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The Lord's Prayer - Old Testament parallels

The Lord's Prayer is not something novel or original that Jesus came up with. It has many Old Testament references.

Corey Fields

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of The Lord's Prayer - Old Testament parallels

From the common Greek word: Pater
Is [the Lord] not your Father...?"
- Deuteronomy 32:6
The Lord's Prayer
and the Old Testament

(based on Matthew's version)
God's people often referred to as "sons" (e.g., Exodus 4:22, Hosea 11:1)
"...hallowed be your name"
From the common Greek word "hagiadzo" meaning "sanctify" or "make separate"
Ezekiel 36:23:

"I will show the holiness of my great name..."
In ancient Israelite culture, one's "name" was inextricably intertwined with one's identity.
"...your kingdom come..."
From the common Greek word "basileia." Strong political overtones.
Micah 4:1-8:

"...the former dominion/kingdom will be restored to you..."
(see entire passage for the ancient Jewish understanding of "God's coming reign," Jesus' central/most often mentioned concept)
"...give us this day our daily bread..."
Proverbs 30:8
"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread."
"...forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors..."
The author of Luke, writing to a less Jewish audience, uses "sin" instead of "debt."
The "forgiveness of debts" would have been heard as an allusion to "the Sabbath year" as described in Deuteronomy 15.
The "Lord's Prayer" is often thought of as something that was totally unique to Jesus or something original that he came up with from scratch. While there may have been no existing Jewish prayer that was organized exactly in Jesus' order, the prayer is rich with concepts - and sometimes direct quotations - from the Old Testament.
"...lead us not into temptation..."
Sometimes improperly understood as a plea to God not to tempt or test us on purpose. It actually refers to a desire to escape a time of trial/tribulation, or the "fearful day of the Lord."
"How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for [Israel], but they will be saved out of it." _ Jeremiah 30:7
"Wail, for the day of the Lord is near..." Isaiah 13:6ff
"The day of the Lord is great and dreadful; who can endure it?" - Joel 2:11
"...deliver us from the evil one..."
Often recited in modern worship as just "evil," but the correct translation of the New Testament Greek is "evil ONE." This reflects the development of a Jewish belief in Satan as an actual being during the Second Temple Period.
"Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood." - Psalm 59:2

"Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel." - Psalm 71:4

"[The Lord] guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked." - Psalm 97:10
Rev. Corey S. Fields
N.T. Wright: "The Lord and His Prayer"
Brant Pitre: "The Lord's Prayer and the New Exodus"
These two parts of the Lord's prayer - "Our father" and "hallowed be your name" create an important counterbalance with each other. The familiarity of God as "Father" vs. the hallowed name of God.
"...for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, amen."
This section was added by someone to the Gospel of Matthew at least several hundred years after its original writing. So, while it became a tradition to include it in church prayers during the Byzantine era, it was not originally included in the gospels.
Full transcript