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The Lord's Prayer

Powerful Essays
The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not bring us to the time of trial,

but rescue us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:9-14 NRSV

The Lord's Prayer is the most widely used prayer in the Christian

community. Almost all Christian traditions accept and practice the

Lord's Prayer. This universality reasons that this prayer is of great

religious importance. The appeal of the Lord's Prayer is that it

functions as the "perfect" prayer. Taught by Jesus himself, this

prayer was thought to replace the Jewish prayers that existed at the

time. For the most part, people associate the Lord's Prayer with

Christianity, contrasting it with Jewish prayer. Many feel that the

prayer Jesus taught was something completely new and revolutionary.

However, I feel that the Lord's prayer is essentially a Jewish prayer,

exhibiting the form and function of contemporary Jewish prayers.

As with many other studies of any writings in the Gospels, it is

important to discuss how these traditions have been brought to us, and

what, if any modifications were made to the original text. Therefore

it would be prudent, for the purpose of this paper to first look at

the literary elements of the Lord's Prayer.

To illustrate why the Lord's Prayer is essentially a Jewish prayer, we

must first define and explore what Jewish prayers were like during the

time of Jesus. We will be discussing the two most popular prayer

traditions of the ti...

... middle of paper ...

..., both during the time of Jesus and today.

For thine is the Kingdom, the Power,

And the Glory, for ever.

Amen

Matthew 6:13b KJV

References

Balentine, S. (1993). Prayer in the Hebrew Bible Minneapolis: Fortress

Press.

Crosby, M. (2002). The Prayer that Jesus Taught Us New York: Orbis

Books.

Fox, E. (1938). Sermons on the Mount New York: Harper & Brothers

Publishers.

Jeremias, J. (1967). The Prayers of Jesus London: SCM Press Ltd.

Lohmeyer, E. (1952). The Lord's Prayer (John Bowden, Trans.). London:

Collins.

Roth, L. (1972). Judaism: A Portrait New York: Schocken Books.

Steinberg, M. (1947). Basic Judaism New York: Harcourt, Brace and

Company,

Stevenson, K. (2000). Abba Father: Understanding and Using the Lord's

Prayer Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Morehouse Publishing.
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