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It will be observed that the Greek epiousion (translated `daily' in the A.V.) has for the
moment been left untranslated. Nobody can be quite sure of its meaning and it will be
considered in a later article. Also the expression in Luke 11: 3 translated above `give us
daily', could be rendered `give us according to the day', which will prove of help in
understanding the meaning intended by the Lord. The reader should also take note of the
change of words, `sins' for `debts' in Luke.
Omission of the doxology may come as a shock to some, but it should be noted that it
does not appear in the A.V. of Luke's account of the prayer anyway, and in the R.V. it is
also omitted in the Matthew account. Following the best evidence available it is omitted
by the following translations also, J. N. Darby, Weymouth, Rotherham, Moffatt, R.S.V.,
N.E.B., etc. It is also omitted by the latest text of the N.T. based upon all the results of
modern scholarship. The Companion Bible however suggests it is wrongly omitted and
cites a number of ancient versions as containing it. Since no great doctrine hinges upon
either its presence or absence nothing more need be said, except to note that it is not by
any means unscriptural, in fact it is not unlike I Chron. 29: 11:
"Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory . . . . . thine is the
kingdom . . . . ."
The other omissions will be considered in their place, as also the differences of
language of the two accounts.
It will be of help to note the occasions on which the prayer was given. In Matthew it
forms part of a long address given by the Lord (5: 1 - 7: 29) known popularly as "The
Sermon on the Mount". In Luke it is the answer to the request from "one of His
disciples" to "teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples". Hence we observe the
"After this manner therefore pray ye . . . . ." (Matt. 6: 9).
"When ye pray, say . . . . ." (Luke 11: 2).
Since the prayer in Matthew is part of a long address, it is doubtful whether it would
have been remembered word for word by the hearers, and the context suggests that it was
not given to be so remembered. "After this manner" is in contrast to some other manner
"When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do . . . . . be ye not therefore
like unto them . . . . . after this manner therefore pray ye" (Matt. 6: 7-9).
The prayer is to be contrasted with the "much speaking" of the heathen (Gentiles), and
since the Lord found it necessary to give such a correction, it is evident that these "vain
repetitions" had permeated the life of the people of Israel and the heathen. Two examples
from Scripture are helpful in understanding this.
"And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on
the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us" (I Ki. 18: 26).
"But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two
hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians" (Acts 19: 34).