The poetic parallelism of The Lord’s Prayer creates a vibration of thought, a metronome in the mind which is why we remember it. But Crossan’s book tells us that Christianity’s greatest prayer is also its strangest.
It is prayed by all Christians, but never mentions God, Christ, church or Sunday. It is prayed by fundamentalists, but never mentions the inerrancy of the Bible, virgin birth, miracles, atoning death, or bodily resurrection. It is prayed by evangelical Christians, but never mentions the evangelium or Gospel. It is prayed by mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics, but never mentions congregations, priests, bishops or pope.
Is it then a Jewish prayer?
There is no mention of covenant or law, Temple or Torah, circumcision or purity.
Crossan discovers that within its historical context, the Lord’s Prayer is a two-part revolutionary manifesto and hope for the world. The first part is a vision where everyone receives enough of the basic necessities for life and the second part the human response which makes the vision a reality on Earth.