Re: Breaking bread, PRAYER: A BIBLE STUDY, April/May, p. 31.
I particularly appreciated Rev. Vivian Roberts’ suggestion that “daily bread” might well mean “bread for tomorrow”.
As I understand recent scholarship, Jesus is using an unusual term here for “daily bread,” taken from the practice of Roman armies to provide to its troops not simply their needs for today, but also a ration of bread for tomorrow.
In other words, Jesus is encouraging us, in this magnificent prayer, to ask for the gifts and graces from God that we would not normally expect to enjoy until God’s dominion comes in its fullness.
The fancy twenty-dollar term for this expectation is eschatological prolepsis. We are praying in the Lord’s Prayer for heaven’s gifts—today! The entire Lord’s Prayer—the entire ministry and message of Jesus!—maybe understood from this perspective. Jesus promises us—gives us— tomorrow’s gifts, today! — Paul Bosch, Waterloo, ON