The Ancient Aramaic Prayer of Jesus "the Lord's prayer"


#1

I just wanted to share some insight that I am getting from a book that I had not read in a long time on how to pray the Lord’s Prayer by Roccoa Errico and wanted to see what everyones thoughts are on it.

"Approching God as “Father” immediatly puts us in intimate communion with Him. Prayer should not be an attempt to “get into” union with God. Prayer is the very acknowledgement of, and the very expression of, that union! It is because we are His sons that we can communicate with our Father. At no time can there be a separation from God! If we believe that we are cut off or separated from Him, then it is we who bring the sense of division. It is not God who does this; it is our mental attitude. God is! And He is everywhere! He hasn’t changed! We have to change our wrong attitudes!

When we call God “Father,” we are acknowledging our sonship with Him. We don’t “work” our way into it; we just naturally have a sonship because we are “His image and likeness.” This opening phrase of the Lord’s Prayer causes us to confess our union with the eternal, living God, with the Father of all men.

Thus, the very first attitude we are to have, the first idea we are to “tune in to,” is that we are one with the Father-now! All creation is in union with Infinite Intelligence. Once the truth of our sonship is trully accepted, we don’t have to affirm it! Our children are our children and they know it! We, too, must settle this matter, and once and for all, come to the full realization that we are now God’s sons! (see I John 3:2)

“Our Father” doesn’t “condescend” to hear us or to be with us, because, like a human father, he enjoys being with His family. God doesn’t have to condescend, nor do we have to transcend, to be in union with Him. These terms “condescend” and “transcend” have been misused in reference to the relationship between God and man. Of course, we can transcend our enviroment and problems, but what I am referring to is our relationship. God is Spirit; that is, that which is all-inclusive and everywhere. How can God “come down,” or how can we “go up”? God is in us, above us, around us, under us, and through us. It’s not just a “Deity” that is everywhere; it is the Presence of a fatherly Spirit that is everywhere. This Power is like a father giving good gifts, love, and aid to his children everywhere. The fatherly presence of God is in the very depths of our beings.

God can’t be confined to any sacred shrine or contained in any one thing. No holy temple can house the universal Spirit of the living Father.

“Our Universal Father” also means that God is the Father of all peoples and all races. He is not just “my” Father, or just “your” Father, or just “thier” Father, but He is “our” Father. When we the words “our universal Father,” we automatically recognizing other peoples’ sonship with the Father. God’s Spirit fills the entire universe, and all things and all people exist in Him. God loves all His children! But when we pray, we often pray only for our own good, not carring about its effect on others. For instance, in warfare, we ask God to bless one side or the other. God cannot bless either side, for he doesn’t participate in acts of agression or violence. God acts only for the good of all! When we truly and deeply understand the meaning of “our universal Father,” we will pray for universal good. We will empathize with all peoples and act for the good of all.

Through His teaching, Jesus freed man from the limited and mistaken concept of a sectarian, nationalistic, partisan God. Spirit, or “God,” is like pure water which flows freely everywhere, watering the dry ground and quenching the thirst of all men. All men must have water and air in order to live. Pure water and air are the same everywhere. And so is our Father. This is our Savior’s concept of the living God, Whom he called “Father.”

Thus, the opening statement of The Lord’s Prayer causes us to confess our union with God, and our fellowmen, who are all His children. This is God’s way! This is “our universal Father”! What a positive way to begin prayer!"

Preveously in the book Roccoa Errico had translated the first line of the Lord’s Prayer from Aramaic. It is as fallows: Our Father who (is) throughout the universe.

Please share your thoughts on this.


#2

Roccoa Errico is not a credible source of information. Many scholars consider him a pseudoscientist.


#3

Roccoa Errico was a student of George Lamsa. Both of them are associated with New Thought churches, in particular Unity Church. Errico is Dean of Biblical Studies at one of the largest New Thought schools in America.

One of the primary techniques of translation (from Aramaic) they use is called psycho-linguistics, and it is just as hokey as it sounds. Basically what Lamsa did and Errico continues to do is use Aramaic texts with their… unusual and often exotic translations to force a translation that is compatible with New Thought beliefs.

You get a very strong hint at this in just the text you quoted. Look at this list of his terms for God the Father, taken just from what you quoted:

God
Father
Infinite Intellegence
Spirit
all-inclusive
everywhere
Power
universal Spirit
our universal Father
our Savior’s concept of the living God

When you hear words like “Power,” “universal Spirit” and “our Savior’s concept of…”, it’s time to put the book down unless it is heresy you seek. Realize that these terms could be used in ways that are not heretical, but the hallmark of New Thought churches is that they use all the same words true Christian faiths do, but to them they mean totally different things. The term Savior in a NT church does not mean what Christians think of when they think of Jesus, dying for our sins, etc. In NT, a Savior is an enlightened person who rescues us from our own negative thoughts (which they call - sins!), and help us connect with God. God being a spirit that lives inside us and lets us share His power to create, etc. It’s total heresy.


#4

Dear DOShea,

I must say I am not familiar with the New Thought churches so I will have to take your word for now on what you say they teach.

I would like to ask you if you could elaborate on how believing that God is our Father, that He is All Powerful, that He is everywhere, that He is Infinite Intelligence, that He is all-inclusive and that he is a Living God is a “total heresy”. God knows I do not want to be learning something heretical.

How can God, knowing that He is Spirit, not be inside of us? I thought it is catholic teaching that He dwells within us?

I am also not sure were you are getting the idea that by having God in us is saying that God lets us share in His Power to create.

Praying and looking forward to your responses,


#5

Dear Eucharisted,

What is a pseudoscientist and could you offer me some resources as to were I might verify the many scholars who consider him a pseudoscientist?

Thank you in advance for your time


#6

New Thought churches are very similar to New Age churches with a bit less focus on the mystical or occult aspects. I once heard a description said in jest that has more truth to it than mere humor. “New Thought is basically New Age without the UFOs.”

I would like to ask you if you could elaborate on how believing that God is our Father, that He is All Powerful, that He is everywhere, that He is Infinite Intelligence, that He is all-inclusive and that he is a Living God is a “total heresy”. God knows I do not want to be learning something heretical.

I’d be happy to. The difference is in the meaning of the words. Here is an example. See, when you or I say “God is our Father,” we mean that a real Being, God, who created us, has a real and loving relationship of us that in our human limitations of understanding can best be described in terms of a Father-child relationship. We mean He provides for us, protects us, guides us, etc. just like a real living Father does with a real child.

When NT says “God is our Father,” they mean that this indistinct “energy” we know as God, who lives inside us perfectly created Beings (<- a sort of mini-God) like an untapped energy source of creative thought. If we could only learn how to get past our limitations of learned behavior thinking we are “less than” something, which is what they believe “sin” is, then we, like God, can create whatever in the universe we want, be it wealth, happiness, loving relationships, etc. This is why they hold that film, The Secret in such high regard, because it teaches exactly what they believe, which is that you ARE God, you just don’t know it yet.

Those ideas both use the same terminology, yet mean completely different things.

How can God, knowing that He is Spirit, not be inside of us? I thought it is catholic teaching that He dwells within us?

Again it is a matter of what words mean. In the NT view, when they say “Spirit dwells within us,” they mean the creative power and energy of God is locked away inside us waiting for us to come to understand and believe it. When we do, that “energy” or “power” is at our personal disposal to create the world we want. In other words, as soon as you abandon all this irrational “stuff” taught by conventional religions and realize you have equal power with God, you can start using it to your advantage. What keeps us from that is “sin,” which in their view is the negative thought process that keeps us from realizing who we really are. To them, doubts are sins, negative thoughts are sins, and sins to them are just mere mistaken beliefs, so there is no penalty involved. Sins are like typographical errors of thought to them; wrong, but not anything that anyone should get upset over or excited about.

I am also not sure were you are getting the idea that by having God in us is saying that God lets us share in His Power to create.

Praying and looking forward to your responses,

It’s not my idea; that is what NT teaches. The basis of the whole thing is hinged on the idea that a creative “force” or “energy” in the universe - what we think of as God - created us like a person might create a sculpture out of clay. Because a person wouldn’t create something to bring goodness into their life and then destroy it, they extend that same process to this “energy” they believe is God, thus there can be no such thing as hell or eternal punishment, judgment, etc. because that means God would create at least some of us only to destroy us… which in human thought is an irrational behavior. All of their ideas are humanist in origin, and mystical in extension. It is very much like Buddhism’s idea of individual existence with the goal of eventually becoming enlightened and one with a universal conscientiousness. In NT, that same idea is expressed using terms familiar with Christianity, meaning that we have God’s powers within us, and as soon as we wake up and recognize it, we become like the enlightened Bhuddist… “one” with God.

It it complete heresy end-to-end, packaged to closely resemble Christian ideas. That makes it very comfortable for people to go there and hear their ideas, because they don’t “sound” like heresy. But make no mistake, they are. They make use of people like Lamsa and Errico because they have credentials, and the “expertise” they bring to the table helps people to buy their strange ideas. Lets face it, most people don’t know a word of Aramaic, so how can we argue with a guy who grew up speaking a form of Aramaic when he tells us the Gospels don’t mean what they say, they have this other “real” meaning? That’s why these guys and their heretical ideas are dangerous.

You know the old saying about being able to attract more flies with honey than vinegar, right? Well they aren’t dispensing vinegar. They are sugar-coating ideas blended from Gnosticism and far Eastern religions packaged in way that “feels good” to 21st century people.


#7

Thank you DOShea for taking the time to help me understand this.

Do you think that because the New Thought church uses the writtings of Lamsa and Errico that it makes thier writtings a heresy?

The reason I ask is because I am in the middle of this book and I have not found any teachings of what you have said the New Thought church teaches.

Praying and thanking you for your time


#8

I think you are missing the point I am trying to get across. Perhaps I am not expressing it clear enough, so let’s try another approach.

You and I would probably agree that the Bible is not a work of heresy, right? Now while we don’t state them up front, we are making some basic assumptions. Among them are that when we read the Bible and find Jesus teaching that He is the prophesied Messiah, the Son of God, in the Father and the Father in Him, etc., we interpret those things in a conventional way, meaning that we accept the words are what they are, and mean what they mean.

A person in a NT religion picks up the same Bible and reads heresy into it. When they read of the Gospel proclaiming Jesus’ divinity, that means, to them, that Jesus isn’t actually God, but is attuned to God or understands the nature and qualities of God better than any average Joe. Since they believe God is not a Being but some kind of cosmic energy force, Jesus then, being highly “attuned” to it, can use that power in ways the average Joe cannot. Calm seas, walk on water, heal the sick, etc. In the NT mind, Jesus wasn’t Himself God using supernatural power to defy nature; Jesus was just a human aware of this power within Himself and He, as an enlightened HUMAN, was manifesting all these miraculous things by putting this “God energy” thing at His own disposal.

Are you getting the idea? It is not the book; it is not the words themselves; it is what those words are taken to mean that is the tipping point of the heresy.

Well wait a second, you might say. Jesus Himself said that He was doing works like this to prove to skeptics that He was who He said He was. Well we can’t have facts like that getting in way of a good heresy, now can we? So guess what NT does? They introduce an allegorical meaning to the actual words. You and I read that passage in Scripture and see Jesus healing a man’s deformed arm in a supernatural way to prove He is divine and does have the power to do things like forgive sins and teach with divine authority. We take it to mean He IS Divine and does have power to forgive sins and to authoritatively (divinely) teach.

Not so with NT. They teach that when Jesus said “forgive sins,” He didn’t mean forgive transgressions against God, He really meant “remove doubts from people inclined to deny THEIR own divinity.” If they would only stop doubting they are a container for God’s awesome energy, they would be just like Him.

This is where Lamsa and Errico come in. They will take a sentence in Aramaic and through some bizarre interpretive methods that never seem to gather any kind of scholarly following, try to show that the Scriptures translated as we have them today are a big mistake, and hide or conceal some secret, “true” meaning that only these fellows can seem to ferret out. That’s precisely what the Gnostic heretics did, and they continue in that same tradition. The words don’t mean what you think they mean; you must consult us for the secret, true meaning. For $19.95 you can know the secret truth.

You get the idea now?

When you examine other similar materials, like The Course in Miracles, you find the same stuff being taught. Jesus, Son of God, coming to Earth didn’t get it right the first time, it took His personal revealing information to a psychologist in the 1960s before we could all have a true understanding of God’s plan for us. And wouldn’t you know, virtually EVERYTHING we thought we knew from His first revelation was all wrong, but that’s okay, for the better part of a hundred dollars your train can be put back on the tracks!

Let me ask you a question I asked in another thread on the CIM: If Jesus really and truly appeared to you and gave you a revelation of His Truth, meant to correct all these misunderstandings of mankind over the years… how much would you change people for that information? Would you even dare to do that?


#9

Not in my view do we ever have the equal power or intelligence as God. We may be created in his IMAGE…meaning a being that looks like God, but we are in no way in the same with his power and majesty!


#10

simple soul,

There is lot more to this story. I didn’t really want to get into personal details here, but I think it might give you a better perspective of where I am coming from if I shed a little light.

I had, at one time, 6 family members who left the Catholic faith and ended up in NT churches. Two of them are immediate family members. To date, the Holy Spirit has been kind enough to lead two of the 6 back to the Catholic faith. I work every single day, in prayer and in concert with the HS to get my other 4 family members back from the hands of this evil - and it IS evil - before they lose their eternal life. To me, it is a matter of life and death in a very real way.

This is potent evil, not garden variety stuff, because it plays right into the hand of human weakness, frailty, and vanity. NT is the glad hand that those who are in misery want to grab because it immediately uplifts them with artificial, guilt-free means. People who have led sinful lives have felt the weight of that conscience God gave them pressing down on them. Even in their most glorious moments of sin they know, deep inside, something isn’t right. Something is malformed. All the pleasures that were supposed to be at the other end of that sinful road aren’t there; they were but a mirage.

When people come to this point they begin to doubt everything around them. Some fall prey to yet more evil, addictions, irrational behavior, rejection of friends and destruction of relationships including any they might have had with God. Their boat is sinking and they don’t know why. They can’t seem to find any leaks, but they sure are getting pretty wet.

Well, they could come back to the Church but that involves a bit of pain. They know they will have to at minimum acknowledge the fact they, not the Church, went off the rails. They must examine why. They must seek forgiveness by (Catholics, anyway) confessing these facts to a Priest and again become obedient to rules they had been ignoring. That’s one option.

Option two is NT. No admission of fault, no examination of conscience, no confession needed here because the person is not the problem. It’s what and how they think that is the problem, and it keeps them from seeing truth like a blindfold would keep a person from seeing the world around them. Then answer, then, is not to feel guilt and admit any kind of personal responsibility, but rather to lay the blame on circumstantial things like bad thoughts or negativity (as though they didn’t come from the person) and work on ways to improve those. So step right up, come on in, you’re perfect just as you are and God made you to be regardless of what baggage you bring.

People who hurt want to be healed. Usually they want the quickest, most painless way back to good health. That applies spiritually also. So for the hurting, the dysfunctional, the people with issues small and large, NT is a temple of instant relief. But that’s all it is, because it doesn’t compel or really encourage people to do anything except “think” a different way.

Have you ever hear anyone tell you they overcame an addiction merely by thinking it was over? Or repaired damaged relationships by “thinking” they would get better by the day? Therein lies the fallacy and the self-defeating limitation of the whole system. Ideally, if what they claim is true, that God (an energy) created you to be a human form of Him with all his powers, you should be able to “think” anything into existence. Okay, try it. Oh, it failed? Well, that’s because you must have some kind of negative thought process going on (sin) that’s standing in your way. Try affirming you are God for a couple hours and try it again. Didn’t work? Keep soul-searching, eventually you’ll get it.

It reminds me of that old Eagles song, Hotel California,, where the light and comfort of the hotel was very attractive to the fellow coming in from the relentless heat and darkness of the desert, but once inside he found it to be a hollow shell of hopelessness and irrationality.

Catholic Answers LIVE Radio has a guest named Sharon Lee Giganti who was last on Aug 31st. Link here. She seems very knowledgeable about both New Age and New Thought, and articulates the dangers of them very well. I encourage you to hear it from her, not just me, and maybe it will give you a better understanding of why I am so convinced it is pure evil.


#11

I agree with you, Mary.

New Thought, however, teaches the heresy that we DO, but because time has erased our ability to tap into this power, and things like family and organized religions tell us we can’t - and we believe them - we can’t. So the purpose of our lives is to reestablish that connection and tap into God’s power so we can create something good for ourselves.


#12

Dear DOShea,

Please try to understand I do get your point.

I am just trying to say that the things you are saying about this book are just not in it that I can see. I have not read any other books by Errico or Lamsa so I can not speak about those books.

I know that I will never be God and that Jesus is God and understanding that there is not any “quick fix” to anything unless it comes from God but from what I have read so far of this book it does not espouse the things you are saying it does. Maybe because I am reading it in a different light than it was originally intended I don’t know. But I will continue to pray about it and talk to my spiritual adviser and get back to you. I might be a couple of days so please do not give up on me.

I do agree with you that if the New Thought church is trying to promote the ideas of us being equal to God that yes, it is pure evil we could never be equal to Him let alone be God. But again I do not see this book promoting these ideas but I have not finished reading it.

And just for the record my spiritual adviser is not a New Thought adviser.

Thank you for your guidance, time and concerns it actually makes me believe that you care greatly for the welfare of my soul.

Praying and pondering some more,


#13

I have not read the book you cite. I responded to the quote from it you posted and I listed for you some terms in it that are red flags for me. Most of them appear innocuous enough, even good, valid descriptives of the Almighty. But I can’t tell how the author means them, meaning in a conventional way or a NT way. The author is a Dean of Biblical Studies at a major NT Church and learning center, which is the equivalent of a major seminary. The leader of that NT church has the power (granted to herself) to ordain NT Ministers, and does. So I have to suspect that the author is not about to produce a work meant to contribute in any meaningful way to established Christian religious thought.

Recall what I told you. The goal of NT churches is to use the exact same terms you would hear in any other church. That makes true Christians see no harm in going there, I mean it sounds perfectly okay until you realize what they really believe. You don’t think they are going to put “we believe in reincarnation” on the marquee next to the word “Christianity” do you? They don’t. They say “share our spiritual journey,” and who’d want to belong to any church and not share it that?

The book itself may be harmless to you if you read it with convention in mind. But be very careful and very discerning.


#14

I have not read the book you cite. I responded to the quote from it you posted and I listed for you some terms in it that are red flags for me. Most of them appear innocuous enough, even good, valid descriptives of the Almighty. But I can’t tell how the author means them, meaning in a conventional way or a NT way. The author is a Dean of Biblical Studies at a major NT Church and learning center, which is the equivalent of a major seminary. The leader of that NT church has the power (granted to herself) to ordain NT Ministers, and does. So I have to suspect that the author is not about to produce a work meant to contribute in any meaningful way to established Christian religious thought.

Recall what I told you. The goal of NT churches is to use the exact same terms you would hear in any other church. That makes true Christians see no harm in going there, I mean it sounds perfectly okay until you realize what they really believe. You don’t think they are going to put “we believe in reincarnation” on the marquee next to the word “Christianity” do you? They don’t. They say “share our spiritual journey,” and who’d want to belong to any church and not share in that?

The book itself may be harmless to you if you read it with convention in mind. But be very careful and very discerning.


#15

Dear DOShea,

After reading everything you have said I think I will be reading it with a little bit of a different perspective.

I will reassure you that I am not reading this to join any other church. I do try to read things and then compare it to the teachings of the Catholic Church and if I can not understand it will seek pray about it and ponder it and seek advise about it.

Thank you again for sharing the information you have. I am sure it will help me discern what I am reading better.

Always praying and pondering,


#16

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