Q. I have read the NIV and NKJV versions of the bible. Both versions in Matthew 6:12 state “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” When praying the Lord’s Prayer, why do people substitute the word debts with trespasses? Matthew 6:5 thru 6:13 is very clear to me on how we should pray. Luke 11:2 thru 11:4 is worded a little different than Matthew; but still does not contain the word trespasses. Why is that?
A. In the original language Matt. 6 and Luke 11 are slightly different. The Greek word in Matt. 6:12 literally means debts, while in Luke 11:4 the Greek word for sin is used. This difference could be due to the fact that in Aramaic, the language commonly spoken in the Lord’s time, the same word can mean both sin and debt. None of the major English translations use the word trespass in either place. It’s apparently a traditional rendering of the Lord’s prayer from extra-Biblical sources.