Author Topic: Debts or Trespasses?  (Read 295 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,009
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Debts or Trespasses?
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:21:30 AM »
The Authorized Version renders the Our Father in the Gospel of St. Matthew as “forgive us our trespassers, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us”, whereas I occasionally hear a variation on the St. Luke version, along the lines of “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”   Traditional Anglican BCPs and some Orthodox liturgies opt for Trespasses, but I have also heard some English language Orthodox liturgies go for debts/debtors instead (which I believe is also the wording the ESV uses for Matthew).

What does your parish or jurisdiction use, and which form of the prayer do you personally prefer for your private devotions, and why?
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline platypus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 11:58:37 AM »
I most often attend OCA diocese of the South parishes, which say debts. This varies from diocese to diocese in the OCA, or perhaps it's parish to parish.

I prefer debts. I don't know the Greek, although in the Vulgate it's "debitas" which is usually translated as "debts." I like debts because I think of monetary debt as pretty significant, and so the word debt stresses the seriousness of the situation to me. The word tresspasses doesn't. It makes me think of walking across someone else's lawn.

"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline Orthodox_Slav

  • A sinful servant of God.
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,118
  • 1539: Seal of Ivan IV
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 12:28:23 PM »
I say debts
"Two Romes fell, a third stands, and there will not be a fourth one."-Philotheus of Pskov

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!- Paschal troparion

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,213
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 12:51:17 PM »
FWIW, I have read countless Portuguese versions of the Lord's Prayer, and I never read any that didn't use dívidas (debts) apart from NTLH, which is explicitly paraphrastic, meant to be used by simple people. Both are reasonable translations for the Greek original, but "debts" is more literal, evoking the imagery of parables such as St. Luke 7:40-47 and St. Matthew 18:21-35, while "trespasses" is more paraphrastic. Church Slavonic also uses "debts" (длъгы).
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 12:53:50 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,726
  • Faith: without works is dead.
  • Jurisdiction: Foolishness to the Greeks
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 12:52:18 PM »
My former OCA DOS parish said "debts", current Antiochian parish says "trespasses."

I prefer debts just because that's how I learned it.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 12:52:31 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,516
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 01:01:24 PM »
From what I've read, "debts" is the most accurate rendering and debt and debt-relief in the most literal sense were a major concern for the audience. The "lead us not into temptation" may in fact be a reference to a trial in debtors' court.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,213
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 01:02:56 PM »
From what I've read, "debts" is the most accurate rendering and debt and debt-relief in the most literal sense were a major concern for the audience. The "lead us not into temptation" may in fact be a reference to a trial in debtors' court.
I had never heard this, but it actually makes sense.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,812
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: TUOCOUIA
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2018, 01:11:15 PM »
Jesus said "debts", so it's good enough for me.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,726
  • Faith: without works is dead.
  • Jurisdiction: Foolishness to the Greeks
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 01:12:49 PM »
From what I've read, "debts" is the most accurate rendering and debt and debt-relief in the most literal sense were a major concern for the audience. The "lead us not into temptation" may in fact be a reference to a trial in debtors' court.
I had never heard this, but it actually makes sense.
DBH has definitely argued for it in his post-translation writings.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,839
  • "With great power comes great electric bill."
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2018, 01:15:43 PM »
I think the Greek word means something along the line of "debts," but our Church still says, ". . . and forgive us are trespasses . . ."

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,481
  • Race: Human. Culture: Yes.
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2018, 01:18:48 PM »
I think the Greek word means something along the line of "debts," but our Church still says, ". . . and forgive us are trespasses . . ."

It does (literally, 'what we owe'). But we say 'trespasses' too, and I prefer it. 'Debts' just doesn't have the same ring to it. :P
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox ~

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,839
  • "With great power comes great electric bill."
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2018, 01:28:14 PM »
True.  I vaguely remember reading an article that worked in both meanings.

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,213
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2018, 01:36:37 PM »
From what I've read, "debts" is the most accurate rendering and debt and debt-relief in the most literal sense were a major concern for the audience. The "lead us not into temptation" may in fact be a reference to a trial in debtors' court.
I had never heard this, but it actually makes sense.
DBH has definitely argued for it in his post-translation writings.
DBH = David Bentley Hart?
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,175
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Patriarchate/POC
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2018, 01:42:36 PM »
Ofc I don't say this prayer in English, but in Polish, Serbian, Church Slavonic or Arabic, depending on situation.

In Polish there is "winy" - "winowajcom", so "guilts" - "that are guilt toward us".

In Serbian and Church Slavonic there is "debts" - "debtors".

In Arabic there is different construction
 "and leave us for us that what is on us as we leave for whom that is on us"
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,213
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 01:45:50 PM »
In Arabic there is different construction
 "and leave us for us that what is on us as we leave for whom that is on us"
I like this.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,009
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2018, 05:57:02 PM »
"Trespasses" both for what my parish uses and what I prefer.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 05:57:14 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Antonis

  • Μέγα το Θαύμα!
  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,985
Re: Debts or Trespasses?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2018, 07:17:26 PM »
From what I've read, "debts" is the most accurate rendering and debt and debt-relief in the most literal sense were a major concern for the audience. The "lead us not into temptation" may in fact be a reference to a trial in debtors' court.
I had never heard this, but it actually makes sense.
DBH has definitely argued for it in his post-translation writings.
Of course he has. :P Not a judgment on whether he’s right in this case or not, but he reads everything as a Marxist struggle.
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4