Date of Award
Doctor of Theology (ThD)
Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)
John 6:54; Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 6:9-13; Romans 10:8;
"The Lord's Prayer: Its Interpretation and a Reassessment of an Eschatological Orientation, Favoring the Prayer's Primary Application as Being for the Present Gospel Age"
This dissertation (633 pp.) by David Fielding, Th.D., 1995,NT Exegetical Theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO., defends the applicability of the LP for the present Gospel age on the basis of its seven imperative verbs understood as typical "prayer aorists." Therefore a strictly future eschatological interpretation restricts the rich meaning of this Prayer, taught by Jesus on more than one occasion. The orientation of the LP primarily to the present is also supported by its context in the Matthean Sermon on the Mount where it is not seen as an intrusion but rather as the center of the SM. The "Thy petitions" of the first strophe are best understood in terms of justification and sanctification (what God does for us and what he does in us). Further, the hapax,ton epiousion, occupies the center of the fourth petition, the center of the LP, and therefore the center of the SM. The incarnational, soteriological dimensions of the SM impact upon interpretation of the LP warranting its orientation primarily for the here and now. Other significant conclusions are that the word epiousios does not refer to tomorrow’s bread, although this is a common trend in scholarship, but to bread coming to us as a gift from a benevolent and loving God. Philologically, the form is surely built upon epi + ienai. The sixth petition probably reflects a Semitic construction whereby in a negative causative construction (usually the Hb. hiphil) the negation sometimes can gravitate to the cause rather than to the effect and therefore an interpretation that shifts the negation away from the verb similar to the following is proposed: "Bring us away from temptation." A reassessment of a strictly eschatological position leads to the conclusion that the LP is intended primarily for the present. Also, this has been the basic position of the Reformers. The English liturgical version adequately renders the original texts.
Fielding, David, "The Lord's Prayer-Its Interpretation and a Reassessment of an Eschatological Orientation, Favoring the Prayer's Primary Application as Being for the Present Gospel Age" (1995). Doctor of Theology Dissertation. 111.
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