ORIGINS OF THE LORD'S PRAYER:
For a better look at the prayer, let's review its origins. In the
latter part of the second century, Matthew translates the Lord's
Prayer in rather crude Greek, behind which one can still sense the
original Aramaic. The commonly accepted version of the Lord's Prayer
is the version of Matthew. This version however is admitted to be
grossly inaccurate. It contains sixty-six words. The Revised Version
of Matthew contains but fifty-five. Twenty-four words either do not
belong to the prayer, or have been misplaced; while words which do
belong to it have been omitted. In this regard, John E. Remsberg,
author of The Christ writes: "If the custodians of the Christian
Scriptures have permitted the prayer of their Lord to be corrupted
to this extent, what reliance can be placed upon the genuineness of
the remainder of these writings?"
The Lord's Prayer, like so many more of the precepts and
discourses ascribed to Jesus, is borrowed. Dr. Hardwicke, of
England, says: "The so-called 'Lord's Prayer' was learned by the
Messiah as the 'Kadish' from the Talmud."
The Kadish, as translated by Christian scholar, Rev. John
Gregorie, is as follows:
"Our Parent which art in heaven, be gracious to us, O Lord, our
God; hallowed be thy name, and let the remembrance of thee be
glorified in heaven above and in the earth here below. Let thy
kingdom reign over us now and forever. The holy men of old said,
Remit and forgive unto all men whatsoever they have done against me.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil thing.
For thine is the kingdom, and thou shalt reign in glory for ever and
The eminent Swiss theologian, Dr. Wetstein, says: "It is a
curious fact that the Lord's Prayer may be constructed almost
verbatim out of the Talmud. The Sermon on the Mount is derived
largely from the teachings of the Essenes, a Jewish sect to which
Jesus is believed by many to have belonged."
In the early Church, the Christians living in the eastern half of
the Roman Empire added the doxology ("For thine is the kingdom ect.")
to the Gospel text of the Our Father when reciting the prayer at
Mass. Evidence of this practice is also found in the Didache
(Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), a first-century manual of morals,
worship and doctrine of the Church. (The Didache also prescribed
that the faithful recite the Our Father three times a day.) Also
when copying the scriptures, Greek scribes sometimes appended the
doxology onto the original Gospel text of the Our Father; however,
most texts today would omit this inclusion, relegate it to a
footnote, or note that it was a later addition to the Gospel.
Official "Catholic" Bibles including the Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims,
the Confraternity Edition, and the New American have never included
In the western half of the Roman Empire and in the Latin rite,
the Our Father was always an important part of the Mass. St. Jerome
(d. 420) attested to the usage of the Our Father in the Mass, and
St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) placed the recitation of the Our
Father after the Canon and before the Fraction. The Commentary on
the Sacrament of St. Ambrose (d. 397) meditated on the meaning of
"daily bread" in the context of the Holy Eucharist. In this same
vein, St. Augustine (d. 430) saw the Our Father as a beautiful
connection of the Holy Eucharist with the forgiveness of sins. In
all instances, the Church saw this "perfect prayer which the Lord
gave" as a proper means of preparing for Holy Communion. However,
none of this evidence includes the appended doxology.
The English wording of the Our Father that is used today reflects
the version mandated for use by Henry VIII, which was based on the
English version of the Bible produced by Tyndale (1525). Later in
1541 after his official separation from the Holy Father, Henry VIII
issued an edict saying:
"His Grace perceiving now the great diversity of the translations
of the Pater Noster hath willed them all to be taken up, and instead
of them hath caused an uniform translation of the said Pater Noster,
Ave, Creed, etc., to be set forth, willing all his loving subjects
to learn and use the same and straitly [sic] commanding all parsons,
vicars, and curates to read and teach the same to their
This English version without the doxology of the Our Father
became accepted throughout the English-speaking world, even though
the later English translations of the Bible including the Catholic
Douay-Rheims (1610) and Protestant King James versions (1611) had
different renderings of prayers as found in the Gospel of St.
Matthew. Later, the Catholic Church made slight modifications in the
English: "who art" replaced "which art," and "on earth" replaced "in
earth." During the reign of Edward VI, the Book of Common Prayer
(1549 and 1552 editions) of the Church of England did not change the
wording of the Our Father nor add the doxology. However, during the
reign of Elizabeth I and a resurgence to rid the Church of England
from any Catholic vestiges, the Lord’s Prayer was changed to include
EVOLUTION OF THE LORD's PRAYER
The Prayer To Our Father in the Original Aramaic:
Abwûn O cosmic Birther, (from whom the breath of life comes,)
d'bwaschmâja (who fills all realms of sound, light and
Nethkâdasch schmach (May Your light be experienced in my utmost
Têtê malkuthach. (Your Heavenly Domain approaches.)
Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha. (Let Your will
come true in the universe (all that vibrates) just as on earth (that
is material and dense).)
Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna. (Give us wisdom
(understanding, assistance) for our daily need,)
Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna daf chnân schwoken
l'chaijabên. (detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.)
Wela tachlân l'nesjuna (Let us not be lost in superficial things
(materialism, common temptations),)
ela patzân min bischa. (but let us be freed from that what keeps
us off from our true purpose.)
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn.
(From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.)
Amên. (Sealed in trust, faith and truth. (I confirm with my
The Lord's Prayer in Greek
Matthew's second century mistranslation of the Lord's Prayer in
(commonly accepted version of the Lord's Prayer from which all
others are translated)
Pater hêmôn ho en toes ouranoes;
hagiasthêtô to onoma sou;
elthetô hê basileia sou;
genêthêtô to thelêma sou,
hôs en ouranô, kae epi tês gês.
ton arton hêmôn ton epiousion dos hêmin sêmeron;
kae aphes hêmin ta opheilêmata hêmôn,
hôs kae hêmeis aphiemen toes opheiletaes hêmôn;
kae mê eisenenkês hêmas eis peirasmon,
alla rhysae hêmas apo tou ponerou.
hoti sou estin hê basileia kae hê dynamis kae hê doxa eis tous
The 'Pater Noster' in Latin:
Prior to the Protestant Reformation, the Our Father was
universally recited in Latin by clergy and laity alike. Hence it was
then most commonly known as the Pater noster. The rather curious
English translation we have today is due to Henry VIII's efforts to
impose a standard English version.
Pater Noster, qui es in caelis,
Sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum,
Fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum quotidianum 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 Lord's Prayer Old English (c. 450-1100)
This version of the Lord's Prayer probably isn't recognizable by
the majority of modern English speakers. 1000 AD is before the
Norman invasion of England and therefore many of the words in Modern
English that were taken from French are not yet present in the
Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum si þin nama gehalgod tobecume þin
rice gewurþe þin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum urne
gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa
we forgyfað urum gyltendum and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge ac alys
us of yfele soþlice.
The Lord's Prayer Dated 1384 AD
Most modern English speakers should be able to understand some
of this version of the Lord's Prayer when written. Spoken it would
sound a great deal different; for instance, ou is pronounced like oo
and in general the vowels have their continental value (oorra
fahderr thut arrt in ai(r)venas ulwid bai(r) thee nahma, with
trilled rr). Note the use of the letter þ, this has essentially the
same value as "th" in modern English.
Oure fadir þat art in heuenes halwid be þi name;
þi reume or kyngdom come to be.
Be þi wille don in herþe as it is doun in heuene.
yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
And foryeue to us oure dettis þat is oure synnys as we foryeuen to
oure dettouris þat is to men þat han synned in us.
And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.
The Lord's Prayer Dated 1611 AD (King James Bible)
Most modern English speakers should be able to understand this
version of the Lord's Prayer. Note the use of u in place of v. It is
not until fairly recently that u an v have been considered separate
Our father which 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 debts as we forgive our debters.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
The Lord's Prayer Dated (1700-)
Our Father which 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 debts, as we forgive our
debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
The New Testament in Modern English (1963, tr. Phillips)
According to the New Testament, the Lord's Prayer is the name given
to the only form of prayer Christ taught his disciples (Matt.
6:9-13). The closing doxology of the prayer is omitted by Luke
(11:2-4), also in the R.V. of Matt. 6:13. This prayer contains no
allusion to the atonement of Christ, nor to the offices of the Holy
Spirit. All Christian prayer is based on the Lord's Prayer, but is
also guided by that of His prayer in Gethsemane and of the prayer
recorded by John 17. The Lord's Prayer is now comprehensive, the
simplest and most universal form of prayer.
Our Heavenly Father, may your name be honored;
May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in
Give us this day the bread we need,
Forgive us what we owe to you, as we have also forgiven those who
owe anything to us.
Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil.
In Luke's far simpler version, 11. 2-4 NIV, it has become:
"'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day
our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone
who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'
Once a student of history begins to understand the history of
religion and the influence of the early Church on holy manuscripts,
it is also not difficult to realize that the early and modern day
Church has largely influenced the interpretations and, indeed, put
words into and taken words out of their Lord's mouth. Even though
preeminent scholars, through extensive research, now have found many
of the interpretations to be incorrect, the modern day church still
holds fast to their teachings.
It is also intriguing that the misinterpretations that the modern
day Church chooses to hold steadfast are also needed to continue
dominating and controlling their masses. For interpreting otherwise
would lead followers to believe that 'heaven' is here and now ... is
in each one of us ... only if we align ourselves with the Spirit of
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