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Luke 11:1-13

Context
Instructions on Prayer

11:1 Now 1  Jesus 2  was praying in a certain place. When 3  he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John 4  taught 5  his disciples.” 11:2 So he said to them, “When you pray, 6  say:

Father, 7  may your name be honored; 8 

may your kingdom come. 9 

11:3 Give us each day our daily bread, 10 

11:4 and forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins 11  against us.

And do not lead us into temptation.” 12 

11:5 Then 13  he said to them, “Suppose one of you 14  has a friend, and you go to him 15  at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 16  11:6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, 17  and I have nothing to set before 18  him.’ 11:7 Then 19  he will reply 20  from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. 21  I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 22  11:8 I tell you, even though the man inside 23  will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s 24  sheer persistence 25  he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

11:9 “So 26  I tell you: Ask, 27  and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door 28  will be opened for you. 11:10 For everyone who asks 29  receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door 30  will be opened. 11:11 What father among you, if your 31  son asks for 32  a fish, will give him a snake 33  instead of a fish? 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 34  11:13 If you then, although you are 35  evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit 36  to those who ask him!”

1 tn Grk “And it happened that while.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

4 sn John refers to John the Baptist.

5 sn It was not unusual for Jewish groups to have their own prayer as a way of expressing corporate identity. Judaism had the Eighteen Benedictions and apparently John the Baptist had a prayer for his disciples as well.

6 sn When you pray. What follows, although traditionally known as the Lord’s prayer, is really the disciples’ prayer. It represents how they are to approach God, by acknowledging his uniqueness and their need for his provision and protection.

7 tc Most mss, including later majority (A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33vid Ï it), add ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς (Jhmwn Jo en toi" oujranoi", “our [Father] in heaven”) here. This makes the prayer begin like the version in Matt 6:9. The shorter version is read by Ì75 א B (L: + ἡμῶν) 1 700 pc as well as some versions and fathers. Given this more weighty external evidence, combined with the scribal tendency to harmonize Gospel parallels, the shorter reading is preferred.

sn God is addressed in terms of intimacy (Father). The original Semitic term here was probably Abba. The term is a little unusual in a personal prayer, especially as it lacks qualification. It is not the exact equivalent of “Daddy” (as is sometimes popularly suggested), but it does suggest a close, familial relationship.

8 tn Grk “hallowed be your name.”

9 tc Most mss (א A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33vid Ï it) read at the end of the verse “may your will be done on earth as [it is] in heaven,” making this version parallel to Matt 6:10. The shorter reading is found, however, in weighty mss (Ì75 B L pc), and cannot be easily explained as arising from the longer reading.

sn Your kingdom come represents the hope for the full manifestation of God’s promised rule.

10 tn Or “Give us bread each day for the coming day,” or “Give us each day the bread we need for today.” The term ἐπιούσιος (epiousio") does not occur outside of early Christian literature (other occurrences are in Matt 6:11 and Didache 8:2), so its meaning is difficult to determine. Various suggestions include “daily,” “the coming day,” and “for existence.” See BDAG 376 s.v.; L&N 67:183, 206.

11 tn Grk “who is indebted to us” (an idiom). The picture of sin as debt is not unusual. As for forgiveness offered and forgiveness given, see 1 Pet 3:7.

12 tc Most mss (א1 A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33 Ï it syc,p,h) add “but deliver us from the evil one,” an assimilation to Matt 6:13. The shorter reading has better attestation (Ì75 א*,2 B L 1 700 pc vg sa Or). Internally, since the mss that have the longer reading here display the same tendency throughout the Lord’s Prayer to assimilate the Lukan version to the Matthean version, the shorter reading should be regarded as authentic in Luke.

tn Or “into a time of testing.”

sn The request Do not lead us into temptation is not to suggest that God causes temptation, but is a rhetorical way to ask for his protection from sin.

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

14 tn Grk “Who among you will have a friend and go to him.”

15 tn Grk “he will go to him.”

16 tn The words “of bread” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by ἄρτους (artou", “loaves”).

17 tn Grk “has come to me from the road.”

18 sn The background to the statement I have nothing to set before him is that in ancient Middle Eastern culture it was a matter of cultural honor to be a good host to visitors.

19 tn Κἀκεῖνος (kakeino") has been translated “Then he.”

20 tn Grk “answering, he will say.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “he will reply.”

21 tn Grk “my children are with me in the bed.” In Jewish homes in the time of Jesus, the beds were often all together in one room; thus the householder may be speaking of individual beds (using a collective singular) rather than a common bed.

22 tn The syntax of vv. 6-7 is complex. In the Greek text Jesus’ words in v. 6 begin as a question. Some see Jesus’ question ending at v. 6, but the reply starting in v. 8 favors extending the question through the entire illustration. The translation breaks up the long sentence at the beginning of v. 7 and translates Jesus’ words as a statement for reasons of English style.

23 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man in bed in the house) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the first man mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 tn The term ἀναίδεια (anaideia) is hard to translate. It refers to a combination of ideas, a boldness that persists over time, or “audacity,” which comes close. It most likely describes the one making the request, since the unit’s teaching is an exhortation about persistence in prayer. Some translate the term “shamelessness” which is the term’s normal meaning, and apply it to the neighbor as an illustration of God responding for the sake of his honor. But the original question was posed in terms of the first man who makes the request, not of the neighbor, so the teaching underscores the action of the one making the request.

26 tn Here καί (kai, from καγώ [kagw]) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion drawn from the preceding parable.

27 sn The three present imperatives in this verse (Ask…seek…knock) are probably intended to call for a repeated or continual approach before God.

28 tn Grk “it”; the referent (a door) is implied by the context and has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 sn The actions of asking, seeking, and knocking are repeated here from v. 9 with the encouragement that God does respond.

30 tn Grk “it”; the referent (a door) is implied by the context and has been specified in the translation for clarity.

31 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

32 tc Most mss (א A C D L W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï lat syc,p,h bo) have “bread, does not give him a stone instead, or” before “a fish”; the longer reading, however, looks like a harmonization to Matt 7:9. The shorter reading is thus preferred, attested by Ì45,75 B 1241 pc sys sa.

33 sn The snake probably refers to a water snake.

34 sn The two questions of vv. 11-12 expect the answer, “No father would do this!”

35 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντες (Juparconte") has been translated as a concessive participle.

36 sn The provision of the Holy Spirit is probably a reference to the wisdom and guidance supplied in response to repeated requests. Some apply it to the general provision of the Spirit, but this would seem to look only at one request in a context that speaks of repeated asking. The teaching as a whole stresses not that God gives everything his children want, but that God gives the good that they need. The parallel account in Matthew (7:11) refers to good things where Luke mentions the Holy Spirit.



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