Epiousios (Greek: Επιούσιος) is a Greek word used in the fourth petition of the Lord's Prayer, as it is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly The Lord's Prayer, also known as the Our Father or Pater noster, is probably the best-known Prayer in Christianity. The Gospel of Matthew (Gk Κατά Ματθαίον Ευαγγέλιον is one of the four Canonical gospels in the New Testament and is a Synoptic gospel The Gospel of Luke (Gk Κατά Λουκάν Ευαγγέλιον) is a synoptic Gospel, and is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the In English epiousios is usually translated as "daily", as in "Give us this day our daily bread". English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States
Epiousios has no direct or simple English translation and there have been several interpretations of its meaning throughout the history of Christianity. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings For Christians, this is not just a quibble over an isolated phrase. Christians believe that the Lord's Prayer was instituted by Jesus for the use of his disciples, so they want to be as faithful as they can be to the original words of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) Beyond that, subtle differences among various translations of this prayer become larger differences when the various translations are used to generate theology. The words Jesus used to teach his followers to pray reveals something of how he viewed himself, God, and the earthly life of his followers.
Epiousios is an example of how the translation of one word can make a big difference for theology: if the phrase "ho artos hemon ho epiousios" (ο άρτος ημών ο επιούσιος) is translated into English as "our daily bread", this imparts to the reader that Jesus wanted his followers to ask God for the means to survive physically, one day at a time. If, on the other hand, it is translated as "our bread for tomorrow", Jesus is saying that we should pray for our future needs rather than our present needs. A third possibility is "our necessary" or "our essential bread". All of these imply ordinary bread that we eat every day to sustain our bodies, but a fourth possibility, "our bread for the age to come", implies a spiritual bread or nourishment.
Still other translations would focus attention away from ordinary bread and onto the Eucharist: epiousios has also been translated as "supersubstantial" or as something having to do with the very essence of things rather than their tangible nature, or as "supernatural". The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or Lord's Supper and other names is a Christian Sacrament by which in a common interpretation those It has been proposed that "ho artos hemon ho epiousios", whatever it may mean, was used as a name for the Eucharist by the earliest Christians, even before the Gospel accounts of Jesus's life were written. This would indicate that the Gospel authors used epiousios with a specific meaning in mind: "our eucharistic bread".
A common way to infer the unknown meaning of an ancient word is to look at all of the various contexts in which that word is used in ancient writings. For epiousios, however, this method is difficult to apply, because the word is found hardly anywhere else in Greek or Hellenistic literature. Its use was long thought to be restricted to the two versions of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew and Luke. This would have made it a hapax, a word used only in Christian circles and lacking meaning outside of a eucharistic context. A hapax legomenon ( or) (pl hapax legomena, though sometimes called hapaxes for short is a word which occurs only once in the written record of
It was only in the twentieth century that a single additional use of the word seemed to be discovered. The document in which it was found is a 5th century CE shopping list (identified as SB1,5224 = Flinders Petrie Hawara p. 34). The word epiousios is written next to the names of several grocery items. This seems to indicate that it was used in the sense of "enough for today", "enough for tomorrow", or "necessary". However, the papyrus containing the shopping list went missing for many years, until it was discovered in 1998 at the Yale Beinecke Library.  The original transcriber, one A. H. Sayce, was apparently known as a poor transcriber, and re-examination of the papyrus found "elaiou" (oil) but not epiousi. . . . So there seems indeed to be no other occurrence of the word in Greek literature.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, edited by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, Danker, University of Chicago Press, the standard lexicon for NT Greek, while noting historical interpretations and modern opinions, concludes that Origen was probably correct that the term was coined by the evangelists  (Danker, the current editor, was familiar with the papyrus history above). Origen ( Greek: Ōrigénēs, or Origen Adamantius, ca 185–ca It lists four possible translations: 1. deriving from Epi and Ousia: necessary for existence, in agreement with Origen, Chrysostom  , Jerome and others; 2. Ousia () is the Ancient Greek noun formed on the feminine present participle of ( to be) it is analogous to the English participle This article refers to the Christian saint For other uses of the name see Chrysostomos. Jerome (c 347 – September 30, 420) ( Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος one loaf of bread is the daily requirement; 3. for the following day; 4. deriving from epienai: bread for the future. In Jerome's translation we read Mat 6:11 "Give us this day our supersubstantial bread"; In Jerome's Latin Vulgate 405 A. The Vulgate is an early Fifth Century version of the Bible in Latin, and largely the result of the labours of Jerome, who was commissioned by D. we read "panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie".
Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, Danker, eds. Ousia () is the Ancient Greek noun formed on the feminine present participle of ( to be) it is analogous to the English participle A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. University of Chicago Press (the Bauer lexicon). The Bauer-Danker Lexicon (ISBN 0226039331 is among the most highly respected dictionaries of Biblical Greek.
M. Nijman and K. A. Worp. "ΕΠΙΟΥΣΙΟΣ in a documentary papyrus?". Novum Testamentum XLI (1999) 3 (July), p. 231-234.
F. Preisgke, Sammelbuch greichischen Urkunden aus Agypten 1. 5224:20.
B. M. Metzger, "How Many Times Does ΕΠΙΟΥΣΙΟΣ Occur outside The Lord's Prayer?" ExpTimes 69 (1957-58) 52-54.