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The Lord’s Prayer
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The Lord’s Prayer


Westminster John Knox 2018

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C. Clifton Black provides a thorough analysis of the most famous prayer in the Christian church, the Lord’s Prayer. He begins with an impressionist painting of how the ancients prayed during Jesus’ time in order to set the context for understanding the prayer he taught his disciples. Throughout the book, Black systematically interprets the rich meanings of each part of the Lord’s prayer. Additionally, he includes an overview of Christian thought on the Lord’s Prayer from early church mothers and fathers like Tertullian and Teresa of Avila to modern theologians like Karl Barth. Uniquely, this book is an academic study of the Lord’s Prayer with a focus on the rhetorical culture from which it developed as well as the theological, literary, and historical meanings of the prayer itself.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Provides a systematic and comprehensive study of the Lord’s Prayer
  • Surveys the history of related biblical interpretation
  • Focuses on the theological, literary, and historical meanings


Part One: Getting Our Bearings

  • The Religious World of the Lord’s Prayer
  • Prayer in the Gospels

Part Two: Interpreting the Prayer: The First Table

  • Our Heavenly Father
  • The Consecrated Name
  • Kingdom and Will

Part Three: Interpreting the Prayer: The Second Table

  • Bread
  • Debts and Forgiveness
  • Rescue from Ultimate Danger and Evil

Part Four: Doxology and Conclusion

  • Kingdom, Power, and Glory
  • A Pastoral Coda

Praise for the Print Edition

Faced with this book on the Lord’s Prayer, I have three questions. Do I agree with all the interpretations? No, but the range of material discussed here is so rich that I can think about them afresh for myself. Did I go along with all the theology? No, but the larger context here, from the prayers of ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel to those of spiritual and theological giants of every age, has opened my eyes to unguessed treasures. Did it make me want to pray and give me fresh resources to do so? Yes. Abundantly. That’s what matters.

—N. T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland

Clifton Black spreads a feast of learning and thought in this splendid volume on the Lord’s Prayer. In addition to a rich analysis of the prayer itself in the context of the Gospels and ancient culture, he shows its theological depth and its ecumenical possibilities. As lagniappe, he provides a glimpse of the history of the interpretation of Jesus’s prayer. A book valuable both to scholars and pastors.

—Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins, Emory University

Clifton Black has long been regarded as one of our most sensitive and insightful readers of Scripture. Now Professor Black joins Jesus in teaching us how to pray in the name of Jesus. This is a beautiful, encouraging book that pastors and congregations will find quite useful in deepening their prayer life.

—Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop (retired), Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, and author of How Odd of God: Chosen for the Curious Vocation of Preaching

Product Details

About C. Clifton Black

C. Clifton Black is the Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books in New Testament studies, including The Rhetoric of the Gospel: Theological Artistry in the Gospels and Acts, 2nd ed., published by Westminster John Knox Press (2013).

Sample Pages from the Print Edition