The Lord’s Prayer 2: “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”

Articles 2 Comments

Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer does not contain the expression she·ba·sha·MA·yim (who is in heaven), but simply records “father.” Luke’s gospel never refers to God as the “father who is in heaven.” Matthew, in contrast, preserved twelve sayings of Jesus in which he used the Jewish expressions “our father who is in heaven,” “your father who is in heaven,” and “my father who is in heaven.” Mark also used the idiom “your father who is in heaven” (Mk. 11:25).

Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer does not contain the expression שבשמים (she·ba·sha·MA·yim, “who is in heaven”), but simply records “Father.” Luke’s Gospel never refers to God as the “father who is in heaven.” Matthew, in contrast, preserved twelve sayings of Jesus in which he used the Jewish expressions “our father who is in heaven,” “your father who is in heaven,” and “my father who is in heaven.” Mark also used the idiom “your father who is in heaven” (Mark 11:25). Evidently, Luke felt he had to change the expression for his Greek-speaking readers.

In Luke 11:13, according to the best textual reading, Luke wrote, “The father will give the holy spirit out of heaven….” Other manuscripts read “heavenly father….” But Matthew’s version has the Jewish idiom that probably is the one Jesus used: “…your father who is in heaven…” (Matt. 7:11).

These words are filled with rich Hebrew imagery. They describe the disciple’s relationship to God, but do not neglect his connection to the family of God.

Premium Members
If you are not a Premium Member, please consider becoming one starting at $10/month (paid monthly) or only $5/month (paid annually):

One Time Purchase Rather Than Membership
Rather than a membership, you may also purchase access to this entire page for $1.99 USD. (If you do not have an account select "Register & Purchase.")

Login & Purchase
To read the next article in this series, click here.

Comments 2

  1. The Greek word “Ouranois” is plural. Hence the translation should be “Our Father who is in the heavens”, or metaphorically “everywhere”.

  2. Pingback: The Lord’s Prayer (1): Introduction | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

Leave a Reply

  • 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.…
    [Read more about author]

  • Online Hebrew Course

    Do you want to learn Hebrew? Check out our online Hebrew course Aleph-Bet: Hebrew Reading and Writing for Christians in 17 Easy Lessons.