18. How New Testament Variants Contribute to the Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount

By Thomas A. Wayment

Thomas A. Wayment, “How New Testament Variants Contribute to the Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount,” in The Sermon on the Mount in Latter-day Scripture, ed. Gaye Strathearn, Thomas A. Wayment, and Daniel L. Belnap (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 298–311.

How New Testament Variants Contribute to the Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount

Thomas A. Wayment

 

Thomas A. Wayment was an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University when this was published.

 

Like any other ancient document copied and transmitted over a long period, the New Testament has a fascinating and complicated textual history. When we read the New Testament in English, we are confronted by the words on the page translated from an ancient language (Greek) that is itself a translation of another ancient language (Aramaic). Therefore, the reader experiences a text that is somewhat separated in place and time from its original source—the life of Jesus—and may rightfully wonder whether the words have been faithfully and accurately transmitted or whether they have been altered during the process of transmission and translation. Without access to the original documents—the autographs, as they are now called—we cannot always be certain of the exact quality and integrity of the New Testament text.

Any translation of the New Testament may appear to be a careful representation of a single ancient document; however, modern translations often include variant readings from a number of ancient texts. Therefore, in a sense, a translation does not represent any single document from antiquity but rather a composite text based on a scholar’s ability to determine ancient errors, changes, omissions and additions, as well as the quality of a manuscript. [1] The popular English translations in common usage today are not translations of a single ancient document but eclectic texts that weigh variants and differences and present a translation from several choices.

While many variants in New Testament texts have relatively minor consequences for the meaning of the text as a whole, several variants in the Sermon on the Mount alter the meaning, in some cases substantively. This chapter explores some variants in the Sermon on the Mount and how they influence the meaning of the sermon as well as how they affect the translation presented in the King James Version (KJV). This chapter also considers what the Greek variants of the Sermon on the Mount can tell us more broadly about the history of the sermon and how accurately it preserves the words of Jesus as he spoke them in the first half of the first century AD.

Three Accounts of the Same Sermon

The task of looking at the variants of the Sermon on the Mount is made more difficult and more interesting because the sermon is preserved in three separate places: Matthew 5–7, various places in the Gospel of Luke but specifically in the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17–49), and 3 Nephi 12–14. [2] The Joseph Smith Translation might be considered a fourth source, but in almost every instance it agrees with the Nephite sermon. [3] Because the Nephite sermon survives only in translation and cannot be checked for variant readings, it will be consulted in this paper only when variants of the New Testament seem to be reflected in the Book of Mormon and do not agree with the printed English text of the KJV. Luke’s account will provide an important point of comparison because it preserves many of the same verses included in Matthew but sometimes in a slightly different form, and because scribes frequently attempted to harmonize the two accounts when there were differences. Unfortunately, there are too many textual variants to consider all of them in a single chapter; therefore only the most noteworthy will be considered here.

The Joseph Smith Translation and the Nephites’ account of the Sermon on the Mount raise a unique and independent issue because of the implications that they may represent the restoration of the original text of the Bible. In attempting to discover the most accurate original text of the Bible, it is reasonable to assume that the Joseph Smith Translation and the Nephite account should agree in those instances where a more original text of a saying is retrievable. This conclusion, however, does not account for the fact that the Joseph Smith Translation was not expressly revealed as a restoration of original text and instead may restore meaning where lost through translation even though the Greek text was not altered. Moreover, the Nephite sermon, while given directly by the Lord, may be a correction of meaning and intent. Authors are translators, and the Greek text of the Sermon on the Mount may obscure the meaning and intent of the original Aramaic of the sermon, which the Lord was able to restore in other contexts.

Without a Cause

In Matthew 5:22 we read, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” The phrase “without a cause” is expressed in Greek by a single word, eik?, and it is omitted in a number of important New Testament manuscripts. However, the word is also present in a number of other Greek manuscripts. In this particular instance the oldest available manuscript (∏64) of Matthew 5:22 omits the word, as do the other early witnesses such as Codex Sinaiticus and Codex B (Vaticanus) and the patristic author Justin, whereas those that contain the word appear to postdate the earliest manuscripts and references by nearly two hundred years. Moreover, in this instance, the Joseph Smith Translation and the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 12:22) also omit the phrase “without a cause.” [4]

When faced with making a decision on the antiquity of a reading such as “without a cause,” it is important to weigh the textual evidence and then attempt to discover a historical explanation that would explain either the addition or removal of the phrase in question. For example, the oldest evidence (∏64) is weighted more heavily because there is no reason to suspect that it is corrupt in this instance. Other early important manuscripts (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) also weigh heavily in this situation. In Sinaiticus, the phrase “without a cause” was added above the line of the text for Matthew 5:22 by a later scribe. [5] The best evidence to support the claim that “without a cause” is original to Matthew comes via a fourth-century Coptic translation, although the actual texts that contain it are not as early as the Greek witnesses. Therefore, we may confidently conclude that the reading arose later, perhaps in the west (perhaps Italy or Latin-speaking North Africa) because the western author Irenaeus knew the phrase but Justin and Origen did not. The later evidences for the phrase can be explained as deriving from the western interpolation.

The manuscript evidence clearly supports the conclusion that the single word eik? was added to give place for justifiable anger and to avoid the almost impossible requirement to avoid anger altogether. [6] Such a qualifier seems out of place given the context of the saying, “And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22). No allowances are made for calling a brother a fool or saying Raca, and by adding an exception to the first part of the verse the parallelism of the verse is weakened. It may also be that the phrase was added to the biblical text to explain Jesus’ reported anger in the Gospel of Mark, “And when he had looked round about on them with anger” (Mark 3:5). This single verse, which reports a miracle in which Jesus appeared to be angry, may have led scribes to correct Matthew to provide for an allowance.

Nowhere else in Jesus’ teachings does he speak of a commandment and then provide an exception to that commandment as if to say a person needed only to obey most of the commandment. Perhaps Christian scribes felt the need to add to Jesus’ teaching in this instance because certainly there are instances of justifiable anger and the Old Testament records instances of God’s wrath. Thus, based on the surviving evidence, the verse in its original form most likely read, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22).

Whosoever Shall Put Away His Wife

One of the most difficult sayings of Jesus is where he teaches a higher and more stringent law of marriage: “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32). The saying is repeated again later in the Gospel of Matthew in a nearly identical form, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9). [7] This higher law of marriage was taught in the context of the law of Moses, which permitted divorce in most instances (see Deuteronomy 24:1–4).

The final phrase “and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” is omitted in many manuscripts of the New Testament, both in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, while the first part of the saying, that unless a marriage is broken because of “fornication” (Greek pornea, “sexual wrongdoing”) is always preserved in the same manuscripts that omit the last phrase. Because Deuteronomy indicates that a man must initiate the divorce, it appears that he alone is responsible and from this perspective his new marriage would be adulterous (see Deuteronomy 21:1–4). However, the potential additional reading offers a second clarification indicating that any new marriage, including that of the divorced spouse, would also be considered adulterous unless the marriage was originally broken because of fornication. But if the man was responsible for initiating divorce, could a spouse’s new marriage be considered adulterous when she had little control over ending the marriage in the first place?

The omission of the final clause, the clause indicating that a spouse’s new marriage is also considered adulterous, goes back to Origin in the early third-century and is omitted in the fifth-century Codex Bezae (D). At the same time, other early manuscripts such as the fourth-century Codex Vaticanus (B) and the fifth-century Codex Washingtonianus (W) have the final clause. From a text-critical standpoint, the evidence is mixed, and no simple solution can account for the omission or addition of the phrase.

If, however, based on Deuteronomy 24:1–4, only men initiated divorce proceedings in Jewish culture, then declaring the spouse’s new marriage to be adulterous could appear heavy-handed to some scribes, encouraging them to omit the final phrase. In other words, if the marriage could be broken only by the male partner, then should the woman’s new marriage be considered adulterous if she did not have the power to initiate the divorce? What would perhaps be more understandable is that the partner who was guilty of “fornication” while being married would be forbidden from remarrying and that the nontransgressing spouse would be free to remarry without having the new marriage considered adulterous. Considered in this light, it may be that scribes added the final phrase because the original saying suggests a man could initiate a divorce when his wife was guilty of fornication. Therefore, the final phrase may have been added to clarify the fact that any new marriages by the offending spouse would be considered adulterous. The original saying already accounts for the male partner who is guilty of fornication.

The textual variant of Matthew 5:32 is certainly difficult to understand, and no single solution seems to account for why scribes would add it or delete it. Thus, tentatively, it appears that the King James Version preserves the original reading for this verse: “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32).

Love Your Enemies

When Jesus taught his disciples to love their enemies, he did so by saying, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy” (Matthew 5:43). Drawing upon the oral context in this instance (“ye have heard”) Jesus taught in a new way, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This verse is nearly identical to Luke 6:27–28, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

This short saying, however, is rendered in an even shorter form in some manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew, where it reads, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” The shorter form of this saying is preserved in the fourth-century Codex Sinaiticus (À) as well as in Codex Vaticanus (B), although the longer form does appear in Codex Bezae (D), Codex Washingtonianus (W), and other important manuscripts, thus making it appear that the shorter form was preserved in the earlier manuscripts whereas the later ones include the longer text. [8] In its shorter form, the saying creates a balanced parallel with Matthew 5:43 with a direct parallel contrast between loving and hating. [9] The textual witnesses numerically favor the longer reading, but the earlier and older references favor the shorter reading, demonstrating at least that the short form of this saying is indeed quite ancient. Frequently portions of verses do drop out for a variety of reasons, but in this instance nearly half of the verse is missing, if indeed that is how the shorter form arose. [10]

Another way of considering this change is that when scribes recognized parallel passages such as Old Testament quotations or instances where more than one Gospel preserved a similar saying, there was a tendency to harmonize the accounts. One unfortunate consequence of this practice is that if Jesus did indeed repeat a saying in a different form, then harmonization would erase the differences. In this case, it appears that Matthew’s shorter form has been harmonized to Luke’s longer form, which would follow the natural scribal practice not to delete but rather to add when harmonizing. In this instance, it is more likely that Matthew and Luke have preserved two different versions of this saying and that Matthew’s saying, given its context, was likely the shorter version of the saying. Thus it appears that the original form of this saying, which may indeed present a different version of the saying than the one recorded in Luke 6:27–28, read as follows, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44).

Reward Thee Openly

Matthew records a saying of Jesus that seems, at least initially, to contain an inherent contradiction, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:3–4; emphasis added). The need to hide one’s actions, according to this saying, is only temporary because eventually our almsgiving will be announced publicly through the open giving of a reward. Why would the Father reward us openly but ask us to keep the giving side a secret?

Perhaps open rewards are not temporal rewards, or in other words, perhaps open rewards are only given in the postmortal judgment of mankind, when the perceptions that confuse us here in mortality are no longer a concern. On the other hand, this particular saying is preserved in a number of variant forms that significantly alter its meaning, and it may be that the final phrase, “and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” contains a later scribal expansion that seeks to clarify what Jesus intended.

The intensifier “himself” (Greek autos) does not appear in any Greek manuscripts until the fifth-century Codex Bezae (D), and then it appears frequently in a number of Byzantine or eastern manuscripts. The addition of “himself” seems purposeful and enhances the reward that is given because it is given directly at the hands of the Father. Such a special reward is already implied without what appears to be the addition of “himself,” but the additional reflexive pronoun does intensify the relationship. [11]

The addition of “openly” appears in ancient manuscripts even later than autos “himself” and can be found in a number of late eastern or Byzantine manuscripts. [12] The added words en t? faner? (openly) present an inherent contradiction to the original saying of Jesus that seeks humility in giving. An open reward contradicts the quest to remain humble, and this particular addition shows that over time the human spirit naturally yearns for public recognition of one’s actions, so much so that scribes envisioned a personal public reward given by the Father. It may also be that scribes altered this saying by adding the concept of an open reward because of the implication in the saying that what is given in secret would be rewarded secretly (see Matthew 6:3–4).

A similar addition appears also in Matthew 6:18, “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” [13] Again, the evidence for “openly” in this saying is also quite late and seems to contradict the original saying. According to Augustine in the fifth century, the addition of en t? faner? was common in Latin manuscripts of the New Testament but not in Greek manuscripts of his day. [14]

Matthew 6:6 again repeats the promise that the Father will reward openly, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Again, the evidence is strong indicating that “openly” may be a later addition to the biblical text. However, in this instance, an open reward to a private prayer is not so inherently contradictory. [15]

In this particular case, the late dating of the manuscripts that contain the adverb “openly” seems to conclusively identify this change as a scribal addition to the original saying of Jesus. Although the reasons for such additions and changes are notoriously difficult to determine, in this instance it may reflect a growing Christian community that sought public recognition of their goodness and actions. It appears that the earliest form of this saying should be, “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee.”

The Ending of the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer preserves some of the most memorable lines from the Sermon on the Mount: “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” (Matthew 6:9–13). This prayer is also found in a nearly verbatim version in the Gospel of Luke, although in a different setting, which may account for the slight differences in wording: “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” (Luke 11:3–4).

Matthew’s final or concluding phrase, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” also known technically as a doxology—a hymn of praise—is missing both in the version preserved in the Gospel of Luke and in the vast majority of New Testament manuscripts of Matthew, although it does appear in several later Byzantine or eastern manuscripts. [16] Only a few important and mostly later manuscripts contain the final phrase (codices L, W, D, Q), while a single Latin manuscript preserves it in a different form, quoniam est tibi virtus in saecula saeculorum, “for yours is the power for ever.” [17] If the evidence were limited only to late Byzantine Greek witnesses and a single Latin manuscript, then the logical conclusion would be that the final phrase of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew was added at a later date. However, the Didache, a second-century Christian work preserving instructions on performing ordinances and other matters such as traveling missionaries, also contains the longer ending of the Lord’s Prayer (Didache 10.5).

Unfortunately, the manuscripts of the Didache that contain the longer ending of the Lord’s Prayer are quite late, and therefore it may be that the longer ending was also added to manuscripts of the Didache to harmonize them to Matthew after the change was added. However, because the Didache is itself an early document, it may demonstrate that the longer ending was known as early as the first century. The evidence remains inconclusive.

The ending, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” preserves a form and structure that is reminiscent of a prayer being delivered in a liturgical or church setting. The beginning “for” or Greek “because” concludes the prayer by intimating that certain requests can be made of God because he possesses all “power” and “glory” as well as the “kingdom,” which presents a second explanation for why we pray in light of Jesus’ initial explanation, “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). These two explanations are not contradictory, but with the entire focus of the prayer being on making prayer a private, humble petition that avoids the vain repetitions that the Gentiles used in their prayers (Matthew 6:7), it would appear that the longer ending to the Lord’s Prayer is out of place. The longer ending also lacks early attestation, and therefore it seems that the longer ending arose as Christians began to recite the Lord’s Prayer in their worship services.

With the possibility that the Didache may represent an early source, it can be tentatively concluded that the Lord’s Prayer lacked the longer ending and read thus in its original form, “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” (Matthew 6:9–13). This shorter ending shows that Luke’s Gospel also preserves the prayer with its original wording with the minor differences that probably reflect a change of setting.

The Lilies of the Field

Poetically, Jesus said, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” (Matthew 6:28), which compares the concern for outward appearances to the lilies of the field, which are beautiful without taking concern for clothing. Jesus drew out this conclusion decisively, “And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29). The phrase “how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” varies in a number of early manuscripts of the New Testament and may demonstrate an error that almost crept its way into the New Testament through an error in copying.

The Greek verb for “grow,” auzanousin, is visually quite close to ou zainousin, “they do not comb/card,” particularly when it is noted that Greek manuscripts of the New Testament were written without word breaks and almost always without accents. So the two versions would visually appear as auzanousin and ouzainousin. Interestingly, what makes this variant possible is that both readings make sense in the context of the verse, whereas many other visual similarities would not make sense and would be readily distinguishable.

Some very early manuscripts contain the reading, ou zanousin, such as the Gospel of Thomas and possibly a scribe who corrected Codex Sinaiticus. [18] T. C. Skeat reported that he saw the variant ou zanousin on Codex Sinaiticus using ultraviolet light, but no traces of this supposed reading are visible to the eye in the published photographs. It is likely this particular variant arose as scribes mistook the reading “how they grow” as “how they do not comb,” thus demonstrating in this instance the literary dependence of the scribes of the Gospel of Thomas and the way that some variants arose as scribes unintentionally misread what they were copying. [19] Therefore, the original version of this saying most probably follows the language of the KJV: “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.”

Summary

The Book of Mormon evidence, and the Joseph Smith Translation as well, follows closely the text of the KJV in all of the above instances except for omitting “without a cause” in Matthew 5:22. This evidence can be understood in a number of important ways. First, because the Prophet Joseph Smith did not state the specific purpose of the Joseph Smith Translation, it should be used only with caution in making any conclusions about the original text of the Bible. Therefore, it is not surprising that we discover instances where our modern translations do not follow the most recoverable original text, which in turn do not correspond with the Joseph Smith Translation. Second, in one instance the Joseph Smith Translation does agree with the earliest texts, so at least in some instances it may corroborate what can be discovered from other sources. Third, the New Testament is a collection of books that took shape over many years and suffered loss and corruption, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes purposefully. It may be that the focus of the Joseph Smith Translation is to restore meaning to the modern text and not the original ancient text.

The parallels between the Gospels also present several important conclusions. First, in some instances it appears that later scribes of the New Testament harmonized passages from the Gospel of Matthew (5:44) to the Gospel of Luke (6:27–28). This process of harmonization is unfortunate in some instances because it obscures the differences that may enable us to see how Jesus altered his teachings for different audiences and in different settings. Second, in one instance, the Gospel of Luke (11:3–4) helps recover the original text in the Gospel of Matthew where scribes apparently added to the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13). The absence of the final saying of the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke and in the earliest manuscripts is solid evidence that this saying crept into the New Testament later. Third, in an instance where there is obvious evidence of scribes making a visual copying error, the Gospel of Luke (12:27) helps confirm that the most accurate version of the saying has been preserved in our modern translations.

The New Testament passed down to us through the past two millennia has been remarkably preserved from corruption in many instances. That process of preservation, however, did not come without difficulties. No two ancient or modern translations of the New Testament are the same because of the numerous variants that exist in our manuscript sources. Some variants inform us of how scribes or early Christians interpreted the Bible, and other variants inform us of how the Bible read in its original form. Still others tell us about the process of deletions and additions. This chapter has skipped dozens of variants for the Sermon on the Mount because of their sheer number. Those discussed primarily raise questions about the accurate transmission of the text, but from our surviving evidence it appears the Sermon on the Mount has been transmitted in a remarkably accurate form with few variants that significantly alter its meaning.

Notes

[1] Adam Nicolson, God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible (New York: HarperCollins, 2003); Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005); Richard D. Draper, “The Earliest ‘New Testament,’” in How the New Testament Came to Be, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Frank F. Judd Jr. (Provo and Salt Lake City: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, and Deseret Book, 2006), 260–91.

[2] Thomas A. Wayment, “The Sermon on the Plain,” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ: From Bethlehem through the Sermon on the Mount, ed. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 355–78.

[3] This is not always reflected in the footnotes of the Latter-day Saints version of the Bible, even though the JST does mirror the Nephite sermon.

[4] See Matthew 5:22 footnote a; Thomas A. Wayment, ed., The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the New Testament: A Side-by-Side Comparison with the King James Version (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 13; Daniel K Judd and Allen W. Stoddard, “Adding and Taking Away ‘Without a Cause’ in Matthew 5:22,” in How the New Testament Came to Be, 157–74, although Judd and Stoddard appear to weigh all of the textual and patristic witnesses equally.

[5] Compare Dirk Jongkind, Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2007).

[6] David A. Black, “Jesus on Anger: The Text of Matthew 5:22a Revisited,” NovT 30, no. 1 (1988): 1–8, argues that the phrase is original to the Gospel of Matthew and not an interpolation.

[7] Luke 16:18 preserves the saying in nearly verbatim language.

[8] The longer text appears in the uncials D (fifth century), L (eighth century), W (fourth century), D (ninth century), Q (ninth century), and C (sixth century).

[9] The shorter form also appears to be preserved in early patristic sources (Irenaeus, Origen, and Cyprian).

[10] Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 250–68.

[11] Manuscripts containing the change are Sinaiticus (fourth century), B (fourth century), D (fifth century), and Z (sixth century).

[12] L (eighth century), U (030, ninth century), Q (ninth century), W (fourth century). The same can be said of Matthew 6:6.

[13] A similar variant is found in Matthew 6:18, which is supported by even fewer manuscripts: D (ninth century), E (sixth or seventh century), and some Italian manuscripts.

[14] Serm. Dom. 2.2.9.

[15] The evidence for “openly” is particularly late for this verse, L (eighth century), W (fourth century), Q (ninth century), D (ninth century).

[16] Manuscripts that omit the doxology are Sinaiticus (fourth century), B (fourth century), D (fifth century), and Z (sixth century) as well as a fourth-century pottery shard that preserves the Lord’s Prayer and the third-century apocryphal text The Acts of Thomas.

[17] This reading is preserved in Manuscript K.

[18] The reading is contained in the Greek text of the Gospel of Thomas in logion 36 in Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 655; see Andrew E. Bernhard, Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts (London: T&T Clark, 2007); T. C. Skeat, “The Lilies of the Field,” ZNW 37 (1938): 211–14.

[19] For a recent discussion of this problem, see Dirk Jongkind, “‘The Lilies of the Field’ Reconsidered: Codex Sinaiticus and the Gospel of Thomas,” NovT 48, no. 3 (2006): 209–16.