Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13
(9)  Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
(10)  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
(11)  Give us this day our daily bread,
(12)  and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(13)  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

(13) καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

Most folks are familiar with this prayer at some level.  Those who come from Catholic or more mainline Protestant backgrounds say this prayer at least once/week when they attend their weekly worship.  It's the template that Jesus gave the Apostles to pray.  In fact, I've heard this also called the "Apostles' Prayer" instead because they are the ones who were told to pray this way.

I want to bring something up in verse 13.  When I read this prayer I tend to think of it more as "deliver us from the evil one," rather than from "evil" in general.  Both are perfectly valid translations grammatically.  I think that the article on τοῦ πονηροῦ lends credence to the idea that it should be translated.  But translating it as "from the evil" doesn't make a lot of sense.  Therefore, we get "from the evil one."

I wouldn't be dogmatic about this, but it is something to consider.  I think it changes the focus slightly.  I also think that it puts Satan in his proper place.  He is the tempter and he wants to throw us off.  However, God is bigger than Satan and can deliver us from Him.  Note also James 4:7.

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