Knowledgebase: Bible Questions
Lord's Prayer
Posted on 10 May 2012 04:33 PM
I learned the Lord's prayer using the word trespass - "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others their trespasses against us" which seems to fit the surrounding scripture better than debts and debtors. When was the wording changed and for what reason??

Matthew 6:12 in the KJV says "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." In this context it means moral and spiritual indebtedness. Our debtors are those who have wronged us.
In Luke 11:4 we read another account of Jesus' prayer: "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us." The SDA commentary draws our attention to the parable of the servant who was forgiven a great debt by his master, and then went and threatened another man who owed him far less.
In Matthew 6:15, just three verses from the verse about forgiving "debts," it is Jesus himself who uses the term "trespasses" so soon after He used the term "debts." Jesus said, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
So "sin" and "debt" and "trespass" are synonymous, and the wording wasn't changed. Instead, it is "precept upon precept, line upon line," that we learn fuller truth.
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