Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More pronouns

In the Lord's Prayer, the second-person pronouns (Thy and Thine) are not the only ones with special significance. Let's look at the first-person pronouns, too. Notice anything about them? "Our Father," "give us this day," "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive. . ." That’s right; they're all plural. Most of us probably think of prayer as a personal communication between each believer and God. But when Jesus taught us how, he expected Christians to pray together.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

8 comments:

Gord said...

Just a little note to add that I thought you might like.

Its true that these pronouns are all plural and points to their significance, as you say. So, we must also note that when you appears in scripture, it is more often plural rather than singular. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain whether something said in scripture is for the body or for the individual. It would be wise to ensure we read and study scripture in its context to make sure we don't inadvertently misinterpret the biblical meaning.

I may be saying something quite obvious here. If I am, please know I am not intending to condescend. Just adding my thoughts.

Blessings.

Milton Stanley said...

You're not being condescending at all, Gord. I quite agree that all too often we misinterpret "you" passages as referring to individuals when in fact Jesus, Paul, or another NT biblical writer is in fact addressing the community. A basic knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is helpful here. Even if someone doesn't know biblical languages, the old King James Version reflects this distinctions quite well.

NaNcY said...

i do not know, of course...but, i suppose it could also mean that if we pray alone that we could pray for the whole body. just a thought.

Even So... said...

Good stuff, akin to what we find in Colossians 3...

David said...

Nancy, One thing that Scot McKnight in his book, Praying with the Church, points out that when we pray, we are joining other believers throughout the world at that moment in praying. And we also join with the saints who have gone on before and are in the presence of the Lord (see Revelation chapters 4 and 5). We are never alone when we pray!

Milton Stanley said...

I agree, Nancy. If we really do pray continually, much of our praying will be done between each one of us and God. But it looks pretty clear that the Lord intends for us to do a whole lot of praying together.

Milton Stanley said...

Good point, J.D.

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for adding to the discussion, David.