The Lord’s Prayer (Part 1)

Verse: Matthew 6:9

A) English Translations


KJV: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name

NASB: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name

NLT: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy

B) Greek

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· 

ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου




C) Observations

Our Father

Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999)

    • “… Jesus predicates [the prayer] on the basis of an intimate relationship with God: “Father.” This is a relationship that denotes both respectful dependence and affectionate intimacy as well as obedience. One must understand what God’s “fatherhood” would have meant to most of Jesus’ hearers. In first century Jewish Palestine, children were powerless social dependents and fathers were viewed as strong providers and examples on whom their children could depend (in contrast to many homes in Western society; cf. 7:7-11; Heb. 12:5-11).”[1]
    • “The Hebrew Bible recognized God as Israel’s father by adoption in redemption (Jeremias 1964b: 12), and Jewish literature in general continued this tradition (e.g., Wis 2:16; 3 Macc 5:7; 7:6), also in prayer, though in a relatively restrained manner. (3 Macc 6:8; Jeremias 1964b: 15-16; idem 1965: 14). But the form of synagogue Judaism we know from later rabbinic literature commonly calls God “our Father in heaven” (m. Sota 9:15; t. Ber. 3:14; B. Qam. 7:6; Hag. 2:1; Pe’a 4:21 …)”[2]

Grant R. Osborne, Matthew (Zondervan Academic, 2010)

    • “The address is highly theological. “Our Father” is Greek for the Aramaic Abba and does have parallels in Jewish prayers (m. Sotah 9:15; t. Ber. 3:14), with the “our” showing it is especially a community prayer, meant for the life of the church.”[3]
    • “The regular use of Abba, especially in its absolute form “Father” characterised Jesus’ prayers and was his great contribution to Jewish prayer theology which tended to be more formal. Abba brings in the centrality of the relationship between father and children; we share Jesus’ sonship in his special filial relationship to his “Father.””[4]

Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on Matthew (Baker Academic, 2011)

    • “”Our,” “us,” and “we” make the prayer communal, but in view of the petition for daily bread (6:11) probably communal for families in their daily prayers rather more than for praying with other Christians less frequently in church meetings.”
    • “In accord with the emphasis on God’s being the Father of Jesus’ disciples (5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8 and so on), “Father” is the name of God that’s to be held as sacred, that is, as inviolable, not to be profaned or maligned but to be held in deepest reverence. “Father” goes back to the Aramaic “Abba” (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6), which means something like “Dadda” or “Daddy” except that it remained in use during adulthood for addressing one’s father, so that after childhood it didn’t continue having the sound of baby talk.”

In the heavens

Grant R. Osborne, Matthew (Zondervan Academic, 2010)

    • “The addition of “in heaven” tells us of God’s transcendence and sovereign power (it is found twenty times in Matthew with “Father” and only Mark 11:25 elsewhere in the Synoptics) …”[5]

Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on Matthew (Baker Academic, 2011)

    • “”The one in the heaven” not only distinguishes God “our Father” from our earthly fathers. It also points to his high majesty as a counterbalance to the familiarity of his fatherhood.”

Hallowed be Your name

Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999)

    • “Although many profaned God’s name – his honor – in this present age (acting as if it were unholy, Ex 20:7; Jer 34:16; Ezek 29:14), God would see to it that his name would be hallowed in the coming time of the kingdom (Is 5:16; 29:23; Ezek 38:23; 39:7, 27; 1QM 11.15; cf. Zech 14:9 with Deut 6:4), just as God had sanctified his name when he had acted in the past (e.g., 1QM 17:2).”[6]
    • “A benediction in one standard Jewish prayer acknowledged the holiness of God’s name in the present (the Amida – m. Rosh Hash. 4:5; Sifra Emor par.; cf. Bowman 1977: 328), but Jesus’ prayer, like the Kiddish (cited above; cf. Sanders 1985: 7-8; Deut. Rab. 7:6), years for the day when God’s name alone will be hallowed, that is sanctified or shown holy, special above every other name.”[7]
    • “Yet Jesus’ Jewish hearers would have understood the implications of the prayer for present existence as well, for one could ask with integrity for the future hallowing of God’s name only if one lived in the present as if one valued it.”[8]
    • “Acts of charity or otherwise seeing to it that God’s will is carried out in the world sanctifies God’s name; disobeying God’s will or misrepresenting it through false teaching profanes it (e.g., m. ‘Abot 1:11; Num. Rab. 7:5; 8:4; Pesiq. R. 22:2; Moore 1971: 2:104-5).”[9]

Grant R. Osborne, Matthew (Zondervan Academic, 2010)

    • “The first God-oriented petition is that the sacredness of God’s name be magnified in every area of life. In the ancient world a person’s name bespoke the very essence of the person (see on 1:21), so God’s name tells who he is at the core of his being.”[10]
    • “There are two aspects of this: that God will make his holiness manifest throughout the world, and that we will honor his name in everything that we do … This reflects the inaugurated thrust, for the sacredness of his name will not be truly triumphant until the eschaton arrives, and yet it must be visible to all in the lives of his people.”[11]

[1] p.216

[2] p.217

[3] p.227

[4] pp.227-228

[5] p.228

[6] p.219

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] p.228

[11] Ibid.

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