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The Lord’s Prayer part 2

The Lord’s Prayer part 2

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This message was part 2 of a two part teaching series. The “Lord’s Prayer” is a “maranatha cry,” for the God of Israel to fulfill His covenant promises to His people and bring about His redemptive purposes for the heavens and the earth. This teaching is a two part series that explores, phrase by phrase, the covenantal background of this prayer that embodies and exemplifies the very faith of the Hebrew Scriptures. As believers in the promises of God, whether Jew or Gentile, we would do well to orient our heart and prayers in this same manner as we await the blessed hope. To see part 1 to this

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The Lord’s Prayer part 2

FOURTH PETITION: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD (1ST 'WE' PETITION)

FOURTH PETITION: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD (1st “WE” PETITION)

A. Shift to the “We” Petitions

  1. With the close of the last phrase, the prayer begins to shift from “Thou” to “We” (first person). The disciple, first, prioritizes in prayer the sweeping purposes of God in redemptive history, and then responds with his own personal involvement in that drama.

B. Interpreting “Daily Bread”

One of the reasons there is difficulty concerning this is because there is very little to no evidence in Greek literature for the meaning of the word translated (NASB) “daily” (epiousios).

fig2

C. Interpretive Options

  1. ‘necessary or needful for existence’ (bread for the day i.e. what is needful, sustenance)
  2. ‘for the coming day’ – where the ‘coming day’ is either:
    1. tomorrow (a prayer in the evening for the following day)
    2. today (a prayer in the morning for the day at hand)
    3. the future or coming Day (the coming Day of the Lord; eschatological)

D. Background Passages

4Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. (Ex 16:4)

24He rained down manna upon them to eat And gave them food from heaven. 25Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance. (Ps 78:24–25)

Deuteronomy 8

John 6

E. Bread for the Day – what is needful

7Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: 8Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food (Heb. ‘leḥem’ ‘bread’) that is my portion (cf. Dt. 8:3), 9That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. (Pr 30:7–9)

  1. Some interpret “daily bread” as that which is needful for existence.[1] This can follow the background context of manna as the provision of Israel in the wilderness. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, this petition is seen connected to verses 8, and 25-34.

F. Eschatological Bread

  1. Jewish Backgrounds [2]

3 And it shall come to pass when all is accomplished that was to come to pass in those parts, that the Messiah shall then begin to be revealed… 6 And those who have hungered shall rejoice: moreover, also, they shall behold marvels every day…. 8 And it shall come to pass at that self-same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high, and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the consummation of time. (2 Baruch 29:3-8)[3]

As the first redeemer [Moses] caused manna to descend, as it is stated, “Because I shall cause to rain bread from heaven for you” [Exod. 16:4], so will the latter redeemer [the Messiah] cause manna to descend. [4]

You will not find it [manna] in this age, but you shall find it in the age to come. [5]

It [the manna] has been prepared for the righteous in the age to come. Everyone who believes is worthy and eats of it. [6]

  1. There is debate over whether this petition could also carry forth a primarily eschatological interpretation. There is evidence to connect the interpretation of “bread” to manna and “the bread of life;” a symbol of paradise and fulfillment of the age of salvation. Some, rooting this in its Jewish context, connect it to the Messianic banquet, when Jesus will eat and drink with His disciples.

21“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. (Lk 6:21)

15When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” (Lk 14:15)

29and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Lk 22:29–30)

11“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; (Mt 8:11)

17‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna (Ex. 16:32-36 [7]), and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ (Re 2:17)

“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; (Re 7:16)

We notice that the bread of the kingdom is promised to the Christians; therefore they could petition for it as “our bread.” The request for it “today” expresses the urgency of the eschatological yearning of the persecuted and impoverished Christians.” And their prayer is phrased in terms of the Einmaligkeit [German: ‘onceness’ or ‘uniqueness’] of the aorist: Give us this once and final time.[8]

  1. Sadly, within this eschatological interpretation, some scholars wrongly interpret the phrase in a way consistent with realized eschatology: to pray for the manifestation of consummation today. (Ex. Wright, “It is the food of inaugurated eschatology, the food that is needed because the kingdom has already broken in and because it is not yet consummated.” [9]) [10] In asserting these ideas, those of this persuasion take liberty to redefine the entire framework of the Law and Prophets, as if such a firm foundation upon which the righteous built their hope was a malleable reality that can be stretched over a spiritualized partial-fulfillment framework. Rightly has it been said of this edifice: a “hermeneutical castle built upon exegetical quicksand.” [11]

Those who favor the eschatological interpretation of this petition prefer the second derivation of epiousios, which makes the petition a request for the bread of tomorrow, the bread of the future. We may agree that the Christian community was marked with poverty; but we believe that in this need the Christians yearned, not for the bread of this world, but for God’s final intervention and for that bread which would be given at the heavenly table. In the Gospels, God’s supplying men with food is frequently in terms of an eschatological banquet…[12]

The natural translation “Our bread, the Coming bread, give us to-day” makes sense of the fourth petition and, in fact, exactly the sense which is required to fit in with the remaining petitions. Like these it asks for one of the blessings of the Coming Kingdom of God; in this case, the food of the Kingdom. Bread stands for food in general, as the Hebrew word לֶ֫חֶם constantly does. The petition therefore means: The future food which is destined for us, that is to say, the food of the Kingdom of God, give us even to-day. In other words: Let Thy Kingdom immediately come, in which we shall eat the food of the Messianic feast. It is only when taken in this way that [“today”]…which closes the petition acquires a sense appropriate in itself, doing justice to its emphatic position at the end of the sentence. It forms an antithesis to the futurity of the bread, and asks for it to be given, “even to-day.” Never could “to-day” stand for “daily.” [13]

The conception of the Messianic feast finds a place also in the Lord’s Prayer, for in the fourth petition the correct translation refers not to daily bread but to the Messianic feast. In the Prayer which Jesus teaches the believers, what He causes them to ask for is, under various forms, nothing else than the content of the Kingdom- the hallowing of God’s name, the rule of His will upon earth, forgiveness of sins – with the addition of a petition for deliverance from “Temptation,” that is to say, from the pre-Messianic Tribulation. Is it suitable in the sequence of ideas that they should ask God at the same time for daily bread? This petition, coming in the midst of the others, seems entirely to break the connection. Moreover, it contradicts the immediately following direction of Jesus that the believers should take no thought for eating and drinking and the maintenance of life generally, but reject such thoughts as heathenish (Mt. 6:25-24), being convinced that God knows and will supply all their needs, without their asking (Mt. 6:8 and v. 22). Leaving all else to take care of itself, they are to concern themselves about nothing but the Kingdom of God (Mt. 6:33). That means that their prayers also should be directed only to these things. In order that they may not, like the heathen, ask for unnecessary things, Jesus teaches them this prayer for the Kingdom of God and its blessings (Mt. 6:7-9). How then is it conceivable that, amid these petitions for the one thing needful, He should bring in one which gives expression to the forbidden anxiety about earthly needs? [14]

ἐπιούσιος [epiousios]means ‘for the following day’ in the sense of ‘today’ (as in a morning prayer). For in Exod 16 the manna is given in the morning for the day to come. But does this not then exclude the eschatological interpretation, which requires us to think of the ‘great tomorrow’? Not necessarily. Bread was equated with manna (Exod 16:4, 8, 12, 15, 22, 32; Ps 77:25 LXX; 105:40; LAB 10:7; Jn 6:25–34), and in Jewish texts the final redemption will see the manna return: 2 Bar. 29:8; Sib. Or. frag. 3, 49; 7:149; Mek. on Exod. 16:25; (cf. Sib. Or. 3:746 (with Exod. 16:31); LAB 19:10; Rev 2:17). Note also Lk 14:15: ‘Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God’. So one could easily think, especially in view of the eschatological orientation of the three preceding petitions and the circumstance that in Jesus’ ministry table fellowship was an anticipation of the eschatological banquet (note Mt 8:11; Lk 22:28–30), that the material bread which God gives today transparently symbolizes and foreshadows and causes one to desire the spiritual, eschatological bread, which will bring lasting satisfaction. (One might also just possibly think in particular of the gathering of manna for the sabbath (Exod 16:22–30), for the sabbath came to be a symbol of the new age: Heb 4:1–10; Barn. 15).[15]

[1] Keil and Delitzsch however, point out that the “bread” here does not carry a measured out subsistence idea, but rather seen more as a completed entirety given by God: “Accordingly, לֶחֶם חֻקִּי does not mean the bread appropriately measured out for me (like ἄρτος ἐπιούσιος, that which is required for οὐσία, subsistence), but the bread appropriate for me, determined for me according to the divine plan.” [Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 6 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 452.]

[2] List from Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel according to John, The Anchor Bible 29–29A (New York: Doubleday, 1966, 1970), 1:265–66

[3] Robert Henry Charles, ed., Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), 497–498.

[4] Midrash Rabbah on Eccl. 1:9.

[5] Mekilta on Exod. 16:25.

[6] Midrash Tanchuma, Beshallach 21:66.

[7] “Manna is “hidden” in the sense that it is reserved only for those who enter into the age to come…(2) Manna is “hidden” because it was placed in a jar that was set before the Lord (Exod 16:32–36) and will one day again be made available to the righteous by the Messiah (a view also found in Samaritan eschatology). There was a legend in Judaism that Jeremiah hid the ark to keep it from being carried off to Babylon (2 Macc 2:4–6; Eupolemus frag. 4 [Eusebius Praep. evang. 9.39.5; Holladay, FHJA 1:134]; Alexander Polyhistor [FrGrHist, 723, F 5]; Ginzberg, Legends 6:19 nn. 111–12), and the manna was hidden along with it. (3) The heavenly manna referred to in the OT will be restored in heaven through eternal life. The meaning of this metaphor, however, is clear; victorious Christians will be rewarded with eternal life in which intimate fellowship with God will be enjoyed. [David E. Aune, Revelation 1–5, vol. 52A, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 189.]

[8] Raymond E. Brown, “The Pater Noster As An Eschatological Prayer” in Theological Studies, (May 1961) 197

[9] N.T. Wright, The Lord’s Prayer as a Paradigm of Christian Prayer, published in Into God’s Presence: Prayer in the New Testament, ed. R.L. Longenecker. 2001, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 132-54.

[10] Another example, Jeremias: “Only when one has perceived that the petition asks for bread in the fullest sense, for the bread of life, does the antithesis between “for tomorrow” and “today” gain its full significance. This word “today,” which stands at the end of the petition, gets the real stress. In a world enslaved under Satan, in a world where God is remote, in a world of hunger and thirst, the disciples of Jesus dare to utter this word “today”—even now, even here, already on this day, give us the bread of life. Jesus grants to them, as the children of God, the privilege of stretching forth their hands to grasp the glory of the consummation, to fetch it down, to “believe it down,” to pray it down—right into their poor lives, even now, even here, today.” [K. C. Hanson, “Editor’s Foreword,” in Jesus and the Message of the New Testament, ed. K. C. Hanson, Fortress Classics in Biblical Studies (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 56.]

[11] Clayton Sullivan, Rethinking Realized Eschatology (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1988), 65

[12] Raymond E. Brown, “The Pater Noster As An Eschatological Prayer” in Theological Studies, (May 1961) 197

[13] Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle translated by William Montgomery (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1955), 240

[14] Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle translated by William Montgomery (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1955), 239

[15] W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison Jr., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, International Critical Commentary (London; New York: T&T Clark International, 2004), 609.

FIFTH PETITION: FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS...AS WE FORGIVE (2ND 'WE' PETITION)

FIFTH PETITION: FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS…AS WE FORGIVE (2nd “WE” PETITION)

“The fifth petition is one of the most frightening requests that can ever be put to God—that he should forgive us just as we forgive others, that God should measure his forgiveness in accordance with the forgiveness we have actually extended to others.” [1]

A. Forgiveness

  1. We ask for forgiveness, as we forgive others. This idea was common in Judaism: 2Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray. (Sir 28:2).
  2. Luke’s version changes the term “debt” for “sin” (probably reflecting purpose of writing his gospel). [2]
  3. This is further emphasized in the following passages vs. 14-15, where forgiveness in this age is necessary in light of being forgiven at the Day of the Lord. [3]

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions (i.e. in this age), your heavenly Father will also forgive you (at Day of the Lord). 15“But if you do not forgive others (i.e. in this age), then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (at Day of the Lord). (Mt 6:14–15)

“We should note that it is the debtors rather than the debts which we have forgiven; our concern, like God’s, is to be with personal relationships.” [4]

21Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. ([Gen. 4:24]) 23For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24“When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25“But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26“So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27“And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29“So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30“But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31“So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32“Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” (Mt 18:21–35)

“To be noted is the fact that the prayer does not envisage a forgiveness restricted to those within the community of discipleship*—“as we forgive those in debt to us/everyone who is indebted to us,” not “as we forgive one another in our mutual indebtedness.” The refusal to extend forgiveness beyond the church is a barrier to divine forgiveness for the church.” [5]

[1] J. D. G. Dunn, “Prayer,” ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 622.

[2] In the Targums (Aramaic) the terms, “debt” and “sin” are interchangeable.

[3] “In all three forms the petition begins with the aorist, which again, if we wish to be consistent, bears the note of Einmaligkeit [Germ. “onceness”], “Forgive us this once.” And Mt continues in the aorist, “as we have forgiven.” We translate in the past, but it is not the tense that we mean to emphasize,” only the singleness of the action. It covers the summation of a lifetime, treated as one action before God’s judgment seat.” [Raymond E. Brown, “The Pater Noster As An Eschatological Prayer” in Theological Studies, May 1961) 199

[4] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 250.

[5] J. D. G. Dunn, “Prayer,” ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 622.

SIXTH PETITION: LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION...(3RD 'WE' PETITION)

SIXTH PETITION: LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION…(3rd “WE” PETITION)

A. Temptation

  1. The word for “temptation,” depending on the context, can carry the sense of “temptation” or “testing.” The sense of “testing” is preferred, since God does not “tempt” or entice men towards sin (Jas. 1:13). To be “tested” or “tried” is to be brought into difficult circumstances that try ones faithfulness. [1]
    1. The idea that God provides such tests is common thought in Jewish Scriptures (Gen. 22:1; Ex. 15:25; 16:4; 20:20; Num. 14:22; Dt. 8:2; 13:3, etc.).
  2. The more immediate context we have for understanding this testing is in the life of Jesus recorded in the book of Matthew (the temptation in Mat. 4 and 26).

B. The Testing

13 And do not bring us to the time of trial…(Mt 6:13 NRSV)

  1. Everything is leading towards an apocalyptic and climactic conclusion at the Day of the Lord. This petition has a primary eschatological thrust, which guides the everyday life of the disciple.

38“Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mk 14:38)

10‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Re 3:10)

9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, (2 Pe 2:9)

Again the question arises concerning whether the testing in view is eschatological, i.e., in connection with the coming of the eschaton (thus Jeremias, Brown), or whether it refers to the testing of everyday life (thus Luz), or perhaps both (Davies-Allison). Favoring the eschatological understanding are the aorist tenses of this and the next petition and the tenor of the whole prayer. Against it is the fact that πειρασμόν lacks the definite article (cf. Rev 3:10). Perhaps again the future is primarily in view, but the petition is expressed in such a way as to leave open application to “ordinary” testing in the present age. Such testing again anticipates the great final test. The disciple thus prays not to be led into such a situation, i.e., not to be led into a testing in which his or her faith will not be able to survive. This interpretation is allowable because of the next petition, which is connected with the present petition and which implies that some testing is inevitable and therefore asks for preservation in it. (In this Jeremias is correct [Prayers, 104–5].) It was indeed a common expectation that a time of severe testing would necessarily precede the dawning of the messianic age. This much testing could not be avoided. The disciple thus prays to be kept from testing that, anticipating the eschatological testing, will bring a genuine crisis of faith (cf. 2 Pet 2:9).[2]

The closing petition of the Lord’s Prayer also concerns the testing of faith. It does not have in mind the petty or major temptations of everyday life, but looks to the final, most severe proving of faith, that which lies ahead for Jesus’ disciples at the disclosure of the mystery of evil, the revelation of the Antichrist, “desolating sacrilege,” Satan in the place of God, the final persecution and imminent seduction of God’s saints by pseudoprophets and false saviors. The final trial is apostasy! We must render it, therefore, “Let us not succumb to the trial.” This reference in the final petition of the Lord’s Prayer is indeed not to preservation from the trial but to preservation in the trial. This conclusion is corroborated by a noncanonical saying of Jesus that, according to ancient tradition, Jesus spoke to his disciples on that last evening, prior to the prayer in Gethsemane:

No one can obtain the kingdom of heaven

who has not passed through testing. [Tertullian, De baptismo 20.2]

Here it is expressly stated that no disciple of Jesus will be spared the trial, and it is stressed that there is no exception; only he who conquers can obtain the kingdom. This saying also suggests that the concluding petition of the Lord’s Prayer does not request that the one who prays might be spared the trial, but that God might help overcome it. The final petition in the Lord’s Prayer, therefore, says: “Let us not succumb to the trial.” The trial of faith in the last, troubled times, on which Jesus, even in Gethsemane, warns the disciples, “Keep awake and pray that you do not succumb to the trial” (Mark 14:38a), consists of the danger of apostasy. Freely rendered, the closing petition says, “O Lord, preserve us from falling away.”[3]

“Whether the thought is of all trials throughout the life of discipleship or of the final eschatological trial, the final tribulation which will usher in a new age (as in Rev 3:10, and probably by implication in Mk 14:36, 38) or both, is unclear. The distinction may not be important since any and every trial can be decisive in the growth (or destruction) of faith.” [4]

  1. Some, in criticism of the eschatological interpretation, point out the absence of the definite article “the” in the phrase, which would result in interpreting this petition exclusively as perseverance in day-to-day tests and trials of life. In response to this Davies-Allison’s comments are insightful:

Several scholars have asserted that the absence of τόν is decisive: anarthrous πειρασμόν refers to tribulation in general, not to the great tribulation in particular…Yet many Greek words are, as is well known, definite from the nature of the case and do not require the definite article even when it would be fitting (as ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ in 6:10c). Beyond this, a general application of the sixth petition to all affliction would necessarily include the final affliction. And more to the point: Jesus and the church after him—including Matthew—interpreted their present in terms of the ‘messianic woes’ (Mt 10:34–6 = Lk 12:51–3; Mt 11:12–13 = Lk 16:16; Mk 10:38–9; 13:5–13; Lk 12:49–50; Rom 8:18; 1 Cor 7:26; Col 1:24; 2 Th 2:7; Rev 7:9–17). For them, therefore, every individual test or trial would inevitably be conceived as belonging to the eschatological drama (cf. perhaps 2 Pet 2:9). Hence Mt 6:13a = Lk 11:4b is a request for God’s aid in the present crisis, a plea for divine support so that one may not succumb to the apostasy which characterizes the last time of trouble (cf. Mt 24:5, 9–14). (This interpretation has the advantage of explaining Matthew’s aorist: a specific occasion and a specific evil are in view.) [5]

C. Deliver us from Evil

  1. The inevitability of testing is seen: …temptation, but deliver us… The testing of faith will surely happen, and in the midst of this the disciples pray for deliverance from evil. The literal Greek is ‘the evil’ which can be masculine or neuter.

“In at least three places in Matthew the articular πονηρός probably refers to the Evil One or Satan (5:37; 13:19, 38; cf. 1 John 5:18), but in one instance it seems certainly to refer to evil rather than the Devil (5:39; elsewhere in the NT, Christians are to resist the Devil, e.g., Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:9). The difference between Satan and evil is small in the present petition: to pray to be free from one is to pray to be free from the other. But the more vivid, personal interpretation may be slightly preferable here; Satan desires to use any severe testing of the Christian to his advantage. The sixth and seventh petitions together may be paraphrased in the following words: Do not lead us into a testing of our faith that is beyond our endurance, but when testing does come, deliver us from the Evil One and his purposes.” [6]

[the Christian] has asked for the coining of his Father’s kingdom, but he knows that in that decisive moment the sons of the Evil One will be drawn up against the sons of the kingdom (Mt 13:38). And so he begs his Father, not only to spare him the trial of that terrible struggle, but also to wrench him free from the power of Satan.”[7]

[1] “In the New Testament, where the word occurs twenty-one times, the meaning “temptation (into sin)” appears unequivocally in only one passage, 1 Timothy 6:9. In all the other passages the reference is to testing of faith or to God’s fidelity being put to the test.” [K. C. Hanson, “Editor’s Foreword,” in Jesus and the Message of the New Testament, ed. K. C. Hanson, Fortress Classics in Biblical Studies (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 58.]

[2] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1–13, vol. 33A, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 151.

[3] K. C. Hanson, “Editor’s Foreword,” in Jesus and the Message of the New Testament, ed. K. C. Hanson, Fortress Classics in Biblical Studies (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 58–59.

[4] J. D. G. Dunn, “Prayer,” ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992), 623.

[5] W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison Jr., A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, International Critical Commentary (London; New York: T&T Clark International, 2004), 613–614.

[6] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1–13, vol. 33A, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 151–152.

[7] Raymond E. Brown, “The Pater Noster As An Eschatological Prayer” in Theological Studies, May 1961) 208

DOXOLOGY

DOXOLOGY

10So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. (1 Ch 29:10–11)

The doxology, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever, Amen,” is lacking completely in Luke; and in Matthew it is absent from the oldest manuscripts. We encounter it first in the Didache. But it would be a completely erroneous conclusion to suppose that the Lord’s Prayer was ever prayed without some closing words of praise to God. In Palestinian practice it was completely unthinkable that a prayer would end with the words “the trial.” In Judaism prayers were often concluded with a “seal,” a sentence of praise freely formulated by the person who was praying. This was doubtless also what Jesus intended with the Lord’s Prayer and what the congregation did in the earliest period. Afterwards, when the Lord’s Prayer began to be used increasingly in the service as a common prayer, it was felt necessary to establish a fixed formulation of the doxology.[1]

As we come to the end of our interpretation of the PN,” we can see how coherently the eschatological viewpoint binds together the petitions into one picture. The Christian community of the first century, anxiously expecting the Second Coming, prays that God will completely glorify His name by establishing His kingdom, which represents the fulfillment of the plan He has willed for both earth and heaven. For its portion in this consummation of time, the community asks a place at the heavenly banquet table to break bread with Christ, and a forgiveness of its sins. A titanic struggle with Satan stands between the community and the realization of its prayer, and from this it asks to be delivered… Nevertheless, as we say the prayer nineteen centuries later, now completely enmeshed in the temporal aspect of the Christian life, it would, perhaps, profit us to revive in part some of its original eschatological yearning. Even if we choose to relegate the last things to a minor tract in theology, the return of Christ comes persistently closer each day. The PN, said as a fervent maranatha, would not be an inappropriate welcome.[2] 

[1] K. C. Hanson, “Editor’s Foreword,” in Jesus and the Message of the New Testament, ed. K. C. Hanson, Fortress Classics in Biblical Studies (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 59–60.

[2] Raymond E. Brown, “The Pater Noster As An Eschatological Prayer” in Theological Studies, May 1961) 208

David Rickman David Rickman (4 Posts)

David is a Bible teacher and missionary. He and his wife, Kirsten, have a passion to proclaim the gospel and make disciples for the Day of the Lord.


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