I thoroughly enjoyed reading this easy-to-read book about the “Our Father” or Avinu prayer – the Lord’s Prayer as it is often called. The authors do an excellent job of weaving together story and teaching in a way that compels you to read to the end.
I thought I had a good general knowledge of historical matters related to the Bible. However, this book introduced me to the theory that Matthew first wrote his gospel in Hebrew. I hate to admit that I had never heard that previously, but I hadn’t. My point in confessing this is that even though the concept was new to me, the authors quickly helped me understand the validity of their point of view.
The real strengths of the book include:
1. The authors’ journey together in writing this book encourages the reader that unity can be found in the teachings of Jesus.
2. The authors’ use of personal story make the book a compelling read and help the reader experience what it would have been like to hear Jesus teach the “our Father” prayer.
3. The authors demonstrate clear rationale for their point of view regarding the Hebrew origin of the Book of Matthew and the historical location of the Sermon on the Mount. This really encourages the reader to venture more deeply into Hebrew culture.
The one weakness of the book results from one of the book’s key strengths. Although it is wonderful to see a Jewish scholar and an evangelical Christian explore the words of Jesus together, the applications they draw lack strength because they wrote to the lowest common denominator – the points upon which they could both agree. There still are great applications and conclusions drawn, but I would love to see others write further about the Avinu prayer and its applications to followers of Jesus.
Here are some helpful links about the book or author:
http://www.aprayertoourfather.com – official website
I’ve also posted this review at Viral Bloggers.