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The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer Paperback – 17 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (17 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281064172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281064175
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Dominic Crossan, Professor Emeritus at De Paul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Peter Graham on 16 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Many books have been written about the Lord's Prayer. This latest contribution encourages us to see it as a prayer from the heart of Judaism on the lips of Christianity for the conscience of the world. In eight closely argued chapters Crossan sheds new light on the Lord's Prayer, demonstrating the Old Testament background to the familiar words and making a strong case for a fresh understanding of their meaning and intention.

The author's concern is with justice, not as retributive justice, as punishment, but in its more positive Biblical sense of distributive justice, the sharing of everything fairly. Do all God's children have enough? If not, how must things change so that all God's people have a fair, equitable and just proportion of God's world?

Although he has lived and worked in the United States since the late 1960s, Crossan's Irish roots shine through not only in his use of Irish history to illuminate the plight of Roman-occupied Palestine in the time of Jesus but also in his pithy comments:
* Reminding us that humans may not be the crown of creation: We are the work of a late Friday afternoon. And maybe not even God's best work is done on a late Friday afternoon.
* Herod the Great often makes Henry VIII appear both magnanimous and monogamous.
* Commenting on the opening word, "Our", You may certainly pray it alone, but you are never alone when you pray it.
* And on "as in heaven so on earth", Heaven's in great shape: earth is where the problems are.

Even if one does not accept every detail of Crossan's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, this book is packed with rich insights both into the overall Biblical narrative and into the Prayer itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. G. Ramsbottom on 20 Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dom Crossan manages to devote a full book to this foundational prayer of Christianity. His usual method is to link topics to the "matrix" in which they were first written, and he goes into detail of the first century of the Jesus movement and the relationship of the phrases of this well known prayer to the situation at the time. Probably the most noteworthy aspects for me were the explanations of "give us our daily bread" and "forgive our debts" as relating primarily to the basic problems of peasant life - enough food, and freedom from oppressive debt. This is a breath of fresh air when compared to the way the prayer is normally "spiritualised" today, with its concentration on "sin".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sandie appleby on 29 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in good condition. It was dispatched quickly and packed well. It is a book I would recommend to anyone - easy to read and very informative. Relevant for today.
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