New Version - AmidahWritten by jdarlack on December 13th, 2008
NOTE: Files updated as of 12/13/2008, re-download if you want the latest.
Jay Palmer (BigJayOneill on the forums) has put together two versions - the Hebrew text of the Amidah (also known as the Shemoneh Esreh or 18 Benedictions), along with an English translation. Jay describes the text in the files below:
The Shemoneh Esreh (18) / Amidah, which means the Standing Prayer, was a central liturgical text within ancient Israel and continues as an essential component within the modern synagogue. The liturgy functions as a vehicle for the congregation to articulate, as well as stimulate, devout expression to the God who hears prayer.
The oldest form, or forms, of the Amidah Prayer predate the time of Jesus of Nazareth (1) and was known, simply, as “The Prayer (s)”. Jewish tradition claims that the practice of the Amidah Prayer was instituted by the Patriarchs and formalized by the men of the Great Assembly, which was presided by Ezra the priestly scribe, (2) around the year 450 BCE. Jewish scholars established the present ordering of the individual elements within the prayer, which is utilized in modern times within the Synagogue, around the conclusion of the first century of the Common Era.
Within the New Testament, we see that the Apostles, after they had their life-changing experiences with Jesus of Nazareth, continued to practice the Amidah.(3) Interestingly, some have suggested that the Gospels recorded events where Jesus quoted from the words of the Amidah Prayer.(4) Also, some authors of notable early Christian writings (5) utilized a form of the Amidah Prayer when instructing their particular Christian community.
NOTES (references below expanded for the sake of linking):
1. Sirach 36:1-17 and Sirach 50:22–29 (200 BCE).
2. Nehemiah 8–Nehemiah 9.
3. Acts 3:1 and Acts 10:9.
4. Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37 (Same account) and Matthew 11:25.
5. 1 Clement 59, 60, 61, Didache 9:4, and the Apostolic Constitutions, Book 7:33–38.
See the notes in the BWW files for information for more information about the text and translation. For more information about the Amidah, see the Jewish Encyclopedia article.
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