The Lord’s Prayer: “Lead Us Not into Temptation, but Deliver Us from Evil”

The next petition in the Lord’s Prayer is, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. These two conjoined sentences should be considered as a single petition in Hebrew poetic parallelism, like the earlier petition, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, because in the Lukan version we read only “lead us not into temptation”. It is unlikely that Luke’s version would omit…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive Us our Trespasses”

We come now in our series on the Lord’s Prayer to the petition, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. This rendering could perhaps use a little help. It might be more accurately and literally rendered, “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors”. It is a brief enough petition, but within it hide two bits of counsel for us as we strive to live…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Give Us This Day our Daily Bread”

We continue with our examination of the Lord’s Prayer, and come now to the petition, “Give us today our daily bread”. One might be tempted to wonder what one could say about this petition by way of elaboration or explanation, since it seems pretty straightforward. I suggest, however, three things. First of all, that little word, “daily”. The Greek is επιουσιος/ epiousios. It is a rare enough word that Origen thought that…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done”

We continue with our examination of the Lord’s Prayer, and come now to the petition “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. It seems clear that these words constitute a single petition expressed with Hebrew poetic parallelism, and not two separate petitions, since the Lukan version of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2 simply reads, “Thy Kingdom come”, omitting the further elaboration contained in Matthew’s…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be Thy Name”

We continue in this series with our examination of the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, using Matthew’s version of the Prayer. We turn now to the next petition: “Hallowed be Thy Name”. To understand this petition we must first understand the Hebrew significance of a name. In our culture, a name is simply a verbal tag, a number of syllables by which someone is specifically identified and differentiated from others. For us,…

The Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven”

We continue this series examining the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase, using Matthew’s version of the Prayer rather than Luke’s. We will begin by working from the archaic version of the text as commonly prayed in our liturgical tradition (e.g. “Our Father who art in heaven”, rather than “Our Father in heaven”) because this is the version familiar to most people. But differences found in the original Greek text will be noted…