Lord's Prayer

James TissotThe Lord's Prayer (Le Pater Noster)—Brooklyn Museum

The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father (Latin, Pater Noster), is a venerated Christian prayer which, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray:

Pray then in this way ... (Matthew 6:9 NRSV)
When you pray, say ... (Luke 11:2 NRSV)

Two versions of this prayer are recorded in the gospels: a longer form within the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke when "one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as Luke 11:1 NRSV). Lutheran theologian Harold Buls suggested that both were original, the Matthean version spoken by Jesus early in his ministry in Galilee, and the Lucan version one year later, "very likely in Judea".[1]

The first three of the seven petitions in Matthew address God; the other four are related to human needs and concerns. The Matthew account alone includes the "Your will be done" and the "Rescue us from the evil one" (or "Deliver us from evil") petitions. Both original Greek texts contain the adjective epiousios, which does not appear in any other classical or Koine Greek literature; while controversial, "daily" has been the most common English-language translation of this word. Protestants usually conclude the prayer with a doxology, a later addendum appearing in some manuscripts of Matthew.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NRSV)Luke 11:2-4 (NRSV)
Our Father in heaven,Father, [Other ancient authorities read Our father in heaven]
hallowed be your name.hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.Your kingdom come.
[A few ancient authorities read Your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us.]
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.[Other ancient authorities add Your will be done, on earth as in heaven]
Give us this day our daily bread. [Or our bread for tomorrow]Give us each day our daily bread. [Or our bread for tomorrow]
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial, [Or us into temptation] but rescue us from the evil one. [Or from evil]And do not bring us to the time of trial. [Or us into temptation. Other ancient authorities add but rescue us from the evil one (or from evil)]
[Other ancient authorities add, in some form, For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]

Initial words on the topic from the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach that it "is truly the summary of the whole gospel".[2] The prayer is used by most Christian churches in their worship; with few 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."[3]

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.[4]

Text

Original Greek text and Syriac and Latin translations

Liturgical texts: Greek, Syriac, Latin

The Lord's Prayer (Latin liturgical text) with Gregorian chant annotation

English versions

There are several different English translations of the Lord's Prayer from Greek or Latin, beginning around AD 650 with the Northumbrian translation. Of those in current liturgical use, the three best-known are:

The square brackets in three of the texts below indicate the doxology often added at the end of the prayer by Protestants and, in a slightly different form, by the Byzantine Rite ("For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen."[19]), among whom the prayer proper is usually recited by the cantors and congregation in unison, and the doxology by the priest as the conclusion of the prayer. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer adds it in some services but not in all. Older English translations of the Bible, based on late Byzantine Greek manuscripts, included it, but it is excluded in critical editions of the New Testament, such as that of the United Bible Societies. It is absent in the oldest manuscripts and is not considered to be part of the original text of Matthew 6:913. The Catholic Church has never attached it to the Lord's Prayer, but has included it in the Roman Rite Mass as revised in 1969, not as part of the Our Father but separated from it by a prayer called the embolism spoken or sung by the priest (in the official ICEL English translation: "Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.") that elaborates on the final petition, "Deliver us from evil." For more information on this doxology, see Doxology, below. When Reformers set out to translate the King James Bible, they assumed that a Greek manuscript they possessed was ancient and therefore adopted the phrase "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever" into the Lord's Prayer. Later scholarship demonstrated that the manuscript was actually a late addition based on Eastern liturgical tradition.

Other English translations are also used.

Though Luke 11:4, which uses the word sins, while the former may be due to Matthew 6:14 (immediately after the text of the prayer), where Jesus speaks of trespasses. As early as the third century, Origen of Alexandria used the word trespasses (παραπτώματα) in the prayer. Although the Latin form that was traditionally used in Western Europe has debita (debts), most English-speaking Christians (except Scottish Presbyterians and some others of the Reformed tradition) use trespasses. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Established Presbyterian Church of Scotland as well as the Congregational denomination follow the version found in Matthew 6 in the Authorized Version (known also as the King James Version), which in the prayer uses the words "debts" and "debtors".

All these versions are based on the text in Matthew, rather than Luke, of the prayer given by Jesus: