It is difficult to grasp the full impact of the Lord’s Prayer without an appreciation of its Jewish background. Today’s Christians have quite a different understanding of prayer, Scripture and faith than a Jewish teacher like Jesus. One easily can miss the great depth of Jesus’ message.
We have previously noted the Hebrew parallelism in the Lord’s Prayer, such as “your will be done” and “your Kingdom come.” The petitions “lead us not into temptation” and “deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13) also are parallel. The two parts of a Hebrew parallelism are not always synonymous, but the second part usually reinforces the idea of the first part by explaining its implications more fully.
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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.… [Read more about author]