The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most central and well-known Christian prayer in the world. But does it have some significant conceptual and word-by-word parallels in Jewish liturgical tradition? Does Lord’s Prayer have Jewish Liturgical Roots? The answer is clearly yes.

First, notice that the content of the Lord’s Prayer is the same as the key Jewish liturgical concept of אבינו מלכנו (pronounced: Avinu Malkenu), that when translated means “Our Father, Our King”. In fact, absolutely everything in the Lord’s prayer is centered around either the fatherhood or kingship of God.

“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt.6:9b-13a)

Second, there are word-by-word parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and variety of Jewish prayers such as “Our Father, Our King”, the “Amidah”, and the “Morning Blessings”. Here is one example from each:

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

Our Father, Our King, forgive and pardon all our sins.

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

We will sanctify your Name in this world, as it is sanctified in high heaven.

ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועון, ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלט בנו יצר הרע

Lead us not into sin and transgression, iniquity, temptation and disgrace, so that evil will not rule over us. In the light of the above I want to invite you to grow together with me in appreciation of the deep connection that exists between Jewish and Christian Liturgical traditions.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

251 COMMENTS

  1. The parallel Is not so strong as to say Jesus was. quoting a Jewish prayer. And it is clear the disciples would not have to be taught a Jewish prayer being Jews. It is more likely the Hebrew prayer you show was modeled on the Lords prayer.
    • That absolutely doesn't make sense. This is not a chicken/egg discussion. Your point of view denies our Jewish roots and Christians!

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    • A.H. Noble, What is the difference between a Jewish prayer and a Hebrew one. Are you referring to language. Aramaic and Hebrew? Or something else?
    • It's not word for word but of course whether Jewish or Christian we all have the same desire, for our Father in Heaven to forgive us our sins and provide for us while eagerly await the second coming of Christ. When Jesus gave us a model prayer, he wouldn't have used foreign concepts. The former verses make it clear prayer should be repetitive.

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    • A.H. Noble, excellent reasoning. The Jewish disciples of Jesus were worshippers of Jehovah\Yahweh and would have already known these concepts. So what Jesus was presenting was something new. It is not likely the Jewish disciples of Jesus and John would have asked for what they already knew. - Like 11:1-4.

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    • It is not the Greek grammar that dictates the translation to evil,the Greek word is ( πονηρού ) that word by it self will cover 1/2 of a page, they”the translators “chose to give you the word evil, but they could have given you “sophistication” as well.

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    • Priority... That's a funny little bit of tension. Maybe we can say the Hebrew prayer came first but Jesus' prayer nails it down in some unique way... goodness, it's dangerous territory. I am fascinated by Jesus' allusions to the idea that he came as a Hebrew to the Hebrews, so that the metaphors and MO he 'enfleshes' are appropriate to that cultural lineage specifically! I do not think the Christian churches or experts have succeeded in translating the 'metaphors' of that culture for the gentile world. No Jew, no Greek in Christ. No cross on Mt Mars!
    • True, what most fail to understand is that Jesus spoke to them in a language they could understand, only that this time He spoke to them as the Word who was with God at creation and thereby placed it or should I say wrote it in the spirit on their heart's. The Jewish form has more meaning to me than ours. To the Jew first truly and then to the gentile.
  2. The Jewish Prayers & the Prayer with which Jesus was teaching His disciples, TO PRAY....(above all) teaches me, that The Lord of the Old Testament & The Lord of the New Testament, is the SAME.....& his PATTERN & EMPHASIS has always been the same. In fact, please think with me.... Every time, we read the Old Testament, we must pause, and meditate, as to WHERE IN THIS PASSAGE, is Jesus Christ (the messiah)....Since, I believe...right from Genesis, what we see, is A SHADOW, of the messiah, as in the New Testament... Otherwise, we will have 'missed the point'....
    • Further....Is this THE LORD'S PRAYER?......or is it THE DISCIPLES PRAYER..? Wasn't this in response the disciples asking....TEACH US TO PRAY? Jesus did NOT need DAILY BREAD! He did NOT need to be forgiven of His sin!......(just a thought!)

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    • Absolutely right Kurien. Of course the God of the so called Old Testament is exactly the same God as the God of the so called New Testament. When was the covenant of grace formed - way back in eternity and the promise of Messiah - as soon as Adam fell Gen 3. It is also a Scripture fact that not al the Israelites of the Old Testament were Gods saved people. It was unbelief that prevented so many from entering the promised land. Our God is no respecter of persons In Jesus Christ there is neither Jew nor gentile.

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    • Just picked up on your discussion from Match. Not sure if I fully understood you correctly. You are surely not suggesting that the LORD ( YHWH) is the same as Jesus. Jesus prayed for God's name to be made holy and restated the Shema elsewhere. True,YHWH 's purpose. is achieved through his Messiah, his agent. It is a classic case of source and agency with YHWH
      as the source and Jesus as his agent.

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    • I dislike the idea that the Jewish Bible is foreshadowing Jesus. It is a thousand year old text dealing with Hebrew Israelite themes that Christians should not be co-opting as in any way their own. NT may comment on the OT, it may refine the message, but that does not mean that the original foretold the latter. Not required by Christian exegesis as then Cardinal Ratzinger noted more than a decade ago, and as Elizabeth Johnson repeated in her recent book on Creation

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  3. No, the Lord's Prayer follows the same basic 3 part outline as the Amidah: homage, requests, acknowledgement. It was comon for Rabonim to give their talmidim (disciples) a shortened version of the Amidah to say at those times when they could not don teffillin and say the entire prayer. Yeshua's disciples knew how to pray. This, a short version of the standing prayer is what they were asking for, not basic instructions in praying. The so called Lord's Prayer is what He gave them.
  4. I can’t identify with well-know prayers (unchurched). I think (after much reconsideration) I recognize Matt 6:6, pray to your Father who is unseen, and your Father (God who sees me & God who sees) will pay the debt (deliver me). Why does this vs say Father twice the both the Jewish liturgical and the Christian prayer mention Father & King or Kingdom?
  5. Maybe The Lord's Prayer should also be called the Disciples' Prayer as His disciples, and us now, should pray those words to Him.
    • These simple words of yours do represent the general Christian belief that Jesus is the Father in heaven to whom is due all prayer. But it is clearly not scriptural if we go by the words of the apostles and the Messiah himself. First, the apostles never cease to talk of "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Again, Revelation 3:12, the Messiah, here in heaven, post-ascension, is talking about "my God"! That must be the Father in heaven to whom is addressed the Lord's prayer.

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    • Miryam You are missing the point. The disciples asked what to pray Jesus gave them a guideline. Otherwise prayers mostly would be about self. you follow the basic structure, but you don't repeat it Talking to The Father or a friend you don't repeat over and over
  6. On earth as it is in heven could be interpreted as in me being the earth. Daily bread is the reverlation of Yehuha Deliver us from evil twisted teaching Our Father in heven Praise be your name Your jongdom come in me as in heven fogive us our sins as we forgive thoes who sin agsinst us Let us not be decieved by mis interpretation of torha and deliver us from twisted teaching. For yours is the kingdom power and glory amen
    • Son, you need to go back to school and learn how to spell along with learning some manners. Study the Word and stop being so disrespectful. Shalom.
  7. Prayer is not a mysterious practice reserved only for clergy and the religiously devout. Prayer is simply communicating with God—listening and talking to him. Believers can pray from the heart, freely, spontaneously, and in their own words. I also wonder how the Jewish people regard these scripture passages in Hebrews 8:9, and in Jeremiah chapter 2, talking about the Lord God turning His back on the Jewish people.
    • I wish you the best, Randy, but your comments reveal a real lack of understanding concerning both prayer and God's Covenant with the Jewish people. First, concerning the matter of prayer: Spontaneous prayer has always had a place in Judaism but it is just one way a person can pour out his heart to God - we can also communicate with God through fixed prayers like the Amidah. These prayers are a depository of historical truths and theological convictions. They provide one with a vehicle for expressing our most sacred beliefs. In other words, all prayer is a good thing!

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  8. If I remember Bible history correctly, for many years what became Christianity was breakaway Jewish movement, caused in part by self-serving corruption at the highest levels of the Temple. Again, from memory, it was in the early 200's that it began being called various early names for Christianity.
    • Hi Dick, one of the courses they present here are at the Israel Bible Centre is:
      Partings of The Ways: - Origins of Judaism and Christianity, which deals with this subject in greater detail. I can highly recommend it!
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