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Matthew 6:13 (DRB):

And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Matthew 6:13 (KJV):

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.

In GNT evil=πονηροῦ.

"πονηροῦ" has meanings other than "evil", for example:

  • evil.
  • bad.
  • wicked.
  • toilsome.
  • malicious.
  • slothful.
  • tricky, cunning.
  • deception.

So, what is the accurate translation of "πονηροῦ"?

There are variations of English versions:

  • the evil one.
  • evil.
  • the evil.

The evil one: evil=adjective.

evil: evil=noun or adjective.

The evil: evil=noun or adjective.

Thus, what is the accurate translation of "πονηροῦ"?

What is the accurate variation?

What is the accurate version in this verse: DRB or KJV?

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In Matt 6:13, the Greek reads (in part)

  • ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ. (= but deliver us from the evil [one]")

Interestingly, Luke 11:2-4 does not include this phrase.

The word πονηροῦ (ponerou) is a genetive Adjective, from the root word πονηρός (poneros) which simply means, "evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful" (Strong). BDAG gives several meanings for this, but the primary meaning is: "pertaining to being morally or socially worthless, wicked, evil, bad, worthless, vicious, degenerate".

It is used purely as an adjective in places like Matt 12:35, Luke 6:45, 2 Thess 3:2, 2 Tim 3:13, etc. It is also used substantively in: Matt 5:39, 45, 13:49, 22:10, Luke 6:35, 1 Cor 5:13, etc, and (according to BDAG) also in Matt 6:13.

Thus, the operative phrase in Matt 6:13 should be rendered, "But deliver us from the evil one". (This presumably refers to the devil's temptations and influence.)


Now to the other part of the question about the text: Should the doxology, "for yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever, Amen", be included or not? The facts are these (MSS dates in brackets):

Diatessaron (2nd) omit, cop(meg) (3rd) omit, Origen (3rd) omit, Tertullian (3rd) omit, Cyprian (3rd) omit, 01 (4th) omit, 03 (4th) omit, it(a) (4th) omit, syr(c) (4th) include, Cyril-J (4th) omit, Gregory-N (4th) omit, vg (400) omit, Ambros’r (400) omit, Ambrose (400) omit, it(k) (400) include, 05 (5th) omit, it(b) (5th) omit, it(h) (5th) omit, Cyril (5th) omit, Chromatius (5th) omit, Jerome (5th) omit, 032 (5th) include, syr(p) (5th) include, 0233 (500) include, 035 (6th) omit, 042 (6th) include, it(f) (6th) include, syr(p)al (6th) include, 0170 (500) omit, it(q) (600) include, it(aur) (7th) omit, syr(h) (7th) include, it(l) (8th) omit, 07 (8th) include, 011 (9th) include, 019 (8th) include, 037 (9th) include, 038 (9th) include, 33 (9th) include, 565 (9th) include, 892 (9th) include, 1424 (900) include, f1 (10th-14th) omit, f13 (11-15) include, l 547 (13th) omit.

Jerome's Latin vulgate (~400 AD) and the Clementine text omit the doxology. Thus it is absent from the DRB and modern Catholic Bibles. It is also absent from almost all of the church Fathers including Augustine.

The Doxology first appears in a Syriac translation. It first appears in Greek MSS in the fifth century but it is not until the 6th century that it appears more often. Even the high medieval text group, f1, does not include it. However, it is a favourite of the Byzantine set of MSS. (Note that both sets have variations within them.)

Bruce Metzger in his "Textual Commentary on the GNT" says of this section:

The absence of any ascription in early and important representatives of the Alexandrian, the Western (D and most of the Old Latin, and other (f1) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord's Prayer (those of Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian), suggests that an ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of 1 Chr 29:11-13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church. Still later scribes add, "of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

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I think you answered your own question, in part, by listing all the dictionary meanings.

ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ

Note that the actual verse says, "the wicked," or whatever English word you want to use. Possibly, this is a monadic use of the article, which could be translated, "the Wicked One." This would then be a reference to the Devil.

Clearly, this is a matter of considered opinion, where the translator has to make a decision about the author's intent.

As far as your question, both the DRB and the KJV seem to translate it the same way.

However, you highlighted the additional sentence that is found only in the KJV. That sentence is very likely a late addition. The translators of the KJV used Byzantine manuscripts, where most of the variations in the existing manuscripts of the time where blended together uncritically, using the criteria of not losing anything.

When using older translations, you have to be aware of their limitations. Modern translations are based on extensive evidence that has been discovered since those translations and advances in scholarship.

At the same time, I must respect those who prefer the older translations, as they view modern scholarship generally, and Lower Criticism in particular, with some skepticism.

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  • 1
    There is another view on 'older translations' that they were more accurate because they were not adulterated by false, modern 'scholar ship' giving undue preponderance to ancient, but corrupted. texts. (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.) But up-voted +1 nonetheless.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 20 '20 at 16:44
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    I'm aware of that argument. IMHO, in the field of lower criticism, "liberal corruption" has not led to problems. On the other hand, I was disrespectful of the position you mentioned. I'll amend my answer.
    – Steve11235
    Apr 21 '20 at 1:34

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