Full Project – MATTHEW’S VERSION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER IN EWE-GHANAIAN CONTEXT

Full Project – MATTHEW’S VERSION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER IN EWE-GHANAIAN CONTEXT

 

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Abstract

The Lord’s Prayer has throughout the epochs of Christian historygone through layers of interpretationsand translations. The three variants in Matthew, Luke, and the Didache, are internal and external evidence of hermeneutical traditions and context sensitivity in the handling of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. The study explores the Matthean rendition of the Lord’s Prayer within the socio-linguistic and liturgical milieu of Ewe-Ghanaian Christianity. The study first and foremost identifies and corrects anomalies in existing Ewe translations of Matthew’s rendition of the Lord’s Prayer. The study explored the continuity and discontinuity between the Lord’s Prayer and Ewe libation prayer with the aim of creating a healthy dialogue between Christian prayers and Ewe traditional religiousprayers. Employing the critical-historical method, the study delvedinto the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman backgrounds of the Lord’s Prayer through critical examination of the Kaddishfrom the Talmud, and other early Jewish prayers predating the Lord’s Prayer.It also explored the continuity and discontinuity between Matthew and Luke’s versions, and assessed its relevance for the 21stcentury Ewe-Ghanaian Christian. The advent of Christianity in Africa has resulted in the translation of the Bible intoseveralAfrican indigenous languages, and the Ewe language, spoken by people living in the south-eastern part of Ghana, Togo, and part of Benin, is no exception. The translation of the Bible in general and the Lord’s Prayer in particular from its source language (Greek) to the receptor language (Ewe), has undoubtedly enhanced the spiritualand liturgical life of the Ewe-Ghanaian Christian, especially in the area of prayer. This notwithstanding, the translation of the Bible into the Ewe language, just as inthe medieval, modern and postmodern settings, has also led to the creation of linguistic, hermeneutical, theological, doctrinal, and liturgical discrepancies. The exegetical and hermeneutical exercise carried out in this study, is therefore an attempt to address such discrepancies as evident in the themes of the Lord’s Prayer such asΠάτερ and οὐρανοῖς in the invocation, βασιλείατου θέου in the second petition, ἄρτον and ἐπιούσιον in the fourth petition, ὀφειλήματα and ὀφειλέταις in the fifth petition, and πονηρος in the sixth petition. The liturgical relevance of the Lord’s Prayer for the 21stcentury Ewe-Ghanaian Christian has also been brought into question, especially when viewed within the ambience of popular Ewe-Ghanaian Christian prayers.

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Full Project – MATTHEW’S VERSION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER IN EWE-GHANAIAN CONTEXT

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