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Article Index
The ‘Our Father’ of My Childhood
The Contexts of the Story
The Historical Context of the Our Father
My Historical Context
Blending Contexts in an On-going History
Companions on the Way
The Word ‘Debt/Indebted’ in the Our Father
Main Focus on Luke 11:4
Usual Interpretation of ‘Sin’ and ‘Debt’
Larger Than Sin
Indebtedness in Jesus’ Historical Setting
Where has the Jubilee Year Gone?
Rabbi Hillel’s Prosbul
The Significance of the Word ‘Debt’
The Jubilee Year in the Lk 4:16-30
More Than Sin-Orientation: The Kingdom of God
Breaking Fixed or Petrified Perspectives
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through Jesus’ Eyes
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through the Eyes of an Awakened, Poor Jew
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Larger Context of Luke’s Gospel
Lk 18: 18-27: a Commentary on Luke’s ‘Our Father’.
Social Justice in the Larger Context of Luke-Acts
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Context of Acts 2 and 4
Re-reading Luke 11:4 in My Context
The Need for an Alternative Spirituality
Before We Part Ways: Time to Recharge and Refresh
As We Part
All Pages

The Significance of the Word ‘Debt’. With the prosbul, we have found at least an explanation why -- despite their Jubilee/Sabbatical Years -- the Jews suffered from indebtedness that resulted in other forms of social injustice. And heavy indebtedness was a very important concern for the Jews in Jesus’ time as well as for the rest of first century Palestine. In fact, in the Jewish revolt in 66 CE, one of the first things that the rebels did was to burn the list of debtors and their debts. This shows that the rebels did not acknowledge the legitimacy of indebtedness in the context of oppressive and unjust imperial as well as local domination.

In all the aforementioned historical background about indebtedness in Jesus’ time, we cannot just ignore the possibility that the disciples may have thought of salvation from heavy indebtedness[10] (and not just forgiveness from sin) when they learned these words from the ‘Our Father’: And forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.” We cannot simply shun this thought away most specially that Luke portrays Jesus as one whose mission was also about the social justice program of the Jubilee Year (Cf. Lk 4:16-30) which stipulates that an authentic social justice program would include the agendum of forgiving the debts of the poor. But before we discuss further on these, I deem it appropriate at this point to resolve first some problems which may arise if not clarified immediately.


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