Friday, 27 May 2011

Translation of the Lord's Prayer from an Early Coptic Manuscript

I have just submitted my PhD thesis. The thesis dealt with an early (4th century?) Coptic manuscript. Here is a literal translation of the Lord's Prayer from the manuscript. Note that the long form of the Lord's Prayer (for thine is the kingdom, glory, and power) developed later as a befitting conclusion to the prayer and was not a part of the original text of Matthew's Gospel.


As for you, therefore, it is in this way that you should ask:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be hallowed. May your kingdom come to us. That which you will, may it be; as it is in heaven, may it be done upon the earth. Give us our bread of tomorrow today. Forgive our debts in the way that we, for our part, are forgiving the ones indebted to us. Do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us [lit., you certainly shall deliver us] from evil.

2 comments:

James E. Snapp, Jr. said...

If the benediction developed later, how do you account for its presence (however imperfect) in the Didache?

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

Peter Malik said...

The Didache is considered "later" than Matthew, and so the presence of the benediction (or, more accurately, of a version of the benediction, as it's not identical to the most commonly known one) in the Didache may just show its being "later." It needs to be noted that the text of the Did, as we have it, comes mostly from a very late MS, namely Codex Hierosolymitanus of 11th century.