Early Church Fathers
9 Acts otherwise noble and praiseworthy become sin when done to make an appearance before men, and get honour from them. Bad intentions vitiate pious observances.
10 Glorificantur; Vulgate honorificentur. The sounding of trumpet is referred by some to an alleged custom of the parties themselves calling the poor together by a trumpet, or even to the noise of the coins on the trumpet-shaped chests in the temple. Better, it is figurative of "self-laudation and display" (Meyer, Alford, Lange, etc.).
11 Acts iii., iv.
12 Prov. xxv. 21.
13 "With complete modesty; secret, noiseless giving" (Chrysostom). No reference to a counting of the money by the left hand (Paulus, De Wette). Luther's comment is quaint and characteristic: "When thou givest alms with thy right hand, take heed that thou dost not seek with the left to take more, but put it behind thy back." Trench pronounces this discussion concerning the meaning of the left hand "laborious, and, as I cannot but think, unnecessary;" but it is ingenious and interesting.
14 Pii lucent et tamen laten (Bengel).
15 Not our Father.
16 It is wanting in the Sinaitic, B, D, etc., Mss., as also in the Vulgate copies.
17 They love to stand praying, more than they love to pray. Like the Mohammedans of to-day, they took delight in airing their piety. Our Lord mentions the most conspicuous localities. The usual posture of the Jews in prayer was standing (1 Sam. i. 26, Luke xviii. 11, etc.).
18 Vos; Vulgate, tu (Revised Version).
19 Ps. iv. 4. The English version renders, "Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."
20 Claudentes ostia; Vulgate, clauso ostio.
21 Our Lord on occasion followed this habit (Matt. xiv. 23 and in Gethsemane).
22 Greek, Bsttalogew "Use not vain repetitions," Revised Version (or stammer). Some derive the word from Battus, king of Cyrene, who stuttered, or from Battus, author of wordy poems. The word is probably only an imitation of the sound of the stammerer (Thayer, Lexicon, who spells Battologew). The Jews were only doing as well as the Gentiles when they placed virtue in the length of the prayer, and no better. "Who makes his prayer long, shall not return home empty" (Rabbi Chasima, quoted by Hausrath, 73). The Rabbins took up at great length the question how many and what kind of petitions should be offered up at the table spread on different occasions with different viands, whether salutations should be acknowledged in the course of prayer, etc. (see Schürer, pp. 498, 499) Examples of repetitious prayer in Scripture: I Kings xviii. 26, Acts xix. 34. The warning is not against frequent prayer (Luke xviii. 1).
23 Arbitrantur; Vulgate, putant.
24 Vobis necessarium; Vulgate, opus.
25 The illustration is frequently used (M. Henry; after him F. W. Robertson), to represent the position of some, that prayer only has an influence on the petitioner, of a boatman in his boat, taking hold of the wharf with his grappling hook. While prayer does not "inform or persuade God," it is the condition of receiving. The sanctifying influence is secondary and incidental.
26 Orate; Vulgate, Orabitis.
27 Quotidianum; Vulgate, supersubstantialem.
28 Inferas (Rev. Vers.); Vulgate, inducas.
29 This prayer is called the Lord's Prayer because our Lord is its author, He did not and could not have used it Himself, on account of (1) the special meaning of the pronoun "our" in the address, (2) the confession of sins in the fifth petition. Luke's account (xi. 1) agrees in the subject of the petitions as in the address, but differs (1) in the omission of the third petition (Crit text); (2) in the addition to the fifth petition (which, however, Matthew gives at the close of the prayer in a more elaborate form); (3) in adducing a request of the disciples as the occasion of the prayer. Some have thought the prayer was given on two occasions (Meyer in earlier edd., Tholuck). Others hold that Matthew has inserted it out of its proper historical place (Neander, Olshausen, De Wette, Ebrard, Meyer in ed. vi., Weiss, etc.). This question of priority and accuracy as between the forms of Matthew and Luke may be regarded as set at rest by the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which (viii. 2) gives the exact form of Matthew with three unimportant differences: viz. (1) heaven, *, instead of heavens; (2) the omission of the article before earth; (3) debt instead of debts. This document contains the doxology (with the omission of kingdom), and supports the Textus Receptus in giving the present, we forgive, a0fhkamen, instead of the perfect, we have forgiven, a0fh/kamen.-The division of the prayer is usually made into (1) address, (2) petitions, (3) doxology (omitted from the approved critical Greek text and the Revised Version).-The petitions are seven according to Augustin, Luther, Bengel, Tholuck, etc: six (the two last being combined as one) according to Chrysostom, Reformed catechisms, Calvin, Schaff, etc. The petitions are divided into two groups (Tertullian) or tables (Calvin).-The contents of the first three petitions concern the glory of God; of the last four, the wants of men. In the first group the pronoun is thy, and the direction of the thought is from heaven downwards to earth; in the second group it is us, and the direction of the thought is from earth upwards to God.-The numbers, in view of their significance in the Old Testament, 3, 4, 7, are not an uninteresting item. Tholuck says: "The attention of the student who has otherwise heard of the doctrine of the Trinity will find a distinct reference to it in the arrangement of this prayer. In the first petition of each group, God is referred to as Creator and Preserver; in the second as Redeemer; in the third as the Holy Spirit."-The Lord's Prayer is more than a specimen of prayer: it is a pattern. Different views are held concerning its liturgical use, which can be traced back to Cyprian and Tertullian, and now farther still, to the Teaching of the Apostles, which, after giving the prayer, says, "Thrice a day pray thus." It also gives (ix.) a form of prayer to be used after the Eucharist. Of its abuse Luther says, "It is the greatest martyr."-It is not a compilation, although similar or the same, petitions may have been in use among the Jews. The simplicity, symmetry of arrangement, depth and progress of thought, reverence of feeling, make it, indeed, the model prayer,-the Lord's Prayer. Tertullian calls it breviarium totius evangelii (so Meyer).
30 Isa. i. 2.
31 Ps. lxxxii. 6.
32 Mal. i. 6.
33 John i. 12.
34 Rom. viii. 15-23 and Gal. iv. 1-6.
35 Patrem quisquis appellare potest, omnia orare potest (Bengel).
36 "The address puts us into the proper attitude of prayer. It indicates our filial relation to God as `Father0' (word of faith), fraternal relation to our fellow-men (`our,0' word of love), and our destination of `heaven0' (word of hope)."
37 Ps. xxxiv. 18.
38 Gen. iii. 19.
39 1 Cor. iii. 17.
40 Ps. lxxvi. 1.
41 Matt. xxiv. 14.
42 Isa. liv. 13; John vi. 45.
43 Matt. xxii. 30.
44 In excelsis; Vulgate, in altissimis.
45 Luke ii. 14.
46 John iv. 34.
47 John vi. 38.
48 Vulgate, Patris qui in coelis ("Father who is in heaven").
49 Matt. xxii. 49, 50.
50 Matt. xxv. 33, 46.
51 Rom. vii. 25.
52 1 Cor. xv. 42, 55.
53 Rom. vii. 18, 22.
54 Escam quoe non corrumpitur; Vulgate, non cibum qui perit.
55 Panis vitae; Vulgate, panis vivus.
56 John vi. 27, 41.
57 Apponentur; Vulgate, adjicientur.
58 Ps. xcv. 7.
59 Heb. iii. 13.
60 The Greek e0piou/sioj, translated daily (see margin of Revised Version, with alternate rendering of American Committee), is found only here and in Luke (xi. 3). Its meaning does not seem to come under the review of Augustin, but has troubled modern commentators. It has been taken to mean (1) needful, hence sufficient, as opposed to superfluity or want (Chrysostom, Tholuck, Ewald, Ebrard, Weiss, etc.); (2) daily (Luther, English version, etc.); (3) for the coming day (Grotius, Meyer, Thayer, Lightfoot, who has an elaborate treatment in Revision of English New Testament, Append. pp. 195-245). The direct reference of the bread to spiritual food is given by the Vulgate, and generally accepted in the Roman-Catholic Church. Olshausen, Delitzsch, Alford, etc., regard the spiritual nourishment involved by implication in the term.
61 The present with the Vulgate, Textus Receptus, Teaching of Twelve Apostles. The perfect is found in )
62 Matt. v. 26.
63 Luke xiii. 1-5. Moriemini; Vulgate, peribitis. Augustin has written "Herod" instead of "Pilate."
64 Matt. v. 40.
65 2 Tim. ii. 24.
66 Not "because," nor "to the same extent as," but "in the same manner as." It is interesting to note the contrast between the spirit of Christianity and Islam as indicated by a comparison of this petition with the prayer offered every night by the ten thousand students at the Mahometan college in Cairo: "I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah the compassionate, the merciful, O Lord of all the creatures! O Allah! destroy the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the enemies of the religion. O Allah! make their children orphans, and defile their abodes. Cause their feet to slip," etc.
67 See Book i. chaps. 19, 20.