"Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb 13.20-21)
This doxology arises from a prayer addressed to the God of peace, that the readers would be made perfect, i.e. fit, fully equipped, "in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight" (v.21). This being made perfect would be "through Jesus Christ", "that great shepherd of the sheep", who had been "brought again from the dead" (v.20). But, to whom is the doxology actually referring - to the God of peace or to Jesus Christ? Technically, we are told, it can refer to either and opinion among commentators is divided, since the so-called "nearest antecedent" (i.e. the last previously mentioned person) is the Lord Jesus, but the general context is to the God of peace. It would nevertheless seem quite safe to consider the Lord Jesus to be the One referred to, given the general purpose of the book which is to glorify Him. In that case, He is the one to whom belongs "glory for ever and ever. Amen" (see references to glory in 2.7,9; 3.3). This doxology essentially ends the epistle.
"Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Pet 4.11)
This doxology, referring to Jesus Christ, follows the statement that "God in all things may be glorified" through Him as the provider of the necessary strength for His servants to speak "as the oracles of God" (v.10). The Lord Jesus, as the mediator and means of blessing, deserves equal honour, praise, and dominion, for without Him no divine strength could be available. This is yet another proof of His deity!
"To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Pet 5.11)
This doxology refers to the God of all grace, and the pronoun "him" here is emphatic, i.e. to Him and Him alone, not to ourselves and not to anyone else. Peter is praying that the God of all grace will make his suffering readers perfect (i.e. fit, see the doxology at Hebrews 13 above), stablishing, strengthening and settling them. God alone has the might (dominion) to carry this out and Peter exults in the fact in the doxology.
"Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen" (2 Pet 3.18)
Peter encourages his readers in days of error and wickedness to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ", i.e. "the grace of which Christ is the author, and the knowledge of which Christ is the object". Kelly translates the doxology as "To him the glory both now and to eternity's day!", emphasizing the way in which our Lord's glory is everlasting. This should be an even greater encouragement for his readers to grow in His knowledge. This doxology ends Peter's second epistle (cp. Jude's doxology below), just as in his first epistle where it appears very near the end, and as is also the case with Hebrews. It is our privilege to give to Him what the Father has already given: "he received from God the Father honour and glory" (2 Pet 1.17), when He said from heaven at the Transfiguration, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt 17.5).
"To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" (Jude v.25)
This majestic closing doxology has been described as "the finest in the New Testament" (Easton's Bible Dictionary). It is one of the outstanding features of this short epistle, which was written as a wake-up call to believers who had been infiltrated by ungodly men who were beginning to wreak havoc by their ungodly doctrine and behaviour.
The exact translation of this doxology has varied, with most modern versions following Darby's translation: "to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority, from before the whole age, and now, and to all the ages. Amen". The time-span goes back to eternity past, as Kelly says "[Jude] looks at the full extent of eternity", and A T Robertson (New Testament Word Pictures) says Jude's expression is "As complete a statement of eternity as can be made in human language", cp. "now and to the day of eternity" (2 Pet 3.18, JND). God alone deserves and possesses eternal glory! (If we follow Darby's rendering of the verse, then like Eph 3.20-21, the glory is ascribed through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
To be continued.