display | more...

What we know in King James English as the Lord's Prayer has been transliterated, interpreted, and translated a number of times from Aramaic (the language Jesus of Nazareth was thought to have spoken) to Greek to Latin to various other Western European languages, including English. The original Aramaic text narrowly transliterated to English looks remarkably similar to the writeups above and sounds much like the Lord's Prayer most Westerners are familiar with today. However, Aramaic is a rich language, filled with subtleties in every word that can be interpreted in multiple ways.

Spiritual scholar Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz offers an interpretation1 of the Lord's Prayer as purportedly spoken by Jesus of Nazareth, using the manifold interpretations available in each Aramaic phrase -- as such, Douglas-Klotz' interpretation is a good deal longer than the traditional Lord's Prayer. Here, I've broken down here three texts. The first, in bold, is the original Aramaic; the second is the more traditional English interpretation as translated by Martin Luther; the third in italics is the later English interpretation as translated by Neil Douglas-Klotz in the early 1990s.

Abwûn d'bwaschmâja
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Oh you, breathing life in all, origin of the gleaming sound, you shine in us and around us, even the darkness glows when we remember you.

Nethkâdasch schmach
Hallowed be thy name
Help us to draw a holy breath, in which we feel only you, and may your sound ring in us and purify us.

Têtê malkuthach
Thy kingdom come.
May your counsel rule our lives and make our intentions clear for the common creation.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
May the burning wish of your heart unify heaven and earth through our harmony.

Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna
Give us this day our daily bread.
Grant us daily the bread and insight that we need: what is necessary for the call of growing life.

Waschboklân chaubên (wachtahên) aikâna daf chnân schvoken l'chaijabên
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Release the cords of the errors that bind us, as we let go of that which binds us to the faults of others.

Wela tachlân l'nesjuna ela patzân min bischa
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Do not let superficial things lead us astray, but instead free us from that which holds us back.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn. Amên
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
From you comes the all-effective will, the living strength to act, the song that beautifies everything and which renews itself from age to age. True vitality to these testimonies! May they be the ground out of which all my actions grow. Sealed in trust.


Here, I've added the Douglas-Klotz' interpretation in its entirety to maintain visual clarity of the text.

Oh you, breathing life in all, origin of the gleaming sound, you shine in us and around us, even the darkness glows when we remember you.
Help us to draw a holy breath, in which we feel only you, and may your sound ring in us and purify us.
May your counsel rule our lives and make our intentions clear for the common creation.
May the burning wish of your heart unify heaven and earth through our harmony.
Grant us daily the bread and insight that we need: what is necessary for the call of growing life.
Release the cords of the errors that bind us, as we let go of that which binds us to the faults of others.
Do not let superficial things lead us astray, but instead free us from that which holds us back.
From you comes the all-effective will, the living strength to act, the song that beautifies everything and which renews itself from age to age. True vitality to these testimonies! May they be the ground out of which all my actions grow. Sealed in trust.


A shorter version of this re-interpreted Lord's Prayer often used in non-mainstream Christian churches such as Unity reads as such:

O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth-power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.


1. Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus; Harper 1994