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The Our Father or The Lord’s Prayer

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English: Lords Prayer in Aramaic(Syriac)

Lords Prayer in Aramaic (Syriac) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a central prayer that the Christian tradition says Jesus, himself, gave to his disciples and, through them, to mankind.¹

The version in Luke 11: 2-4 differs slightly from that of Matthew 6: 9-15, probably because the two were written down in different contexts.

Some versions of the prayer add an ending line: “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever (or forever and ever).”

Our Father, Who art 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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

English: The lord's prayer in Manchu

The lord’s prayer in Manchu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Different translations of the original Greek Gospel treat the Lord’s Prayer differently, perhaps reflecting the conscious or subconscious convictions and agendas of the team involved in a given Bible’s publication.

Jesus, himself didn’t speak in Greek or English but in Aramaic. An Aramaic version of the prayer exists, but scholars generally agree that it is based on early Greek New Testament sources and is not the “original” as some believe. Like the Buddha, Jesus was probably too busy being a spiritual person to actually write anything himself.

As Christianity spread throughout the world, the Our Father would usually be translated into different languages well before the entire Bible translation would be completed. Almost like a preview or “trailer” of what was to come with the full Bible, the Our Father is usually deemed as the most important Christian prayer.

English: Lord's Prayer in Persian(Farsi) in th...

Lord’s Prayer in Persian(Farsi) in the Convent of Pater Noster in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More recently, Feminists have taken exception to the apparently sexist language of the prayer. Many say that masculine, paternal images of the divine (i.e. “Father“) reflect and reinforce an unhealthy and unfair patriarchy that has existed for millennia.

The depth psychiatrist Carl Jung thought that the passage “lead us not into temptation” was telling. Jung believed that part of the Godhead was unconscious. And through interacting with mankind God becomes increasingly self-conscious. So in this part of the prayer, mankind is begging God not to lead them down a dark alley. Why, Jung wondered, does the prayer not simply say, “protect us from temptation”? For Jung, the answer lies in his belief that God had a dark side, a shadow

In 1973 the Australian Sister Janet Mead, a nun, helped the Christian pop music scene move into the mainstream by singing the Our Father to, at that time, funky music.

¹ This is so taken for granted in Catholicism that, during the Mass, many priests say, “let’s say the prayer that Jesus gave to us” before the recitation of the Our Father.

² See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answer_to_Job

Lord's prayer in Coptic language

Lord’s prayer in Coptic language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord's Prayer in greek in the Pater Noster Cha...

Lord’s Prayer in greek in the Pater Noster Chapel in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Our Father as used in Catholic li...

The Our Father as used in Catholic liturgy painted on tile in Chinese. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord's Prayer in danish in the Pater Noster Ch...

Lord’s Prayer in danish in the Pater Noster Chapel in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Prayer our father in Bliss language F...

Prayer our father in Bliss language Français : Prière du Notre père en langage Bliss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord's Prayer in hebrew in the Pater Noster Ch...

Lord’s Prayer in hebrew in the Pater Noster Chapel in Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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