THE SERMONS OF JESUS

The Sermon on the Mount: The Superior Righteousness
(Matt. 6:1-18)
Based on the Greek Text

. INTRODUCTION (6:1)

  1. "Three specimens of the Pharisaic 'righteousness' are given (alms, prayer, fasting)" (RWP 1:50).

  2. "These practices do not themselves come under criticism, nor are they regulated, but rather the motivation underlying them is scrutinized. The entire section is introduced by the general principle enunciated in v 1, a helal sentence, i.e., a form introducing the themes of the following section. The formal parallelism of the sections indicates that these three sections constitute one entity in the sermon despite the lengthy parenthetical section containing the Lord's Prayer (vv 7-15).

    Matthew almost certainly has in mind the Pharisees, who are repeatedly described as 'hypocrites' in chap. 23 and of whom it is also said (23:5) that 'they do all their works' proV to qeaqhnai toiV aanqrwpoiV, 'to be seen by them'--almost exactly the same language as in the present passage" (WBC:137-139).


THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN MAKE SURE THAT I AM DOING THESE THINGS IN ORDER TO PLEASE GOD IS BY DOING THEM IN SECRET BECAUSE HE AND ONLY HE CAN SEE IN SECRET.


Matthew 6:1

"The opening verse stands almost as a rubric over the entire passage of vv 1-18" (WBC:138).

Prosecete de thn dikaiosunhn umwn mh poiein emprosqen twn anqrwpwn proV to qeaqhnai autoiV. ei de mh ge misqon ouk ecete para twi patri umwn twi en toiV ouranoiV

Prosechete Prosecete prog pres s. act imper comm 2 plur prosecw (A/G:721) "take care not"

ten dikaiosunen thn dikaiosunhn 1 accus dir obj fem sg dikaiosune, h "your righteousness"

  1. "The word dikaiosunh here is to be understood in the broad sense of 'righteousness' (cf. 5:20), of which three basic aspects of Jewish piety (cf. Tob 12:8-10)--almsgiving, prayer, and fasting--are specific examples . . . . Again, as in the antithese (5:21-48), the supreme importance of motive or inner thought emerges. Although dikaiosunh can also mean 'almsgiving' and thus some have tried to associate this verse with vv 2-4, the formal analysis . . . shows that v 1, rather than being a part of the section that follows, is better understood as an introduction to all three sections (vv 24-, 5-6, 6-18). The deeds may be thought of as the Christian's self-offering in 'spiritual service' and may correspond to the demand of the Shema (Deut 6:4-5) to love God with all your heart (prayer), soul (fasting), and might (almsgiving), with the order changed to move from the easier to the harder (thus Gerhardsson)" (WBC:138).

  2. "2. dikaiosunh as Right Conduct before God. . . . we may first maintain that dikaiosunh is almost always used in the NT for right conduct of man which follows the will of God and is pleasing to him, for rectitude of life before God, for uprightness before His judgment. The fact that the basic relationship to God is always in view, and that it is related to the event of revelation, distinguishes this usage from Greek and Hellenistic ethics and links it firmly with the OT. . . . . According to [Matt.] 5:6 a right state before God is the supreme goal for the peinwnteV kai diywnteV. We need hardly take this to be the judging and saving dikaiosunh qeou in the forensically eschatological sense. On the other hand, in opposition to the Jewish thought of merit, dikaiosunh is plainly regarded as a gift which God gives to those who ask for it. . . . Righteousness is here closely linked with God and His kingdom, again as a pure gift from God, like everything connected with he kingdom." (TDNT 2:198-199 by Bertram).

pros to theathenai proV to qeaqhnai

prog pres pass dir agency articular infin verbal infin--purpose (so RWP 1:50) "to be seen, to be looked at, to be beheld"

  1. "This is an emphasis found in all three following sections: cf. opwV doxasqwsin upo twn anqrwpwn, 'so that they mnight be glorified by others' (v 2); opwV fanwsin toiV anqrwpoiV, 'so that they might be seen by others' (in verbatim agreement in vv 5 and 16; cf. the corresponding negative opwV mh fanhiV toiV anqrwpoiV, 'so that you may not be seen by others,' in v 18). Those who do their righteous deeds in order to be observed by others are described as 'hypocrites' (upokritai) in each of the thre following sections (vv 2, 5, and 16)" (WBC:138).

  2. "Our word theatrical is this very word, spectacular performance" (RWP 1:50).


autois autoiV person pron instr means masc plur autoV, h, o "be them"


misthon misqon 2 accus dir obj masc sg misqoV, o "reward"

  1. "This anticipates the considerable stress on reward in the three following sections, in each of which Jesus says concerning those who display their piety 'they have their reward' (vv 2, 5, and 16), and of those who practice their piety in secret that 'your Father will reward you' (vv 4, 6, and 18)" (WBC:139).

  2. "iv. 'The reward which God gives in recognition of the doing of His will.' The OT and Jewish idea of an earthly reward is now abandoned. misqoC belongs wholly to God's world. It is God's affair, and as such comprehensive (poluV), Mt. 5:12 == Lk. 6:23. In this is seen the unbridgeable gulf between the attitude of God to His children and the attitude of the world. The disciples of Jesus are persecuted by the world. God's dealings are the direct opposite. He shows to them, not the rejection and hatred of the world, but the acceptance of His love. He has for them a reward in the heavens, so that there can be only joy and gladness (Mt. 5:11 f. == Lk. 6:22 f.). The distinctiveness of the divine reward is so radical, however, that if a man seeks human recognition and earthly gain for his acts he thereby forfeits the acceptance which God wills to grant him in the misqoV. Those who seek a human reward will be paid in full (apecein), Mt. 6:2, 5, 16. Those who make their right conduct toward men a matter of reckoning place themselves outside the divine sphere: 'You have no reward from your Father in heaven' (Mt. 6:1). For God's rewarding generosity is only for pure obedience which is free from all selfish calculation or external display (Mt. 6:2, 5, 16). Only thus does God reward as He alone can. Even then man receives a reward only when the obedience is supreme. Only the man who in love does what is unusual and unheard of may hope for God's reward: ean gar agaphshte touV agapwntaV umav, tina misqon ecete (Mt. 5:46); only where love shows itself to be without limits will there be the great reward of heaven (Lk. 6:35). This reward is not a future depicted in individualistic terms. As agaph is relationship to the neighbour, so the reward is connected with the final destiny in the kingdom of God of those to whom it refers. Thus he who receives a prophet because he is a prophet, or a righteous man out of regard for teh greatness of the obedience which he demonstrates (Mt. 10:1), or he who in the burning heat of the eastern sun simply gives a disciple a cup of cold water because he is a disciple (Mt. 10:42), will have aplace with him in the kingdom of God (misqon lambanein)" (TDNT 4:699-700 by Preisker).


ALMSGIVING (6:2-4)

Matthew 6:2

otan oun poihiV elehmosunhn mh salpishiV emprosqen sou wsper oi upokritai poiousin en taiV sunagwgaiV kai en taiV rumaiV opwV fanwsin toiV anqrwpoiV. amhn legw umin apecousin ton misqon autwn

elehmosunhn

  1. +elehmosunh

    elehmosunh for 'sympathy' is late in Gk. . . . .In the NT elehmosunh is found only in the sense of 'benevolent activity,' and always to the poor ('almsgiving'): Mt. 6:2-4; Lk. 11:41; Ac. 3:2 f., 10; 9:36; 10:2, 4, 31; 24:17. So also Did., 1, 6; 15, 4; 2 Cl., 16, 4. . . . That almsgiving is a particular exercise of piety for the Jews, along with praying and fasting, is presupposed in Mt. 6; Ac. 10:4, 31. Together with prayer, it is also a Christian exercise in Did., 15, 4; 2 Cl., 16, 4: kalon oun elehmosunh wV metanoia amartiaV. kreisswn nhsteia proseuchV, elehmosunh de amfoterwn. agaph de kaluptei plhqoV amartiwn [trans. below]. There is admonition to elehmosunh in Lk. 11:41; 12:33, and in Ac. 9:36. Tabitha is lauded as plhrhV ergwn agaqwn kai elehmosunwn, wn epoiei like Cornelius, whose elehmosunai are mentioned as asign of his piety in Ac. 10:2. As Jesus in Mt. 6:2-4 warns against the misuse of almsgiving in the service of vanity, so Did., 1, 6 warns against imprudent almsgiving" (TDNT 2:485-487 by Bultmann).

    2Clem 16:4: "Almsgiving therefore is a good thing, even as repentance from sin; Fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving better than both. And love covereth a multitude of sins, but prayer out of a good conscience delivereth from death. Blessed is every man that is found full of these. For almsgiving lifteth off the burden of sin." [2 Clement is a second-century document probably wrong attributed to St. Clement of Rome, the first apostolic father of the Christian church.

  2. "The words poiein elehmosunhn (also in v 3) mean literally 'to do an act of mercy,' but by the intertestamental period they had become a technical expression for almsgiving (cf. Tob 1:3, 16; 4:7-8; Sir 7:10; in the NT, see Acts 9:36; 10:2; 24:17). Performing deeds of mercy, or doing kindness, was one of the pillars of Judaism (m. 'Abot 1:2). It is difficult to know whether the reference to blowing a trumpet is intended literally or metaphorically" (WBC:139).

salpiseis salpishiV 1 con aor s. act subj of prohibition 2 sg salpizw "do not sound a trumpet"
  1. "McNeil suggests that it may refer to the blowing of trumpets in the streets on the occasion of public fasts. Vincent suggests the thirteen trumpet-shaped chest of the temple treasury to receive contributions (Luke 21:2). But a Winona Lake one summer a missionary from India named Levering stated to me that he had seen Hindu priests do precisely this very thing to get a crowd to see their beneficences. So it looks as if the rabbis could do it also. Certainly it was in keeping with their love of praise" (RWP 1:50).

  2. It is interesting that many times the priests would blow the horns in the Temple in order to alert all the worshippers that someone was making a substantial contribution to the poor, for the purpose to encourage others to do likewise. (see TDNT 7:86).

  3. "It is still possible--despite the lack of solid evidence--that a trumpet was blown to draw attention to very large gifts (thus Schlater; Bonnard; Hill), in order perhaps to encourage others to do similarly; on the other hand, perhaps the association was made because trumpets were blown at fasts (see Buechler), at a time when large gifts were given to avert disaster (see. G. Friedrick, TDNT 7:87-8). . . . The point, in any case, is clear: the hypocrites did all they could to draw attention to their generosity" (WBC:139).

hoi hupokritai oi upokritai 1 subj nom masc sg upokrithV, o "the hypocrites"

  1. "This is an old word for actor, interpreter, one who personates another, from hupokrinomai to answer in reply like the Attic apokrinomai Then to pretend, to feign, to dissemble, to act the hypocrite, to wear a mask. This is the hardest word that Jesus has for any class of people and he employs it for these pious pretenders who pose as perfect" (RWP 1:50, 51).

  2. "In primitive Christianity as in the LXX the word group is always used in sensu malo. . . . In the saying about the mote and the beam . . . the critical upokritai refers to the wrong relation between the denounced failings of one's neighbour and one's own failings, which are ignored. He who judges thus does wrong . . . . They claim to be declaring God's will but in truth they are only trying to assert the paradosiV twn anqrwpwn. . . . The hypocrisy of the adversaries consists in the jarring contradiction between what they say and what they do, between the outward appearance and the inward lack of righteousness. . . . Their hypocrisy, is therefore, sin; failure to do God's will is concealed behind the pious appearance of outward conduct. . . . The opposite of the upokrisiV of the adversaries is simple and unassuming doing of God's will, the real righteousness with which the disciples ought to surpas by far the scribes and Pharisees, Mt. 5:20. Hence the disciples are not to be as the hypocrites. They must not give, pray, or fast so as to be seen by men. On the contrary, these things are to be done by them in the concealment in which only God can see them, Mt. 6:2-4, 5, 16. The upokrisiV of the adversaries consists in the fact that they are concerned about their status with men rather than their standing before God. They thus fail to achieve the righteousness which they pretend to have" (TDNT 8:566-568 by Wilckens).

  3. "The sense in which these persons are upokritai, 'hypocrites,' is that their real motivation in their apparently pious conduct is self-glorification . . . The word upokrithV in Hellenistic Greek commonly meant 'actor,' i.e., one who performs in front of others, pretending to be something he ir she is not. In the NT it is used consistently in a negative sense. Matthew captures the duplicity inherent in hypocrisy when he juxtaposes the word with the quotation of Isa 29:13, 'this people honors me with their lips, but heir heart is far from me' (15:8)" (WBC:139).

en tais synagogais en taiV sunagwgaiV 1 loc fem plur sunagwgn, h 1. location 2. in on at within among 3. "in the synagogues"

en tais hrumais en taiV rumaiV 1 loc fem plur rumh, h 1. location 2. in on at within among 3. "in the narrow streets, alleys, lanes"

apecousin

  1. "receive a sum in full and give a receipt for it" (A/G:84).

  2. "This verb is common in the papyri for receiving a receipt, 'they have their receipt in full,' all the reward that they will get, this public notoriety. 'They can sign the receipt of their reward' (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 229). . . . Apoche means 'receipt'" (RWP 1:51).

  3. "The use of present tense in apecousin ton misqon autwn, 'they are having their reward,' implies that this temporary praise from others is all the reward they will receive, in deliberate contrast to the statement at the end of each of the three sections that promises a future, eschatological reward (vv 4, 6, 18). In the rabbinic doctrine concerning rewards, almsgiving is promised a high return" (WBC:140).


Matthew 6:3

"In the strong adversative sentence, Jesus says to the disciples . . . that almsgiving must not be an act done to draw the attention and admirationi of others . . . . Far from almsgivers calling attention to their act, they should do so unself-consciously, with the left hand taking no heed of what the right hand does" (WBC:140).

    sou de poiountoV elehmosunhn, mh gnwtw h aristera sou ti poiei h dexia sou

    poiountos poiountoV prog pres s. act ptc gen (gen absolute) masc sg poiew

    gnoto gnwtw 2 con aor s. act imper comm 3 sg ginwsw "let it know"

    aristera h aristera subst adj fem sg aristeroV, a, on "the left [hand]"

    dexia h dexia substantival use of adj subj nom fem sg dexioV, a, on "the right [hand]"


Matthew 6:4

opwV h sou h elehmosunh en twi kruptwi kai o pathr sou o blepwn en twi kruptwi apodwsei soi.

    en toi kruptoi en twi kruptwi 1 loc masc sg kruptoV, h, on
      "Jesus emphasizes, 'so that (opwV), the disciple's almsgivign must be en twi kruptwi. 'in secret.' This is the point of the pericope and of all three sections. Righteous deeds are to be done in secrfet, beyond the attention of any onlookers. These deeds will not escape the attention of God . . . The reward motif is more important than in any other Gospel" (WBC:140).

    ho blepon o blepwn prog pres s. act art ptc subj nom masc sg blepw adj ptc--attrib/subst "who sees, is seeing"

    apodosei apodwsei pred fut s. act decl indic 3 sg apodidwmi "he will reward, render"


Matthew 6:5

kai otan proseuchsqe ouk esesqe wV oi upokritai oti filousin en taiV aunagwgaiV kai en taiV gwniaiV twn plateiwn estwtes proseucesqai opwV fanwsin toiV anqrwpoiV amhn legw umin apecousin ton miswon autwn.

"Again Jesus tells the disciples to avoid being like the hypocrites . . . who do their utmost to attract attention to themselves when they pray. They 'love' to position themselves where they can be most noticed as they pray . . . "(WBC:142).

proseuchesthe proseuchsqe prog pres depon (so A/G:720) middle potent subj 2 plur proseucomai

en tais goniais en taiV gwniaiV 1 loc fem plur gwnia, h 1. location 2. in on at within among 3. "in the corner" with plateiwn--"street corner"

  1. "These were the usual places of prayer (synagogues) and the street corners where crowds stopped for business or talk. If the hour of prayer overtook a Pharisee here, he would strike his attitude of prayer like a modern Muslim that men might see thathe was pious" (RWP 1:51).

  2. "'public places,' 'the corners of the main roads,' are in view. The phrase . . . refers literally to 'the corners of the wide (streets)' and in the NT occurs only here" (WBC:142).


ton plateion twn plateiwn 1 gen description fem plur plateia, h "of the wide roads, streets"

estotes estwteV consummative prfct s. act ptc subj nom masc plur isthmi adv. ptc--temp "while standing" or circumstantial, "standing"

    "The perfect participle . . . has the nuance of having taken a position and continuing to stand in it, and this implies the enjoyment of public attention. STanding was the common position for prayer" (WBC:142).

proseuchesthai proseucesqai prog pres depon pass infin subst infin--dir obj proseucomai "to pray"

phanosin fanwsin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur phainw "they might appear, shine"

tois anthropois loc place masc plur anthrwpoV, o "before men"


Matthew 6:6

Su de otan proseuchi, eiselqe eiV to tameion sou kai kleisaV thn quran sou proseuzai twi patri sou twi en twi kruptwi kai o pathr sou o blepwn en twi kruptwi apodwsei soi

su Su emphatic use of personal pron subj nom masc sg su "you yourself" [as opposed to the hypocrites)

    "su, 'you' (singular), in the strong adversative sentence is emphatci: 'but when you pray . . .'" (WBC:142).

porseuchei proseuchi prog pres midd depon (so A/G:720) 2 sg proseucomai "pray"

eiselthe eiselqe 2 con aor s. act imper comm 2 sg eisercomai "enter"

eis to tameion eiV to tameion 2 accus neut sg tameion, to 1. limitation 2. into unto 3. "into the closet"

  1. "The word is alate syncopated form of tamieion from tamias (steward) and the root tam- from temno, to cut. So it is a store-house, a separate apartment, one's private chamber, closet, or 'den' where he can withdraw from the world and shut the world out and commune with God" (RWP 1:51).

  2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: be careful that you don't make yourself the audience when you pray to God, telling yourself what a good job you are doing when you pray (Cost of Discipleship).

  3. ""refers to an inner room of a house . . ., sometimes secret or hidden . . . and often used as a storeroom . . . It woudl be a room that allowed privacy; the reference to shutting the door adds emphasis to this aspect" (WBC:142).

kleisas kleisaV 1 con aor s. act ptc subj nom masc sg kleiw adv ptc--temp.

ten thuran thn quran 1 accus dir obj fem sg qura, h "the door"

proseuzai proseuzai 1 con aor depon midd imper comm 2 sg proseucomai "pray"


Matthew 6:7

"These verses [7 and 8] are relevant to the eqnikoi, 'Gentiles.' much more than to the 'hypocrites,' who are the bad examples in the three major illustrations" (WBC:147).

Proseucomenoi de mh battaloghshte wsper oi eqnikoi dokousin gar oti en thi polulogiai autwn eisakouqhsontai

Proseuchomenoi Proseucomenoi prog pres depon middle ptc subj nom masc plur proseucomai adv ptc--temp "while praying"

me battalogesete mh battaloghshte 1 con aor (A/G:137) s. act subj of prohibition 2 plur battalogew

  1. babble, speak without thinking (A/G:147).

  2. "Used of stammerers who repeat the words, then mere babbling or chattering, empty repetition. The etymology is uncertain, but it is probably onomatopoetic like 'babble.' The worshippers of Baal on Mount Carmer (1 Kings 8:26) and of Diana in the amphitheatre at Ephesus who yelled for two hours (Acts 19:34) are examples. The Mohammedans may also be cited who seem to think that they 'will be heard for trheir much speaking' (en tei polulogiai). Vincent adds 'and the Romanists with their paternosters and aves.' The Syriac Sinaitic has it: 'Do not be saying idle things.' Certainly Jesus does not mean to condemn all repetition in prayer since he himself prayed three times in Gethsemane 'saying the same words again' (Matt. 26:44). 'As the Gentiles do,' says Jesus. 'The Pagans thought that by endless repetitions and many words they would inform their gods as to their needs and weary them ('fatigare deos') into granting their requets' (Bruce)" (RWP 1:51-52).

  3. "In view is the attempt to manipulate God through repetitive, perhaps even magical, phrases, as the verb battalogein, an onomatopoeic word, is probably dervied from the cognate noun meaning 'stammerer' or 'stutterer.' The verb here, however, refers not to a speech impediment but to the repetition of meaningless syllables" (WBC:147).


dokousin dokousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur dokew "they are thinking"

en tei polulogiai en thi polulogiai 1 loc fem sg polulogia, h 1. location 2. in on at within among 3. "in their many word" "loquacious speech"

  1. much speaking, wordiness,,,"with their many words" (A/G:693).

  2. "polupogia seems to have in mind vain repetition and lengthiness" (WBC:147).

  3. "and the adj. polulogoV 'loquacious,' Xenoph. Cyrop., I.4.3, polulogia means 'loquacity,' 'volubility,' 'talkativeness,' . . .

    2.The only instance in the LXX is at Prv. 10:19: in much talking there will be sin. . . . Volubility in prayer is suggested in Is. 1:15 and warned against in Sir. 7:14. The majesty of God is an argument in favour of the warning against it, Qoh. 5:1 f. Acc. to the OT view 1 K. 18:26 ff. depicts pagan polulogia in prayer which is designed to draw God's attention and to make it impossible for Him to overlook one's need.

    3. In later Judaism, too, warnings against much speaking are found along with the magnifying of silence. In prayer there is tension between crisp and sober calling on God and great loquacity. A famous anecdote in Tanch. B . . . yields both an admonition against wearisome crying on God and also abasis for the fixed hour of prayer of the Rabbis. On the other hand, there are many passages which, quite apart from the praise of God in hymns, prefer the long prayer.

    4. . . . 'verbosity.' . . . As distinct from the other sayings it is directed against pagan rather than Jewish piety. The 'much speaking' of the Gentiles refers either to the enumeration of all the deities to be invoked, of which not one must be left out, or to the longlist of epithets ascribed to the individual deity, or more likely to the attempt, satirised even by pagan authors, to wear down the gods by endless prayers and promises. Materially there is probably a side-glance at Judaism too. For in Judaism the qustion of shorter or longer prayer gives evidence of ashift of emphasis from the personal relation with Goe to thenumber of words uttered, which is an appromixation to theGentiles. polulogia is closely related to battalogew --> I, 597. Quantity to the point of verbosity corresponds to an absence of quality; the petitioner attempts hereby to get through to God. The en expresses the basis of the hope that the prayer will be heard: longae orationis causa

    Jesus bases the assurance of being heard, not on the petitioner or his mechanical words, but on the readiness of the Father to hear. The Father takes seriously even the brusquest cry, vv. 8 ff. This is also apparent in the Lord's Prayer, which teaches us to pray great things in few words" (TDNT 6:545-546 by Maurer).


eisakouthesontai eisakouqhsontai pred fut middle no agent decl indic 3 plur eisakouw "they will be heard"


Matthew 6:8

"V 8 presupposes that God will grant them what they need" (WBC:147).

mh oun omoiwqhte autoiV oiden gar o pathr umwn wn creian ecete pro tou umaV aithsai auton

homoiothete omoiwqhte 1 con aor depon pass imper comm 2 plur omoiow "do not be like"

autois autoiV person pron instr association masc plur autoV, h, o "like them"

hon wn relative pron partitive gen neut plur oV, h, o "of them"

chreian creian 1 accus dir fem sg creia, h "need"

pro tou humas aitesai pro tou umaV aithsai (separate umaV from the rest of the clause

    1 con aor s. act infin aitew verbal infin--temp "before you ask"

    humas umaV person pron adv. accus of reference masc plur su "you"



Matthew 6:9

outwV oun proseucesqe umeiV: pathr hmwn o en toiV ouranoiV agiasqhtw to onoma sou

"Matthew sets forth the short prayer as a model to be followed; Luke ('when you pray, say'), on the other hand, seems to suggest the repetition of the actual words of this prayer (as was already done in the early Church). According to the Didache (8:3), the prayer is to be said three times a day following the regular Jewish pattern. Set liturgical prayers were already a common thing in the contemporary Jewish milieu . . . The Lord's Prayer, in its eschatological orientation, is similar in a number of ways to the Qaddish prayer of the synagogue. This is true not only of the spirit of the entire prayer but especially of the content of the first three petitions. . . . In a similar way other petitions in the Lord's Prayer finds parallels in various Jewish prayers" (WBC:147).

humeis umeiV subj nom masc plur su "You yourselves"

    "umeiV makes 'you' emphatic and distinguishes the prayer of the disciples from that of others" (WBC:147).

proseuchesthe proseucesqe prog pres depon middl imper comm 2 plur proseucomai "pray, continue praying"

pater pathr 3 vocative masc sg pathr, roV, o "our Father"

    "The address provides the basis of the possibility of such a prayer: as Father, God is concerned for the needs of his children; as the One in heaven, he is all-powerful" (WBC:148).

hagiastheto agiasqhtw 1 con aor pass no agent imperative of entreaty 3 sg agiazw "let your name be sanctified"

  1. "punctiliar action expressing urgency" (RWP 1:53).

  2. "'set apart your holy name.' This is an appeal to God to act in vindication of his name. The relationship between name and person is much closer in Hebraic thought than for us today . . . . The name of God is virtually indistinguishable from the person of God . . . . Thus God is called upon to vindicate himself. In a Jewish context, this petition refers to God acting in fulfillment of the promises to Israel, and thus to the silencing of the taunts of her enemies. In short, God's name will only be properly honored when he brings his kingdom and accomplishes his will on earth (cf. the Quaddish). Thus the first three petitions of the prayer are closely linked, referring essentially to he same salvation-historical reality. The similar form of these three petitions, employing the divine passive and the aorist tenses in each case, also points to this conclusion. Gerhardsson refers to the three petitions as 'one prayer in a three-part parallelismus membrorum' ('Matthaean Version,' 210). There are at the same time ethical implications for the disciples in this petition (see Comment on next verse)" (WBC:148).

  3. "The verb agiazw belongs almost exclusively to biblical Greek or Greek influenced by the Bible . . . The logical subject of sanctifying is God alone and not man. This may be seen by comparison with the petitions which follow. God's name is as little hallowed by men as His kingdom comes or His will is done. His name is His person, which is holy in itself and is to be revealed in its holiness . . . The revelations takes place eschatologlically in the last judgment and historically in, though not by, believers. When God's deity is revealed to man in the mystery of worship (cf. Is. 6:3), then God is sanctified to him. The cultic element is here absorbed in the adoration in which God's deity is felt in contrast to all creatureliness" (TDNT 1:111 by Procksch).

to onoma to onoma 3 subj nom neut sg onoma, onomatoV, to "Your name"


Matthew 6:10

elqetw h basileia sou
genhqhtw to qelhma sou
wV en ouranwi kai epi ghV

eltheto elqetw 2 con aor s. act imper entreaty 3 sg ercomai " Come Your kingdom!"

he basileia h basileia 1 subj nom fem sg basileia, h "Your kingdom"

  1. "'bring your eschatological kingdom.' This refers to the eschatological rule of God . . . expected and longed for by the Jewish people . . . . It involves the consummation of God's purposes in history, the fulfillment of the prophetic pictures of future bliss . . . . The gospel is itself, above all, the announcement that God's promised rule has now begun in and through the work of Jesus the Messiah (see 3:2; 4:17, 23), so the disciples are thus encouraged to pray that what has begun in the ministry of Jesus, what they have now begun to participate in, may be experienced in all fullness (cf. the prayer Marana tha, 'our Lord come,' in 1 Cor. 16:22; cf. Rev 22:20). The tension between a realized eschatology and future eschatology comes to expression in the mystery of the kingdom elaborated in the parables of chap. 13" (WBC:148).

  2. "This basileia of Jesus Christ is also the basileia of God. [581] . . . In the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth, which is linked with that of John and which He passes on to His disciples, the nature of this state of divine kingship is described both negatively and positively, or in the first instance negatively and therewith positively.

    Negatively, it is opposed to everything present and earthly, to everything here and now. It is thus absolutely miraculous. Hence we cannot understand it as a summum bonum to which man strives and gradually approximates. From the direction in the summarised account at the beginning of the proclamation of the Gospel: metanoeite. hggiken gar h basileia twn ouranwn (Mk. 4:17), there arises the only question which can be and is relevant. This is not the question whether or how we men may have the kingdom of God as a disposition in our hearts, or whether we may represent it as a fellowship of those thus minded. The question is whether we belong to it or not. To try to bring in the kingdom of God is human presumption, self-righteous Pharisaism and refined Zealotism. From this standpoint, the supremely hard thing required of man is the patience by which alone may be achieved readiness for the act of God. . . . The parables of the kingdom are spoken to drive home this point. The man who does not display a patient openness for God is like a man who sows, and then like an impatient and curious child--the seed grows he knows not how--he cannot allow it to germinate and grow of itself (the parable of the seed which grows of itself, Mk . 4:26-29). A pure miracle takes place before our eyes when without an co-operation of our own, and beyond all our understanding, the fruit-bearing head develops out of the tiny seed. . . . The parables of the mustard seed [Mt. 13:31 f. and par.) and the leaven (Mt. 13:33 == Lk. 13:20 f.) carry the same lesson. . . . The purpose of all these parables is to make it plan that the order in God's kingdom is different from all human order, and that this kingdom is incalculably and overwhelmingly present within the sings in which it lies enclosed in the activity of Jesus.

    From this standpoint, the kingdom of God is a cosmic catastrophe depicted in certain events which constitute the eschatological drama of Jewish apocalyptic. Jesus is at one with those of His Jewish contemporaries whose hope is not set on a visionary political kingdom but who look for the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven (Da. 7:13). . . .

    Jesus was also more reseved in another respect. Even where national and political hopes were not to the fore, but salvation was expected for teh whole world in the last time, His contemporaries still thought it important that there should be a place of privilege for Israel. Israel was to arise with new glory, and the scattered tribes, and indeed the Gentiles, were to stream towards the new Jeruslame. Jesus shares this hope. He gives to His disciples, the twelve, as representatives of the twleve tribes of the people of God, the holy people, judicial and administrative office in the reign of God (Mt. 19:28 == Lk. 22:29 f.). But like the Baptist Jesus also emphasises the negative fact that the Jew as such has no particular claim before God. In the day of judgment he can and will be ashamed in face of the Gentiles. The role of the Jew is viewed as it was later by Paul (R. 2: the rejction of Israel; R. 9-11: the salvation of Israel). This concern for Israel is not directed against Rome. In this respect we should compare the Jewish Shemone Esre and its fervent nationalism with the Lord's Prayer and its complete absence of any such particularism. Similarly, immanence is never preached at he expense of transcendence in the proclamation of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is beyond ethics. To orientate oneself by ethics is to think of the individual. In Jesus and the apostles, however, the individual does not stand under the promise as an individual. It is the community which stands under the promise; the individual attains to salvation as its member.

    . . . It is completely misunderstood, however, if we conceive of the differences in Greek terms. The Greek view, mostly followed to-day, sees in man a self-evolving character in which the bodily and sensual element withers and the spiritual grows. Individualism cannot be replaced by universalism. This ideal is alien to Jesus and His apostles, as also to later antiquity. To see the proclamation of the kingdom of God in the context of this popular philosophy is to sublimate it, substituting a refined humanism for the phantasy of human apocalyptic and visionary political aspirations. Where God breaks in with His kingdom, where God speaks and acts, no training of the soul, no mysticism, no ecstaticism, can give access to Him. The cruder Jewish conceptions of heaven and hell make quite impossible the subtler human possibilities of communion with God imagined by the Greeks. Anthropomorphic concepts of God and His kingdom do far less violence to God the Lord in His supraterrestrial majesty than a sublime philosophy. . . . For this negative, i.e., that the kingdom of God is wholly other, that it absolutely above the world and distinct from it,m is the most positive thing that could be said of it. The actualisation of the rule of God is future. And this future determines man in his present. The call for conversion comes to the man who is set before God and His rule. Where man responds to this call in faith,i.e., in obedience, he is in truh with the kingdom of God which comes without his co-operation, and the Gospel is glad tidings for him" (TDNT 1:581, 584-587 by Schmidt).

genetheto genhqhtw 2 con aor . . . imper entreaty 3 sg ginomai "Be done Your will!"

to thelema to qelhma 3 subj nom neut sg qelhma, matoV, to "Your will"

  1. "This petition is essentially synonymous with the preceding petition (cf. its omission in Luke 11:2). The accomplishment of God's will on earth obviously means the overturning of the present evil order and thus a regeneration of the earth as we know it. God's will is done in the realm of his sovereign transcendence; let that sovereignty now be expressed upon the earth (cf. 1 Macc 3:60). Alternatively, the wV . . . kai may be understood as a petition for the will of God to be done both in heaven and on earth . . . . All of reality must finally come under his rule" (WBC:148).

  2. 1. qelhma as God's Will.

    a. Christ as the Doer of the divine will.

    (i). The third petiion of the Lord's Prayer: genhqhtw to qelhma sou wV en ouranwi kai epi ghV . . . expresses not merely submmission but consent to a comprehensive fulfilment [sic] of God's will in keeping with the hallowing of His name and the coming of His kingdom. It thus implies an ultimate and basic attitude on the part of the one who prays. It agrees exactly with the petition of the Son in Gethsemane, Mt. 26:42 (on the Lucan form in 22:42 -> 59). If this expresses particularly willing submission in suffering, the presupposition in the Lord's Prayer is the basic attitude. According to Mk. 3:35; Mt. 12:50 (-> 58) this attitude is necessarily demanded of the followers of Jesus because Jesus Himself is wholly rooted and lives in the divine will.

    (ii). If Mt. links qelhma with the Father in heaven (-> 56), Jn. links it with the divine Sender: 4:34; 5:30; 6:38 f. . . . . He who is sent as God's organ is the One who bears and mediates the will of Him that sent Him. He is the One who totally receives and who is totally at disposal. He simply hears and executes. [page 55]

    Lk. 2:42, where Jesus negates His own will in Gethsemane" (TDNT 3:55, 59 by Schrenk).


"The first three petitions, although appealing in the first instances to the activity of God in history (all are in the aorist tense), are not without ethical implications for the disciples who are thus taught to pray. The very form of the third person imperatives (tr. 'let . . .'), rather than the second person imperative, may point to the involvement of those who pray (thus Gerhardsson). The disciples, after all, already participate in the reign of God brought by Jesus and are therefore representatives of that reign in the present. Although they cannot bring that kingdom into existence by their own efforts, yet they are to reflect he good news of the inauguration in and through Jesus. They are to manifest the reality of the presence of the kingdom (cf. 5:13-16). There is thus a sense in which the first three petitions of the prayer are also a prayer that the disciples will be faithful to their calling, that they will do their part (in obedience), not to bring the kingdom but to manifest its prophetic presence through Jesus and the Spirit. . . . Realized eschatology is in continuity with the future eschatology it foreshadows" (WBC:148-149).


Matthew 6:11

ton arton hmwn ton epiousian doV hmin shmeron

ton arton ton arton 3 accus dir obj masc sg artoV, o "the bread"

ton epiousian ton epiousian articular use of the adj accus masc sg epiousioV, a, on "daily"

  1. "The meaning, in view of the kindred participle (epiousei) in Acts 16:12, seems to be 'for the coming day,' a daily prayer for the needs of the next day as every housekeeper understands like the housekeeping book discovered by Debrunner" (RWP 1:53).

    THE FOLLOWING IS MUCH BETTER THAN RWP'S.

  2. "An important part is played by the question whether this interpretation is compatible with what Jesus says about anxiety, esp. in Mt. 6:34: mh oun merimnhshte eiV thn aurion. It is not merely a question of whether prayer for things of the morrow is anxiety. Schmiedel and others have rightly argued that prayer is the best antidote to anxiety. The problem is whether I can seek tomorrow's break for to-day. . . . Thus it is surprising to find reference to two times in so short a sentence. Again, on this view the whole petition seems 'neither natural nor modest' . . . For wages in Palestine were not given to day-workers the night before. Such workers were given the usual meals during the working day. . . . And it is the very nature of faith, from which the request springs, that it expects God's help and counts on it for the very time when it is needed, and not before. The same attitude of faith may be seen in the story of the manna in Ex. 16. . . . Thus epiousioV in the sense of 'for the morrow' is hardly conceivable in the concrete situation in which the Lord's Prayer is given, and it leads in fact to an attitude very different from the attitude of faith found in the OT and the NT.

    d. The truth seems to be that epiousioV is not an indication of time but of measure, which is not sufficiently clearly expressed in the suffix, of which Aram. makes a rich use, or in hmwn. The fact that, although there is no objection to the derivation from h epiousa, philologists have sought other derivations, is just as striking as is the further fact that this search all tends in the one direction, namely, that epiousioV defines the amount of bread.

    This may happen in two ways. On the one hand, epiousioV may mean 'for to-day.' In this case, Jesus is teaching us in prayer to direct our attention to this day and its needs, and daily to ask and to receive our sustenance from God's hand. Linguistically epiousioV may then be explained again in two ways: from h epiousa in the sense of 'the dawning day,' or from epi thn ousan, sc. hmeran . . . . If we take the first course, we must regard the prayer as a morning prayer. . . . In the short and simple formulationn of the Lord's Prayer, the addition of a further definition serving the same purpose surely seems to be tautological. If we accept this objection, we are forced to give up all temporal understanding of the word epiousioV. The example of the pap. . . . points in the same direction. For if we assume that no more than -wn is to be added to epiousi-, and that there is nothing else between this and the sum of 1/2 obol, the sense of a daily raion (diaria), whether we think of epi thn ousan (hmeran) or h epiousa, is hardly probable in view of the smallness of the amount. More likely is the mention of something necessary or something additional.

    e. This leads us to the second way in which the word may define the amount of bread. This rests mainly, though not exclusively, on the interpretation epi thn ousian, which gives us the sense of 'necessary.' We are reminded of the story of the manna, the point of which is that those who gathered too much had no superfluity, and those who gathered too little had no lack. . . . What the Lord has in view is not the space of a day but what is needed by Him and the host of disciples associated with Him. There are many Rabb. parallels for this understanding. If it is true, it expresses confidence that God will give us as we have need. EpiousioV is not superfluous in this case, and it fits bot the Matthean and Lukan versions. . . . 'The bread which we need, give us to-day (day by day)'" (TDNT 2:295-299 by Foerster).

  3. "As some have argued who accept this view [Bread for the coming day] (esp. Jeremias, so too Brown, 'Pater Noster'), the coming day in view could well be the day of the eschatological banquet (see on 8:11). Brown ('Pater Noster,' 306) also sees an allusion to the [messianic] miracle of manna on 'the morrow' (Exod. 16:14). The petition thus reflects an imminent eschatological expectation (cf. Harner, 84) . . . . The disciples should pray for the experience of the eschatological blessing today, of the bread that brings the time of the eschaton, the messianic banquet.

    The prayer thus asks for the present realization of the blessing of the eschaton. The prayer is nevertheless a prayer for bread. And there is a sense in which the bread (by synedoche, 'food') we partake of daily is an anticipation of the eschatological banquet. This fourth petition, in moving from the cosmic to the particular, does not leave behind the eschatological concerns. On the contrary, it looks for eschatological benefits in the present, and in this sense it is perhaps the most significant type of petition that the disciples can pray. At the same time, however, the fulfillment of present needs--even in so ordinary a thing as bread--is for the disciples anticipation of the eschatological fulfillment of needs" (WBC:149-150).


dos doV 1 con aor s. act imper comm 2 sg didwmi "give"

semeron shmeron adv use of adj shmeroV, a, on "today"


Matthew 6:12

kai afeV hmin ta ofeilhmata hmwn wV kai hmeiV afhkamen toiV ofeiletaiV hmwn

ta opheilemata ta ofeilhmata 3 accus dir obj neut plur ofeilhma, matoV, to "debts, what is owed, due"

  1. "In the ancient Greek opheilema is common for actual legal debts as in Rom. 4:4, but here it is used of moral and spiritual debts to God. 'Trespasses' is a mistranslation made common by the Church of England Prayer Book. It is correct in verse 14 in Christ's argument about prayer, but it is not in the Model Prayer itself. See Matt. 18:28, 30 for sin pictured again by Christ 'as debt and the sinner as debtor' (Vincent). We are thus described as having wronged God" (RWP 1:54).

  2. "a. 'Debt.' 'sum owed,' debitum, 'loan,' not culpa . . ., obligations to the treasure. b. In a broader sense 'obligation,' . . . .
    It occurs twice in the LXX at Dt. 24:10 for 'debt,' . . .: also the Apocr. at 1 Macc. 15:8: ofeilhma basilikon, 'debt to the exchequer' . . .
    In later Judaism . . . is a common term for 'sin.' . . . means arrears to a creditor, and as such it can be made goodby payments. God for His part can as creditor remit thedebt; afienai is the corresponding term for this, e.g., Dt. 15:2. It is worth nothing that this word, which intrinsically does not go too well with 'sin,' is fairly uncommon for God's forgiveness in teh O.T. Innumerable instances in later Judaism show how lively was the sense of indebtedness to God here.

    In the NT ofeilhma occurs only twice. In Mt. (6:12)--and notably only in Mt.--it is a translation of the Rabbinic . . ., 'debt.' Lk. replaces this word, whose figurative religious sense was alien to the Gk. world, by its material equivalent amartia. Paul then uses ofeilhma in the broader sense of obligation at R. 4:4 in the context of thedoctrine ofjustification. Where there are real works a reward enters in by obligation, as something owed in return, and not simply by grace . . ." (TDNT 5:565 by Hauck).

  3. "The exegesis of this verse is facilitated by the appended emphases in vv 14-15. Thus, ofeilhmata, 'shortcoming' (lit., 'debts'), finds its parallel to the present verse (Luke 11:4), which uses the word Mi, 'sins.' Here probably Luke has avoided the more archaic ofeilhmata, which may not have been as easily understood by his gentile readers (buthe has kept the root in the participial form at the end of v 4). The concept of sin as a 'debt' owed to God has an Aramaic background (in the rabbinic literature, . . . hoba, is sin construed as a debt)" (WBC:150).

os wV conjunction "wV "as"

    "We ask forgiveness 'in proportion as' (hos) we also have forgiven those in debt to us, a most solemn reflection" (RWP 1:54).

aphekamen afhkamen 1 con aor s. act decl indic 1 plur afihmi "we forgave"

  1. "one of the three k aorists (etheka, edoka, heka. It means to send away, to dismiss, to wipe off" (RWP 1:54).

  2. C. The NT Usage.

    1. NT usage exhibits most of the possibilities. afienai means 'to let go' or 'to leave': Mk. 1:20 and par. . . . So, too, is afienai gunaika or andrai in 1 C. 7:11-13)_ cf. Hdt., V, 39). It also means 'to leave or to set aside.' . . .

    2. There are also the instances in which afienai means 'to remit' or 'to forgive,' whether in the profane sense in Mt. 18:27 (to daneion) and 32 (thn ofeilhn), or more often in the religious. The objects are taV amartiaV (Mk. 2:5 ff .; Jn. 20:23, etc.); ta amarthmata (Mk. 3:28); ta paraptwmata (Mt. 6:14 f.); ai anomiai (R. 4:7 quoting y 31:1) . . .

    The noun afesiV almost always means 'forgiveness' (God's), usually with the gen. amartiwn . . .

    The forgiveness denoted by afesiV (afienai) and paresiV is almost always that of God. In the Synoptists (cf. also Act 8:22; Jm. 5:15) this is mostly a forgiveness to which man is continually referred and which he can receive on request so long as he is ready to forgive others (Mt. 6:12, 14 f.; 18:21-35; Lk. 17:3 f.; Mk. 11:25). To this extent, he concept is the same as the OT and Jewish idea of forgiveness. Yet there is a new and specifically Christian feature. For this community realises that it has to receive from God the forgiveness which is offered to men through the saving act which has taken place in Jesus Christ. As it tells us that Jesus Himself dispensed forgiveness (Mk. 2:5 ff. and par.), so it, too, dispenses forgiveness through Him (Col. 1:14 . . .), through His name (Lk. 24:47; Ac. 10:43 . . .), on His commission (Jn. 20:23), esp. in baptism (Ac. 2:38 . . .) and the Lord's Supper (Mt. 26:28). To the extent that the community is established by the act of salvation as the holy community of the last age (->ekklhsia), forgiveness is an eschatological blessing and is expressly described as such in Lk. 1:77 (cf. 4:18); the same view obviously underlies both Paul and Hb. . . .

    All this makes it plain a. that the OT conception of God as the Judge to whom man is responsible is maintained; b. that God's forgiveness is not deduced from an idea of God or His grace, but is experienced as His act in the event of salvation, so that preaching does not consist in illuminating instruction regarding the idea of God but in the proclamation of the act of God; c. that forgiveness as an eschatological event renews the whole man, in whom sin was not just something isolated and occasional but the power which determined his whole being; d. that forgiveness can be received only when man affirms God's judgment on himself, the old man, in teh confession of sins . . . and penitence . . . . There is thus avoided the legal understanding of the thought of forgiveness as a remission of punishment only to past events; the future is included in eschatological forgiveness" (TDNT 1:510-512 by Bultmann).

  3. "afhkamen is in the aorist tense, conveying the sense of having already forgiven others in the past and thus to a degree anticipating the pont of vv 14-15. On the other hand, afhkamen could be a Greek rendering of the Aramaic perfectum praesens and thus be translated with a present tense, 'as we forgive' (Jeremias; Hill). It seems probable here that our being forgiven at the future judgment is in view (cf. the future tenses of vv 14-15 referring to God's forgiveness), so that again the petition is eschatological in reference. And yet again here a present aspect is also implicit since divine forgiveness is also experienced in the present in advance of eschatological forgiveness (cf. Davies-Allison). The great importance placed upon forgiveness by Jesus is also to be seen later in the Gospel in 18:21-22 and especially in the following parable concerning the unforgiving servant (18:23-35)" (WBC:150).

tois opheiletais toiV ofeiletaiV 1 dat indir obj masc plur ofeilethV, o "debtors"

  1. "In profane use 1. The 'debtor,' . . . 'someone under an obligation,' . . .

    In the NT the term is used 1. for the 'debtor' in Mt. 18:24 (). In accordance with the later Jewish use of . . . ofeilethV is one who is guilty of a fault. It i used thus in relation to men in the fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer according to Mt. 6:12 (-> supra), and in relation to God in the same sense as 'sinner' in, e.g., Lk. 13:4 . . .

    2. Figuratively it is used of various obligations and duties. Thus Paul, once a persecutor of the Gosepl, is after his visitation and calling by Christ committed to be amessenger to all mankind, R. 1:14: 'Ellhsin te kai barbaroiV . . . ofeilethV eimi. He sees the Gentile Christians, who have received the spiritual blessing of the Gospel from the mother community, are under obligation to give this commnity material support, R. 15:27. He emphasir4ses that commitment to the whole Law is involved for those who accept the covenant sign of circumcision, Gl. 5:3. He realises that the prior obligation to the sarx is set aside by the relationship with Christ, R. 8:12" (TDNT 5:565-566 by Hauck).


Matthew 6:13

kai mh eisenegkhiV hmasV eiV peirasmon alla rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou

eisenegkeis eisenegkhiV 1 con aor s. act subj of prohibition 2 sg eisferw "lead [us] not"

  1. "'Bring' or 'lead' bothers many people. It seems to present God as an active agent in subjecting us to temptation, a thing specifically denied in James 1:13. The word here translated 'temptation' (peirasmon) means originally 'trial' or 'test' as in James 1:2 and Vincent so takes it here. Braid Scots has it; 'And lat us no be siftit.'But God does test or sift us, though he does not tempt us to evil. . . . In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus will say to Peter, James, and John: 'Pray that ye enter not into temptation' (Luke 22:40). That is the idea here. . . . a 'Permissive imperative' as grammarians term it. The idea is then: 'Do not allow us to be led into temptation.' There is a way out (I Cor. 10:13), but it is a terrible risk" (RWP 1:54).

eis peirasmon eiV peirasmon 3 accus masc sg peirasmoV, o 1. limitation 2. unto into 3. "into temptation"

  1. "peirasmoV, depending on the context, can be translated 'temptation' or 'testing.' Here the latter is to be preferred because God does not lead into temptation (cf. Jas. 1:13); he does, however, allow his people to be tested. 'To be tempted' is to be enticed to sin; 'to be tested' is to be brought into difficult circumstances that try one's faithfulness. The two are similar, since sin can result in either case; yet they are also to be differentiated, since the former has a negative purpose, the latter a positive one. The petition in this instance concerns severe testing . . . that could eventuate in apostasy. . . . Favoring the eschatological understanding are the aorist tenses of this and the next petition and the tenor of the whole prayer. Against it is the fact hat peirasmon lacks the definite article (cf. Rev. 3:10). Perhaps again the future is primarily in view, but the petition is expressed in such a way as to leave open application to 'ordinary' testing in the present age. Such testing again anticipates the great final test. The disciple thus prays not to be led into such a situation, i.e., not to be led into a testing in which his or her faith will not be able to survive. The interpretation is allowable because of the next petition, which is connected with the present petition and which implies that some testing is inevitable and therefore asks for a preservation in it. . . . It was indeed a common expectation that a time of severe testing would necessarily precede the dawning of the messianic age. This much testing could not be avoided. The disciple thus prays to be kept from testing that, anticipating the eschatological testing, will bring a genuine crisis of faith (cf. 2 Pet 2:9)" (WBC:151).

  2. "What is at issue here is in no sense a test. The Lord is rather teaching His disciples to ask God not to withdraw His hand from them, but to keep them against temptation by ungodly powers. On the other hand, it is a mistake to think that the petition is grounded only in Jesus' imminent expectation of the end or to regard it merely as a request for preservation in the great eschatological tribulation. Though it undoubtedly refers to this, a more general application to all affliction yields a better sense. It should not be forgotten, of course, that every affliction, and therewith every peirasmoV is an eschatological tribulation or temptation, according to the total understanding of the preaching of Jesus, . . . In the exposition of the parable of the Sower Lk., as distinct from Mk. 4:17 and Mt. 13:21: genomenhV qliyewV h diwgmou dia ton logon, has Jesus utter words of warning to those who proV kairon pisteuousin kai en kairwi peirasmou afistantai. This interpretation is perhaps secondary. Nevertheless, Luke's substitution of peirasmoV for diqgmoV or qliyiV dia ton logon shows what he understands by the term. For his peirasmoV consists in persecution and oppression for the faith" (TDNT 6:31 by Seesemann).

rusai rusai 1 con aor. mid depon imper command 2 sg ruomai "deliver"

  1. "This petition is connected to the preceding by the adversative 'but'; i.e., it is assumed that some testing is inevitable. Thus, when testing comes, the disciple prays for deliverance" (WBC:151).


apo tou ponerou apo tou ponhrou subst use of adj abl masc sg ponhroV, a, on 1. separation 2. from 3. "from the Evil One"

  1. "tou ponhrou (lit. 'the evil') here may be either masculine or neuter. The definite article can be used in referring either to evil (so Harner) or to the Evil One . . . . If, however, one interprets the testing of the preceding petition to be eschatological in nature, one will naturally favor the latter view. The same ambiguity may be seen in the similar references in 2 Thess 3:3 and John 17:15. . . . The difference between Satan and evil is small in the present petition: to pray to be free from one is to pray to be free from the other. But the more vivid, personal interpretation may be slightly preferable here. . . . Do not lead us into a testing of our faith that is beyond our endurance, but when testing does come, deliver us from the Evil One and his purposes" (WBC:151-152).

  2. "tou ponhrou is thus to be taken neutrally as mostly in Mt. It is evil in the sense of the Jewish prayers, especially the eschatological tribulation. It is also the bad which one might do or plan to do against someone. The eschatological character of the prayer does not allow us to take ton ponhron merely in the sense of temporal evil. The prayer is for definitive, eschatological deliverance" (TDNT 6:561 by Harder).

Matthew 6:14

ean gar afhte toiV anqrwpoiV ta paraptwmata autwn, afhsei kai umin o pathr umwn o ouranioV

aphete afhte 2 con aor s. act potent subj 2 plur afihmi "if you forgive, release, let go"

ta paraptwmata 3 accus dir obj neut plur paraptwma, atoV, to "[their] transgressions" (A/G:627--false step, transgression, sin)

  1. "'falling to one side,' a lapse or deviation from truth or uprightness. The ancients sometimes used it of intentional falling or attack upon one's enemy, but 'slip' or 'fault' (Gal. 6:1) is the common New Testament idea" (RWP 1:55).

  2. "emphasizes the point of the fifth petition, in which human involvement is most evident (Luz, 1:389). Since it is apparently of great importance to the evangelist and interrupts the flow of 6:1-18, it may point to the existence of tensions in his community. . . . V 15 simply repeats v 14 in negative form, showing how important the point is considered to be. . . . These verses need not be taken to mean that the forgiveness we enjoy from God stands in a causal relation to our forgiveness of others, or that God's forgiveness of us is the result of our forgiveness of others . . . . It is clear from these verses that a direct connection exists between God's forgiveness and our forgiveness. But it is a given that God's forgiveness is always prior (cf. 18:23-35). These verses are a forceful way of making the significant point that it is unthinkable--impossible--that we can enjoy God's forgiveness without in turn extending our forgiveness toward others. Paul makes use of this logion in Col 3:13" (WBC:153).

Matthew 6:15

ean de mh afhte toiV anqrwpoiV, oude o pathr umwn afhsei ta paraptwmata umwn.

aphesei afhsei pred fut s. act decl indic 3 sg afihmi "he will forgive, let go"


Matthew 6:16

otan de nhsteuhte mh ginesqe wV oi upokritai skuqrwpoi afanizousin gar ta proswpa autwn opwV fanwsin toiV anqrwpoiV nhsteuonteV. amhn legw umin apexousin ton misqon autwn.

nesteuete nhsteuhte prog pres s. act potent subj 2 plur nhsteuw "when fasting, whenever you fast"

  1. "The position which Jesus adopts towards fasting is new and distinctive. At the beginning of the story of the temptation . . . He spent 40 days (and 40 nights) fasting in the wilderness. This already does not accord with current practice. . . . The way of the Messiah (Mt. 3:17; Lk. 3:22) corresponds to that of Moses. But whereas the mediator of the covenant of the OT fasted in preparation for the revelation of God, Jesus had already received it, and He fasted in order to be equipped to confirm the Messianic dignity and power with which He had been invested. . . . The sources give us no reason to suppose that He fasted during the period of His public ministry, though His external attitude to the dominant cultus leaves us in no doubt that He would observe the general days of fasting. Nor does He forbid His hearers to fast. In Mt. 6:16 ff. He presupposes that they might engage in voluntary fasting as one of the common forms of religious discipline. But the significance which He ascribes to fasting is wholly different from that which Judaism in fateful misunderstanding tends to associate with the custom. Fasting is service to God. It is a sign and symbol of the conversion to God . . . which takes place in concealment. Impressive display before men defeats the end of true fasting. Fasting before God, the Father of those who turn to Him, is joy. Hence there is no place for melancholy signs of mourning. MK. 2:18 ff. par. goes further. The immediate disciples of Jesus do not fast like the more pious of the people, the disciples of John and the Pharisees. When complaint is made about this, Jesus will not accept it. He defends the disciples on the ground that fasting in the presence of the Bridegroom is nonsensical. The presence of the Messiah (-> numfioV), the time of salvation has dawned . . ., means joy. Joy and fasting, i.e., sorry (Mt. 9:15) are mutually exclusive . . . . Sorrow and fasting belong to the time of waiting for salvation. This is true for the disciples too, who by His death will be rudely put back in the state of waiting, cf. Jn. 16:20. Seen from the standpoint of the Messianic eschatological centre of the message of Jesus, fasting is transcended. But since Jesus is aware of an interval between Now and Then, between the dawn of salvation on earth and its consummation, He finds a place for fasting between the times. It is not, of course, a pious work. It is a sign and symbol of the inner attitude which perhaps needs such a sign and symbol. . . .

    In the Gospel tradition primitive Christianity links the parables of the new patch on the old garment and the new wine in the old wineskins (Mk. 2:21 and par.) with the question of fasting (2:18 ff.). In so doing it preserves a recollection of the fact that fasting does not belong to the new age introduced by Jesus. Nor does the 1st cent. tell us that Christians practised voluntary fasts. But the habit of strengthening prayers by fasting is adopted by Christians in Acts 13:3 (on the sending out of the missionaries Barnabas and Paul from Antioch) and in Ac. 14:23 (when elders are appointed by Paul and Barnabas in the newly founded churches of South Asia Minor). In common worship . . . the prophets and teachers of Antioch prepare themselves by fasting for the revelation of the Spirit which will decide which missionaries are to be set apart, Ac. 13:2. In the Pauline circle 'the fast day' is familiar from the Jewish calendar (Ac. 27:9 . . .), though this does not imply its observance. The NT epistles say nothing about fasting. This applies especially to Hb. 13:16, which mentions prayer, thanksgiving and well-doing as sacrifices which are pleasing to God . . ., but not fasting . . . . In R. 14 and Col. 2 Paul discusses ascetic and ritualistic leanings in the churches. This leaves us with the impression that the question did not even arise, at least for Hellenistic congregations" (TDNT 4:931-93 by Behm).


skuthropoi skuqrwpoi pred nom masc plur skuqrwpoV, [h,] on "gloomy, sad, sullen look"

  1. "a compound of skuthros (sullen) and ops (countenance). These actors or hypocrites 'put on a gloomy face' (Goodspeed) and, if necessary, even 'disfigure their faces' (aphanizousin ta prosopa auton, that they may look like they are fasting. It is this pretence of piety that Jesus so sharply ridicules" (RWP 1:55).

  2. "The skuqrwpoi of Mt. 6:16 are men who in their fasting want to appear 'sad' to men. Jesus calls them hypocrites because in a religious act their serious mien made them appear other than they were and they did not turn in conversion to the Judge who sees what is hidden. Jesus demands cheerful penitence from His disciples because they encounter the Judge who forgives them as Father. The two who went to Emmaus were skuqrwpoi (Lk. 24:17) because their hope that Jesus of Nazareth would show HImself to be the deliverer of Israel had been disappointed, 24:21" (TDNT 7:451 by Bieder).


aphanizousin afanizousin prog pres s. act decl indic 3 plur afanizw "they are rendering invisible or unrecognizable, disfiguring or neglect of cleanliness"

  1. "There is a ply on the Greek words aphanizousi (disfigure) and phanosin (figure). They conceal their real looks that they may seem to be fasting, conscious and pretentious hypocrisy" (RWP 1:55-56).