You may or may not have heard of the Voice. I don’t mean the show, i mean the Bible “translation.” Their headline on their website reads, “A new Bible translation that reads like a story with all of the truth and wisdom of God’s Word.”
In the latest blog post from the Voice, David Capes writes about spontaneous prayer verses scripted prayer. In it, he writes the following:
I come from a tradition that privileges “spontaneous prayer” and looks suspiciously on scripted prayers or prayers written beforehand. According to this perspective, spontaneous prayer means prayer from the heart while prescribed prayers or prayers written down beforehand are not from the heart. I accepted this myself for many years until I met some remarkable Christians and began to read and reflect on Scripture.
He later goes on to say, “As I have listened to others pray publically, I realize that in many ways spontaneous prayers are not that different than prayers scripted beforehand.”
He then includes the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 from the Voice.
Our Father in heaven,
let Your name remain holy.
Bring about Your Kingdom,
Manifest Your will here on earth,
as it is manifest in heaven.
Give us each day that day’s bread—
no more, no less—
And forgive us our debts
as we forgive those who owe us something.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:9-13; The Voice)
As he concludes the post, he writes the following:
Any good commentary on Matthew 6 and Luke 11 will advocate that Jesus wanted his disciples to pray this prayer and he also wanted his followers to pray prayers like this. One is scripted. The other is more spontaneous. Peter Davids, one of the scholars who worked on The Voice, has written a wonderful piece recently on the Lord’s prayer. You can read it here.
I have to ask the question if this is how Jesus would really want us to pray the Lord’s Prayer. If He wanted us to pray it like this, then wouldn’t He have spoken it as such? Yes, I know that all of our English translations are not the words that our Lord spoke. Our New Testament was written in Koine Greek. Scholars throughout the centuries have produced translations based off of the original, but this one is not a translation as much as it an interpretation of Jesus’ prayer.
What are your thoughts?