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Matthew 6:1-18

Context
Pure-hearted Giving

6:1 “Be 1  careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. 2  Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 6:2 Thus whenever you do charitable giving, 3  do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues 4  and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth, 5  they have their reward. 6:3 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 6:4 so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. 6 

Private Prayer

6:5 “Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues 7  and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. 6:6 But whenever you pray, go into your room, 8  close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. 9  6:7 When 10  you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard. 6:8 Do 11  not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 6:9 So pray this way: 12 

Our Father 13  in heaven, may your name be honored, 14 

6:10 may your kingdom come, 15 

may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

6:11 Give us today our daily bread, 16 

6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves 17  have forgiven our debtors.

6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, 18  but deliver us from the evil one. 19 

6:14 “For if you forgive others 20  their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6:15 But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins.

Proper Fasting

6:16 “When 21  you fast, do not look sullen like the hypocrites, for they make their faces unattractive 22  so that people will see them fasting. I tell you the truth, 23  they have their reward. 6:17 When 24  you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 6:18 so that it will not be obvious to others when you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

1 tc ‡ Several mss (א L Z Θ Ë1 33 892 1241 1424 al) have δέ (de, “but, now”) at the beginning of this verse; the reading without δέ is supported by B D W 0250 Ë13 Ï lat. A decision is difficult, but apparently the conjunction was added by later scribes to indicate a transition in the thought-flow of the Sermon on the Mount. NA27 has δέ in brackets, indicating reservations about its authenticity.

2 tn Grk “before people in order to be seen by them.”

3 tn Grk “give alms,” but this term is not in common use today. The giving of alms was highly regarded in the ancient world (Deut 15:7-11).

4 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:23.

5 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

6 tc L W Θ 0250 Ï it read ἐν τῷ φανερῷ (en tw fanerw, “openly”) at the end of this verse, giving a counterweight to what is done in secret. But this reading is suspect because of the obvious literary balance, because of detouring the point of the passage (the focus of vv. 1-4 is not on two kinds of public rewards but on human vs. divine approbation), and because of superior external testimony that lacks this reading (א B D Z Ë1,13 33 al).

7 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:23.

8 sn The term translated room refers to the inner room of a house, normally without any windows opening outside, the most private location possible (BDAG 988 s.v. ταμεῖον 2).

9 tc See the tc note on “will reward you” in 6:4: The problem is the same and the ms support differs only slightly.

10 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

11 tn Grk “So do not.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.

12 sn Pray this way. What follows, although traditionally known as the Lord’s prayer, is really the disciples’ prayer. It represents how they are to approach God, by acknowledging his uniqueness and their need for his provision and protection.

13 sn God is addressed in terms of intimacy (Father). The original Semitic term here was probably Abba. The term is a little unusual in a personal prayer, especially as it lacks qualification. It is not the exact equivalent of “daddy” (as is sometimes popularly suggested), but it does suggest a close, familial relationship.

14 tn Grk “hallowed be your name.”

15 sn Your kingdom come represents the hope for the full manifestation of God’s promised rule.

16 tn Or “Give us bread today for the coming day,” or “Give us today the bread we need for today.” The term ἐπιούσιος (epiousio") does not occur outside of early Christian literature (other occurrences are in Luke 11:3 and Didache 8:2), so its meaning is difficult to determine. Various suggestions include “daily,” “the coming day,” and “for existence.” See BDAG 376-77 s.v.; L&N 67:183, 206.

17 tn Or “as even we.” The phrase ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς (Jw" kai Jhmei") makes ἡμεῖς emphatic. The translation above adds an appropriate emphasis to the passage.

18 tn Or “into a time of testing.”

sn The request do not lead us into temptation is not to suggest God causes temptation, but is a rhetorical way to ask for his protection from sin.

19 tc Most mss (L W Θ 0233 Ë13 33 Ï sy sa Didache) read (though some with slight variation) ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν (“for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen”) here. The reading without this sentence, though, is attested by generally better witnesses (א B D Z 0170 Ë1 pc lat mae Or). The phrase was probably composed for the liturgy of the early church and most likely was based on 1 Chr 29:11-13; a scribe probably added the phrase at this point in the text for use in public scripture reading (see TCGNT 13-14). Both external and internal evidence argue for the shorter reading.

tn The term πονηροῦ (ponhrou) may be understood as specific and personified, referring to the devil, or possibly as a general reference to evil. It is most likely personified since it is articular (τοῦ πονηροῦ, tou ponhrou). Cf. also “the evildoer” in 5:39, which is the same construction.

20 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense: “people, others.”

21 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

22 tn Here the term “disfigure” used in a number of translations was not used because it could convey to the modern reader the notion of mutilation. L&N 79.17 states, “‘to make unsightly, to disfigure, to make ugly.’ ἀφανίζουσιν γὰρ τὰ πρόσωπα αὐτῶν ‘for they make their faces unsightly’ Mt 6:16.”

23 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

24 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.



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