The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father, is a Christian prayer that, according to the New Testament, was taught by Jesus to his disciples. Two forms of it are recorded in the New Testament: a longer form in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the Sermon on the Mount, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke as a response by Jesus to a request by "one of his disciples" to teach them "to pray as John taught his disciples."[1]

Bellairs Corpus


And how do Catholics say this? Bowen notes two differences of the Our Father he was aware of in his youth: “Where at least some Protestants said ‘forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,’ Catholics said ‘trespasses’ and ‘those who trespass against us.’  The big difference, however, was Catholics did not, at that time, recite the Doxology at the end; after we all said ‘and deliver us from evil,’ the Catholic kids fell silent and waited while the Protestant kids said ‘for Thine is the kingdom...’. etc., and then we came in again on the ‘Amen.’[2]"

"The oldest extant versions of the Gospel of Matthew do stop at ‘'deliver us from evil.’  The ‘For Thine is the kingdom, etc.’ was a pious bit of marginalia appended by some obscure medieval monk who was copying a manuscript.  The practical effect of this textual dispute was that during the era of John’s and my boyhood, when at some public gathering or other the Lord’s Prayer was being recited you would hear a distinct drop-off in volume as all the Catholics would shut up after ‘deliver us from evil.’  Or if Catholic schoolboys were present, ‘For Thine is the kingdom’ would be greeted with a good hissing.  In comparing our separate childhood experiences, Bellairs and I both cracked up at the discovery that both of us at one time or another had hissed the Protestant version of the Our Father.  If we can segue forward to the post-Vatican II period, we find that in the English version of the mass the prayer ends with ‘Deliver us from evil,’ but after an intermediate phrase the liturgy continues with ‘For Thine is the kingdom,’ so the olive branch has been proffered.  This isn't the only Catholic/Protestant textual divergence: for some reason, the numbering of the Ten Commandments is somewhat different and Catholics and Orthodox Bibles have 72 books while Protestants and Jews recognize only 66. One other is that rather trite Christmas cliché, ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men,’ which the Catholics render in a more hardheaded and realistic manner. ‘Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will.’[3]


  1. Wikipedia: Lord's Prayer
  2. Correspondence with Charles Bowen.
  3. Correspondence with Alfred Myers.