In Matthew 6:7 only, "Use not vain repetitions," for battalogeo (so Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus), a word found nowhere else and spelled variously in the manuscripts, battologeo in Codices K, L, M; etc., batologeo in Codices F G, blattologeo in Codex Bezae (probably influenced by the Latin blatero, "talk idly"); presumably connected with battarizo, "stammer," and perhaps formed under the influence of the Aramaic beta', "speak carelessly," or baTel, "useless." Whether, however battalogeo means the constant repetition of the same phrase or the mechanical recitation of a long series of obscure or meaningless formulas (if, indeed, a distinction between the acts was thought of) cannot be determined. Either practice is abundantly evidenced as a "heathen" custom of the day, and either can be classed as "much speaking."
Burton Scott Easton
These files are public domain.