When I study Scripture I sometimes have the tendency to brush quickly over the parts that I think I know. The other night I was researching something in my Oxford Complete Parallel Bible, which contains the New Revised Standard Version, Revised English Bible, New American Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible in four parallel columns (the NAB is the one I generally use for personal study). For whatever reason, I wound up in Matthew 6 and my eyes lighted on the various translations of the Lord's Prayer. Since I pray this prayer throughout the day I almost 'moved on' to something else. But the four versions sitting side by side caught my attention and thought.

I would like to prayerfully offer the following composite of The Lord's Prayer from the above listed Bibles. I do not offer it in any way for liturgical prayer or as a replacement for the excellent version currently in use, but I do offer it for personal reflection and perhaps a fresh insight into prayer:

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be held holy,
Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
Forgive us the wrong we have done,
as we have forgiven those who have wronged us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the Evil One.

(Composite of the NRSV, REB, NAB and NJB)


And if no one minds, this humble Moose's version with a few modernizations for meditation:

Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be held holy;
Your kingdom come;
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today just what we need for today;
Forgive us the wrongs we have done in the same way we forgive those that wrong us.
Do not allow us to be put to the test,
but save us from the Evil One.

If we go on to look at Matthew 6:14,15: "If you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings, either."

When I realize that I am asking the Father to forgive my mistakes and sins in the same way that I forgive those who make mistakes and sin against me, I become quite aware of my own sinfulness.