Thine is the Kingdom?
If you read the KJV (or a NKJV), you might notice that Matt 6:13 ends with this statement: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” However, many contemporary English Bible translations do not include this statement. Hm. What’s going on?
Matthew 6:13 is a verse where ancient manuscripts of the NT read differently. Most ancient manuscripts include the “thine is the kingdom” reference. When scholars seek to determine what Matthew wrote, though, there are more factors than simply counting manuscripts. What also matters is the quality of manuscripts. The manuscripts that do not include the “thine is the kingdom” reference are the better manuscripts. Because of this (and other reasons), scholars think that the correct rendering of Matt 6:13 is the one that does not include the reference.
Scholars aren’t exactly sure how the “thine is the kingdom” reference made its way into certain manuscripts. They believe an early scribe added this phrase to assist early Christians in reading and speaking this prayer during church gatherings. The scribe likely took “thine is the kingdom” from 1 Chron 29:11 (“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty”), placed it at the end of the Lord’s prayer. Subsequent scribes believed that the phrase was original to Matthew and copied it into their manuscripts.
It’s important to remember that the “thine is the kingdom” reference is a biblical one. It comes from the OT. So, it’s beneficial to pray, recite the Lord’s prayer with this reference. However, we also need to remember that Matthew likely didn’t write this phrase. It was likely put there by a godly scribe, who wanted to help the church understand Scripture. As it turns out, scribes were just like pastors—they made mistakes while trying to help people understand the Bible.