So I came across some websites (mostly Jewish) claiming that our Lord simply created the “Lord’s Prayer” from using already known and said Jewish prayer pieces. i.e. many (if not all) of the parts of the Lord’s Prayer have a parallel in the Talmud and other Rabbinic writings.
My intial response was:
1. well, of course he used well known Jewish words and phrases and prayer parts, he was Jewish after all, what else would he use? Canadian prayer parts?
**2. I thought, but isn’t the Talmud and other Rabinic writings post New Testament or at the very least some is concurrent and therefore could have been influenced by Jesus? **
Why should Jesus have been influenced by Jewish prayer parts, when it could have been the other way around?
I thought most of our Lords Prayer came from parallels in the old testament, which would explain them being used by Jesus AND the Talmud and Rabbinic sources.
Have I answered my own question with the 3 point above?? Let me know…
Indeed, the petition for forgiveness of sin (or debt) is almost identical to the one included in the Amida (A), the silent prayer instituted by the rabbis and recited three times a day, as is the blessing for the bread which is part of the Grace after meal (G). If we then consider the prayer mentioned above which begins with the words “May it be Your will, O God and God of our ancestors, to protect me from the power of sin and temptation…” (M) and the Kaddish (K), we obtain the following correspondences with the elements of Matthew’s version of the Lord’s prayer:
Our Father in heaven
Father in Heaven (K)
Hallowed be Thy name
Exalted and hallowed be His great in the world (K)
Thy kingdom come
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and the lifetime of the house of Israel (K)
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
In the world He created according to His will (K)
Give us this day our daily bread
He gives bread to all flesh (G)
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors
Our Father, forgive us our sins (A)
Do not bring us to the test
May it be Your will …not to bring us into the power of sin and temptation (M)
but save us from evil.
Let not the evil impulse control our life (M)
This brief survey of the sources of the Lord’s prayer shows that it is inspired by the traditional forms of prayers of the synagogue in the early part of the first century. The various renditions of certain words or expressions must have resulted from the successive translations of the text from its original language (Aramaic or Hebrew) to Greek (and later Latin), especially when the original words were ambiguous and lent themselves to different interpretations. One can easily recognize the various elements of several prayers of the Synagogue liturgy as they were incorporated in the Lord’s prayer. Whereas the first part seems to be primarily concerned with the eschatological hope of the establishment of
on earth, the last part is reflecting the main concerns of the believer, asking God for sustenance and forgiveness, as we find them in the main prayers of the Jewish liturgy. We may therefore state that the Pater Noster is essentially a Jewish prayer and it testifies to the close association of Jesus to the Jewish community of his days.
How should we understand, or refute this as Catholics? There are many many websites that make this claim?
I’m thinking that our Lord simply made prayers of the day more clear?
That is VERY interesting! Thank you. Yes, I would say you answered your own question. I don’t think there is anything to refute or be troubled about. The Jewish Encyclopedia is saying that the Lord’s Prayer likely evolved from synagogue prayers early in the 1st century and that seems reasonable to me. It seems reasonable that Jesus would use prayers that were familiar to his Jewish followers as a basis for his teaching? Likely the Rabbinical writings were also influenced by these same synagogue prayers (and perhaps by the Lord’s Prayer as well, as you pondered.)
My concern was that some websites seem to purport that our Lord plagiarized such prayers pieces, but how could he plagiarize his own Jewish culture is beyond me. He always used the OT.
I guess that they are trying to imply that Jesus never said the Lord’s prayer and Mathew simply fashioned it?
I believe that Jesus himself said the Lord’s Prayer, and he may have drawn from common prayer pieces floating around, incorporating them into one fusion of a perfect prayer to his Father and ours. Does that make sense?
We believe that Christ perfected Judaism, fulfilled it. Therefore we *ought *to see the lines of continuation from Judaism to Catholicism. Seeing Jewish roots in the Mass, in the Eucharist, in prayer, etc… is not a stigma, it’s evidence that shows the Catholic faith to be the fulfillment of the Jewish faith.
i agree but here is my concern - these websites with these who make these parallels do this in some instances to make “the Lord’s prayer” just another Jewish prayer and not a call to Christians. they also use these parallels to say our Lord was just another Rabbi teacher.
I don’t understand how it is possible that Jesus’ prayers were not Jewish constructs, or at least based on Jewish prayers. Jesus was a Jew. He would have been taught Jewish prayers as a child. He would have prayed Deuteronomy 6:4-9 as part of the morning and evening prayer every day of his life.
In terms of the Lord’s Prayer, I believe part of it may have been drawn from ideas such as that expressed in the verse below from the Book of Sirach
Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done,
and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.
Even Mary’s Magnificat is drawn directly from the words of Ruth and Hannah in the Old Testament. I have a long list of Old Testament quotes and themes which were pulled into the New Testament.
Isaiah 25:6 - wipe away every tear - used in Revelation by John. Isaiah 66:22 - new heaven and new earth - used by John in Revelation Sirach 11:18-20 - rich man stores up wealth in his barn but does not know when he will die - used by Jesus in Luke 12 Micah 7:6 - father against son, mother against daughter - used by Jesus in Matthew 10:35 Isaiah 56:7 - my house is a house of prayer - spoken by Jesus when he cleansed the temple. Leviticus 19:18 - Love your neighbor as yourself.
The list goes on and on. Those are only a few I pulled from some papers on my shelf. Jesus was a Jew, and so none of this should surprise anyone. What modern Jews say about Jesus’ prayers really doesn’t concern me. They can think and say whatever they want.
And wasn’t Jesus sent to reclaim the Jews, bring them back to the truth that is G-d, but they rejected Him??? That’s the reason He quoted the OT all the time, so they would know He wasn’t speaking a foreign language… but they couldn’t see… so as the OT says, salvation was offered to the gentiles, all nations. Yay, for the rest of us!
Lord, every nation on earth will adore YOU!!!
…I imagine that your screen name is your effort to associate yourself with Christ through Peter (the Lord’s Fisherman).
This is exactly how you must view most claims (by Jews, Jehovah Witnesses, non-Catholic Christians… yes, and even Catholics)–they are all making a connection.
Sadly, the Jews and those who deny Christ’s Divinity will seek to make a connection debasing or devaluing Christ (as is the case of non-Catholics whose experience must lead them to the rejection of the Church’s Authority).
How can Christ not use the Jewish Source (the Old Testament Scriptures)?
He, as attested by Christ Himself, came not to abolish the Law (inclusive of the Sacred Scripture) but to Fulfill it (Elevate it to its Fullest):
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming – indeed is already here – when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth. (St. John 4:22-24)
The above passage is an excellent example:
Christ centers Salvation on the Jews (the Chosen People who was Given the Promise [Abraham]) and expands on what was, till then, revealed: God is Spirit and True Worshipers will Worship in Spirit and in Truth (hint: the Holy Spirit–St. John 16:13).
The Lord’s Prayer could not but use those terms that were familiar to the Chosen People so that all prophecies could be fulfilled (“hated without cause,” “did not listen to our Word,” “but His people rejected Him…”).
What is truly marvelous about the Lord’s Prayer is that though the elements are familiar (and not plagiarized since that would make most Scripture guilty of the same error) they are set distinctly and above all in the Messianic form: a) God is our Father (Jews would call Abraham their father–though they understood that God called them His Children), b) there’s a call for the Kingdom of Heaven to Come (till Jesus only prophets–the select few–would make such pronouncements), c) the Jewish and Gentile will is set as subordinate to God’s Will, and d) Mercy is both sought and decreed: as we ask for the Father’s Mercy we, in turn, must dispense His Mercy upon others.
Remember to go beyond the apparent exegesis, even if these are offered by “authorities:”
ie: non-Catholics offer that the Bible, the Hebrew text, is the correct version of Sacred Scripture… these appeal to the authority of the Jews who REJECT Christ as the Messiah and Great King; while, simultaneously, ignoring that there is evidence that Jesus and the Apostles used the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek version of the Sacred Writings, which contains those seven books which are (mostly) rejected by non-Catholic Christians as part of the Sacred Scripture.
You made the right connection to my screen name! Though I love fishing as well
Thank you for you answer, it was excellent! It makes perfect sense to me.
Can I ask you this question, when you say: “Jesus and the Apostles used the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek version of the Sacred Writings, which contains those seven books which are (mostly) rejected by non-Catholic Christians as part of the Sacred Scripture.”
What are the seven books you are talking about? And why do non-Catholic Christians reject them?