Wednesday, March 15, 2017

About the Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer is sometimes called the “Our Father”. The words to the Lord's Prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13. The prayer is an important one, as it comes directly from Jesus, when he teaches his disciples how to pray. The original verse was written in Greek. The prayer has been interpreted several different ways, as is the case with many parts of our Bible, which has been translated from different languages.

The original Greek used the word “Debt” in the passage: "Forgive us our debts". One of the early translations used the word debt, but in the 1500’s, the translator used the word, ‘tresspasses”.

One of the widely used volumes for Christians, “The Book of Common Prayer”, uses the word trespasses. But the popular and much loved version, called the King James Bible, used debtors.

Catholics still say “trespasses”when reciting the Lord's Prayer, but Presbyterians say debts. There is no right or wrong, but a slightly different meaning comes out of each translation. 

Jesus first instructs his disciples: When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then in this way:

Our Father 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 debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory Forever

Jesus goes on to instruct his disciples on many other things, such as fasting, material possessions, compassion for others, and in one of his most enduring lessons, he instructs them about what has become known as “The Golden Rule”. In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets.