Re: Matt.6:13

From: Jeffrey B. Gibson (
Date: Wed Feb 17 1999 - 16:10:19 EST

Theodore H Mann wrote:
> B-Greekers:
> Because of my wife's illness, I have not examined B-Greek postings
> carefully for some time. I hope I'm not repeating a question that has
> already received extensive treatment.
> In Matt.6:13, some translations (e.g., NASU, RSV) render TOU PONHROU as
> "evil," while others translate it substantivally. Can someone explain
> the arguments on both sides? Louw/Nida goes with "evil one," as does
> Vine, Robertson and BADG (if I read it correctly). The TR includes the
> words in the parallel passage in Lk.11:4, and the KJV translates them
> "evil" there, as it also does in Matthew. ...ALLA RUSAI HMAS APO TOU
> PONHROU are, of course, omitted in UBS4 and NA26, in the Luke passage.
> Many thanks.
Last first. The TR includes the phrase at Lk. 11:4 because Lk. 11:4 (as
was much of Lk. 11:2-3) was assimilated to the Matthean version of the
LP in the textual tradition.
As to preferences for translating it "the evil one", i.e. the devil, the
ususal explanation is that this is consistent with Matthean theology -
which it very well might be -- but in most arguments I've seen for this
rendering there is a hidden (and as everyone here knows, to my mind
presupposition about the nature of the
PEIRASMOS referred to in the verse of which the "deliver us ..." passage
is an expansion and explication, namely, that PEIRASMOS there means
"seduction of believers to do evil".
Discussion on whether TOU PONHROU is neuter and therefore "evil" or is
masculine and therefore is "the Evil One" can be found in almost any
commentary. But particularly helpful in setting out the arguments for
and against each view can be found in the article by Harder on
PONHROS/PONHRI in TDNT Vol 6 (1968) pp. 546-566, esp. pp. 560-562.

And for an intersting review of who among the Eastern and Western Church
Fathers took what position here, see J.B. Lightfoot, Appendix II, "The
Last Petition of the Lord's
Prayer" in the 3rd. edition of his On A Fresh Revision of the English



Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626

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