Scriptural Gem for June 2013

In Matthew 6:11 (part of the Lord's Prayer) we read: 'Give us this day our 'daily' bread...'

It is interesting to note that the word 'daily' does not appear in the original Greek text and the insertion of the word by the translators has led many Christians to believe that Jesus is meaning us to pray for our daily requirement of food, clothing and the necessities of life. However, in the original text the word that appears before 'bread' is the Greek word 'Epiousios'. To understand what this word means we need to look at the two words from which it is made up. Those two words are 'Epi' and 'Ousios'. 'Epi' means 'above' (think of 'epicentre' - the point above the centre of an earthquake) and 'Ousios' which means 'substance or existence'.

A literal translation of the text would read something like: 'Give us this day our above-substance bread'. Give us this day our heavenly bread, existence that comes from above. This reminds strongly of Jesus' words in John 6:32-35: 'Jesus said to them,"Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world". Sir, they said, always give us this bread. Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

So, in the Lord's prayer, He is literally teaching us to pray for our daily portion of Himself, the substance from above. It is interesting that in the Latin Bible (The Vulgate, as it is called), Matthew 6:11 reads: 'Give us this day our Supersubstantial bread'. Brilliant translation, true to the text. Dear friends, let us from this day onward pray that prayer correctly, asking Him to impart Himself to us every day. Amen.