Was the Doxology of the Lord’s Prayer Included in Jesus’ Original Composition?

 Its source.  There seems to be quite a disagreement as to whether this last line, “For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever,” was included in Jesus original composition.  The RSV, the ASV, the NIV, and the New Living Translation are among those Bible translations that do not include it.  However the KJV, the NKJV, the NAS and the NASU are among those that do include it.

Those who say that this doxology was not included in the original prayer generally agree that it was added by the early church when the church began to use the prayer for its liturgy (in order to round out the prayer).  However, as MacArthur states in his book, “Some commentators say it would have to have been included originally because the Jews would never have closed a prayer on a negative note.”

I agree with what MacArthur said.  It makes a lot of sense.  I also believe that the doxology was originally included because of the way it ties the prayer together and fits so well with the first three petitions.  It is a fitting end to the prayer.  You may also observe that it is similar to many of the praises and doxologies of the Old Testament.  It is almost the same as David’s praise to God in 1 Chronicles 29:11, and it also corresponds with the doxology used at the temple services (e.g. Ps. 72:19).  These things I believe help to identify its true author—Jesus Christ. 

Its meaning.  The meaning of the doxology is really quite clear.  “Yours is the kingdom,” means that God is the king and the kingdom is His.  As king He is in charge of everything.  “The power” suggests that He is all-powerful, and that He has the power to accomplish anything, which would include answering any of our prayer requests.  “The glory” means that all glory is His.  He is the only one truly worthy of glory, and in the end He will receive all the glory.

Its purpose.  Although there are many purposes in this doxology, three stand out to me.  Let’s examine these three together.

 1.  To tie the prayer together.  This doxology is sort of a summary of the entire prayer and helps to bring it together.  For as we pray these last words we find ourselves returning right back to the first three petitions and on to the second three.  It brings new meaning and significance to each of the petitions.

 2.  To give a reason why we can expect God to answer the petitions.  Here we are saying to God, “Answer these petitions because [or on the basis of the fact] that You are the king, You have the power, and because You have the glory.  Show to us and to the world Your greatness.  Prove now Your power and glory and kingship by answering these requests.”  Here then with these words we find great strength in our petitions, great hope that God will answer them, and an exuberant expectation that when He does answer them His reign, power, and glory will be manifest before our eyes.

3.  To praise God.  This doxology not only ties the prayer together and gives a basis for its answers; it also provides for us a form of praise to God.  Hence, just as the prayer began with praise by saying “Hallowed be Your name, it is quite fitting to end it in praise by saying to God that the kingdom, the power, and the glory are all His. 

Let this doxology forever be in our mind to instruct and encourage you in your praise to God.


About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in How To Pray, Prayer A to Z Excerpts, The Lord's Prayer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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