Holy FATHER: The Lord’s Prayer

The Holy FATHER (also called the Lord’s Prayer or PATER Noster) is a venerated Christian prayer that, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray.

Our FATHER in heaven, hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on Earth as in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power,
and the glory are Yours now and forever.


PATER Noster qui es in cælis: sanctificétur Nomen Tuum;
advéniat Regnum Tuum; fiat Volúntas Tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hódie;
et dimítte nobis débita nostra,
sicut et nos dimíttimus debitóribus nostris;
et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem;
sed líbera nos a malo.
Quia Tuum est Regnum, et potestas, et Gloria, in saecula.

(PATER noster – Latin)

LORD’s Prayer in Greek

Two versions of this prayer are recorded: the long form in the Gospel of Matthew in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, and the short form in the Gospel of Luke when ‘one of his disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John [the Baptist] taught his disciples.”‘ The Sermon on the Mount discourse also includes the benefit of secrecy and least wording.

The Matthew account alone includes the “Your will be done” and the “Rescue us from the evil one” (or “Deliver us from evil”) petitions. Some late manuscripts of Matthew add the doxology “For yours is the kingdom and …”

Both original Greek texts of the prayer contain the word epiousios, which does not appear in any other classical or Koine Greek literature, and is also the only adjective in the prayer. While controversial, “daily” has been the most common English-language translation of this word.

The first three of the seven petitions in Matthew address GOD; the other four are related to human needs and concerns. Some Christians, particularly Protestants, conclude the prayer with a doxology, a later addendum appearing in some manuscripts of Matthew.

Underscoring the scope and foundational importance of the LORD’s Prayer, initial words on the topic from the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach that it “is truly the summary of the whole Gospel.” The prayer is used by most Christian churches in their worship; with exceptions, the liturgical form is the Matthean. Although theological differences and various modes of worship divide Christians, according to Fuller Seminary professor Clayton Schmit, “there is a sense of solidarity in knowing that Christians around the globe are praying together … and these words always unite us.”

In biblical criticism, the prayer’s absence in the Gospel of Mark together with its occurrence in Matthew and Luke has caused scholars who accept the two-source hypothesis (against other document hypotheses) to conclude that it is probably a logion original to Q.

Relation to Jewish prayer

There are similarities between the LORD’s Prayer and both biblical and post-biblical material in Jewish prayer especially Kiddushin 81a (Babylonian). “Hallowed be thy Name” is reflected in the Kaddish. “Lead us not into sin” is echoed in the “morning blessings” of Jewish prayer. A blessing said by some Jewish communities after the evening Shema includes a phrase quite similar to the opening of the LORD’s Prayer: “Our GOD in Heaven, hallow thy Name, and establish thy Kingdom forever, and rule over us for ever and ever. Amen.” There are parallels also in 1 Chronicles 29, 10–18.

Rabbi Aron Mendes Chumaceiro has said that nearly all the elements of the prayer have counterparts in the Jewish Bible and Deuterocanonical books: the first part in Isaiah 63, 15–16 (“Look down from heaven and see, from your Holy and beautiful habitation … For you are our FATHER …”) and Ezekiel 36, 23 (“I will vindicate the holiness of my Great Name …”) and Ezekiel 38, 23 (“I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations …”), the second part in Obadiah 1, 21 (“Saviours shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the Kingdom shall be the LORD’s”) and 1 Samuel 3, 18 (“… It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him”), the third part in Proverbs 30, 8 (“… feed me with my apportioned bread”), the fourth part in Sirach 28, 2 (“Forgive your neighbour the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray”). “Deliver us from evil” can be compared with Psalm 119, 133 (“… let no iniquity get dominion over me.”). Chumaceiro says that, because the idea of GOD leading a human into temptation contradicts the righteousness and love of GOD, “Lead us not into temptation” has no counterpart in the Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament.

The word “πειρασμός”, which is translated as “temptation”, could also be translated as “test” or “trial”, making evident the attitude of someone’s heart. Well-known examples in the Old Testament are GOD’s test of Abraham (Genesis 22, 1), his “moving” (the Hebrew word means basically “to prick, as by weeds, or thorns”) David to do (numbering Israel) what later acknowledged as sin (2 Samuel 24, 1–10; see also 1 Chronicles 21, 1–7), and the examples in the Book of Job.

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