The Lord’s Prayer

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Prayer is hard.  I find it hard.  Sometimes my prayer life is silent.  Other times it’s a frustrating hard thing to express myself.  Maybe you’re the same.  John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray.  So did Jesus.  So our difficulties are neither unique nor unknown to God. So perhaps we should use the tool he gave us?

 The Lord’s prayer is remarkable in its simplicity.  But questions have arisen over time on how we should understand and use it.  Was it meant to be a fixed prayer recited often?  The Didache written in the early 2nd century shows many early believers thought so, saying it three times a day[1].  Is it to be said communally?  After all the wording is very much “our” rather than “my”.  Is it a summary of critical theological points?  Is it a template prayer from which we can develop thoughts as become popular in the Reformation ( eg Hubmaier[2])?  Forced to choose between these options my answer is an emphatic yes, lots of yesses. 

This is a model, a perfect prayer from the son of God, it is a statement of ideals and triumph of the Jesus way.  We will not always live up to this prayer.  We probably can’t always say it in its fullness.  But that’s ok because (especially in Psalms) we see all sorts of prayers.  We have prayers that say:

  1. Save me now because I’m in trouble
  2. Can we make a deal?
  3. Thank you
  4. Please make the king give me something
  5. Where are you?
  6. Would you please punish my enemies, now?
  7. What are you doing it? seems unfair!

So the important disclaimer is that prayer is an act of faith even if the spiritual maturity or emotional stability varies from moment to moment of our life.  And God gets that.  Peter was sinking in the waves because he lacked faith but he had just enough sense to call out ‘help me Jesus I’m sinking’ (Matt 14:30-31).  Jesus says he was sinking because of doubt, because he had little faith – but Peter still called out and was saved.  Paul writes that when we don’t have the words the spirit intercedes and translates our inexpressible groans Rom 8:26-27.  The same Greek occurs in LXX in Psa 38:10 where we read

“all my longing is before you, and my groaning is not hidden from you”[3]

Prayer is a tool to lift us up, not a privilege for the super faithful.  So in thinking about the Lord’s Prayer we aren’t looking to condemn Peter or you.  But to consider where we would like to be as we examine ourselves, as we think about our path and direction walking in Jesus’ steps.  I like the observation of Luz about the Lord’s prayer

this is an invitation to stop and think…its wording is open…it is itself an expression of God’s grace and nearness. By including many people in its words, it makes prayer possible.[4]

This prayer can be powerful – it can help us navigate dark places and be like a point of light[5] helping come back to God, back to the boat and safety.

This prayer can settle and contextualise our life.  The first three expressions are God focused (your name, your kingdom, your will) followed by three petitions (our bread, our debts, our trials).  As NT Wright observes, it is easy to pray when in need but the Lord’s Prayer can change us:

If we linger here, we may find our priorities quietly turned inside out. The contents may remain; the order will change. With that change, we move at last from paranoia to prayer; from fuss to faith[6]

If you get nothing from this morning may I suggest one thing.  Repeat the Lord’s Prayer each day.  As is [7].  Just do it.  Once a day without any need to embellish.

Whether this prayer is said collectively or individually it is inherently collective.  I pray it for me, for you & for us.  Our father.  There is a sense in which this prayer is intercessory[8].  There is a fellowship of believers here.  If God is your father and my father we are siblings.  As some have noted, a tremendous amount of theological and practical implication flow from this one declaration ‘our father’[9].

In our culture we talk about sibling rivalry.  But such a thought was alien to the first century family.  Siblings were alike, their honour was shared, to compete with a family member in any respect was reprehensible for one’s success was the success of all.  There was an expectation of unity, mutual care and equality which reaches far beyond today’s view of family[10]

Our father impacts my relationship with you. 

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness—the one who does not love his fellow Christian—is not of God 1 John 3:10

If God is our father we practice righteousness, we love each other.  Immediately as we pray together or alone we are brought to think of our siblings.  We are one body living and praying together – Our.

Our FATHER in heaven

To call God our father is revolutionary.  What would the disciples have heard?  The first time the fatherhood of God is mentioned in the Bible[11] is Exod 4:22

You must say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is my son, my firstborn, 23  and I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me,’

God as the father means

the new Exodus. We are going to be free at last…the hope of the coming of the Kingdom of God. The tyrant’s grip is going to be broken, and we shall be free…The very first word of the Lord’s Prayer, therefore (in Greek or Aramaic, ‘Father’ would come first), contains within it not just intimacy, but revolution. Not just familiarity; hope.[12]

However there is something deeper than a theological point about God’s plan.  We know we are heard because God is our father.  The relationship is the basis.  It’s not because we attempt to worm our way into God’s favour by saying nice things about him.  That’s what pagans did, in Matt 6:7 they talked a lot to be heard.  They recited the titles and deeds of their gods to get Zeus in a good mood and then asked for stuff.  Eusebius in the 4th century gives us insight into how to start talking to a superior.  He quotes a Roman proclamation which starts with 20 titles[13].  It was transactional.  I praise you, you provide for me.  Jesus doesn’t condemn repetition.  The most intense 3 prayers in history were identical in the garden of Gethsemane.  Instead he emphasises relationship, this is why we are heard, because God is our father.

Confession – I sometimes put respectful titles to keep God away.  What might sound respectful can also serve to maintain a safe emotionally neutral distance.  That is not what Jesus teaches.  He could have said Creator, Almighty God in far off heaven.  No.  Jesus teaches us to say father.  Someone close.

Jesus generally spoke Aramaic[14] and this prayer demonstrates Aramaic roots[15]. The consensus is that Jesus began this prayer with the Aramaic term “Abba” – a term which is closer to “Dad” than “daddy”[16], Aramaic speaking Jews prayed in Hebrew[17], but Jesus and then his disciples use the language of the people (Aramaic & then Greek).  There is no magic prayer language.  Jesus modelled street language prayer in contrast to his contemporaries[18].  When we pray we should pray in down to earth language.

It is amazing that God calls us his children and wants to be near us, to be in a relationship of family rather than miserable peasants.  As John 3:1 says

See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are!

The word translated “see what sort” of love in the Greek carries the idea of amazement at something very unusual, originally the idea meant foreign/alien[19] and came to mean something amazing beyond our normal experience or comprehension[20].  We have this privilege because we are adopted children Gal 4:5 yet loved just as God loved Jesus John 17:23.  Just the same!  Mind blowing that God would reach out to us.  To you.  And love us as part of his family as much as he did Jesus.  Think about the relationship between God and Jesus, just the same.

That we call God our father as a form of address is remarkable.  A simple phrase which:

transcends self-consciousness, suspicion, and fear[21]

But also in its otherworldly love, contains the promise of salvation.

In heaven

Why is this phrase next?  We know about fathers.  Even those of us with broken or missing fathers instinctively know what a good father should be.  Good fathers want their children to be happy, to succeed, to know love.  Our heavenly father has far greater power, as Jesus will go on to say:

Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11  If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him Matt 7:9-11

Fathers also want what is best for their children – even when sometimes little Jonny doesn’t quite know what that is.  As many of us know, life later teaches us more about the love of our parents.  The kid who moves out and suddenly appreciates their parent’s cooking, counsel or presence – sometimes things they never even understood were being done before.  So too as children we must appreciate the wisdom of our father in heaven.  Perhaps our requests at times might be like a toddler asking for more sugar. 

Jesus taught us to pray this way not in order to “limit God to the heavens,” but rather to lift us up from earth and set us “in the high places and in the dwellings above[22]

We are being invited to recognize our father’s power and also think on a higher plane, to recognize God’s greater perspective and wisdom.

Hallowed be your name

Holy, dedicated set apart be your name.  What does this mean?  What are we asking? 

The things we treasure we do in secret.  Do we hallow God’s name?  Or do we dream instead of wealth, power love seaside holiday house?  The hypocrite prays in public but not private because in private they don’t hallow God’s name.

Hallowing God’s name means making it special, by our life but more than this – by making God’s special character known.  To say “hallowed by you name” is to adopt responsibility to make it so.  He is our treasure.  We are private and public about it.

Of course God’s name is already holy, special.  So what does this mean to make it hallowed?  It is clear from the text this is not a future event but a responsibility now[23].  Think about Isa 6.  Where a declaration of God’s holiness is followed by Isaiah declaring he is unworthy and sinful.  Yet Isaiah is cleansed and then God declares he needs a messenger.  Isaiah responds saying “here I am send me: Isa 6:8.  Making God’s name holy means making it known.  As David says in Psa 34:3 

O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt his name together

Jesus’ prayer provokes us to contextualise our live and treasures.  In my secret life am in about God?  Must I like the young Lord be about my fathers business?  Or do I have other priorities?  Prayer is set in context of our relationship with God and exalting his name.  Correctly aligned we are less likely to fall into the trap of asking for lusts, our secret treasures, the things we exalt.  James audience asked for their lusts – and were not answered James 4:3.  Instead we are prompted to think how we actively made known God’s holiness.

Your kingdom come

Your kingdom.  Not mine.  If God’s kingdom will come it means humility.  Our lives are a vapour, our plans subject to God’s will (James 4:15).  Humans naturally are like Nebuchadnezzar declaring that this is great Babylon they have planted (Dan 4:30)/remodeled/been promoted to etc.  To acknowledge God rules in the kingdoms of men required Nebuchadnezzar spend 7 years living like an animal.  Your kingdom come means we surrender to God’s sovereignty.  More positively – we are to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness per Matt 6:23 hope and action, prayer and life go together.

We want God’s kingdom.  God loves this world.  He wants to radically change it, to fulfill the ancient promises made the prophets to make the whole earth better than Eden, to bring peace to the nations.  We know the violence, the bloodshed, the betrayal of trust and love upsets God.  We see the world though his eyes, simultaneously both love and sorrow.  We look for more – we look for God to bring the harmony of Eden back, to bring that abundance, that oneness and fellowship.

Your kingdom come – we also remind ourselves that God’s objective is not yet fulfilled.  God invites his servants in Isa 62:6-7 to keep praying until God makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.  Harrass God with prayer.  Bring your kingdom!

Your will be done on earth as in heaven

Technically we know what it means but practically?  It pushes hard on the introspection, am I doing God’s will on earth?  Now?

Of course there is also the very real desire for a radically different world.  A world governed by love.  But this change will happen in God’s time – until then is his will being done in my life?  Am I seeking his will or mine?

We know what our will is.  It is obvious and probably seems to align with God’s will often as well.  End this suffering.  Take Paul.  He was preaching God’s word.  He was God’s chosen vessel to take the gospel to the gentiles.  But.  There was a thorn in the flesh.  We imagine it was a physical ailment.  3 times he prayed for it to be removed.  But it wasn’t.  He received the answer, the explanation which we want to hear but have to instead listen to through Paul in 2 Cor 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.  10  Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong

It can seem so obvious to us what God’s will should be.  Sometimes we have to bend our mind to accept God’s will is being done.

Sometimes there is no answer and the implementation of God’s will seems too dark to imagine.  The Lord in the garden prayed three times:

“My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will Matt 26:39

“My Father, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done Mat 26:42

he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same thing once more Matt 26:44

Jesus received no answer, none (the angel strengthening him is not in the early texts).[24].

Hebrews 5:7 records:

During his earthly life Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion

Jesus prayed hard, in anguish with tears and cries.  While he was heard it did not mean the trial abated.  There was no immediate relief nor reply.  Just the arrival of Judas and the mob.  Psa 69:20 he

Look[ed] for sympathy, but receive[d] none, for comforters, but find[found] none

All he received was the kiss of betrayal.  Perhaps this is our lot.  The unthinkable trial.  No obvious answer.  Your will be done on earth as in heaven are easy words to say and hard words to swallow when the cup in front of us looks like a supersized jumbo cup. 

We know we are heard like our Lord when our will struggles to accept the arc of life, when the cup looks like a lake and when the light coming through the darkness is not relief by the torches of the mob.   We are heard.  His will shall be done and as we are torn by the persistent unremoved thorns we at least know where his will leads.  Ultimately God’s loving will is one of comfort and relief.  It looks ultimately like Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist

Whatever the cup in front of us until God’s will is finally done on earth as in heaven – not our will but thine be done.

Give us today our daily bread

The OT contains a number of passages describing the messianic banquet , an abundance of food and fine wine enjoyed by the Davidic king and his servants (eg Isa 25:6-8).  Yet the meaning of this phrase is significantly simpler than a future kingdom fulfilment.

The precise wording used by Matthew – our daily bread – is unknown and has been continuously disputed[25] and [26] and [27].

However there is a reasonable body of evidence that points firmly to the meaning of daily bread as being:

“what is necessary for existence.” If one accepts this meaning, one could render it as: “Our bread that we need give us today.”[28]

This agrees nicely with the parallel in Luke 11:13 which is very much on the idea of immediate needs[29] and some debated options really have no practical difference.[30]   Give us today the bread we need for today to survive seems most likely.  We might think of Prov 30:8b-9

do not give me poverty or riches, feed me with my allotted portion of bread,  9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I become poor and steal and demean the name of my God

Again the evident OUR bread – rather than my bread.  In the wilderness when collecting the manna each day Exod 16:17-18 has a tricky to understand passage describing how some gathered much and some little but everyone ended up with the right amount.  It is in 2 Cor 8:13-14 that Paul explains they shared their collection so all had enough.  Paul in this context is asking the saints to put aside surplus money to provide for others.

Our daily bread.  Something we see God’s hand in daily.  It is sufficient and no more.  It’s bread not hand made artisan sough dough from the local patisserie.  Just enough is just right.  And God’s provision is one to be shared.  So all have enough regardless of how much they worked. 

Our father in heaven knows our needs, before we ask, but he also desires us to seek his blessings and share them.

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

It is clear from the explanatory comments in Matt 6:14-15 that debts and sin are somewhat interchangeable terms.  This is most likely due to the translation of the Aramaic word which carries both ideas.  Matthew says debt, Luke actually uses the Greek for both debt and sin[31]

How do we wipe away debt/obligation?  How is our debt cancelled (as the Didache puts the phrase[32])?

The Jewish audience knew about massive debt relief from Lev 25 – the Jubilee year every 50th year when debts were erased, slaves freed and ancestral land returned to the families that had fallen on hard times.  It was a new start, a new world, free from economic oppression and a chance for Israel to start over with every man living under his own vine and fig tree.  Did it ever happen?  No – but Isaiah in particular picks up the language of freedom and renewal, transferring it to the work of Messiah. 

Of course rather than wait for God’s good time another option is to try and do it ourselves or even more radically to repudiate our debt.  Josephus says the Jewish revolutionaries attacked the rich by burning the public archives where the debt contracts were recorded.[33]  But we cannot ignore our obligation to God nor can our hand erase our obligation.  Paul in Col 2:14 is saying the law taught people of sin and this knowledge created a certificate of indebtedness but

even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 14  He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross[34]

Our forgiveness, our relief doesn’t come from our actions but Jesus’ sacrifice.  This is a far more satisfying solution that repudiating, ignoring or trying t invent our own fig leaf covering.  We once we lost but now are found in the amazing grace of our God.  We don’t deny our debt, we rejoice in it being nailed to the cross and taken away.

Oh yes the demands of this prayer on us are challenging, we receive forgiveness, we need to provide it to others as a mutual obligation[35].  We are God’s children, so we forgive, it’s not a chore but a family characteristic. 

The parable of the unforgiving debtor in Matt 18 expands this obligation and shows we forgive even when it is hard.  Ours is the forgiveness of Stephen (the Lord’s request in Luke 23 is dubious[36]):

do not hold this sin to their charge” Acts 7:60

Nor is this forgiveness mere tolerance, for tolerance is at best, a low-grade parody of forgiveness.[37]  We truly forgive, like our debt nailed once and for all the cross, it wasn’t tolerated it was terminated.  In forgiving we wipe away debts and extend the Jubilee experience to others now, we extend Kingdom grace to others also. 

Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one

The final clause again is focused on our lives and needs now[38].  The final phrase should read “from evil”[39] and [40].  We need rescuing from evil – from sickness, affliction, bad people and bad desires.

James 1:12-15 is clear that God doesn’t tempt us – He doesn’t scheme to make us sin.  He does however bring, or allow, difficult circumstances where our faith is tested.  Paul says in 1 Cor 10:13 God allows tempting (by others) and works to limit its extent – albeit a limit may be well beyond human imagination/judgement. 

The prayer though isn’t a theological discussion about evil, trial and tempting.  It is a straight recognition of the facts on the ground:

the continuing existence of evil presents an irresistible temptation for humanity and thus creates new evil all the time[41]

We acknowledge the difficulties of life and our inability to overcome them alone – we don’t know the way we need leading.  What we do is express trust, we have

the confidence of an earthly pilgrim traveling with a divine guide. The journey requires the pilgrims to affirm daily, “Lord, we trust you to guide us, because you alone know the way that we must go.” This affirmation of the trusting traveler reflects the confidence of the community that prays this prayer.[42]

At times we all know we ignore our guide and go looking for trouble – and it’s easy to find.  Thankfully we have a high priest who understands the difference between our intention and our performance as he said to his disciples in the garden:

Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak Matt 26:41

Of course they immediately fell into temptation – they feel asleep, again.  But Jesus was still prepared to be their guide.  We might imagine our lives fallen into such a pit we cannot be found by our shepherd that we can’t again follow our guide.  No.  Rom 8 is clear nothing can separate us from God’s love.  We just need to stop running away from him.  Just stop running and ask him to lead us. 

Because he can and will rescue us from evil.  The miserable circumstances of our life, the evils we experienced.  He will rescue us.  It’s a drastic word it

…points to drastic action in a desperate situation…evil has its origin in and consists of the totality of human failures: profaning the name of God, opposing his kingdom, resisting his will, failing to meet obligations toward fellow humanity, and not resisting the temptations of evil. Given this condition, there appears to be no further need for God’s probing and testing humankind. With humanity hopelessly entangled in evil already, there is only one thing left for God to do: to rescue humanity from this entanglement in evil[43]

Conclusion

There is much to consider in the Lord’s prayer.  This is a conversation with our father, and yet also a mirror that challenges us too.  The Lord’s prayer is not a prayer for the

complacent person satisfied with the treasures of this age. This is a prayer for the desperate, who recognize that this world is not as it should be and that only God can set things straight—for the broken to whom Jesus promises the blessings of the kingdom[44]

It is a gift from Jesus to you and to me.  It is simple yet powerful.  Perhaps we feel unable to pray, maybe we have lost our prayer voice.  Or perhaps you right now are like Moses pushing the congregation to victory by the power of your prayer.  There is value even in the simple repetition of the Lord’s Prayer each day. I once challenged my home congregation to all say the prayer daily. Many of us did and the power of solidarity in prayer was a powerful and emotional thing for many of us through the week that followed. Try it….


[1] Niederwimmer, K., & Attridge, H. W. (1998). The Didache: a commentary (p. 134). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[2] Hubmaier, B. (2019). Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism. (J. H. Yoder & H. W. Pipkin, Eds.) (Vol. 5, p. 241). Walden, NY; Robertsbridge, England; Elsmore, Australia: Plough Publishing House.

[3] Brannan, R., Penner, K. M., Loken, I., Aubrey, M., & Hoogendyk, I. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Septuagint (Ps 37:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., pp. 324–325). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[5] At funerals we were allowed to recite the Lord’s Prayer. As a young child I heard those strange words and had no idea who we were talking to, what the words meant, where they came from or why we were reciting them. When freedom came at last, I had the opportunity to search for their meaning. When you are in total darkness, the tiniest point of light is very bright. For me the Lord’s Prayer was that point of light. By the time I found its meaning I was a Christian  Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 91). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

[6] Wright, T. (1996). The Lord and His Prayer (pp. 6–7). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

[7] Albeit the doxology is not original – The absence of any ascription in early and important representatives of the Alexandrian (א B), the Western (D and most of the Old Latin), and other (f ) types of text, as well as early patristic commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer (those of Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian), suggests that an ascription, usually in a threefold form, was composed (perhaps on the basis of 1 Chr 29:11–13) in order to adapt the Prayer for liturgical use in the early church (Metzger, B. M., United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (p. 14). London; New York: United Bible Societies)

[8] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 382). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[9] All the remaining words in the Lord’s Prayer—indeed, all the truths of the Christian faith—can be understood as an elaboration of that compact opening phrase: “Our Father.” Hahn, S. (2002). Understanding “Our Father”: Biblical Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer (p. 12). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.

[10] deSilva, D. A. (2012). Honor, patronage, kinship & purity: unlocking new testament culture (p. 166). Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[11] Wright, T. (1996). The Lord and His Prayer (p. 14). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

[12] Wright, T. (1996). The Lord and His Prayer (pp. 14–15). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

[13] Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 92). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

[14] Boomershine, T. E. (1994). Jesus of Nazareth and the Watershed of Ancient Orality and Literacy. Semeia, 65, 21.

[15] We assume that the original language is Aramaic. Some have suggested that the original language was Hebrew. However, there is no indication that this was the case except for the indisputable fact that most of the prayers in contemporary Judaism that we still have were written in Hebrew. In addition to אַבָּא, which may stand behind the Lukan πάτερ, there is a second indication that the original language was Aramaic: in Greek ὀφείλημα means only “monetary debt”; the metaphorical usage in v. 12* is understandable only on the basis of the Aramaic חֹובָא which can mean both “monetary debt” and “sin.” In addition, the Jewish Kaddish prayer, which the Lord’s Prayer follows in its first part, is also formulated in Aramaic.  Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 311). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.  While most commentators agree with the Aramaic past one at least disputes we can sure eg Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 375). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[16] “’abbā is not normatively a child’s word (cf. Barr, “’Abbā”). In m. ‘Ed. 5:7, for example, the speaker is a grown man, in m. Sanh. 4:5 he is any human being, and in the earlier Aramaic of Jesus’ time, ’abbā’, in its few attested instances, is either a proper name, a patronymic, a title, or possibly a formal term for “father” (see Fitzmyer, “Abba,” 21–22). Yet it is undeniable that ‘abbā’ can sometimes have the implication of childlike intimacy” Marcus, J. (2009). Mark 8–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 27A, pp. 977–978). New Haven; London: Yale University Press.  While children may have used it as a form of endearment, similar to the English expression “Daddy,” it had a much more profound use in adult religious life Wilkins, M. J. (2004). Matthew (p. 275). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

[17] Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 95). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

[18] Osborne, G. R. (2010). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 227). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[19] “The form potapós is a later corruption from podapós, which the earlier Greeks used only in the sense of “From what country?”  Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[20] This may not be quite enough to suggest the love is foreign/alien(as Burge [Burge, G. M. (1996). Letters of John (p. 145). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.] and others do) but like the Galilean disciples being amazed at the Temple buildings (Mark 13:1) just way outside our experience and expectations.  God being our father is beyond our wildest dreams

[21] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 388). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[22] Hahn, S. (2002). Understanding “Our Father”: Biblical Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer (pp. 16–17). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.

[23] If we look to the OT we see that God’s name, his honour is impugned by the behaviour of his people (Ezek 36:23).  So we might think perhaps the hallowing of God’s name is a future event tied to the coming kingdom.  However there is good reason from the grammar of Matthew and cultural context to reject this reading, despite its popularity. Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 318). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[24] Luke 22:43-44 of an angel strengthening him and the sweat like drops of blood is omitted in a large number of important early texts and marked as suspicious in others where it does appear  see Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.

[25] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 397). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[26] Even current views are somewhat divided see Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 319). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[27] Bailey tries to resolve this using the ancient second century Syriac version (to get insight to the Aramaic) Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 121). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. Does this, concluding that the phrase means “Give us today the bread that doesn’t run out”

[28] The quote continues “This interpretation agrees in substance with SM/Matt 6:8*, is quite similar to Prov 30:8*,461 and has a parallel in the ninth benediction of the Shemoneh Esreh (Babylonian recension): “Bless this year for us, Lord our God, and cause all its produce to prosper; and bless the land; and satisfy us with goodness; and bless our year as the good years. Blessed art thou, Lord, who blessest the years.” There are also other parallels in Hellenistic literature dealing with the daily apportionment of food and drink. The closest parallel is no doubt the phrase in Jas 2:15*: λειπόμενοι τῆς ἐφημέρου τροφῆς (“lacking the daily nourishment”) and 2:16*: τὰ ἐπιτήδεια τοῦ σώματος (“what is necessary for the body”). In an important article Hermann Fränkel has shown that ἐφήμερος is a key term of Greek philosophy, describing the human being as a “creature of a day” and relating the term to notions of poverty. Thus, human life as a whole is fragile, short-lived, day by day, and from hand to mouth” Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 398). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[29] Luke, however, seems to have understood ἐπιούσιον in a non-eschatological way, despite the degree of redundancy involved.) (2) ἐπιούσιον = (a) ἐπί plus οὐσία, “for existence.” The meaning in this case is clear enough: “give us today the bread necessary for our existence Hagner, D. A. (1993). Matthew 1–13 (Vol. 33A, p. 149). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[30] A different conclusion but in practical implication the same is “our bread of tomorrow give us this day” Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 321). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[31] Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 126). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

[32] Niederwimmer, K., & Attridge, H. W. (1998). The Didache: a commentary (p. 134). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[33] Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 625). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[34] Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Col 2:13–14). Biblical Studies Press.

[35] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 404). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[36] Father forgive them they know not what they do Luke 23:34 is not genuine. Metzger, B. M., United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (p. 154). London; New York: United Bible Societies.

[37] Wright, T. (1996). The Lord and His Prayer (p. 50). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

[38] An eschatological interpretation has also been suggested for the final petition of the original Lord’s Prayer, the temptation petition. Then “temptation” (πειρασμός) would refer to the eschatological tribulation. Almost everything speaks against this view. Neither in Jewish apocalypticism nor in the NT is πειρασμός an apocalyptic technical term Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 322). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[39] Today the problem is still controversial, although most scholars favor the neuter…In the SM both the masculine and the neuter of the adjective πονηρός (“evil”) occur, the former referring to people generally, and the latter to moral evil…Theologically, the Lord’s Prayer tends toward an answer in favor of the neuter Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 413). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[40] From ancient times it has been debated whether “evil” in this final petition is to be understood as masculine or neuter. Most Matthean and NT sources, the parallelism with the temptation petition, the presumably oldest interpretations of the petition in 2 Tim 4:18* and Did. 10.5, as well as the Jewish parallels—in Judaism there is scarcely any evidence for “the evil one” as a designation of Satan—speak for a neutral interpretation. For their part the Jewish texts suggest everyday experiences: sickness, affliction, bad people, evil desire. Thus the concluding Matthean petition intensifies and generalizes the temptation petition, and it brings the Lord’s Prayer to a close with a positive formulation Luz, U. (2007). Matthew 1–7: a commentary on Matthew 1–7. (H. Koester, Ed.) (Rev. ed., p. 323). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[41] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 380-381). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[42] Bailey, K. E. (2008). Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (p. 129). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

[43] Betz, H. D. (1995). The Sermon on the mount: a commentary on the Sermon on the mount, including the Sermon on the plain (Matthew 5:3-7:27 and Luke 6:20-49). (A. Y. Collins, Ed.) (p. 381). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

[44] Keener, C. S. (1997). Matthew (Vol. 1, Mt 6:9). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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