The Many Lords' Prayers

 

The "Lord's Prayer" was allegedly taught directly from Jesus' mouth to the ears of his followers. The very epitome of a critical piece of oral tradition - what could be more important than the very words of Jesus Christ himself ?!

Surely the oral tradition would have carefully and accurately preserved this crucial nugget of Jesus' personal teaching ?

Not so.

The opposite is true - the Lord's Prayer is one of the MOST variant pieces of all NT texts.

Here is a list of various versions from the very earliest Christian times :

 

#1 - G.Matthew (c.85, Greek)

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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

#2 - G.Luke (c.85, Greek)

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And lead us not into temptation.

Amen.

 

#3 - Didakhe (c.100, Greek)

Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors.

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

For yours is the power and the glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

#4 - Tertullian (c.200, Latin)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

#5 - Origen (c.230, Greek)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth also as in heaven.

Give us today our needful bread,

and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And bring us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

#6 - Cyprian (c.250, Latin)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors.

And suffer us not, to be lead into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Amen.

 

#7 - Variant Doxology

A few MSS add "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the father, the son, and the holy spirit for ever."

 

#8,9,10 - Varying Doxologies

A few MSS exclude the words "the power" or "the glory" or "the kingdom".

 

Finally these many variations (some slight, some large) were resolved into several English versions, with this being a common one :

 

Modern Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Conclusion:

There was no oral tradition preserving the words of the alleged Jesus.

 

 

by Kapyong

 


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