibi ipsi 10 (Assemani, 1:252D)

Caesarius of Nazianzus, Dialogus 1.29 (PG 38:889)

Basil of Caesarea, Liturgia (PG 31:1648B)

Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 17: Ad cives Nazianzenos 13 (PG 35:981A)

Gregory of Nyssa, De oratione Dominica 5 (PG 44:1193A)

Apostolic Constitutions 3.18 (PG 1:800C)

Apostolic Constitutions 7.24 (PG 1:1016C)

John Chrysostom, Ad populum Antiochenum de statuis 17 (PG 49:180)

John Chrysostom, De angusta porta et In orationem Dominicam 5 (PG 51:48)

John Chrysostom, Homiliae in Matthaeum 19.6 (PG 57:282) (twice)

John Chrysostom, Homiliae in Matthaeum 22.2 (PG 57:301)

John Chrysostom, Homiliae in epistulam ad Romanos 16.10 (PG 60:564)

Isidore of Pelusium, Epistulae 4.24 (twice) (PG 78:1073D and PG 78:1076B)

Basil of Seleucia, Oratio 35: in Publicanum et Pharisaeum 3 (PG 85:384A)

Opus Imperfectum 14 (PG 56:714)

Pseudo-Ambrose, De sacramentis 4.5.24 (PL 16:460B)

(Pseudo-)Hesychius of Jerusalem, Homily 19: Martyrium sancti Longini centurionis 16 (PG 93:1560B)

Pseudo-Chrysostom, Interpretatio orationis Pater noster (PG 59:628)

Pseudo-Chrysostom, De salute animae (PG 60:738)

Euthymius Zigabenus, Commentariorum in Matthaeum 6.13 (PG 129:241C)

Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Matthaei 4 (PG 123:205C)


  1. That has to be one of the most detailed defenses of the doxology I've read. But I have lots of questions about that, but I'll just ask a statistical question.

    If you're counting mss, wouldn't it be more statistically valid to give a representation of the percentage of Greek mss based on each century instead of one large statistic (98.6%) lumping all Grk mss for 16 centuries together?

    In other words, it's not until after the VII century that our extant Grk mss reach the tipping point in which a majority have the doxology. Prior to that the doxology is in the minority:

    0% (0/2) of IV cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (01, 03 without)

    20% (1/5) of V cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (05, 0170 without; 032 with)

    44% (4/9) of VI cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (035 without; 042, 043, 0287 with)

    50% (5/10) of VII cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (0211 with)

    64% (9/14) of VIII cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (07, 019, 047, 0233 with)

    85% (28/33) of IX cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology (011, 017, 021, 030, 031, 037, 038, 041, 045, 0257, 33, 399, 461, 565, 566, 892, 1424, 1500, 2224 with)

    99% (1507/1528) of XVI cent and earlier Grk mss have the doxology

    (I don't have time to separate mss in the X-XV centuries once the minuscules start piling up quickly... but of course the numbers will increase from 85% to 99%.)

    Also, by mentioning 98.6% of all Greek mss have the doxology, wouldn't it be more statistically valid to say only about 35-40% of all Greek and Latin mss have the doxology since the vast number of Greek Byz mss represent only a small area of medieval church history? (I don't know the exact number of Latin mss, but I know it's considerably larger than the number of Greek mss.)

    Anyway, hope this is helpful,

  2. Nice statistics, Jeff. Kinda completely refutes just about any argument for authenticity.

  3. Hi Jeff (and James from the peanut gallery)! Thanks for your comment and statistical presentation. As others have argued (e.g. Robinson in his Case article attached as an appendix to his GNT or available online, but also others such as Bill Petersen), such stats as you present are rigged to include only the manuscripts from the only location where any early manuscripts could have physically survived. There is a reason why all the early papyri are Egyptian.

    I prefer this more direct presentation:

    Against the doxology:
    4th: ℵ B
    5th: D Z 0170
    6th: none
    7th: none
    8th: none
    9th: none
    10th: 1582
    11th: 1090
    12th: 1
    13th: 118

    Notably, 4 of the 5 mss omitting the doxology before the 10th century are strongly of a single text type (the Alexandrian), indicating an early but no doubt common origin. The only other (D) has its own difficulties due to its OL history.

    For the doxology:
    5th: W
    6th: Σ Φ
    7th: none
    8th: E L 047 0233
    9th: G K M U V Δ Θ Π Ω 0211 0257 0287 33 399 461 565 566 892 1080 1424 1500 2224
    10th: S 14 24 27 29 34 36 63 67 100 106 123 144 151 161 175 262 274 278 299 344 364 366 371 405 411 420 478 481 564 568 584 652 773 875 942 994 1073 1076 1077 1078 1079 1110 1120 1166 1172 1203 1223 1225 1266 1281 1346 1347 1357 1392 1421 1422 1452 1458 1582C 1663 1701 1816 2142 2172 2193 2290S 2324 2369 2373 2414 2509 2545 2722 2812 2835
    etc. etc.

    No one really thinks that there were only 9 copies of the Greek Gospel of Matthew in existence before the 8th century, with 5 for omitting the doxology and 4 for including it. Such is but a sliver of a picture (and thank God for it!), but it cannot be seen as representative of the mighty copying tradition of arguably the best preserved literary work in history. The reason everyone considers it so well preserved is not because 9 manuscripts of Matthew predating the 8th century survived. It is because of its continuous representation throughout history, especially from the bulk of later manuscripts that must have been copied from earlier copies, and those from yet earlier ones, that makes the record of preservation so impressive.

    When one thus observes the mass of manuscripts from the 8th-10th centuries that contain the doxology, and realize that only few if any are directly related to one other, we deduce (with Lake) that each manuscript must represent a relatively independent line of transmission far predating each manuscript's date of copying. Also, all the many versions, even Old Latin ones, which represent living Christianity in all areas outside of the living Greek tradition, demonstrate the vast and early provenance of the doxology.

    I think the internal arguments corroborate the external attestation quite well, but of course I'm a little biased.



  4. Hi Jeff,

    One other comment in relation to what you said: "Also, by mentioning 98.6% of all Greek mss have the doxology, wouldn't it be more statistically valid to say only about 35-40% of all Greek and Latin mss have the doxology since the vast number of Greek Byz mss represent only a small area of medieval church history?)"

    Besides the fact that Latin is secondary to the primary Greek tradition from which it derived, the bulk of Latin manuscripts derive not from the early period but rather from a single revision of the text carried out in the 4th and 5th centuries, and therefore is only of corroborative, not determinative, weight in deciding textual matters. I think you would agree that the Greek manuscript tradition is the primary documentary evidence for the text of the NT.

  5. JCB,

    Something else to consider: What if the Alexandrian Text echoes a very early exemplar that was a lector's copy that was marked up, and copyists misinterpreted the marks? Besides accounting for the non-inclusion of the PA, such a mechanism -- combined with a copyist's recollection of the shorter prayer in Luke -- could account for the loss of the doxology in Mt., if the custom of having the doxology said in unison is that ancient, and the lector's copy had marks of some sort which had been intended to convey that the doxology was special in one way or another (either by being read in unison by the whole congregation, or by being read exclusively by the lector or whoever happened to be leading the prayer).

    Of course the question is, *are* lections that early, and *is* such a custom of special treatment of the doxology that ancient? One could argue that the relative simplicity of the loss-causing mechanism is a point in its favor. All we lack is early evidence. (A circumstance which didn't stop Metzger from making all sorts of surmises about how this or that passage found its way into the Byzantine Text.)

    Also, besides the MSS, consider the Didache -- that's a very, very early utilization! Istm that if the Didache's testimony is going to be dismissed, the burden of proof rests on those who claim that the text of the Didache has been expanded at that particular point.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    P.S. I've put a lecture on the Eusebian Canons on YouTube.

    1. Yes, the Didache is an amazingly early document, one of the earliest extant post-NT writings, but yeah, unfortunately there's only one Greek copy of it, but at least we have that one! And unfortunately, that one Greek copy dates to 1056, a time when the doxology was already well entrenched in both the manuscripts and liturgical usage of the Lord's prayer in the Greek church. And if scribes altered the doxology in copies of Matthew which they considered scripture (whether you think they added it or removed it), then "adjusting" the text of a book like the Didache is even more within their potential. I'm not saying the doxology wasn't originally there in the Didache, but we also can't put too much weight on it either. A prayer doxology is much more likely to be adjusted to contemporary usage than other texts.

      And then there's the whole issue that the doxology in the Didache doesn't match the doxology in the majority of late Greek mss since it has only 2 of the 3 tones (omitting "the kingdom and").

    2. Hi Jim, and thanks for your input. The situation you describe is similar to Burgon's explanation, which I think is not decisive for the same reasons you mention. But I don't dismiss it altogether, since in fact it might be the right explanation.

    3. Hi Jeff! The fact that the doxology in a Greek copy of the Didache from the 11th century does NOT read with the majority of mss argues against the assumption that it is a mere, late scribal addition from current Greek mss, does it not? Most see the absence of the kingdom in that document as evidence of a very early date. I offer an explanation in 9.9 as to why the kingdom may have already gone missing in several witnesses.

    4. Like I said, I wasn't trying to say for sure the doxology was absent in the original of the Didache... only that we have to be careful not to put too much weight on that single, late Greek ms. And I don't think there's a Latin copy of it, is there?... well, at least not the part with the Lord's prayer. (I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong on that.)

      I think more than anything, the variant form of the doxology in the Didache (i.e., sans "the kingdom") shows how the doxology grew into the Greek manuscript tradition.

      Regarding 9.9, alleged secretive tendencies as a motivation for removing or altering the doxology in Egypt seems highly speculative. It runs counter to the practice of the scribes to preserve the text.

    5. Btw, part of the reason I think the Didache is good evidence of the doxology "growing" into the Greek tradition is because another early witness for the doxology (Apost Const from IV cent) has another different form of the doxology ("the kingdom"... without "and the power and the glory"). That's in Apost Const 7.24 (although 3.18 has it in what later becomes the standard form). So two of the earliest patristic references to the doxology have divergent/partial forms of it.

    6. It should at least be noted in this regard that the Apostolic Constitutions and Didache are related witnesses or at least share a common source for much of their material. Sometimes Apost Const is considered to retain the original readings of their source material, such as, e.g., ωσπερ ην τουτο διεσκορπισμενον in Did. 9.4. In regard to the doxology, I do not think it impossible that the Apost Const could preserve the more original form and the current ms of the Didache a form influenced by the liturgical formula(s) prevalent in the area where it was preserved.

  6. Hi Jonathan,

    Yes, unfortunately we're missing so many mss from the IV century and earlier. Vaganay and Amphoux conjecture that by AD 400, there may have been as many as 1500-2000 mss in existence (if each of the roughly 400 dioceses at that time had had 4-5 mss each). Those numbers might be a tad high, but we all regret such loss of evidence (and of course, we grieve even more the violent deaths of those who owned many of those copies). But despite the loss of mss, in the fathers, we don't find the medieval "majority text" as a whole being used prior to Chrysostom which indicates the Egyptian witnesses are not merely a regional anomaly.

    But regarding number counts that are "rigged," that's actually my point. If we count mss instead of weighing them, then stats can be misleading. Yes, the papyri all come from Egypt, but no papyri are extant for Mt 6:13. Granted, 0170 is from Egypt, 01 is from near Egypt, 03 is probably from Egypt (or nearby), but 05 probably isn't and I don't know where 035 is from. (I know little about it offhand.) But the doxology is also missing in most of the Western witnesses (05, Latin versions, Latin fathers; the main exception being 032). So the doxology is missing in far more places than just Egypt early on.

    And yes, I agree that Greek should be treated as primary over other languages, but my point about including the Latin mss in the counts was to illustrate that in medieval times, the vast majority of Greek mss end up being limited to just a small area of the Christian world... basically the confines of Byzantium... essentially, the tips of S Italy, the southern part of the Balkan pennisula, and modern Turkey. In other words, if you critique the papyri for being localized to a region, isn't that also true of nearly all the medieval mss, which represent 90%+ of all extant Grk mss? But in the times of the papyri, more Greek mss did exist, we just don't have them... but in the Byzantine times, more really didn't exist out of those confines... unless we turn to other languages.

    Anyway, I appreciate your high regard for the text. Hope this is helpful,

    1. Hi Jeff, I really appreciate your thoughtful responses. And I was glad I got to meet you when you presented on Mark 1:41 at ETS (was it in Providence?).

      I would say, first, that neither do the Alexandrian mss align very well with the early Western fathers, which by their "conflated" nature often support the Byz mss more often than the Alexandrian. Second, we simply don't have many non-Alexandrian Greek-speaking fathers to discuss. The primary one (Justin) is anything but Alexandrian! I grant that the doxology was missing early on. But the early absence of it in Latin fathers may be reduced to its absence in the early Latin versions (but some Old Latin mss do trace back to it -- such as the most famous, OL k/1). Whatever you think of Vulgate mss, the majority trace back to a single revision. What do I think of the hundreds (thousands?) of Vulgate mss that include 1 John 5:7-8? Not very much. And neither does any serious critic. As for the diminishing area of the Greek-speaking church, this does little to diminish the copying tradition. As for all non-Greek speaking areas in the same time frame (such as e.g. Latin-speaking), their evidence as regards the text of the NT is so secondary as to be useless. Non-Greek-speaking areas in the early church (Syriac, Latin, Coptic, Gothic, etc.) are also secondary, each its own recension with its own problems. None of these versions are primary documentary evidence of the Greek NT, though their secondary and corroborative value is well understood and valued even by myself.

    2. Hi Jonthan,

      Thanks for mentioning our meeting at ETS. I remember that. There were only 4 or 5 in the room that day for my paper... well, maybe 6 if I include the cleaning lady vacuuming in the back... :-) If I interact online, I much prefer to do so with people I've met in person.

      You mention the Johannine Comma to argue your point about Greek and Latin witnesses. And I do agree that we shouldn't count Latin mss (especially the mass of late ones) as having much weight at all towards variant readings. I was only trying to point out how limited and narrow the use of Greek became in medieval times... which I think is important to consider for the mass of Greek mss. The Byz mss essentially become the "eastern Vulgate"... which had the happenstance of being the original language of the NT. I don't think the medieval "eastern Vulgate" should be given much more weight than the medieval "western Vulgate" (the Latin).

      But regarding the Johannine comma, I find it interesting that when Greek and Latin texts mixed at that point, harmonizing them wasn't done by subtraction, but by addition... the text was added to Greek mss in the XVI century... it wasn't being removed from Latin texts. And that's precisely why I find it difficult to imagine that the doxology was original and later removed as an attempt to harmonize to Luke. Scribes harmonized by addition, not subtraction. In other words, the same strong tendency that MT defenders have to not have anything removed from their text is the same strong tendency that scribes had to not have anything removed from their texts either.

      Anyway, I can tell we probably won't end up agreeing on this matter. But at least we can be friends and appreciate each other. Fwiw, when I taught my kids the Lord's Prayer when they were young, I taught it with the doxology on the end. :-)

      All the best to you,

    3. Hi Jeff! You're funny! You know there were many more people than that at your paper presentation, and, BTW, anyone who singlehandedly reduces the Greek support for the "angry" Jesus (from two Greek mss to one) in Mark 1:41 by personal investigation into that obscure minuscule becomes an instant text-critical superstar in my book!

      Obviously I disagree with the correspondence of the Byzantine text form with the Vulgate text form, since I see no internal or historical evidence that the mass of Byzantine mss stem from a single late recension, such as is certain in the case of the Vulgate, and doubly so since that tradition is not only a late recension but a late recension of secondary documentary support to begin with!).

      As for additions vs. omissions due to harmonization, I think both are common. I remember reading in seminary F. Wisselink's book on Assimilation with many stats, but don't personally own a copy. But just for the sake of example, take a look at the following passages in just the first few chapters of Matthew, where various powerhouse critics as Griesbach, Bengel, Wettstein, von Soden, etc., see omission due to harmonization to immediate context or parallel passages as likely:

      Matt 1:6 ο βασιλευς
      Matt 1:22 του
      Matt 1:25 τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον (reduced to: υιον)
      Matt 2:15 του
      Matt 4:12 ο Ιησους
      Matt 4:23 περιηγεν ολην την Γαλιλαιαν ο Ιησους
      Matt 5:31 οτι
      Matt 6:4 αυτος
      Matt 6:4 εν τω φανερω
      Matt 6:5 αν
      Matt 6:5 οτι
      Matt 6:6 εν τω φανερω

      I also see addition due to harmonization common, especially in a minority at any given time, no matter in some Byz, some Alexandrians, etc. For example, I think the presence of "raise the dead" in Matt 10:8 (in various locations in some Byz, Alex, Caes, West, and versional witnesses) may have been influenced by concerns to harmonize with Matt 11:5.

      And although we probably won't agree, I think it's good to try to understand better viewpoints differing from our own, and it is for this reason that I started this casual and intermittent blog, to give an alternate perspective on textual choices and also to give a more balanced face to the perspective known as Byzantine priority (or, as my mentor Maurice Robinson likes to say, "reasoned transmissionalism") than the hyped-up derogatory and stereotyped presentation that usually appears in publications.

      Blessings on you and your teaching ministry!



    4. Lol, "text-critical superstar" is definitely a late and unnecessary addition to my textual biography... that's definitely hyperbole by addition... :-)

      Re: my analogy of eastern (Byz maj) and western (Latin mss) vulgates, I don't think you have to have a deliberate wholesale recension (like Jerome's) to end up with a vulgate (i.e., common edition)... just an extensive mass of copies that mostly stem from one particular textual stream which then drown out any competing streams. Hence, my analogy since I think that's true with both the Latin Vulgate and the Byz maj.

      And the Byz mss do show signs of recensional activity... not necessarily a singular event in which a specific editor produced it... but the repeated process of producing mss in which earlier readings are combined and amalgamated together until the "rough edges" are smoothed out into a stable text with fluctuations that are few and minor.

      Regarding your list of harmonization by subtraction... those look like additions to me. I think the short articles, conjunctions, & particles can appear and disappear independently multiple times in a textual tradition so those don't necessarily indicate much. Now the longer ones (1:6, 25; 4:23; 6:4, 6) are better to examine. And what I'm seeing for each of those is that Bengel (d. 1752), Wettstein (d. 1754), Griesbach (d. 1812), or von Soden may have seen those as subtractions, but Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott-Hort, SBL (Mike Holmes), and NA28 all see all of those as additions (and 4:23 is transposition as well). (I mention them because I can easily compare them in BW9.)

      I must admit, I've personally been very intrigued by the recent discussions and re-examination of the criterion of the shorter reading (especially by Epp). I think what we're seeing (based on studies by Royse, Head, Jongkind, Hernandez, etc.) is that in accidental variants the longer reading is often preferred (haplography for numerous reasons can happen & dittography happens less but when it does it's more noticeable as a nonsense reading)... and those accidental changes are more noticeable in their studies on singular readings. But in variants that seem intentional, the shorter reading is still usually preferred since scribes tended to preserve the text by adding, not omitting. Of course, then everyone can debate which variants are intentional and which are accidental... so I guess there will always be plenty for us to blog and write on. :-)

      I appreciate your willingness to dialogue about these issues, and I hope I haven't cluttered up your blog too much with my questions and comments. Blessings to you as well,

  7. Ok! The number of comments on this post have just surpassed the number of total comments made to this entire blog since its inception. Thanks to the three who posted comments!

  8. Thanks again for your comments, Jeff. Always appreciated!

    Although we'll have to disagree about the relative value and age of the text exhibited by most Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, I think the loss of appeal toward the "prefer the shorter reading" rule is intriguing and demonstrates the general ignorance of the rule as originally formulated most fully by Griesbach. After giving five reasons for preferring the shorter reading, he immediately proceeds to give six (!) reasons for rejecting the shorter reading. Here I quote from the prolegomena of J. J. Griesbach, Novum Testamentum graece (2 vols.; editio nova; Londini: J. Mackinlay, Cuthell and Martin, 1809, 1810), 1:lxiv:

    But on the other hand we prefer the fuller reading over the shorter one (unless many and also excellent witnesses support the latter),
         (a) if homoeoteleuton could have caused the omission,
         (b) if that which was omitted could have appeared to scribes to be obscure, hard, superfluous, unusual, paradoxical, offensive to pious ears, erroneous, or in disagreement with parallel passages,
         (c ) if the things missing could be missing without harming the sense and structure of the words, of which kind are those prepositions they call "incidental," especially shorter ones, and other words whose absence a scribe would not easily notice when rereading what he had written,
         (d) if the shorter reading is less consistent with the character, style, or purpose of the author,
         (e) if it lacks straightforward sense,
         (f) if it is probable that [the shorter reading] crept in from parallel passages or from lectionaries.

    One reason why some are rebelling against the overly simplistic "prefer the shorter reading" rule is because they never understood its parameters in the first place. And BTW, most of Griesbach's above parameters apply to intentional omissions, contra your stated position above.



  9. Yes, if we include Griesbach's equally important words about the shorter readings, then, yes, I completely agree with your comment... well, except for your last sentence... :-)

    [e.g., Mt 4:12 & 23 = classic examples of Griesbach on the shorter reaading... item d... shorter reading is preferred at the beginning of pericopes]

    Anyway, I do agree with you... I'm afraid too many have ignorantly "preferred the shorter reading" in ways that Griesbach never intended... and thus caused the rule to be criticized unfairly and unnecessarily... and of course, we should also be cautious not to ignorantly "prefer the longer/fuller reading" except if it's warranted by the rules as well.

    Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend and a good Lord's day,

    1. Hi Jeff! I regret my last sentence, too. I should have said "some," or, if considering all the intentional factors included in (b), and to a frequent extent (d), (e), and (f), which may or may not be caused intentionally, I think a good case can be made from looking at actual cases that omissions are not just accidental but are also often intentional. I think the explanations found by clicking on the links in the "Omissions: Causes" page speak directly to this case:


  10. Hi Jonathan,

    Yes, omissions can occasionally be intentional, but I think those cases are exceptional and usually with extenuating circumstances. Btw, I did read your comments on 1:6, 25; 4:12, 23; 6:4, 6 before responding... I wanted to make sure I was understanding you and where you were coming from before commenting, and I think you're battling uphill unnecessarily in your explanations when there are simpler solutions. And btw, I'm not aware of an English translation of Wettstein... so nice job on the translation of his quote on 6:4!

    But for that one for example, I think Wettstein is very mistaken (even though he said he didn't think he was)... there's no reason to think Origen ever removed εν τω φανερω. We have no evidence that Origen ever excised or deleted any text. He was aware of plenty of variant readings among mss, and occasionally, he expressed his preference for one over the other... e.g., he famously preferred the omission of "Jesus" before Barabbas (Mt 27), but he was stating his preference for a reading already in the mss, not a reading he created by deleting text.

    Anyway, hope this is helpful,

    1. Hi Jeff, I often quote Wettstein, Griesbach, Matthäi (to give a few examples) in order to give publicity to alternative views that have never been translated into English. Even if Matthäi and (to a lesser extent) Wettstein take the cop-out and charge Origen with creating readings, that should not scare us aware from the other observations that they gained from decades of study of the Greek NT. While I highly doubt Origen's influence as an originator of readings, I do not underestimate the vast influence of Origen as a propagator of the readings he thought were betters. That this is true is evident in the influence he had on Eusebius and Jerome, to mention but two examples. I could have masked the "freakishness" of some of the views of these past text-critical masters, but decided against that.

  11. I just reread the comment on the second variation I cover in 6:4 (εν τω φανερω) and remember that I mention Wettstein not for the person he thought originated the omission but for the reason he thought the reading might have been omitted. I think the reason is valid, and would apply to any early critic or translator of the text. It is, when considering the theological tension it presents with 6:2, 5, 16, and thus is the harder reading and the one more likely to have been expunged, especially since a scribe/critic could have justified himself from the textual tradition of 6:18 (where it is absent in most mss). It further qualifies to a lesser extent as a harmonistic omission, which is just what we were discussing above. To discuss these in more detail, though, it might be better to enter comments under the post on those verses.

  12. Wettstein & Griesbach are important. And granted, in Wetttstein's day, it was natural to think of Origen as a text editor because of the Hexapla and his NT citations. But of course, now P66 & P75 show that the Alexandrian type of text predated Origen. So I doubt Origen's influence propogated it. And also, Eusebius appeals to mss, not to Origen. And yes, the variant in 6:4 could possibly be removal by some unknown early ascetic, but OTOH, the shorter reading is known early & widely (both mss & versions). I almost commented over on your blog post there, but I wasn't trying to tackle that variant entirely, only trying to make a point with it. Anyway, hope this is helpful.

    1. If you read Jerome's commentary on Ephesians, for example, you'll find that his comments for pages at a time are identical with Origen's, only he doesn't cite Origen! The same goes for the scholia, which imitate (or are dependent on) Origen's known comments elsewhere. Origen's influence in propagating readings was not just through his commentaries, which quoted the biblical text he supported and influenced the commentaries of others who then influenced others. He also made critical editions of the OT and apparently also of the NT. Alexandria was famous for its critical editions of every known text in existence, and this reputation naturally flowed over into biblical texts. Some scholars like Scholz and others think that these critical manuscripts are what are likely referred to by Eusebius and Jerome as the "accurate," "true," etc. copies again and again in their works.

    2. Re: Origen apparently also made a critical edition of the NT.
      I would have to disagree in strong (but friendly) terms. We have no evidence that Origen ever did such a thing. None. The papyri (esp., P66 & P75) indicate the opposite. The type of text used by Origen was already in the mss prior to Origen. That's why scholars stopped talking about Origen as an editor of the Alexandrian text. And of course, Schlotz was writing in a time period before those great papyri discoveries.

      Regarding Eusebius recognizing "the accurate copies"... yes, he famously referred to the copies of Mark ending at 16:8 that way, but it's pure speculation to think he was referring to copies produced by Origen. And actually, others (Matthai, Hort, and even Burgon) have speculated the opposite... that Eusebius' famous quote in Ad Marinum is an otherwise unknown quote from Origen... so it's not Eusebius referring to accurate copies, but actually Origen doing so. Really wish we had Origen's commentary on Matt 28 extant... I suspect he might have commented on the ending of Mark there... but who knows.

      Well, anyway, now I'm chasing a tangent of a tanget. Oh well. Hope this is helpful,

    3. Hi Jeff, Sorry for the late reply. Even if Origen edited a text of the NT, I wouldn't say that he necessarily originated readings. The running text in his commentaries came from somewhere, likely the best he could procure in Alexandria, and he comments on textual issues, and later people often parroted his comments. Due to the many references in patristic commentaries to the "accurate," "true" manuscripts, etc., there must have been a criterion by which to make such statements. What were the "accurate" manuscripts? It must mean that there was a class of manuscripts in distinction from normal or otherwise inaccurate ones. The ones I have in mind who often make the statements are particularly Eusebius and Jerome, and their reverence of Origen is well documented. It may not be that Origen edited a text, but I think there is a good case to be made that it was the Alexandrian texts that were called the "accurate" ones by some very influential persons. Whether or not such is the case, and further whether or not their assessment is accurate, remain to be investigated further.

  13. No apologies necessary, Jonathan. If anyone should be apologizing, it should be me. I certainly didn't mean to clutter up your blog with this long, protracted discussion, although it's been helpful to me to understand you and it's caused me to want to look into a few of these matters at a much more detailed level. So I appreciate your friendly dialogue.

    Yes, those are terms of comparison... which are necessary any time they had more than one manuscript. People would want to know, Ok, but which one is the better one. And even someone as early as Irenaeus on the other side of the Mediterranean used comparative terms such as "the good and ancient copies" when discussing the variant in Rev 13:18.

    I've often wondered what their mss looked like in the 3rd or 4th century and which ones they thought were better, and on what basis. I mean, we see scribal mistakes in mss today (haplographies, dittographies, non-sense readings), and I'm sure they did too... well, Origen even complains about sloppy, careless scribes in his Matt comm. So if a ms had fewer scribal errors, did that make it more "accurate"... even if it wasn't early or even an otherwise preferred text by our standards?

    And I'm sure other mss were known to be early... maybe a worn papyrus codex, or maybe even a papyrus scroll. But just because it was their earliest, did they consider it their best?... especially if pages were missing and it was quite worn. They might consider a newer copy that was carefully done to be better or more accurate, when we would tend to consider the earlier partial copy to be more significant.

    Or if they had a copy of John that came from an exemplar in Ephesus, might they consider that "more accurate" than earlier copies they already possessed? Same with Matthew (since Jerome speaks of an "authentic" copy of Matthew in Hebrew), if they had a copy that came from Caesarea? Who knows what these "accurate" mss looked like... or even why they designated them to be "accurate."

    And not all the extant mss that have come from Egypt (or nearby) have the same type of text. I'm thinking of 0171, p38, and others, even parts of Sinaiticus, that seem to have a Western type of text, not Alexandrian. So the rather free and paraphrastic Western text was known in Egypt, and if they were comparing say a D-type of text to a p75-type of text, then would it be surprising to see them prefer something like p75? There's really so much we don't know about their basis for comparison and preference.

    Anyway, my apologies for another long reply. You've been very gracious in your willingness to discuss these matters. And my apologies again for cluttering up your blog with such a long, protracted discussion. Hope this is helpful,

    1. Dear Jeff, I hope you don't find commenting here burdensome, because I find your comments insightful and value-adding to the blog. You posed many good rhetorical questions in your last comment. One I thought especially deserving attention was the last:
      "So the rather free and paraphrastic Western text was known in Egypt, and if they were comparing say a D-type of text to a p75-type of text, then would it be surprising to see them prefer something like p75?"
      I don't think it would be surprising at all, and one hypothesis I'm constantly testing is whether many of the shorter readings of the Alexandrian text might be explained by such a "pruning" of the popular but homiletically enhanced Western text. If so, while much of the pruning was accurate and necessary, some of it was excessive.

    2. I must admit, the western text truly intrigues me too, and especially when it has the shorter reading , which occurs in more places than just the famous western non-interps (e.g., Lk 22:51, 62 missing in 0171).

  14. Hi Jonathan, thank you for your exhaustive investigation of the case. I would like to add that uncial S also reads the passage.

    I have a question important to me. What is the ultimate reason for modern translations to omit it? They have the same data you do, don't they? What is their reasoning? Can you provide a link to any prominent contemporary scholar supporting the shorter reading who would explain why he would omit it. I have seen Willker's comments, they don't hold water. To begin with, he got incomplete data for uncials supporting the longer reading (6 vs 20). Thank you!

  15. Yes, 0171 omits Luke 22:51 & 62, but it includes v. 43, dealing a serious blow to the theory that Western non-interpolations came into the text late. There are demonstrated liturgical reasons behind these omissions, with haphazard enough application that they survived all the same.