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Christ in this prayer to furnish his disciples with a symbol of faith; and the other, the extravagant view of Moeller,' that each of the several petitions was the beginning of a Jewish prayer, and that it was simply the design of Jesus by a reference to the most useful Jewish prayers, to furnish his disciples with a provisionary prayer (Interimsgebet) until the time when they would be taught to pray by the Holy Spirit. Strange that Augusti could still attempt to defend this notion of his old friend in the Denkwürdigkeiten Th. IV. 132. v. 93. The principal antagonist of Pfannkuche was Noesselt in the Exercitationes.
To speak of the sources of a prayer which our Saviour gives to his disciples seems somewhat incongruous, since Christ surely was under no necessity of looking for other sources, especially of a prayer, than in the inexhaustible fountain of his own being. If it is intended, however, simply to say, that our Saviour, having found a form already prepared and suited to express the suggestions of his own spirit, saw fit to avail himself of this, there is no objection to the idea. The whole style of representation in the Old Testament was, in this sense, employed by him as a form. Or we may go farther, and say that our Saviour might for the benefit of others, have even condescended to make use of sources foreign to himself. Let us now examine the opinions which have been advanced on this subject. It is not to the fifteenth century, when Pico of Mirandola traced the wisdom of Plato and Pythagoras to the Pentateuch, but to the nineteenth, that the extraordinary hypothesis belongs, that Christ derived a considerable part of his religion, and among other particulars the pater noster, from the Žend-avesta. This notion, advanced by Herder, by J. A. C. Richter, by Rhode and by Seyffarth, is expressed in the boldest language by
First, in Augusti's Theolog. Monatschrift, then in the work : neue Ansichten schwieriger Stellen der vier Evangelisten. Gotha. 1819.
2 Erläuter. des N. T. aus einer neuer öffn. Urkunde. Riga 1775.
3 Das Christenthum und die ältesten Religionen des orients. Leips. 1819.
4 Die reilige Sage der alten Bactrer. 1820.
5 Beitrag. zur Special characteristik Johanneischen Schriften. Leips. 1823
Rhode, who says p. 416 : “ The prayer of Jesus may in fact be pronounced a brief compilation from the prayers of the Zend writings ; and for each petition several parallel passages are to be found which are almost verbally the same.” But what is the proof for this in fact monstrous assertion. A single passage out of the Zend-avesta B. 1. Part 2, p. 89, in which there is an alleged resemblance with the fifth petition, though the least trace of any such resemblance no where appears. A refutation of this groundless hypothesis is contained in the Dissertation of Gebser de explicatione script sacr. praesertim N. T. e libro Zendavesta, Jen. 1824, and in the essay by the same author de oratione dominica, p. 19.
There can be nothing strange, on the other hand, in the assertion, that our Saviour took the petitions of his prayer from Jewish prayers of his time, so long as the reason of this is not supposed to have been any want of resources in our Saviour's own mind, and the remark of Olshausen is kept steadily in view, that “whatever true and noble was presented to him in the state of cultivation of the age served only to excite his inward developement, and even what he received from without was reproduced in the vigour of renewed youth by the creative energy of life within his own soul.” Even the liturgical collections which are made use of by the Jews at the present day, and which are called by them ina, contain excellent prayers, borrowed, as to thought and expression, from the Old Testament. If such as these existed in the time of our Saviour, what objection is there to supposing, that in order to give his disciples the greatest benefit of the advantages they already possessed, he might have furnished them with the best petitions of those prayers, after they had been wrought over in his own mind into a beautiful whole? It is not only impossible for the believer, to find in this supposition any occasion of stumbling, but on the contrary a far more profound reflection admits of being connected with it than the remark of Grotius : Tam longe abfuit Dominus ab omniaffectatione non necessariae novitatis. Would it be an occasion of stumbling to any one, if our Saviour, who had lived so deeply in the spirit of the Old Testament, that even upon the cross, Matt. 27: 46, he expresses his inmost feelings in the words of a Psalm, should have uttered an entire prayer in the language of the Psalms ? Does not the Christian church now often express its sentiments of devotion in words of the Old Testament? There could therefore be nothing in the opinion in question deVol. V. No. 17.
serving to be considered as really an occasion of offence. Yet the opinion is nevertheless to be rejected on the ground that the alleged coincidence of the prayer with the prayers of the Rabbins altogether amounts to nothing. This has already been perceived by Kuinoel, Fritzsche, Henneberg, Gebser, Olshausen, so that we might consider the opinion as nearly antiquated. Yet it found so general a reception through the whole of the preceding century and down to our own day, that it will be necessary for us to enter somewhat more at large into the question. The parallels from the rabbinical writings, as they are called, are found in the remarks on the Lord's prayer by Drusius, Grotius, Cappellus, Lightfoot, Schötgen, Wetstein, in the work of Vitringa de syn. vet. p. 962, in the above quoted treatise of Witsius, and finally in a distinct essay of Suranhusius in the Syll. dissert. of that writer p. 31, which Chamberlayre has caused to be inserted into the edition of his collection of paternosters. From a comparison of all these so-called parallels it appears, that a proper coincidence is found only in the case of the addresses and of the first two petitions. In some Jewish prayers, for instance, God is still addressed in the words “our Father in heaven;" moreover, in some modern prayers the expression occurs “Let thy name be hallowed by our works” or “Let thy name be hallowed, and let the remembrance of thee be glorified ;' finally, the petition often recurs that “the kingdom of the Messiah, the kingdom of God, the redemption of Israel might come. Now that our Saviour need not have borrowed the appellation of Father originally from a Jewish prayer is sufficiently evident from this circumstance alone, that God both in the Old Testament and among the later Jews is as seldom called Father, and as frequently called King, as in the New Testament the name Father is according to the rule, and that of King, the exception. Again, so far as it respects the period 7aw wzPq: 7229? we shall see in the remarks upon verse 10th, that the same phrase occurs also so often in the Old Testament, that Christ certainly need not have borrowed it from the Rabbins. But the petition is of so constant occurrence in מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם for the coming of the
1 A clergyman in one of our late periodicals earnestly demands whether Christ actually borrowed his prayer from the Rabbins, as in this case it would be impossible for him any longer to use it with devotion.
2 That very uncritical work: Die geheime Lehre der alten Orientnler, etc. by the Swede Hallenberg, Rostock 1805, which on its appearance crenteil a greai sensation, also begins its disclosures with the pretended tracing of the Lord's prayer to the Rabbins.
the Old and New Testaments that Christ would not have expressed himself otherwise consistently with the Christian terminology. Here the real parallels properly end. That is to say, to the third petition no parallel is found except barely the words “ thy name be hallowed in this world as it is hallowed in heaven" and the “Israelites are angels upon earth, the angels hallow the name of God in heaven, the Israelites upon earth.” With the fourth petition a passage is compared from the Tr. Berachot. “The wants of thy people are many ; may it please thee, O God, to give unto each of them so much as is necessary for their nourishment, and to every people what they need.” To the fifth petition there is nothing which bears the remotest resemblance to a parallel. With the sixth the following passage from a Jewish morning prayer is compared : “Lord our God, make us to follow thy laws, lead us not into the hand of sin, nor into the hand of transgression, nor into the hand of temptation, nor into scorn; deliver us from evil inclination (778) bind us to that which is good.” It surely needs no further proof, that mere verbal resemblances of this sort can never demonstrate a causal connection between the rabbinical prayers and the prayers of our Lord. To this should be added the important circumstance that these phrases, which possess an apparent resemblance, are raked together from writings of the most heterogeneous character; some occurring in the Talmud and in the book Sohar, in narrative discourse; others in moral works ; and others again in collections of prayers. The most resembling are found in a gipnina i. e. a liturgical collection of the Portuguese Jews, and in the 5097 0 of which so much use is made by Drusius, and the author of which is a R. Jehudaklatz. Now the Portuguese collection does not certainly reach beyond the middle ages, and as to the R. Jehudaklatz, it appears that he lived toward the end of the fifteenth century !! What inference is it possible to draw from the prayers of this Rabbi and of the Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam, with respect to the character of the prayers in use among the Jews in the days of our Saviour ?
One other peculiar opinion remains to be mentioned, which was first advanced by Knorr of Rosenroth, and has received the approbation of several eminent men. This pious statesman, who was deeply initiated into Jewish mysticism, and is known also as a writer of hymns, broaches the opinion in the 3d part of his apparatus in libr. Sohar in the pref. 9 2. that the petitions of the Lord's prayer represent, according to the successive series of the cabbalistic emanation, the four worlds, mundus aziluticus, beriathicus, ieziraticus and asia; in which he received the assent of several learned men and even of the great and sober Buddæus. The matter became a subject of zealous controversy in which the opposite view was maintained particularly by Gotel. Wernsdorf in his vindiciis orationis domin. Vit. 1708, and in the Disputation of Schrader : orat. dominicae historice et dogmatice proposita precipue autem judaismo opposita. Helm. 1710.
1 Wolf does not give bis age : his German sounding name is enough to show that he belongs to modern times. In Rossi. dizzionario storico degli autori Ebrei, Parma 1802. 1. p. 89, it is said, however, that his Sefer Masar was published as a posthumous work, 1537, in Constantinople.
IV. Contents and arrangement of the Prayer. The pregnant fullness of its contents is that set forth in the nervous language of Tertullian de orat. c. 7. brevitas istamagnæ ac beatæ interpretationis substantia fulta est, quantumque substringitur verbis, tantum diffunditur sensibus, neque enim propria tantum orationis officia complexa est, venerationem dei, aut hominis petitionem, sed omnem paene sermonem domini, omnem commemorationem disciplinae, ut revera in oratione breviarium totius evangelii comprehendatur. It will be impossible, however, to form an adequate conception of the profound meaning of this prayer without presupposing the correctness of the hermeneutical rule which I have already laid down,' viz. that in interpreting the words of Christ we are not barely to think of the sense which was attached to them by his immediate hearers, but are rather to seek for that which he connected with them himself. Now if we suppose, that he who promised the Spirit to his disciples to supply what was wanting in their faith, knew what the spiritual life of the church was one day to be, we must also suppose that the prayer which he gave to his church for all time, is such an one as can be understood and used in all the fullness of its meaning only from a perfectly spiritual standing point. In other words, this prayer first obtains its full
103. 137. 150 of the commontary on the Sernion upon the