The angels still do not know how to sing during Christmas night. Some have three lines in Luke 2.14, others only two. Some have good liturgical hymns in their textbooks, others must use bad prose versions. This article reconstructs a Hebrew version with its focus on the righteous remnant of Israel, the Anawim in Jerusalem who saw Jesus as the beginning of the restoration of Israel, and goes on to analyse the original and the liturgical versions in Greek, different Latin translations and renderings into Syriac and Coptic. Finally it gives some later interpretations of the canticle in literature, art and music. There are good reasons to include much more of reception history into the NT discipline.