The Lord’s Prayer in Modern English | Ferrar Fenton Version

Lord's Prayer in Modern EnglishWhen looking for the Lord’s Prayer in modern English, there are many versions from which to choose. One might think that we at the Living Hour would choose the Lord’s Prayer as found in our own work “The New Century Gospels“. However, in our version of the Gospels we balance the modern forms of English usage with the poetic King James Version, which has many verses that have sunk deeply into our collective conscious. This includes the verses of the Lord’s Prayer—thus our version of the Lord’s Prayer mirrors more closely the classic version which all Christians know and have recited in Church, rather than more modern versions.

We have decided to share with you Ferrar Fenton’s translation of the Lord’s Prayer, which is found in “The Complete Bible in Modern English”. Published in 1903, the Ferrar Bible was one off the earliest translations of the Holy Bible into “modern English”. Although this translation never achieved great popularity and eventually faded into obscurity, it is a unique and important Bible translation. Students of the Bible will especially appreciate the detailed footnotes that Ferrar provides along with his translations—one example of which can be seen below.

Modern Day Version of the Our Father Prayer

For your Father knows your necessities before you ask Him. Consequently, you must pray in this way:

Our Father in the Heavens; Your Name must be being Hallowed;

Your Kingdom must be being restored.

Your Will must be being done both in Heaven and upon the Earth.

Give us today our tomorrow’s bread;

And forgive us our faults, as we forgive those offending us, for You would not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from its evil.

Ferrar Fenton Comments on The Lord’s Prayer in Modern English

“The above is a literal translation of the original Greek, retaining the Greek moods and tenses by the clearest English I could. The old versions, having been made from a Latin translation, could not reproduce the actual sense of the Saviour as given by the Evangelists, for Latin has no Aorist of the imperative passive mood used by Matthew and
Luke. The force of the imperative first Aorist seems to me to be that of what is called a standing order, a thing to be done absolutely, and continuously.”

(Note that according to Ferrar Fenton’s interpretation of the Aorist tense, the Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer for something to be done in the future. But rather our recognition that God is continually manifesting these things in the present.)

Compare the above version of the Our Father Prayer in modern English with the King James version at: The Lord’s Prayer KJV.

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