Review of A Prayer to Our Father by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson (Hilkiah Press), 2009.
Gordon and Johnson provide a gentle walk through unfamiliar territory surrounding the Lord’s Prayer. The territory is unfamiliar because they explore the Hebrew version of this well-known passage of Scripture. The walk is gentle because they have included their personal experiences as they traveled the land of Israel in search of the Hebraic roots of these verses. In a combination of travelogue, history and linguistic detective work, this book guides the reader to insights that only appear in the Hebrew original. It is a journey worth taking.
Clearly written with the average reader in mind, A Prayer to Our Father does not overwhelm with etymological intricacies or theological arguments. Instead, it presents a journey of enlightenment, for the authors and for the reader, as it traverses the land of Israel, examining culture and history in an effort to peel back two thousand years of translation accumulation. The journey reaches its climax in an analysis of the Hebrew worldview connected to our Lord’s simple prayer. The insights – and corrections – discovered in this recovery are formidable and immediately applicable. This is a valuable contribution to any believer’s library.
A. J. Moen, D. Phil.
Master’s International Divinity School