Are there two versions of the Lord's Prayer?
Did you know…
. . .that the version of the Lord's Prayer that Jesus teaches to his disciples in this week's gospel is a different version than the one people say in church? The one that is most commonly used in church services and people learn for personal prayer practices is actually the one from Matthew's gospel. This week we hear the version from Luke's gospel, which is shorter, leaving out some key parts that the author of Matthew included. Here is Luke's version:
Father, may your name be revered as holy.
May your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.
And here is the version from Matthew with the lines that are added to the shorter Lukan version highlighted:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be revered as holy.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
We see here that Matthew's author adds two main ideas to Luke's version of the prayer. First, the prayer that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and second, being rescued from the evil one. These additions mirror ideas in other parts of Matthew's gospel that also do not show up in Luke's. First is the connection between God's will be done on earth and in heaven, which mirrors the words of Jesus later in Matthew's gospel when he twice tells the disciples that whatever they bind/loose on earth will be bound/loosed in heaven. The term "evil one" also shows up four times in Matthew's gospel but never in Luke, even though both refer to "satan" and "the devil" at different times in their respective gospels.
Were these differences omissions from Luke or additions from Matthew? Either way, which are these differences present. Was the fact that the Holy Spirit would end up playing such a significant role in guiding the disciples in the story of Acts (written by Luke) the reason that Luke did not include a prayer for God's will to be done in the Lord's prayer? Why did Matthew include a reference to the evil one in addition to the time of trial? So many questions in just three lines!