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The Lord's Prayer

Jan 04, 2006 07:07 PM
by gregory

I was intrigued by the bizarre “translation” of the (allegedly) AramaicLord’s
Prayer recently posted: a quick Google search “throws up” (a most appropriately
phrase in this case) this “version” on numerous New Age sites without, of
course, any reference to a scholarly source. I suspect its origins may lie in
the frauds of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely. Presumably operating on the Lewis
Carroll principle that “What I tell you three times is true” [The Hunting of
the Snark] if this version is cited often enough it acquires authority.

Allowing that some Theosophists may be happy to work on another Carroll
principle - "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't
believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," saidthe
Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why,
sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
[Alice in Wonderland] – it may be difficult to allow the facts to get in the
way of a good story.

However, all standard scholarly translations from the Aramaic agree on the
translation of the Lord’s Prayer. To take but two of them:

Dr. F. C. Burkitt's translation, of the Old Syriac Aramaic version of the Gospel
of Matthew according to two ancient manuscripts, the Curetonian, and the
Sinaiticus (4th century CE) as published in 1904 by Cambridge University Press:

9 But thus be praying: Our Father in heaven, thy name be hallowed.
10 Thy kingdom come. And thy wishes be done in earth as in heaven.
11 And our continual bread of the day give us.
12 And forgive us our debts, so that we also may forgive our debtors.
13 And bring us not into temptation, But deliver us from the Evil One. Because
thine is the kingdom and the glory, For ever and ever, Amen.

Dr. George Lamsa's Peshitta New Testament English translation, “The Deluxe Study
Edition of the Modern New Testament from the Aramaic”:

9 Therefore pray in this manner: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so on earth.
11 Give us bread for our needs from day to day.
12 And forgive us our offences, as we have forgiven our offenders;
13 And do not let us enter into temptation, but deliver us from error.
Because thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever.

Not quite as excitingly exotic, alas.

Dr Gregory Tillett

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