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Pure-hearted Giving

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

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  1. Matthew 6:1 tc ‡ Several mss (א L Z Θ ƒ1 33 892 1241 1424) have δέ (de, “but, now”) at the beginning of this verse; the reading without δέ is supported by B D W 0250 ƒ13 565 579 700 M lat. A decision is difficult, but the conjunction seems to have been added by later scribes to indicate a transition in the thought-flow of the Sermon on the Mount. NA28 has δέ in brackets, indicating reservations about its authenticity.
  2. Matthew 6:1 tn Grk “before people in order to be seen by them.”
  3. Matthew 6:2 tn Grk “give alms,” referring primarily to the giving of money or food for the relief of the poor, 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. Matthew 6:2 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:23.
  5. Matthew 6:2 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  6. Matthew 6:4 tc L W Δ Θ 0250 565 579 700 1241 1424 M al it read ἐν τῷ φανερῷ (en tō phanerō, “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 ƒ1, 13 33 co).