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The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer
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The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Every Sunday, the Lord’s Prayer echoes in churches around the world.

It is an indisputable principle of Christian faith. It is the way Jesus taught his followers to pray and distills the most essential beliefs required of every one of the world’s 2.5 billion Christians. In The Greatest Prayer, our foremost Jesus scholar explores this foundational prayer line by line for the
ebook, 208 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books
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Fred Kohn
Apr 11, 2013 Fred Kohn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jeanne Stevens Kohn
When I lost faith in the God of Abraham six years ago, I had also pretty much given up on Christianity as having the potential to contribute much to the progressive change the world desperately need. The bulk of Christianity seemed so regressive; focused mainly on oppression of marginalized groups and maintaining economic inequality. Reading John Crossan has restored my faith that perhaps there is hope for Christianity yet. Although some of his views (such as on the atonement) are sure to aliena ...more
The Greatest Prayer starts off with a detailed breakdown of the Lord's Prayer (aka the "Our Father") as an example of carefully crafted Hebrew poetry, but then transforms into a meditation on each of the lines that make up the prayer. Crossan asks more questions than he answers, but returns to two key themes throughout: first, that "justice" is always distributive, and second, that the foundational metaphor for the prayer — and perhaps all of Christianity — is of God as the divine Householder. S ...more
I like John Dominic Crossan and what he has to say, but I've occasionally thought that he practices a certain "sleight of hand" in reaching his conclusions. I found that true in several places in this book. Take his exegesis of the petition, "lead us not into temptation." His argument is that this plea is SPECIFICALLY to lead us not into the temptation to do violence. Taking various other gospel passages, he demonstrates how Jesus was an advocate of non-violence. That's fair. I myself happen to ...more
"The Greatest Prayer" is quite a stimulating book about The Lord's Prayer or the "Our Father". I think (but am not positive) that Mr. Crossan is connected to the so-called "Jesus Seminar" which tries to articulate who is exactly "the historical Jesus" (as people used to say). Although such a project might seem dry or an attempt to debunk the myth of Jesus, this book is what I call a "faithful book".

First off, the first chapter is an excursion into how to pray. Mr. C. takes Saint Paul's writings
Debra Brunk
I wanted to like this book and to get a lot out of it. The concept of going through the Lord's Prayer, sentence by sentence, seemed a good approach for learning and understanding the prayer and the new testament better. While there are some interesting discussions on the parallelism of the prayer's structure - and the chapter on "thy will be done" was thought-provoking, I found the analysis as a whole to be weak and circular. The author asks a number of questions at the beginning of each chapter ...more
Marty Solomon
Fantastic and insightful read from Crossan.

Crossan takes the Lord's Prayer and writes a chapter on each line of the prayer. The insight he brings from a scholastic perspective is brilliant. Some of the best work I've seen at taking the first-century discussion and context and helping to bridge the gap for a modern (or post-modern) western thinker. The chapter on the "eschaton" was one of the best I have read.

Each chapter builds upon the last until you have a beautiful tapestry of information, q
Sep 19, 2010 Matt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any open-minded person interested in prayer
John Dominic Crossan's newest book - besides offering tremendous literally criticism and poetic insight - provides much needed depth into a subject matter that those who ascribe to liberal theology sometimes struggle with.

Accustomed as we are to a Christian tradition that all too often reduces prayer to "asking God for things," but at the same time philosophically unable to think of God as a person-like being, we simply don't know what do to with prayer; or as Paul of Tarsus (quoted approvingly
Marty Schmidt
Crossan brings expert exegetical skills to one of the most important spiritual passages of all time - new wine in new wineskins.
Quite interesting, but it seems that there is a lot of non-necessary off shoots...
Loren Curtis
Excellent study of the Lord's Prayer.
I read this book as a devotional, a little bit each night. I purchased it after hearing Crossan speak in a series of theological lectures at the Chautauqua Institution. Much of the thrust of Crossan's theology is about distributive justice. Crossan is brilliant and the book is thought provoking. I would recommend reading the book more rapidly, at chapter at a sitting. The whole book is summed up near the end. If you want the thrust of the book, you could just read that.
S. Wilson
This was a disappointing book. Crossan could not get out of his scholar’s head and into his human heart. He would come close, but then blink. The book was about the Lord’s Prayer. And it did remind me of Distributive Justice and how without justice there is no justice and without justice there can be no love. But he could bring himself to drop the bombs he should have.
Joe Tedesco
Dominic introduces passages in the Old and New Testaments that are life-affirming that are not often mentioned if ever. - I was good to read the passages that focused on justice and good-will for all -excluding none and actively including everyone especially those who are often neglected in our modern society.
Robert D. Cornwall
This is an excellent look at the Lord's Prayer. Looks deeply into the biblical context and background. His view is that at the heart of this prayer is God's concern for distributive justice. Worth reading (and in tandem with my own book on the subject that has come out just following Crossan's)
A few months ago, I emailed my campus minister and said, "There should be a book about the Our Father that has a chapter on each line, going into the theology behind it all. Does that book exist?" And he said, "Yes, you want to read 'The Greatest Prayer' by John Dominic Crossan." So I did.
Good logic and argument. But you have to accept his initial premises. He attempts to present them as logical conclusions, but they are simply acts of faith. I liked the book and the argument, just am not able to accept his premises as being the only basis for rational decision making.
This came at a time when I was thinking about it the most.
Stuart Jennings
Not the best of Crossan's books. His scholarly insights are as sharp as ever but a book on prayer needs to touch the heart as well as the head and it never quite manages to do that. Good background reading to the prayer ineverrheless
Diane Badger
We don't often take the time to "dissect" this prayer and its meaning. I didn't agree with all of the author's interpretation and understandings but felt it made me much more aware of this prayer.
I am currently re-reading this book by Dom Crossan. I have previously read it and found it very interesting, but I need to read it again in preparation for discussion in Moebius.
A compelling, thoughtful, fresh look at The Lord's Prayer. A book to be reread and chewed again.

Am re-reading this book! (May 20, 2012)
Scott Freeman
A fantastic look at the Lord's Prayer from a leading scholar. The approach is one of distribute justice and nonviolence. A must read.
Jsue wagner
Not my favorite Crossan. Seemed to be an underlying agenda never revealed. But still thought provoking overall.
I really enjoyed this look at the Lord's Prayer from an historical perspective. I hope I heed the call to community.
Crossan's got great ideas but his style is too meandering and long-winded.
Jarkko Laine
My favorite book this year.
Matthew Andreacola
Matthew Andreacola marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Glória Hefzibá
Glória Hefzibá marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2015
Natalie marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2015
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John Dominic Crossan is generally regarded as the leading historical Jesus scholar in the world. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Birth of Christianity, and Who Killed Jesus? He lives in Clermont, Florida.
John Dominic Crossan was born in Nenagh County in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1934. He was educated in Ireland and
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“To obtain and possess the kingdoms of the world, with their power and glory, by violent injustice is to worship Satan. To obtain and possess the kingdom, the power, and the glory by nonviolent justice is to worship God.” 0 likes
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