The Conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer
For thine is the kingdom, and glory, for the power, and ever, Amen.
Although the English Revised Version (1881), the American Standard Version (1901), and the Revised Standard Version (1946) relegate this concluding doxology of the Lord’s Prayer to the footnotes,* it has been in familiar use among Protestants since the Reformation, especially the Reformed.
The Heidelberg Catechism, ends with it, and so do the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly. Indeed, so impressive are the lessons which this doxology teaches, and so fitting a climax does it form for the Prayer of prayers, that many scholars have proposed to retain it, no matter whether it be genuine or not.
Although the orthodox Christian may look upon this proposal with a certain sympathy, he cannot approve of it. He would rather sacrifice this precious doxology than retain it on these terms. For if it can be proved to be spurious, then it can have no place among the authentic portions of the Lord’s Prayer. If the body of the Lord’s Prayer truly proceeded from the lips of Christ, then no human conclusion, however edifying, can be fittingly put to it. To give scriptural authority to human words is, in the end, to deprive the Scriptures of all real authority.
On the other hand, if these familiar words of praise to God have been condemned on insufficient grounds, then the faithful believer is bound to stand by them and to defend them to the end against all those who would remove them from their place in holy Scripture.
Is the Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer a Jewish Formula?
For many years, critics have maintained that the doxology for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen is an ancient Jewish prayer-formula which the early Christians took up and used to provide a more fitting termination for the Lord’s Prayer, which originally had ended abruptly with but deliver us from evil.