The Lord’s Prayer is one of the most loved passages in the Bible. Believers now include this prayer in their daily lives. However, there are controversies about this prayer since Protestants and Catholics differ in how they recite it. So many still ask, what is the mystery behind the ending of Catholic Lord’s Prayer vs. Protestant Lord’s Prayer?
The mystery results from the ancient manuscripts of the Bible, where the disputed ending of the Lord’s Prayer arose. Some Protestant Bible versions feature a more extended prayer, whereas others do not. Additionally, Catholic Bibles have a shorter version of the Lord’s Prayer. Theologists suggest that the extra phrase of the Lord’s Prayer was not original.
Why is there a different ending in the NIV and KJV versions of Mathew 6:13? Why do Catholics and Protestants recite the Lord’s Prayer differently? Where did the longer version of the Sacred Prayer come from? Read the article to understand the answers to these questions.
The Lord’s Prayer is featured in two gospels in the Bible; Matthew and Luke. Interestingly, even in these two gospels, the prayer differs in the ending. Luke features a shorter version than Matthew.
|Matthew 6:9-13||Luke 11:2-4|
|‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’||‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’
Some biblical scholars believe Luke must have omitted the last bit, whereas others suggest that Jesus must have taught the shorter version earlier in his ministry and the longer one later.
So, how does the Lord’s Prayer differ between Protestants and Catholics?
Protestants today recite the Lord’s Prayer with more additions than Catholics. These added lines are featured in the King James Version of the Bible, in Matthew 6:13, which says, ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom comes, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
The Catholic’s Lord’s Prayer is straightforward and ends with ‘…but deliver us from evil.’
The additional line used by Protestants is the most controversial line of the Lord’s Prayer. Where did it come from? How did it get to the Bible? And who among the Catholics and the Protestants recites the right thing?
Theologists suggest that the last line added in the Lord’s Prayer, often used by Protestants, is known as a doxology, which refers to a praise response. It is discovered in another section of the Bible in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13: Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.
In ancient times, a doxology was used by Jews to conclude a prayer (hymn-like verses that exalt the glory of God). Its origin is from a 1st-century Christian manual called the Didache. This was carried forward in the early church, where Christians in the eastern half of the Roman Empire added the line to the Gospel during mass. The Catholics would recite Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer), and then the priest would say the doxology before the congregants responded with Amen.
Eventually, in the fourth century, when Greek scribes copied the scriptures, it is believed that they added the doxology to the Gospel. Theologists imply that a scribe familiar with the liturgy must have added the doxology to the Lord’s Prayer. Within no time, the copies distributed became numerous, and the text was included in the Gospel in many ancient manuscripts. This is how Protestants ended up adding this line to the Sacred Prayer. By the 16th century, many Protestants stuck to the prayer with an additional line as if it had been the original prayer. Some were born and indoctrinated into it. This is why modern-time Protestants might not understand why Catholics recite the Lord’s Prayer differently from them. Unlike the Protestants, Catholics maintained the original version. Remember that the very ancient manuscripts did not have the doxology phrase; hence it was a line that was added later. This is why Catholics have remained content with the Lord’s Prayer they use to date.
Interestingly, yes. Some bibles have an extra phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. Bible scholars suggest that the additional phrase became quite popular among the Protestants because it was included in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Remember that Protestants used this version long before other versions came into being.
In later centuries, however, other Protestant bibles used a different manuscript from the one used to translate the KJV. The only book that maintained its manuscript was the New King James Version, hence why it also features the disputed phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. So all the other versions that used a different manuscript omitted the famous phrase from the Bible. Still, some of these versions made a footnote below the scripture, indicating the disputed phrase, and even explaining it.
Here are the most popular bible translations that include the phrase.
|Translations||Does it show the last line?|
|New King James Version (NKJV)||Yes|
|King James Version (KJV)||Yes|
|New International Version(NIV)||No|
|New Living Translation (NLT)||No|
|New American Standard Bible (NASB)||No|
|English Standard Version (ESV)||No|
|Christian Standard Bible (CSB)||No|
Christian historical manuscripts suggest that in ancient times, believers recited the Lord’s Prayer from the Catholic Bible. The Catholic Bible features the Lord’s Prayer without the controversial ending. Matthew 6:9-13: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Back then, Christian scholars implied that the priest would say the doxology after the Christians recited this prayer, then the Christians would respond with Amen.
There is a controversy regarding the extra phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. Some religious scholars argue that there is no issue with adding this line to the prayer because it is still biblical. Remember that the phrase is traced to another scripture (1 Chronicles 29:11-13) in the Bible.
However, others still suggest that it would be wrong to add other wordings to the Lord’s Prayer when these lines are not included in the Bible where they have been mentioned. These theologists argue that anybody could have added this line and made other Christians believe in it. They also base their arguments on the idea that this line was not featured even in the most ancient Christian manuscripts.
Not to forget, the other scholars imply that it is all about one’s choice and that whether you include the phrase while praying or not, the intention is still the same; to give God the praise. Still, it remains a very controversial argument between Protestants and Catholics. Some other theologists even imply that Protestants added this last phrase to their scriptures to appear superior and holier than the Catholics!
- Lord’s Prayer
- The Lord’s Prayer in the Bible (Matthew 6:9-13)
- The Mystery of the Our Father’s Ending
- Why Do We Say the Long Ending of the Lord’s Prayer?
- Why does the Catholic “Our Father” have a different ending than the Protestant one?
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.