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In newer versions of the Bible the phrase "as in heaven so in earth" appears to have replaced, "on earth as it is in heaven."

I have heard that the "as in heaven so in earth" phrase is part of a satanic prayer that mimics the original prayer Jesus taught.

Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on how this can be?

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2 Answers 2

Manuscript P75 (ca. 175-225 CE), and codices Vaticanus (ca. 325-375 CE) and Sinaiticus (c. 375-425 CE), all end similarly with the words ΠΑΤΕΡΑΓΙΑΣΘΗΤΩΤΟΟΝΟΜΑΣΟΥΕΛΘΕΤΩΗΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΑΣΟΥ | πατερ αγιασθητω το ονομα σου ελθετω η βασιλεια σου (Father regarded as holy the name of you be coming now the royal realm of you).

The Greek nouns translated into English as will, heaven, or earth only appear in subsequent changes to codices Sinaiticus and Alexandrianus; i.e., ca. 425 CE and later. Those three nouns did not appear in the earlier documents.

Satanic prayer? I can't say. I can only tell you what the documentary evidence shows.

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The meaning of both phrases is the same, the clause order is merely reversed. As regards the Satanic prayer, it is highly unlikely that this has any bearing on modern translation choices. The word ordering has simply been modified to make it easier to understand in modern English.

What is interesting is that most modern translations do not include this clause at all in Luke 11:2, as it likely was not original to the text:

"Most MSS (א A C D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33vid Ï it) read at the end of the verse 'may your will be done on earth as [it is] in heaven,' making this version parallel to Matt 6:10. The shorter reading is found, however, in weighty mss (Ì75 B L pc), and cannot be easily explained as arising from the longer reading" (NET Translator's Note on Luke 11:2).

As an additional note on any influence from the Satanic prayer, they generally say the entire prayer backwards (word-for-word, not clause for clause), so this is a misunderstanding to begin with. The only references I could find to this were various blog posts of dubious reliability that cited no sources nor defended their assertions, and they did not have an issue with either wording in your question (nor were they even in reference to the same passage). Their primary contention was with the Message Bible's wording: "as above, so below" in Matthew 6, and they were clearly advancing a KJV-only agenda (which is a doctrinal controversy - not a scholarly one).

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Hello Dan! Your last sentence was interesting. Would you please expound? I personally prefer the King James Version because, as far as I know, it comes from the Textus Receptus. My knowledge on the matter is limited, but I would like to hear your perspective on the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine text. –  jlaverde Sep 7 '13 at 2:04
    
@jlaverde that is an entirely different question. See this answer for some basics on the issue and my answer here as well. You may also enjoy this series. –  Daи Sep 7 '13 at 4:28

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