Re: Matt. 6:13//Lk. 11:3 Another Lord's Prayer Question!

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Sat Feb 14 1998 - 22:24:12 EST

On Fri 13 Feb 98 (19:02:15), wrote:
> OK. So here's the question. The Lukan form of the petition suggests
> that the situation of the petitioners is *not* one of hunger, one where
> they lack sustenance. It is presupposed that they *have* bread, they
> have been supplied with it. What they are asking for is that what they
> *have been* supplied with (this strange EPIOUSIOS bread) continue to be
> supplied. But does the Matthean version of the petition suggest or
> imply this? More importantly, is there anything in the grammar or the
> syntax of Matt. 6:11 which would rule this view out of court?

 Dear Jeffrey,

 As one who followed this thread with great interest last year, yes, I would
 like to make a few comments/suggestions. Not brickbats: MH GENOITO.

 Accepting your Assumptions for the moment, not wanting to sidetrack myself
 discussing THEM! I would agree with Edgar that Redaction Criticism has been
 overdone, and that we should disregard its assumptions, and assume that what
 we have is due to the redaction of our Lord's words by Matthew and Luke, not
 by 2nd century hands of which we have no certain knowledge.

 Your exegesis last year about the "bread" being like the Manna in the
 wilderness; and the "temptation" being like the way the Israelites "tempted"
 God "as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness,
 when your fathers tempted me, and saw my works..." (Psalm 95:8-9), struck me
 as not really germane to the disciples, soon to be apostles, who would be
 teaching the CHURCH how to pray, not Israel. As a pastor of many years'
 standing, I found that the temptations that I and my flock were heir to day
 by day were NOT of that ilk at all, but were the temptations of the world, the
 flesh, and the devil; or as John puts it, "the lust of the flesh, and the lust
 of the eyes, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).

 The earliest Latin liturgies, reflected in the Tridentine Mass and Jerome's
 Vulgate, have the Paternoster in this form: "...Panem nostrum *cotidianum*
 [Luke; where Matthew has 'supersubstantialem'] da nobis hodie.... et ne nos
 inducas in tentationem...". It could be that the Church in Rome had the
 'Venite exultemus Domino' (Psalm 95) in mind; in which case, there is the
 probable precursor of your theory, Jeffrey. Obviously I am thinking aloud
 here; but I wonder if 'supersubstantialem' connotes 'ordinary bread' as
 opposed to the 'panem transsubstantialem' of the Roman Mass??? Which Latin
 word better translates the hapax EPIOUSIOS ?

> ... What they are asking for is that what they *have been* supplied with
> (this strange EPIOUSIOS bread) continue to be supplied.

 The only justification I can think of for this would be "Ye seek me, not
 because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were
 filled" (John 6:26). Many refer the "Bread of Life" of John 6 to the
 Eucharist; but the Eucharist was not yet. Are the ARTOI PENTE KAI ICQUES DUO
 an allegorical reference to 'Jesus Christ Son of God Saviour' and the 'Bread'
 of Holy Communion? I think not; why five; why two? Surely Jesus did not mean
 that we should receive the Eucharist on a daily basis.

 Regarding PEIRASMOS: could Jesus be thinking rather of his temptation in the
 wilderness by the Devil, and wanting to forewarn and forearm his disciples
 lest they cave in to similar temptations? One of those temptation was to
 "command these stones to be made bread". Following Luke's version of the LP,
 Jesus says "... if a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will
 he give him a stone?..." etc (Luke 11:11). So was it really likely that Jesus
 had the Exodus 16 situation in mind?

 The devil's second temptation was to "put the Lord to the test" by jumping
 off the pinnacle of the Temple to see if He would keep His promise in Psalm
 91:11-12 not to let a believer's foot be dashed against a stone. So here at
 least your understanding of PEIRASMOS has some support. Some Christians do
 presumptively quote texts instead of using their God-given commonsense, and
 then come a cropper. May we be preserved from this!

 The devil's aim in tempting Jesus was to get him to abandon the way of the
 Cross. This went on through Peter "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matthew 16:23)
 and the enemies at the Cross "Let him now come down from the cross, and we
 will believe him" (Matthew 27:42). Thus Satan tempts us NOT to take up our
 cross and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23).

 So on balance, IMHO the PEIRASMOS that we need daily deliverance from is the
 temptation to disobey God, not the temptation to presumptively put the
 Almighty to the test.

 "Sorry to write such a long letter; I did not have the time to write a short
 one" (Ernest Hemingway).

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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