Some people do not realize there are two different versions of the same prayer in the Bible. The Gospel of Matthew (6:9–13) and the Gospel of Luke (11:2–4) both have the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father), but use slightly different wording. Could one of them have heard it differently? Is one right and one wrong? Aren’t both inspired and inerrant?
Well, there are also two different versions of the Beatitudes in Matthew and Luke. Luke (6:17–26) includes a bunch of “woes” after the “blessed are they” which are not found in Matthew. Matthew (5:1–12) describes the sermon as being given on a mount, hence the phrase, Sermon on the Mount. Luke, however, says it was a plain. Who’s right? Matthew was an original apostle, and he was there when the sermon was given. Luke was not an apostle, but he was a disciple. There were twelve apostles and seventy-two disciples. Could their memories be that different?
Scholars believe Jesus probably gave this sermon more than once. As a preacher myself and pastor of two parishes, on any given Sunday, I give a similar sermon to each congregation but modify it a little for each place. Sometimes, the modification is for the audience to make it more specific or relevant, or it may be that I thought of a variation while driving from one church to the other.
Jesus could have and probably did give similar sermons to different people in different places. John’s Gospel closes with the line that if everything Jesus said and did were written down, there would not be enough room in the world to hold all the books. This fact would certainly apply to the sermons he gave.