Matthew 6:13

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Matthew 6:13 is the thirteenth verse of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, and forms part of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse is the fifth and final one of the Lord's Prayer, one of the best known parts of the entire New Testament.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

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.

The English Standard Version translates the passage as:

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 6:13

The doxology which concludes the Lord's Prayer is generally considered to be a later addition to the text and is usually omitted in modern translations into English.


One of the most important issues with this verse is that it seems to imply that God is the one who leads humans into sin, not humanity's innate sinfulness as Christian theologians generally believe. A literal reading of this verse could imply that God is the source of evil. There are several explanations for getting around this. The first is that temptation is not an accurate translation. Fowler suggests that the Greek term peirasmos can mean temptation, but can also mean "test of character". At several points in the Bible God tests his followers, and this could be a plea to avoid such unpleasant testing.[1] Schweizer notes that this would be a departure from the Judaism of the period where the faithful would pray to be tested, so that they could prove their loyalty to God.[2] A second explanation, noted by Morris, is that test could be an eschatological reference to the fiery test God will put all to in the end times.[3] Luz rejects this view, pointing out that nowhere in the New Testament is the term temptation connected to the last judgment, and that in the Jewish literature of the period temptation referred to the pitfalls of everyday life.[4] Hill suggests that the Greek is only a loose translation of the Aramaic, and that Jesus would originally have used the expression "cause us not to enter," which does not imply that God is the cause of temptation, but only the protector against it.[5]

Translations and scholars are divided over whether the prayer asks for protection from evil in general or from the evil one, i.e. Satan, in particular. The original Greek is vague, but most modern translations have "evil one" as it is felt that this better reflects first century theology. The earlier reference to temptation could also be a clue that the great tempter of Matthew 4 is being referenced. Matthew 13:19 quite clearly refers to Satan when discussing similar issues. Hill, however, notes that "the evil" is used in neither Hebrew or Aramaic to denote Satan and in Matthew 5:39 a similar wording quite clearly refers to general evil rather than Satan.[6] John Calvin noted the vagueness of the verse, but did not feel it was important as there is little real difference between the two interpretations.

The doxology[edit]

The final sentence of this verse, the doxology, is generally considered to be a later addition to the text and is usually omitted in modern translations. The doxology is not included in the following modern translations:

It is enclosed in square brackets in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, New American Standard Bible and New Century Version. Two publications which are updates of the Authorized King James Version (rather than new translations) keep it: 21st Century King James Version and New King James Version, but the second of these adds a note: " "NU-Text omits For Yours through Amen." It is absent from the oldest and best manuscripts of Matthew,[7] and most scholars do not consider it part of the original text.[8][9] It first appears in a slightly shorter form in the Didache from around 130 AD. The doxology appears in at least ten different forms in early texts before becoming standardized, also implying that it might not have been original to the Gospel.[10]

A popular theory is that the doxology was originally appended to the prayer during congregational worship, as it was standard for Jewish prayers to have such endings.[citation needed] David Hill suggests it might have been based on 1 Chronicles 29:11.[11] Once the phrase became the standard ending to the prayer in worship copyists who were familiar with the longer form added the line to the Gospel itself. Anglican Bishop Charles Ellicott mentions the possibility that the words were "interpolated by transcribers to make the text of the discourse harmonise with the liturgies".[12]

Some scholars reject this view.[citation needed] An alternate explanation is that the doxology was such an important and well known part of prayers that early editions simply left it out of the text because such an ending was implicit.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Fowler, Harold. The Gospel of Matthew: Volume One. Joplin: College Press, 1968
  2. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  3. ^ Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.
  4. ^ Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 1-7: A Commentary. trans. Wilhlem C. Linss. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortess, 1989.
  5. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  6. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  7. ^ Nicholas Ayo, The Lord's Prayer: A Survey Theological and Literary, University of Notre Dame Press (1993), p. 7, ISBN 978-0-268-01292-2
  8. ^ [1] David E. Aune, The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Blackwell 2010 ISBN 978-1-4051-0825-6), p. 299
  9. ^ [2] Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament (Eerdmans 1998 ISBN 0-8028-4098-1), p. 306
  10. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985. pg. 136
  11. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  12. ^ Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers on Matthew 6, accessed 14 December 2016

Preceded by
Matthew 6:12
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 6
Succeeded by
Matthew 6:14