The Lord’s Prayer 1: Introduction

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Too often, the importance of the Jewish background of the prayer and of the language that Jesus used has been overlooked or minimized.

This article belongs to the “Studying the Lord’s Prayer with Brad Young” series. For an overview of the entire series, click here.

For many people, prayer is an enigma. It is not surprising that Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. Jesus’ response has become perhaps all too familiar. Even though many know “The Lord’s Prayer” by heart, few know the meaning of the words they recite. A legion of books has been written explaining the meaning of this short prayer, but few have been able to grasp the full impact of Jesus’ words. In fact, the first barrier to a proper understanding of the prayer is the traditional title, “The Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus never prayed these familiar words himself; rather, he passed this prayer on to his followers. Hence it is really “The Disciples’ Prayer.”

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To read the next article in this series, click here.
The Lord’s Prayer in Greek at the Church of the Pater Noster. Photographed by Anton 17 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
This article originally appeared in issue 10 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young is the founder and president of the Gospel Research Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma. A founding member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, he is professor of New Testament Studies in the Graduate School of Theology at Oral Roberts University. Young earned M.A. and Ph.D.…
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