Re: ponerou in Matt. 6:13 and the meaning of Matt 6:13b

From: Mark Goodacre (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 06:09:39 EDT

How nice to be back to the Lord's Prayer and Jeffrey Gibson's
theories again! I was pretty much convinced and converted by
Jeffrey's recent case on the PEIRASMOS petition. It seems to me that
the evidence of the usage of the word in the ancient literature,
combined with the parallel in Matt. 4 // Luke 4, combined with the
Deuteronomic background, makes the case very strong.

I think that it is one of the most exciting things in scholarship when
one has assumptions challenged, and to have them challenged about
something as important as the Lord's Prayer is a big thing. I look
forward to seeing this material published.

However, I would be grateful if Jeffrey could clarify something
in the current post. It looks to me that you (rightly, in my view)
come down on the side of hO PONHROS = the Devil here, but then go on
largely to prefer TO PONHRON = Evil in the body of the post. The
petition to save us from 'doing evil' would make much more sense if
we are thinking TO PONHRON (though at the end of the
message a case is made for 'doing evil' still being the substance
behind a petition to 'deliver us from the Devil').

Also, a small point: does 'Deliver us from doing evil' constitute a
'repetition' of the previous petition, or does it, reputedly like
Hebrew poetry, repeat + build on it, rather as 'Thy will be done'
repeats but also adds to 'Thy kingdom come'?

If this is the case, then we could have h0 PONHROS = the Devil +
Jeffrey's parallel with Matt. 4 // Luke 4 + 'deliver us from doing
evil' as the substance behind the explicit petition. Or perhaps this
is the point that Jeffrey is making?

Good wishes


Dr Mark Goodacre
Department of Theology
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Tel.: +44 (0)121 414 7512 Email:
Fax.: +44 (0)121 414 6866

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