One noteworthy item about benedictions is that they should be distinguished from ‘doxologies.’ Doxologies are words of praise/worship, while benedictions are spoken blessings. In doxology we speak praise to God. In benediction we receive words of blessing from God. Hence the following is not a benediction, but a doxology:
- Ephesians 3:20 ¶ Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The list below is not exhaustive and has some benedictions which are not benedictions proper. Benedictions proper are strictly pronouncements, while others are spoken in the form of petitionary prayer (i.e. those beginning with the word, ‘may’) and thus are not so. I’m of the opinion that benedictions proper are essentially covenantal pronouncements, and are therefore authoritative and effectual to all those who participate in the Covenant of Grace. All quotations are from the ESV unless otherwise noted:
- Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
- Romans 15:13 ¶ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
- Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
- 2 Corinthians 13:11 ¶ Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
- 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
- Galatians 6:18 ¶ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
- Ephesians 1:2 ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 3:17b-19 (NIV) ¶ And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
- Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:11 ¶ Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ¶ Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Peter 1:2 ¶ May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
- Revelation 1:4-5 ¶ Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
- Revelation 1:4 (shortened) Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come…
Biblical precedent is giving for the lifting up of the hands of the one who pronounces the benediction:
- Leviticus 9:22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them…
Note especially Jesus’ parting benediction to his disciples:
- Luke 24:50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.