Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift issue:65 pages:1-17
THE LORD’S PRAYER AT THE BORDERLINE BETWEEN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY
In its wording, the Lord’s Prayer is a typically Jewish prayer well comparable with rabbinic prayers in the category called ‘short prayers’. However, both Jews and Christians would readily define it as the prayer typical of Christianity. Nor does this contradiction seem to be coincidental. This paper studies the preserved versions of the Lord’s Prayer in their literary and historical contexts in comparison with rabbinic traditions and from a redaction-critical perspective. The conclusion is that the Lord’s Prayer became a boundary marker at the rupture that occurred between the communities of Jews and Christians during the earlier Roman Empire. This conclusion involves renewed discussion over a classical position on the development of Jewish prayer. Finally, some historical and theological inferences are drawn.