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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The prayer that spans the world
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...
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by W. Peter Graham

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1.0 out of 5 stars Our Father makeover. Or reconstructive surgery.
Sadly the use of the Lords Prayer in the title is not reflected in the book. The content is a well argued need for considering the Kingdom of God on this earth should be concerned with the concept of distributive justice. How to sell this to the widest audience? The Lord's Prayer is an easy target but sadly the links are tenuous and too complicated for any but the most...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The prayer that spans the world, 16 Mar 2012
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W. Peter Graham (Edinburgh UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer (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. Particularly illuminating are his reflections on the meaning of the Creation story in Genesis 1, on the Sabbath and on the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

And the title itself? How is the Lord's Prayer the "greatest" prayer? It is the greatest prayer within Christianity itself. Crossan believes that the greatest prayer in every religion should speak to all the world and for all the earth. And in this book he has made a strong case for the universal application of the Lord's Prayer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lord's prayer, 20 Nov 2011
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
5.0 out of 5 stars As advertised., 29 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer (Paperback)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Our Father makeover. Or reconstructive surgery., 29 Mar 2014
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Sadly the use of the Lords Prayer in the title is not reflected in the book. The content is a well argued need for considering the Kingdom of God on this earth should be concerned with the concept of distributive justice. How to sell this to the widest audience? The Lord's Prayer is an easy target but sadly the links are tenuous and too complicated for any but the most academic. Far from rediscovery reading this produced confusion and incredulity. Better if it had been written in Latin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crossan always reads well, 28 Mar 2014
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I don't know when I shall next be preaching on the Lord's Prayer but I shall have something provocative to pass on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring historical contextualisation, 13 Dec 2012
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Andii (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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The background in the history and socio economic realities of the time is very helpful and enlivened prayer. Also helpful and exciting is the way that themes are cross referenced to other parts of scripture particularly the Hebrew Bible and especially Isaiah and other prophetic material. What I found slightly less convincing was the "two halves" division which worked in some ways but not in others. The way it didn't"t convince me was in seeing the hallowed be clause as precautionary rather than as qaddish. I think that the tension between the structures of the Lyman version and the Matthean would,in this case, be good to explore further as it seems to me that the Lyman structure has to be thought of somewhat differently.
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