The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer, known also as the Our Father or Pater noster, is a form of prayer specifically established by Jesus Himself. Its most familiar English form, in the King James translation of the Bible, is as follows.
- Our Father Who art in heaven,
- Hallowed be Thy name.
- Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in 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 the evil.
- For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV, see also CBP)
The Lord's Prayer is by far the best known prayer among Christians worldwide, and has been translated into hundreds of different languages. It is worth remarking, however, that while Jesus Himself specifically instructs His followers to pray in private, this prayer is frequently recited in public, and has been incorporated into the services and liturgy of many Christian denominations:
- "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
(Matthew 6:5-7 KJV)
A parallel account at Luke 11:2-4 (see also CBP) follows a similar pattern. The fact that it is not identical indicates that Christ's intention was not to provide a static prayer that would be repeated verbatim but rather a model, or outline, of appropriate topics to be prayed for. This is supported by Christ's admonition to his listeners:
- "And whenever you pray, you must not keep on repeating set phrases, as the heathen do, for they suppose that they will be heard in accordance with the length of their prayers." (Matthew 6:7 The New Testament in the Language of the People Charles B. Williams)
Both prayers include the following elements:
- Request for God's name to be hallowed, or sanctified
- Request for God's Kingdom to come
- Request for personal needs to be met
- Request for forgiveness of sins
- Request for avoiding temptation, falling prey to Satan
This prayer would not have been innovative or revolutionary to Christ's listeners as these would have been things they should have already been praying for, each element being solidly based on the Scriptures then available to the Jews.
According to Harper's Bible Dictionary, the doxology at the end of the prayer is missing the oldest and best manuscripts and is not original to the Lord's prayer. Translations that do not add the doxology include:
- The Holy Bible - Douay-Rheims
- The New Testament in the Language of the People
- The Oxford Annotated Bible - Revised Standard Edition
- The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- Good News Bible - Today's English Version
- Holy Bible - American Standard Version
- The Emphatic Diaglott Interlinear Translation of Vatican Manuscript #1209
- The Complete Bible - An American Translation
In Greek the Lord's Prayer is called Πάτερ Ἡμῶν; in Latin its name is Pater Noster. Two versions are found in the New Testament: one in the Gospel of Matthew and the other in the Gospel of Luke.
Though both are substantially the same there are slight differences.
The prayer as found in Ἐυαγγελίον κατὰ Μαθθαίον (Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine):
- 6:9 Οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς:
- Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐω τοῖς οὐρανοῖς
- ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου
- 6:10 ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου
- γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου
- ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς
- 6:11 τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον
- 6:12 καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν,
- ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν1 τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν
- 6:13 καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν,
- ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
1. sometimes the present form ἀφίεμεν is found in place of the perfective ἀφήκαμεν.
- Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
- sanctificetur Nomen Tuum;
- adveniat Regnum Tuum;
- fiat voluntas Tua,
- sicut in caelo, et in terra.
- Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
- et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
- sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
- et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
- sed libera nos a Malo
The Interlineal transliterated Aramaic and Hebrew Versions
Aramaic: Avvon d-bish-maiya, nith-qaddash shim-mukh.
Hebrew: Avinu shebaShamayim, yitqaddesh shmekha
English: Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name
Aram. Tih-teh mal-chootukh. Nih-weh çiw-yanukh:
Heb. Tavo Malkhutekha. yei'aseh r'tzonekha
Eng. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done
Aram. ei-chana d'bish-maiya: ap b'ar-ah.
Heb. kmoshebaShamayim 'af baAretz
Eng. In Heaven, so on earth
Aram. Haw lan lakh-ma d'soonqa-nan yoo-mana.
Heb. Et lekhem khukeinu, ten lanu haYom
Eng. The bread we need, give us this day
Aram. O'shwooq lan kho-bein:
Heb. uslakh lanu et khata'einu
Eng. And forgive us our sins
Aram. ei-chana d'ap kh'nan shwiq-qan l'khaya-ween.
Heb. kfi shegam anakhnu salakhnu laKhayaveinu
Eng. as we also have forgiven those in debt to us
Aram. Oo'la te-ellan l'niss-yoona:
Heb. Ve'al t'vi'einu lidei nisayon
Eng. and do not bring us into the hands of trial
Aram. il-la paç-çan min beesha.
Heb. el-la khalletzeinu min haRa'
Eng. But save us from Evil
Aram. Mid-til de-di-lukh hai mal-choota
Heb. ki lkha haMalkut
Eng. for yours is the Kingdom
Aram. oo khai-la oo tush-bookh-ta
Heb. veha'Autzma vehaTif'eret
Eng. and Might and the Majesty
Aram. l'alam al-mein. Aa-meen.
Heb. Le'Olam va'ed. Amen.
Eng. Worlds without End. Amen
- Harper's Bible Dictionary (p. 574-576)