I just completed the book A Prayer to Our Father by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. When I had the opportunity to review this book, I was very excited. I had read the promo blurb about it and was very excited as it explores the origins of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a journey that is carried out by a Christian and a Jew together. I was not disappointed with this book in the least. It appealed to my desire for knowledge, but it also added in a very personal meaning. It also didn’t hurt that much of what the book spoke on and detailed lined up with what I believe about the kingdom of God as well how faith should be lived it. I also enjoyed the simplicity with which some of the complex word meanings are outlined.
The book can in some regard be broken down into two parts. The first is a look at how the two authors came to meet each other as well as explaining how a Jew and a Christian can explore the Scriptures together. It was a good example of a dialog between the faiths. The second part is an actual break down of the prayer from its original Hebrew (the authors explain the history as to why the prayer was in Hebrew as opposed to Greek). They take each line and break it down into what it would mean to both the cultural groups and how it can play into their identity. As a Christian, I enjoyed having the Jewish perspective there as Jesus and His followers were Jewish.
There are many interesting tidbits that the authors point out and I truly enjoyed reading about the history as well as reading the slight changes in the versions of the prayer. These changes are minor, but add much to what I would believe is the truth behind the Lord’s Prayer. By having someone look at the Hebrew version, it appears that this “version” lines up with more with the remainder of the Scriptures.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys church history explained in layman’s terms.