LORD’S PRAYER (I)
1. Place in NT.—Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4
. The former passage has been more influential in the later history of the Lord’s Prayer, but the latter seems to give it in a more historical setting. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Prayer is, to all appearance, a later insertion; Lk. leads into the neighbourhood of Bethany (Luke 10:38-42
) or Gethsemane; see J. A. Robinson, ‘On the Locality in which the Lord’s Prayer was given,’ in F. H. Chase, ‘The Lord’s Prayer in Early Church’ (TS
pp. 123–125). Not far from the traditional site of Gethsemane, on the slope of the Mount of Olives, stands to-day the Church of the Paternoster, showing in the quadrangle the Lord’s Prayer engraved in thirty-two languages.
The Lord’s Prayer has been frequently published in Polyglot editions; the oldest at Rome, 1591, in 26 languages; then by II. Megiser, Frankfort, 1593, in 40
; by Andr. Müller, 1660, in 100; Chamberlayne, 1715, in 150 languages. J. Adelung (Mithridates, 1804–1817) made the Lord’s Prayer the basis of a scientific classification of languages. Further Polyglot editions by Bodoni (Parma), J. J. Marcel (Paris), Auer (Vienna), Dalton (St. Petersburg, 1870, in 108 languages of Russia), S. Apostolides (London, no date, in 100 languages, published for the benefit of the poor Cretan refugees now in Greece); The Lord’s Prayer in Three Hundred Languages … with a Preface by Heinrich Rost, 1891; in 300 dialects of Africa, 1900. But most of these compilations lack scholarly supervision. A pleasant task would be for a united band of scholars to trace the historic development of those languages for which this is possible, on the basis of the Lord’s Prayer, and to show the character of the rest on the same basis. The Lord’s Prayer has also been frequently turned into metre and rhyme. Whether there exists a collection of this kind in English, is unknown to the present writer; in German, cf. Das Gebet des Herrn: Eine Sammlung metrischer Umschreibungen des Vaterunsers, Reutlingen, 1821; E. W. Scripture, ‘A Record of the Melody of the Lord’s Prayer,’ in Die neueren Sprachen, ed. by W. Vietor, x. 9.
For early English translations of the Lord’s Prayer, see Albert S. Cook, ‘Study of the Lord’s Prayer in English’ (Amer. Journ. Philol. vol. xii. pp. 59–66), and Biblical Quotations of Old English Prose Writers (London, 1898, pp. xxv, liii, lix, lxiv, 147 ff.). Cook refers to Wanley’s Catalogus, where separate versions of the Lord’s Prayer are either given or their existence noted, pp. 51, 160, 169, 197, 202, 221, 224, 239 (?), 240, 248. Cook gives the first from MS. Bodl. Jun. 121. Three poetical paraphrases of the Lord’s Prayer of uncertain date are given by Greiss in his Bibliothek der Angelsächsischen Poesie, ii. 285–290 (new ed. ii. 227–238), the last two published by Wanley, Catalogus, pp. 48 and 147 f., and by Ettmüller, Scopas and Boceras, pp. 230–237; the first by Thorpe, Codex Exoniensis, p. 468 f. On p. 147, Cook gives the Lord’s Prayer from aelfric’s Homilies, and an isolated quotation in Cnut’s Laws (Schmid, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, p. 270). We may quote: ‘urne daeghwamlican hlâf,’ ‘ure gyltas,’ ‘on costnunge’; ‘fram yfele,’ ‘hlâf userne oferwistlic,’ ‘instondenlice,’ ‘scylda’ (Cook, pp. liii, lix). For the expression ‘costnunge,’ it is interesting to note that the corresponding German word ‘Bekorung,’ was declared by Luther better than the received ‘Versuchung.’
In the new and enlarged edition of The Lord’s Prayer in Five Hundred Languages, comprising the Leading Languages and their Principal Dialects throughout the World, with the Places where Spoken; with a Preface by Reinhold Rost (London, Gilbert & Rivington, 1905), the Lord’s Prayer is given in English in sixteen forms, namely: Charles 11. Prayer-Book, 1662; Edward VI. Prayer-Book, 1549; as sent from Rome by Pope Adrian, an Englishman, about 1160; from two Manuscripts of the 13th cent.; from Wyclif, about 1380; Tindale, 1534; Cranmer, 1575; Rheims Version, 1582; Authorized Version , 1611; Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 , 1881; The Twentieth Century NT; further, in Anglo-Saxon.
A disciple—it is not said whether one of the Twelve—asked Jesus, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ That the disciples of John were wont to make prayers or supplications, besides their fasting, is told by St. Luke only (5:33). On a form of prayer ascribed to John, see ‘Lord’s Prayer’ (by present writer) in EBi
6, and the Catalogue of the Syriac Manuscripts preserved in the Library of the University of Cambridge (p. 529). There it begins: ‘Bright Morning, Jesus Christ, Who was sent by God the Father.’ Where fixed forms of prayer are in use, as was the case, it seems, with the Jews in the time of Christ, it is but natural that petitions on particular subjects should be added to them; such additions are mentioned as made, for example, by R. Eliezer and by R. Johanan (see Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. on Matthew 6, and art. ‘Schemone Esre’ in Hamburger, RE ii.
2. Sources.—The sources whence our Mt. and Lk. took the Lord’s Prayer are quite unknown. The Gospel of Mk., which, according to the common view, was used by our Mt. and Lk., does not give it. On Mark 11:24
f., where Mk. speaks about prayer, see A. Wright, Synopsis2
, 1903, p. 115, and Wellhausen, who thinks that Mk. may have known the Lord’s Prayer as a prayer of the Church, but did not dare to refer it in its wording to Jesus; the expression (ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν) ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, occurring there, is not found elsewhere in Mk. If the first Gospel was originally written in (Hebrew or) Aramaic, its author may have had the Lord’s Prayer before him, written or oral, in (Hebrew or) Aramaic, and given it in one of these dialects; then the translator may have formed the Greek under the influence of Lk. (cf. the hapaxlegomenon ἐπιούσιος). This is the view especially of Th. Zahn. The opposite view, that ἐπιούσιος was first coined by Mt. or one of his fellow-workers, is maintained, for instance, by A. Wright, The Gospel acc. to Luke, 1900, p. 102.
3. Text of the Lord’s Prayer.—As there are two traditions about the place of origin of the Lord’s Prayer, so even its wording is given in two different forms. In the Received Text, it is true, they differ very little; in the Authorized Version , for instance, the variations are but four:
(1) in earth as it is in heaven.
as in heaven, so in earth.
(2) this day.
day by day.
(3) debts, as we forgive our debtors.
sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
(4) For thine … Amen.
In the Greek Textus Receptus they differ even less, the first of the above variations has nothing to correspond in Greek. (In Mt. the Authorized Version preserved the order of the Pr. Bk.
version, which differs both from Mt. and Lk. in the fifth petition, ‘trespasses’ against ‘debts’ and ‘sins’).
There can be no doubt that in the Textus Receptus the form of Lk. has been assimilated to that of Mt. The modern critical editions agree almost to the letter; see the editions of Scrivener, Weymouth, Nestle. Weiss retained in Mt. the form ἐλθέτω instead of ἐλθάτω, and the article τῆς before γῆς. The critical apparatus of Tischendorf and WH
may be supplemented by the following notes:
(1) The Didache (8:2) has the singular τῷ οὐρανῷ; the Apost. Const. in both places, 3:18 and 7:24
(here reproducing the Didache), the plural.
(2) On the form ‘veni ad regnum tuum’ in the oldest Latin MS (Cod. Bobbiensis), see F. C. Burkitt (Cambr. Univ. Reporter, 5th March 1900).
cur and the Syr.
Acts of Thomas have the plural for ‘thy will’ as the first hand of Cod. א in Matthew 7:21
(4) On the article for ‘on earth,’ see EBi
2818; on the new punctuation of the third petition, see below.
(5) With τὴν ὀφειλήν of the Didache cf. Matthew 18:32,
and the difference of the singular and plural in German and Dutch: Schuld and Schulden. Two Manuscripts of the Apost. Const. give καραπτώματα = ‘trespasses,’ καθώς for ὡς, and omit the verb. Syriac forms combine ‘debts’ and ‘sins’; see, besides EBi
2818, Burkitt in his ed. of the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, Mrs. Gibson’s ed. of the Didascalia, and Mrs. Lewis’ MS of the Acts of Thomas.
(6) In some Oriental translations ‘deliver’ is rendered by different roots in Mt. and Lk., and then both are combined in liturgical use of the Lord’s Prayer.
(7) Of the Doxology the Didache omits ‘the kingdom and’; in the Apost. Const. (7:24) one MS, on the contrary, omits ‘and the power and the glory’; and the same two clauses are omitted by another MS at 3:18,
which with its ally ends ‘of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever.’ In this connexion it is worth while to remark, that Funk, in his new edition of the Didascalia and Apost. Const., puts at 3:18 and 7:24
the final quotation marks after τονηροῦ, implying by this that he does not regard the Doxology as part of the quotation from the NT. Compare with this the above statement about the Manuscripts of the Constitutions, and Brightman’s Liturgies Eastern and Western, p. 353 f.
In Lk. the modern editions differ even less than in Mt.—only in a single letter, Weiss retaining here also the spelling ἐλθέτω. With this unity contrast the judgment of Dean Burgon (The Revision Revised, pp. 34–36; The Traditional Text, p. 84):
‘ “The five Old Uncials” (אABCD) falsify the Lord’s Prayer as given by St. Luke in no less than forty-five words. But so little do they agree among themselves, that they throw themselves into six different combinations in their departures from the Traditional Text; and yet they are never able to agree among themselves as to one single various reading: while only once are more than two of them observed to stand together, and their grand point of union is no less than an omission of the article. Such is their eccentric tendency, that in respect of thirty-two out of the whole forty-five words they bear in turn solitary evidence.’
Any one who is unwilling to believe that the Textus Receptus of Lk. is due to assimilation with Mt. may compare the critical apparatus of the Latin Testament of Wordsworth-White, or of the pre-Lutheran German Bible as edited by Kurrelmeyer. There he can watch the same process for the German and the Latin texts. Even the Vulgate of Sixtus V. (1590) has the addition in Lk., Fiat voluntas tua sicut in cœlo ct in terra; but not the rest.
The chief question about the Lord’s Prayer in Lk. is, What about the petition ἐλθέτω τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμά σον ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς καὶ καθαρισάτω ἡμᾶς, which is witnessed for Marcion and found since in one MS (604, or Scrivener’s b, Gregory’s 700, von Soden’s ε 133, pub. by Hoskier, 1890). Perhaps a trace of it is found in D
, which has ἁγιασθήτω ὄνομά σου ἐφ ̓ ἡμᾶς, ἐλθέτω σον ἡ βασιλεία, etc. Another reading of Marcion is ‘thy bread’ for ‘our’; whether he read the second clause of the fifth petition we do not know, the sixth (and last with him) had the form καὶ μὴ ἄφες ἡμᾶς εἰσενεχθῆναι εἰς πειρασμόν. The same or similar forms are found independently from Marcion down to the present day. Harnack (Sitzungsber. Acad. Berl. 21st Jan. 1904) was inclined to see in the petition, ‘Thy holy spirit come (upon us) and cleanse us,’ the original for Lk., comparing Luke 11:13
with Matthew 7:11
4. Arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer.—Augustine tells us (Enchir. 116): ‘Lucas in oratione dominica petitiones non septem sed quinque complexus est’; thus it became the custom in the West to count seven petitions; but Origen, Chrysostom, and the Reformed Churches count six, connecting ‘but deliver us from evil’ closely with what precedes. WH
print in Mt. the Lord’s Prayer in 2 × 3 stichi, in Lk. without strophical arrangement, seeing in ‘as in heaven, so on earth’ the common burden for the first triplet of single clauses; see § 421. This has been adopted now for the Pr. Bk.
version by Parliamentary Papers, 1903, No. 53, removing the comma from behind ‘on earth’ to behind ‘done.’ For the Authorized Version , the editions of the Parallel NT give a comma after ‘done’ as well as after ‘on earth’; but Scrivener’s Paragraph Bible (1873), the Two Version Edition (1900), and the Interlinear Bible (1906) omit the first comma. Whether the Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 agrees with WH
is not quite clear from its comma (in this case we should have expected a colon). This arrangement was already put forward by the Opus imperfectum in Mt. (Migne, lvi. 712): ‘Communiter autem accipi debet quod ait, Sicut in cœlo et in terra,’ i.e.—
‘Sanctificetur nomen tuum, sicut in cœlo et in terra.
Adveniat regnum tuum, sicut in cœlo et in terra.
Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cœlo et in terra.’
On the fact that in mediaeval explanations the beginning was construed ‘Pater noster qui es. In cœlis sanctificetur nomen tuum,’ see below.
5. Contents.—(a) The exordium.—The short πάτερ in Lk., the fuller πάτερ ἡμῶν in Mt., would both correspond to an Aram. Aramaic אַבָּא, which is connected with ὁ πατήρ in Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6, Mark 14:36
. Cf. J. H. Moulton’s Prolegomena, pp. 10, 233, and art. Abba in vol. i. That πάτερ ἡμῶν may also correspond to אַבָּא and does not necessarily presuppose the form with suffix (אַבִינו̇ in Heb., אֲבוּנַן in Aram. Aramaic , אֲבוּנָא in Galilaean), is shown by Dahman, Worte Jesu, 157, though for the beginning of a prayer the more solemn form appears to him more probable. Among Jews it is customary to add שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם in Hebrew (דְּבַשְׁמַיָא in Aramaic) to אָב where it is used of God, but the isolated אַבָּא is not unusual. In the NT ὁ ἑν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς is almost exclusively used in Matthew. On the question whether from Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6
an acquaintance of St. Paul and his churches with the Lord’s Prayer may be concluded, see Gerh. Bindemann, Das Gebet um tügliche Vergebung der Sünden in der Heilsverkündigung Jesu und in den Bricfen der Apostel, Gütersloh, 1902.
(b) On the imperatives ἁγιασθήτω, γενηθήτω, see Origen, de Orat. 24. 5; Blass, Grammar, § 20. 1; Moulton, Proleg. p. 172, who quotes from Gildersleeve on Justin Martyr, p. 137: ‘As in the Lord’s Prayer, so in the ancient Greek Liturgies the aor. imper. is almost exclusively used. It is the true tense for “instant” prayer.’ Moulton adds: ‘To God we are bidden, by our Lord’s precept and example, to present the claim of faith in the simplest, directest, most urgent form with which language supplies us.’
(c) With the first petition cf. SE*
3, and the beginning of the Kaddish תְנַּדַּל וְיִתְקרַּשׁ שְׁמַיה רַבָּא; afterwards eight more such verbs are placed together about ‘the name of holiness (Blessed be it).’ A benediction without mentioning הַשֵׁם (= יהוה) is no benediction at all (Ber. 40b).
(d) Likewise a benediction with no מַלְבוּת is no benediction at all (ib.; cf. SE 11, in opposition to 12, 14, 17, Kaddish).
(e) γενηθήτω is translation יֵעָשָׂה by Shemtob, Delitzsch, Salkinson-Ginsburg, Resch; יְהִי by Alexander (McCaul-Hoga), Margoliouth, by the old Syriac versions except the Syro-Palestinian; from SE cf. 13, עשֵׁי̇ דְצוֹנָךָ; in the Kaddish: ‘May your prayers be accepted, and may your petition be done.’ To רָצוֹן of Biblical Hebrew would correspond צִבְיוֹן in post-Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.
(f) For ἐπιούσιος the remark of Origen, de Orat. 27, still holds good, that the word is found nowhere else in the whole range of Greek literature. Jerome compares it with the LXX Septuagint περιούσιος; but this stands almost everywhere for סְנֻלָּה (ap. Aquila, Genesis 14:21
for רְכוּשׁ, LXX Ps 16:14
for יֶתֶר). On περιούσιος, see Jerome’s remark (Anecd. Mareds. iii. 1, p. 92): ‘Verbo περιούσιος, i.e. substantialis, exceptis sanctis scripturis nullus foris disertorum usus est.’ The Gospel according to the Hebrews had for ἐπ., as Jerome states, mâhâr (מָחָר=). His most explicit statement has been published by Morin, Anecd-Mareds. iii. 2, p. 262: ‘In Hebraico evangelio secundum Matthaeum ita habet: Panem nostrum crastinum da nobis hodie.’ This lends a strong support to the view that ἐπιούσιος is formed from ἡ ἐπιοῦσα, ‘the coming day,’ even if this mâhâr were nothing but a retranslation of the Greek. But another view is that it is the original word used by Jesus and preserved by the Jewish-Christian communities. This is the view of Zahn, Gesch. Kan. ii. 193, 703, Eind. ii. 312; Ambrose: ‘Latinus hune panem quotidianum dixit, quem Graeci dicunt advenientem, quia Graeci dicunt τὴν ἐπιοῦσαν ἡμέραν advenientem diem’; Athanasius: τὸν ἐ. ἄρτ. τουτέστι τὸν μέλλοντα; Cyril Alex.
: οἱ μὲν εἶναί φασι τὸν ἥξοντά τε καὶ δοθησόμενον κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τὸν μέλλοντα; the Sahidic Version, on which see Lagarde, Mitt. ii. 374.
But the Oriental versions took another view: Syr
cur לחמן אמינא, i.e. ‘our continual bread,’ in Luke Syr
cur sin and Acts of Thomas ‘the continual bread’ (לחמא אמינא); the same tradition seems to be followed by the cotidianus of the Latin, the sinteinan of the Gothic, especially by לחמנו חמירי of Shemtob ben Shafrut, with which cf. Numbers 4:7
לֶחֶם הַתָּמִיר ‘the continual bread.’
i. 250, EBi
1; but it is repeated by Wellhausen in his Com. on Mt. and not recalled in that on Lk.]. The Vulgate (Jerome?) has supersubstantialis in Mt. and cotidianus in Lk. How the Peshitta (Rabula?) came to translate ‘the bread of our need,’ לחמא דסונקנן, is not quite clear, while the translation ‘our bread of richness’ in the Syro-Palestinian version rests on confusion with περιούσιος.
The following is a conspectus of the different renderings that have been tried:
(1) Shemtob: לחמנוּ חמירי. (2) J. B. Jona, Rome, 1668: על הקיום להמנו, a literal rendering of the supersubstantialis of the Vulgate, as überstantlich in three editions of the pre-Lutheran German Bible. (3) Delitzsch, Salkinson, Resch: לָחָם חֻקֵּנ