The Authenticity of the Concluding Doxology of the Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. 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, for ever. Amen.
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Because the doxology of the Lord's prayer is not included in Luke, and because it's not in Alexandrian manuscripts and critical Greek texts, most modern versions omit it in Matthew (the NASV retains it in parentheses, indicating a question of its authenticity). But scholars never seem to grasp the fact that each gospel has unique aspects, and if all were exactly the same, there would be no need for all four of them. Actually, each gospel amplifies (expounds) aspects of another to complete the sense of words or the picture of events. In this case Matthew offers a logical doxology that summarizes the point of the prayer. The power of God noted in the doxology is what makes possible answers to the various petitions included in the prayer, and the glory of God is what results from the answers to the petitions, while the kingdom is the ultimate destiny sought by those who pray to God.
Nonetheless, it is not necessary to include the doxology in the prayer in order for the disciples to understand the kind of prayer that is acceptable to God, and Luke presents only the basics of the matter. Matthew introduces the prayer, saying After this manner therefore pray ye, showing that it serves as a pattern, and does not need to be recited word-for-word. On the other hand, Luke introduces it by saying, When ye pray say, which shows that it can be recited word-for-word by any who are weak in the ability to express themselves in spiritual matters, and for such persons the doxology would be omitted to eliminate all but the essentials of the prayer. Prayer is never limited to a formula, for that easily becomes a meaningless ritual, but it does offer a way to pray for those who have difficulty expressing themselves to God.
Finally, the fact that the doxology is omitted in Matthew in Alexandrian manuscripts is no reason to omit it. These manuscripts are noted for their shorter readings, and they represent a chipping-away of scriptural truth that will ultimately result in loss of many basic scriptural truths. As illustrated above, and throughout the articles of the present website, the internal evidence, in the form of language & context, is the crucial factor determining the authenticity of any reading. The external evidence, manuscript support, is subject to man's carelessness or willful distortion, a major problem in texts of the Alexandrian type.