Page 2, 6th April 1951

6th April 1951
Page 2
Page 2, 6th April 1951 — THE DOXOLOGY

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SIR.-I notice at the head of your column "Points from Letters" a query from a correspondent about the Protestant addition to the " Our Father," which she calls a Catholic omission. It is for questions like this, inter edict, that this Association exists: Your answer in italics contains two errors. In the first place though this may be due to a misprint (It was: Editor). a doxology is a formula of praise, not promise. In the second place, the use of "For thine is the Kingdom . , ." is not "a matter of custom" but is due to strictly historical circumstances.

It is now generally agreed that the best reading of Mt. vi, 13 (nearly all Greek uncial MSS. omit it) omits the sentence. The Latin Vulgate which is based on good Greek texts omits it and the Douay version which is based on the Vulgate therefore omits it too. Parallel with this, of course, is the liturgical use, the Latin form of the Pater being in universal use in the Western Church, till the 16th century, and being naturally based on the Vulgate.

Erasmus produced the first printed edition of the Greek Testament in 1516 and made up his text from the very few (and inferior) texts then available. His edition has " for thine is the Kingdom . . .") The Greek N.T. in this inferior form was assumed by the Reformers to he a superior text to the Vulgate. When the English versions came to he proOuced by them they included the sentence. Thus it appears in the Authorized Version. Since that was the time when the English formulae of worship in the Anglican Church were formed. the " Our Father" in English in that Church has always contained the sentence. When Catholics came to say the "Our Father " in English, naturally they put into English the Latin form to which they were accustomed. and did not adopt the Protestant form.

That Anglicans, too, now agree that the sentence is not a genuine part of the Gospel may be seen from the fact that the Revised Version omits it. Indeed, all critical modern editions omit it. But, of course, this would not lead them to cut it out of a form of prayer to which they have been accustomed for four hundred years. For more information. see Kenyon. Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, 4th edition, pp. 103-4. (Eyre and Spottiswoode).

R. C. FULLER (Rev.).

The Catholic Biblical Association, 24 Golden Square. W.I.

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