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form of " Bish" would have been employed if "evil" generally had been intended. Dr. Neubauer (a great authority) says it may mean "evil" simply, or "the evil" emphatically, but not "the evil one"; but Dr. Payne Smith, who is a still greater authority, says that "Bish-o" means, imprimis, "the evil one," and "very seldom " simply "evil."
The EARLY LATIN versions, some of which are very ancient, have "a malo," which would mean "from evil" in classical Latin, but not always in these ancient Latin versions, which often use the masculine "malus," to mean the devil, as well as a wicked man. It is true, however, that one of them uses Malignus, with a capital M, when the devil is clearly meant, and others use "filii nequissimi," sons of the "most wicked," or "filii nequam," or some other distinctive expression when "the evil one " is meant, as distinguished from "evil" generally.
The SAHIDIC version, or that of Upper Egypt, is next in antiquity, and it simply adopts the Greek word Tovŋpos, but makes it into a masculine definitely, by prefixing the masculine article. This version clearly renders it "the evil one "
The words "a malo" are as indefinite as the Greek itself, and the admissions of the Bishop himself as to the use of Malignus or some other expression, instead of simply malus, to imply the devil, are sufficient proof of the uncertainty of the translation of "a malo" by "from the evil one."
The MEMPHITIC version, or that of Lower Egypt, of nearly equal, if not even greater, antiquity, is "altogether ambiguous" on the question, by the acknowledgment of the Bishop of Durham himself, but it is claimed by Canon Cook, on apparently good grounds, as being absolutely neuter, i. e., "evil" in general
This is true.
This also is true.
The Bishop does not controvert this.
Origen, in the third century, "the unquestionably favours evil one," especially in his later writings.
(p. 41 et seq., Second Letter to Bishop of London.)
The ETHIOPIC, which is ancient version, is unquestionably "evil" in general.
The GOTHIC version, in the 4th century, by Ulphilas, uses the indefinite Als thamma ubelin," “from the evil," which may be either masculine, or neuter.
Tertullian, a Latin Father before the time of St. Jerome,
Justin Martyr, Irenæus, and Clement of Alexandria (all earlier than Origen), give no support to "the evil one."
No doubt; but in his later writings he was suspected of unsoundness in the faith, and his time was not until two centuries after Christ, during which interval the philosophy of the Alexandrine schools materially affected the writings even of Christians, and the Greek Church holds him in less esteem as a trustworthy commentator than some others. But his influence was very great, and the subsequent Greek Fathers (and notably St. Chrysostom) adopted his interpretation. But by this time Christianity was in some sort fashionable and the Church corrupt, and Christians might well pray specially for deliverance from the evil one in the Church, as well as the world, though our Lord had made the petition general.
This work on prayer was written in his old age, and after he
decidedly favours "the evil one," especially in his work on prayer.
This is true about the Latin Fathers.
had become a Montanist heretic. It is therefore of little weight in the controversy; and the Latin Fathers generally sanction "evil,” and not "the evil one."
The LITURGIES are acknowledged to be of little weight in the controversy, as even the ancient ones were altered from time to time, until it is impossible to distinguish what is original from what is of later date.
The arguments on both sides having thus been given from the highest authorities, there are still some that may be thought pertinent to the question; and it appeared to me that it might not be without interest to the Society to show how the various eastern and western churches of every date have understood this petition, and how they have explained it officially to the members of their several communions-to children and others whom it was their duty to teach (though not in a controversial form) what they believed to be the truth; and I propose now to place before you the different versions of the clause in our Lord's prayer, and the interpretations of it, that it has been in my power to obtain. In doing this, I can make no pretence to a knowledge of all the various languages that I shall quote, but I shall mention the authorities who have favoured me with them, and the Society will then judge what weight to attach to them.
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE LORD'S PRAYER, 7TH PETITION. ANCIENT VERSIONS, CATECHISMS, ETC.
The first question is "In what sense would those who heard the prayer when first delivered understand it?"
"They would not think for a moment of the devil or Satan when told to pray for deliverance from evil.”
The late Rabbi Prag, whose acquaintance with Rabbinical and Talmudic learning is well known in the Hebrew community, and (through his son) the Chief Rabbi in London, Dr. Adler:
Rev. Dr. Stern, Minister of the Hope Place
And other Jewish Ministers.
Greek Text, New Testament-aяо тоυ Tоvпрoυ-Indefinite. May be masculine or neuter-from "evil," from "the evil thing," or from "the evil person." THE GREEK FATHERS, previous to the time of Origen (third century), give no decisive interpretation. From Origen (third century) downwards, they interpreted it as "the evil one."
THE GREEK CHURCH, "following tradition, and especially the authority of St. Chrysostom, understands it as "the evil one, the devil, the source of all evil;" but it explains the prayer to children and catechumens as meaning "deliver us from the devil, who is the father of all evil."
Rev. Dr. Stratuli, lately Archimandrite of the
"My Rev. Brother, the Archimandrite of Liverpool, seems to have hit the right note when he told you that the phrase, in its literal meaning, refers to the evil one,' but in its applied meaning it is made to extend to all his works, which are of necessity 'evil,' and only evil.”— Very Rev. Father Hatherley, Archpriest of the Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople, Priest of the Greek Church, Bristol. GREEK CATECHISM of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and
Orthodox Church (Athens, 1857), approved by the
"In the petition we call upon our heavenly Father to deliver us from all sin, and from every occasion which might lead us into sin." "ORTHODOX CONFESSION," by Peter Mogila. Lond., 1762.
"We hereby pray to God, 1st, to deliver us from all kinds of evil; 2nd, that His grace might accompany us and keep us from falling into His displeasure, more especially we pray that in the hour of death He would protect us from all the insults of the enemy of our souls."
"LONGER CATECHISM of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern
Church." Moscow, 1839; Lond., 1845. p. 109. We ask for deliverance from all evil that can reach us in the world, which, since the fall, lieth in wickedness; but especially from the evil of sin, and from the evil suggestions and snares of the spirit of evil, which is the devil."
The "PESHITO," i.e., "perfect," "simple," version, of the New Testament. 2nd centuryearly. Probably the language or a dialect of the language in which our Lord originally delivered the prayer.
Bish-o. "Evil, the." Indefinite.
"Generally, almost always, masculine."-Bishop of
"May be 'evil' or 'the evil,' not the evil one.'