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.
Amen.
or:

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.

(Different flavors of Christianity use slightly different wording.)

or:
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 for ever. Amen.

From the ICEL translation...

Called the Lord's Prayer, as it was the one taught/recited by Jesus himself to the people when asked how to pray.

Depending on which church you find yourself in, even if part of the same religion(well, generally Christianity of course), or denomination, you will find variations. They all mean the same thing of course. The difference is all just diction, choice of words. I could be in two different Catholic churches, merely 20-minutes' distance apart, and still have to sing the 'Our Father' in the Mass differently. I normally have it memorised which church sings what. That is also why, whenever in a new church, one you haven't been to previously, always sing softer than other people, so you won't assume, make a loud mistake, and embarrass yourself in front of the congregation, and therefore exposing your non-belonging to said church.

Which variation to use, usually depends on the already officially chosen one by the particular church(but this is normally only with regards to the singing of the prayer during the Mass itself, it's not forced on everyone in the church for use all of the time), or on the word preference of the majority of people whom you are saying the prayer with.(sometimes majority of people means the guy with the loudest voice, or quickest to the point)

Where I'm from, they have a slightly simpler form of the prayer, especially useful when getting children to remember, or simply, get used to the words. Also seems to be sort of a lowest common denominator among the variations. It seems like long, old, or slightly-more-complexed words are being phased out in favour of shorter, modern, direct, easier-to-understand ones. Yes, the others aren't that complexed/archaic anyway, but, i don't know! Let's just say, it's easier than the others, eventhough the others aren't that difficult in the first place. Words like 'hallowed' become 'holy', 'temptation' becomes 'test', and 'trespass', 'sin'. That is,

Our Father in Heaven,
Holy be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the test,
But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

What we know in King James English as the Lord's Prayer has been transliterated, interpreted, and translated a number of times from Aramaic (the language Jesus of Nazareth was thought to have spoken) to Greek to Latin to various other Western European languages, including English. The original Aramaic text narrowly transliterated to English looks remarkably similar to the writeups above and sounds much like the Lord's Prayer most Westerners are familiar with today. However, Aramaic is a rich language, filled with subtleties in every word that can be interpreted in multiple ways.

Spiritual scholar Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz offers an interpretation1 of the Lord's Prayer as purportedly spoken by Jesus of Nazareth, using the manifold interpretations available in each Aramaic phrase -- as such, Douglas-Klotz' interpretation is a good deal longer than the traditional Lord's Prayer. Here, I've broken down here three texts. The first, in bold, is the original Aramaic; the second is the more traditional English interpretation as translated by Martin Luther; the third in italics is the later English interpretation as translated by Neil Douglas-Klotz in the early 1990s.

Abwûn d'bwaschmâja
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Oh you, breathing life in all, origin of the gleaming sound, you shine in us and around us, even the darkness glows when we remember you.

Nethkâdasch schmach
Hallowed be thy name
Help us to draw a holy breath, in which we feel only you, and may your sound ring in us and purify us.

Têtê malkuthach
Thy kingdom come.
May your counsel rule our lives and make our intentions clear for the common creation.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
May the burning wish of your heart unify heaven and earth through our harmony.

Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna
Give us this day our daily bread.
Grant us daily the bread and insight that we need: what is necessary for the call of growing life.

Waschboklân chaubên (wachtahên) aikâna daf chnân schvoken l'chaijabên
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Release the cords of the errors that bind us, as we let go of that which binds us to the faults of others.

Wela tachlân l'nesjuna ela patzân min bischa
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Do not let superficial things lead us astray, but instead free us from that which holds us back.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn. Amên
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
From you comes the all-effective will, the living strength to act, the song that beautifies everything and which renews itself from age to age. True vitality to these testimonies! May they be the ground out of which all my actions grow. Sealed in trust.


Here, I've added the Douglas-Klotz' interpretation in its entirety to maintain visual clarity of the text.

Oh you, breathing life in all, origin of the gleaming sound, you shine in us and around us, even the darkness glows when we remember you.
Help us to draw a holy breath, in which we feel only you, and may your sound ring in us and purify us.
May your counsel rule our lives and make our intentions clear for the common creation.
May the burning wish of your heart unify heaven and earth through our harmony.
Grant us daily the bread and insight that we need: what is necessary for the call of growing life.
Release the cords of the errors that bind us, as we let go of that which binds us to the faults of others.
Do not let superficial things lead us astray, but instead free us from that which holds us back.
From you comes the all-effective will, the living strength to act, the song that beautifies everything and which renews itself from age to age. True vitality to these testimonies! May they be the ground out of which all my actions grow. Sealed in trust.


A shorter version of this re-interpreted Lord's Prayer often used in non-mainstream Christian churches such as Unity reads as such:

O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth-power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.


1. Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus; Harper 1994

Commentary on Martin Luther's Small Catechism, Part Three: The Lord's Prayer

«Part Two|Part Four»

Commentary

In this part of the Catechism, Luther reveals how Jesus provided us with a daily pratice, a recommended prayer, which reinforces a loving relationship with God, and ultimately also with everyone and everything else.

Luther’s theology reasserted Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith. Justification by faith insist that we are “justified” before God (our failures to follow God’s law are forgiven) only as a free gift from God, and not by any actions on our part. This doctrine contrasts with legalism that is, the notion that our good behavior plus a sincerely repentant attitude cancels out our bad behavior in God’s ledger book. Luther viewed legalism as a psychologically cruel doctrine, since anyone with insight into their own behavior would have to live in constant terror of God’s wrath. Legalism not only contradicts Scripture, but also leads to terror, despair or a deliberate ignorance and cynicism.

The use of legalism in social control, however, is obvious: tell people to behave or they will go to hell. In the Middle Ages, the temptation to wield theology as an instrument of social control had proved irresistable to the Church. The notions of an ethical “balance sheet” of good and bad behavior, of Purgatory, even supported taxation in the form of indulgences.

The Reformation did away with this, in Protestant countries, at least. Rejection of legalism raises a question, however: what is the religious basis for ethical behavior? If you do away with the heaven-and-hell, carrot-and-stick construct, what enforces right-and-wrong? Luther’s answer was to return to love as the foundation of ethics, and in particular, a loving relationship with God through a deepened spirituality.

The full extent of the new German spirituality of the late Middle Ages can be seen in works like the Theologica Germanica, a mystical writing by an anonymous author wirtten around 1350, and published and promoted by Luther in 1518, just a few years before the Small Catechism. However, while this kind of deep mysticism was suitable for monks, the Small Catechism was written for ordinary people. For ordinary people, the will of God is made known through uncompromising presentation of the Ten Commandments (as in Part One). An introduction to a loving relationship with God is presented through the Lord’s Prayer.

To encourage prayer, however, Luther realized he had to address very basic questions. Who is God? What is prayer? What is it for? The “visitation” or inspection of the Saxon churches had shown him that outside the walls of his University, ignorance in religious matters was the rule.

Luther repeats frequently in the Catechism that the words of the prayer don’t have the same meaning they would have in ordinary conversation. God would provide these things whether we asked for them or not. God knows what we want, Luther must remind people. The prayer is for our benefit, not God’s.

Prayer reinforces humility. It is all too easy in the crush of human events to forget how little control we have. Indeed, it is to some degree a psychological necessity to think of ourselves as more effective, more powerful, and more in control than we really are. Just as necessary, though, Luther realized, is the recognition, daily or more often, that we are not the masters of our fate.

Note the specificity with which Luther defines “Daily Bread”. He expects the faithful to repeat this prayer frequently, applying this notion to all the concerns of daily life. While the concerns of “daily bread” are matters in which we provide for ourselves --God helps them who help themselves-- our loving relationship with God is inextricably bound with our conduct in the world. In Luther’s world --that is, in the spiritual world of a medieval monk-- in all our daily activities, no matter how trivial, we never act alone: God is always with us to help, the Devil is always present to hinder.

In the Small Catechism, Luther of course follows the lead of the Scripture and Jesus’ habit of referring to God as his “Father”. However, after the Small Catechism had been in print for awhile, and in the meantime Luther had married and had children of his own, he added a phrase inviting us to approach God “in the same way beloved children approach their beloved Father with their requests.” Clearly, this is not going to mean as much to people who, unlike Luther, have experienced difficult child-parent relations. However, the basic point is that children can expect to be fed and cared for by the parents without asking for it, and on the other hand, parents don’t always give you what you ask for.

When Jesus recommends this prayer, he uses an Aramaic word for Father: “Abba”. “Abba” is a childish expression, like “Daddy”. Jesus recommends approaching God like a child. To the agnostic, atheist or non-theist, I would invite the experiment of reading “God” to mean “the Other”, everything that is not “the Self”. The fact of the “Other” is not up for reasonable debate, and the “existence” of “God” is more a question of definition: what is the Other? Most religions and religious practices constitute reminders and methods of dealing with the fact that the part of the world under the control of “Self” is rather limited. The Lord’s Prayer approaches this self-other rift from the primordial or pre-rational perpective of a child. When we are infants we learn or experience that our bodies are finite, that there exist objects and people outside of our bodies, and that we must interact with these things outside us to satisfy our needs. The boundary between “Self” and “Other” is blurred, however, when it comes to Mother: her body remains connected with our body in an intimate way, and she responds to our needs almost as if we had only to think them. Eventually we recognize the existance of a person with a more independent existence, not as responsive and with his own agenda, who nonetheless cares about us: Father. Eventually we come to realize there are more than two people in the world as well as variety of things, but parents are the first and primordial “Other” we have to deal with.


The Small Catechism of Martin Luther

Part Three: The Lord's Prayer

(Translated by Robert E. Smith)

The Our Father

The Simple Way a Father Should Present it to His Household

I. Introduction

Our Father, Who is in Heaven...

Q. What does this mean?

A. In this introduction, God invites us to believe that He is our real Father and we are His real children, so that we will pray with trust and complete confidence, in the same way beloved children approach their beloved Father with their requests.

II. The First Request

May Your name be holy...

Q. What does this mean?

A. Of course, God's name is holy in and of itself, but by this request, we pray that He will make it holy among us, too.

Q. How does this take place?

A. When God's Word is taught clearly and purely, and when we live holy lives as God's children based upon it. Help us, Heavenly Father, to do this! But anyone who teaches and lives by something other than God's Word defiles God's name among us. Protect us from this, Heavenly Father!

III. The Second Request

Your Kingdom come...

Q. What does this mean?

A. Truly God's Kingdom comes by itself, without our prayer. But we pray in this request that it come to us as well.

Q. How does this happen?

A. When the Heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that we believe His holy Word by His grace and live godly lives here in this age and there in eternal life.

IV. The Third Request

May Your will be accomplished, as it is Heaven, so may it be on Earth...

Q. What does this mean?

A. Truly, God's good and gracious will is accomplished without our prayer. But we pray in this request that is be accomplished among us as well.

Q. How does this happen?

A. When God destroys and interferes with every evil will and all evil advice, which will not allow God's Kingdom to come, such as the Devil's will, the world's will and will of our bodily desires. It also happens when God strengthens us by faith and by His Word and keeps living by them faithfully until the end of our lives. This is His will, good and full of grace.

V. The Fourth Request

Give us our daily bread today...

Q. What does this mean?

A. Truly, God gives daily bread to evil people, even without our prayer. But we pray in this request that He will help us realize this and receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

Q. What does ``Daily Bread'' mean?

A. Everything that nourishes our body and meets its needs, such as: Food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, yard, fields, cattle, money, possessions, a devout spouse, devout children, devout employees, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors and other things like these.

VI. The Fifth Request

And forgive our guilt, as we forgive those guilty of sinning against us...

Q. What does this mean?

A. We pray in this request that our Heavenly Father will neither pay attention to our sins nor refuse requests such as these because of our sins and because we are neither worthy nor deserve the things for which we pray. Yet He wants to give them all to us by His grace, because many times each day we sin and truly deserve only punishment. Because God does this, we will, of course, want to forgive from our hearts and willingly do good to those who sin against us.

VII. The Sixth Request

And lead us not into temptation...

Q. What does this mean?

A. God tempts no one, of course, but we pray in this request that God will protect us and save us, so that the Devil, the world and our bodily desires will neither deceive us nor seduce us into heresy, despair or other serious shame or vice, and so that we will win and be victorious in the end, even if they attack us.

VIII. The Seventh Request

But set us free from the Evil One.

Q. What does this mean?

A. We pray in this request, as a summary, that our Father in Heaven will save us from every kind of evil that threatens body, soul, property and honor. We pray that when at last our final hour has come, He will grant us a blessed death, and, in His grace, bring us to Himself from this valley of tears.

IX. Amen.

Q. What does this mean?

A. That I should be certain that such prayers are acceptable to the Father in Heaven and will be granted, that He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and that He promises to answer us. Amen. This means: Yes, yes it will happen this way.

This text was translated in 1994 for Project Wittenberg by Robert E. Smith and has been placed in the public domain by him. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther Library at: Concordia Theological Seminary. E-mail: smithre@mail.ctsfw.edu Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St., Ft. Wayne, IN 46825 USA Phone: (260) 481-2123 Fax: (260) 481-2126

«Part Two|Part Four»

Of course, everyone knows that the version given in Matthew is not considered as authentic as that given in Luke, as the Matthean version has Hebrew pious blessings everywhere, while the Lucan version fits better with Jesus' teaching about simplicity of worship (elsewhere in the Gospel), rather than conspicuous piety.


Luke 11:2-4, American Standard Revised version:

2. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, 1 Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
3. Give us day by day our daily bread.
4. And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation.
The notes for this version indicate that after verse 4 "many ancient authorities" add "but deliver us from evil". Similar notes exist for each verse here, adding in other similar matthean pieties.

On the obligatory linguistic topic, this is most likely to have been spoken in either koine greek or aramaic, depending on whether Jesus knew and cared that there were likely to be non-locals listening (I don't know if there were); then translated into koine by Luke (Whose greek is the best in the entire Bible, I am informed); then repeatedly transcribed and translated into many other languages, including English

Politically correct version

There are things beyond us, which we cannot name. This greatness cannot be controlled, we abide its law. Therefore we must rise above our daily struggle, and overcome our pettiness towards others. We must not be tempted by our egocentric needs so we can attain self actualisation. Only then are we able to catch a glimpse of the power, and the beauty of it all.

This meme will spread itself.


This version was created for the Everything Quest: the PC Bible

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