Friday, August 27, 2010

Matthew 6:11: The Lord's Prayer Continued

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον· 
Give (to) us our daily bread today.
Matthew 6:11
τὸν ἐπιούσιον (daily) is an adjective that means “the next day” or possibly “necessary”.  An early christian writer, Origen, said that this word may have been created by the disciples themselves and was part of everyday speech.  It may be idiomatic in nature.
Based on what we know, it could be translated: “Give us our tomorrow’s bread today” or “Give us our next day’s bread today”.  That can be interpreted as “give us the future food that we need for existence on a daily basis.”  As you can see, this is not a very easy passage to translate, but I think the traditional translation is correct.

1 comment:

  1. Since the word ἐπιούσιος comes from οὐσία (essence) and ἐπὶ (on, upon, to, at), how can we translate it as "daily?" Shouldn't we ask ourselves why the Apostles felt the need to create a word that hadn't previously existed for this context? This same scenario would be repeated at the Council of Nicaea with the word ὁμοούσιος (same substance) when a word describing the relation of God the Father and God the Son had not previously existed.