Jgibson: Matt. 6:11

PMoore4733 at aol.com PMoore4733 at aol.com
Sat Oct 31 23:42:48 EST 1998

Dr. Gibson wrote: 
>1. Assuming that EPIOUSION ARTON is a reference to the "bread
from>heaven"referred to in Ex. 16:4:

The issue of this post seems to lie more in the area of hermeneutics than
grammar.  The assumption made here makes that clear.  Nevertheless, he raises
an interesting question.  This follows the same line of thought as Dr.
Gibson’s other posts on the Lord's prayer, and his very thought provoking
paper soon to be read at the Orlando SBL meeting.  Most commonly, this
request, like the rest of the petitions in this prayer, are for daily
provision and aid.  The accepted logic seems to have been that God is a
personal being and does more than create;  He is involved in everyday affairs.
This makes the Lord's prayer a rather simple and practical everyday example of
prayer that deals with the basic important areas of the human earthly journey.

>2. Is SHMERON in the petition a reference to the time when the EPIOUSION
>bread is to be given (give us today.....or is it a reference to a particular
time of crisis which has >dawned and which stands in the background of the
petition.... In other words, should Matt. 6:11 >be translated "DO give us NOW

Here we have a B-Greek question:  TON ARTON HMWN TON EPIOUSION DOS HMIN
SHMERON.  A literal translation:  “the bread of ours the daily (or necessary
for existence) you give to us this very day.” A key lies with the etymology of
EPIOUSION: Used only twice in the NT (here in Matt and in Luke's prayer). M &
M indicated  the word was probably a coinage by the author of Q working from
an Aramaic original.  They also note that it is tied to H EPIOUSA
[HMERA] "the immediately following day."  There are exceptions however, in the
opening scene of Plato's Crito (44A),  it refers to the same day.  Because of
the need for a more immediate sense, the translator of the Aramaic coined the
term per M & M  a concept supported by Lightfoot, Deissmann and Robertson.  On
the other hand, Debrunner tied the word to  EPI THN OUSAN [HMERAN]: "for the
current day." Bauer found evidence that  EPIOUSIOS was translated "diaria" in
a Latin secular source and concluded the term was not coined by the
evangelists. Abbott-Smith have “for the coming day.”  Thayer noted that "the
state of mind is portrayed which, piously contended with food sufficing form
one day to the next."  Louw & Nida indicate the word means "the same day as
the day of discourse" as used in Mat. 6:11. In the end there are several
deviations in meaning: 1. "for the morrow"  2.  "for subsistence, needful"  3.
"for the coming day," i.e. "tomorrow." The etymology does not tend to support
a specific eschatological  or distal "testing time" interpretation.

>3. Is it a coincidence that in Hebrews 3:15-17
It is rather like comparing apples and oranges if we are tapping the Massah
experience as  the key to understanding the meaning of the text. Rather, the
object of the prayer was teaching Christians how to pray.  The context
emanates out of Matt. 6:7 "...use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]:
for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  8  Be not ye
therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,
before ye ask him. 

<4. Would not such a rendering of the meaning of Matt. 6:11 show that Luke's
version of the same petition is really no different than Matthew's..  

Luke's account follows the same purpose:  Luke1:1  And it came to pass, that,
as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples
said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.  

God's daily concern for his people and their needs seems to me the backdrop
for the Lord's prayer--if that is the premise then I tend to agree with it.
However, if the simplicity of that purpose is convoluted by the Massah
experience I have my doubts.  

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