In Living Color: The Lord's Prayer by Paul W Meier on amazon...
When I received this book from Pastor Meier, partly in gratitude for my splendid (yes!) review of his Praying the Gospels with Martin Luther, I trusted I'd learn something new and be reminded of facts I'd once known, but "Living Color" understates the highly chromatic historical, cultural, and practical insights in this book. When you learn about the transmission, compilation, and canonization of scripture, you discover a lot of biblical texts have antecedents and close parallels in other ancient near eastern writings, so precedents for the Our Father are no surprise. But this book goes far beyond that! Also, the practice of a rabbi or teacher providing a "pray like this" model prayer to his followers was widespread and is well-known; the "Lord's Prayer" that Christians recite every week during worship and in their own devotions outside the gathered assembly was Jesus of Nazareth's contribution to that tradition.
Paul W Meier discovered Aramaic to English translations through The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies; subtleties and suggestiveness of Jesus' muttersprach helped the writer and now assist the reader to draw out, expand upon, and intensify many aspects of the familiar prayer. As Pr Meier explains, Hebrew has a much less cut-and-dried, far more expressive—and colorful personality than Greek! (Aramaic is to Hebrew approximately what koine Greek it to classical Greek.)
You can read and reread these 76 pages quickly and explore a broader, more inclusive, worldview than that of first century Palestine, so I won't go into details or provide quotes. Briefly, praying the Lord's Prayer using different words and pondering Pastor Meier's explanations can help lead to a universalizing faith more fully in accord with Jesus' – and our! – mission to reconcile all creation to heaven. In Living Color: The Lord's Prayer concludes with group-oriented discussion questions related to scripture and to the participants' life experience for each chapter. Only 5 stars? Amazon wouldn't let me give it more!
Blessed be the Holy Trinity, one God, the creator of wind and rain, field and ocean, the bread of life coming down from above, the power at work within us and this world. Amen!
my amazon review: 5 stars and counting!