Matthew 6:4
 
Matthew 6:4
(KJV) That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
(1611 KJV) That thine almes may be in secret: And thy father which seeth in secret, himselfe shall reward thee openly.
(1587 Geneva Bible) That thine almes may be in secret, and thy Father that seeth in secret, hee will rewarde thee openly.
 
Counterfeit Versions
(1881 RV) that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall recompense thee.
(1901 ASV) that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.
(AMP) So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly.
(CEB) so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.
(CEV) Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
(1899 Douay-Rheims American Version) That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.
(ERV) Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.
(ESV) so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(GNB) Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
(HCSB) so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(PHILLIPS) No, when you give to charity, don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be secret. Your Father who knows all secrets will reward you.
(THE MESSAGE) When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
(NASV) so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you
(NCV) Your giving should be done in secret. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
(NIRV) Then your giving will be done secretly. Your Father will reward you. He sees what you do secretly
(2011 NIV) so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(NLV) Your giving should be in secret. Then your Father Who sees in secret will reward you.
(NLT) Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
(RSV) so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(2010 NAB-Roman Catholic) so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
(NWT-Jehovah’s Witnesses) that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you.
 
Textus Receptus - Traditional Text
οπως η σου η ελεημοσυνη εν τω κρυπτω και ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυπτω αυτος αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω
 
Hort-Westcott - Critical Text
οπως η σου η ελεημοσυνη εν τω κρυπτω και ο πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυπτω αποδωσει σοι
 
Corrupted Manuscripts
Omit “himself”
Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Nineteenth Century Counterfeit
B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
K 017 - Ninth century
L 019 - Seventh century
Theta 038 - Ninth century
33 (Minuscule) - Ninth Century
 
Omit “openly”
This verse is corrupted in the following manuscripts:
Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Nineteenth Century Counterfeit
B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
D 05 - Bezae Cantabrigiensis - Fifth century
1 (Minuscule) - Seventh century
13 (Minuscule) - Eighth century
1216 - (Minuscule) - Ninth Century
 
Manuscripts which agree with the Textus Receptus for this verse
Contains “himself”
Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
D 05 - Bezae Cantabrigiensis - Fifth century
M 021 - Ninth century
Delta 037 - Ninth century
 
Contains “openly”
Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
L 019 - Seventh century
W 032 - Fourth/fifth century
Theta 038 - Ninth century
 
Published Critical Greek Texts with Corruptions
Omit “himself” after “secret”
Lachmann, Karl - 1842
Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
Westcott and Hort - 1881
Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
 
Omit “openly” after “reward thee”
Lachmann, Karl - 1842
Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
Westcott and Hort - 1881
Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
Von Soden, Freiherr - 1902
 
Affected Teaching
This verse has been the given the unbeliever’s penknife twice. Both are important to understand the true principle of giving. The first omission removes a major principle and that is that God Himself will do the rewarding and the second omission removes the second reward of true giving and that is God rewarding the true giver openly, in front of others. When we do our alms in secret, it shows that we have no desire to be praised for what we have done. We engage our giving with the right spirit. Giving is not done as a personal achievement but out of love for the Lord. If giving is done in the right spirit, then God will reward the giver and He will do it openly. The word “openly” in the Greek may also be understood as “visible, clear, or plain.” This is probably done for two reasons. The first is to show the world that God keeps all of His promises and the second is to provoke cheap Christians into giving by showing them that giving is not just giving, but is an eternal investment in the Kingdom of God. This verse shows that God is personally involved in the giving by His children, whether it be money, time, or material goods. To remove the fact that God Himself does the rewarding is to remove a great act of God on behalf of His children. Then to remove the fact that God will reward His children openly for giving secretly, removes the proper attitude of giving. If God rewarded only in secret, then the world and the Christian would lose a great perspective on God’s faithfulness. God is not cheap when it comes to His children having the proper attitude about giving. It is a shame how the modern versions mutilate this great passage of promise.

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