Monday, August 1, 2011

Daily Bread

The commentary in the Wesley Study Bible for Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3, "Give us this/each day our daily bread," does not reflect John Wesley's interpretation of these texts in his Notes on the New Testament.  The Abingdon commentary focuses on the practical need for physical sustenance.  Wesley commented on the need for physical and spiritual nourishment:

Matthew 6:11
Abingdon -- "Daily bread" acknowledges the reality of an agrarian society in which economic distress is a daily reality.
Note -- our daily bread - All things needful for our souls and bodies: not only the meat that perisheth, but the sacramental bread, and thy grace, the food which endureth to everlasting life.
Luke 11:1-4 
Abingdon -- the need for physical bread is first
Note -- Who asks for no more of this world than his daily bread, longing meantime for the bread that came down from heaven
A footnote indicates that "epiousion" has been translated as both "daily" and "tomorrow," however the Abingdon commentary obscures the debate over the meaning of the word.  The ambiguous meaning of this infrequently used word allowed early interpreters to see this as a petition for the bread of this world and as a request for the bread of the coming Kingdom of God.  I prefer Wesley's commentary to Abingdon's in this case because of it's consistency with early church tradition. 

1 comment:

John Meunier said...

It is a bit disappointing how far from Wesley some of the notes and even the core terms boxes get.