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Pope Francis makes changes in Lord’s Prayer over “temptation”

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Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019. 4:01 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: For centuries, Roman Catholics have prayed to God in the Lord’s Prayer to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or “the evil one.”)

By order of Pope Francis on May 22, that has been changed with this plea to the Almighty: “do not let us fall into temptation.”

The Lord’s Prayer, also known as “Our Father” from its opening phrase, was featured in the Bible as Jesus Christ’s summary of how to pray to God.

But human translators have issued different translations of the original Greek phrasing, leading to various controversies about exactly what Jesus wanted us to say.

According to the Christian Post, the change comes after “16 years of research by experts who found a mistake in the current translation “from a theological, pastoral, and stylistic viewpoint.”

The pope, originally from Argentina, first expressed his discomfort with the phrasing in 2017: “A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately…It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation…The one who leads you into temptation is Satan…that’s Satan’s role.”

Two versions of the prayer exist in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, with the Matthew version most widely used.

Some objection has been raised, with scholars pointing out that the next petition – “deliver us from the evil one” – clearly points to the devil as the one who leads people to sin, and that the change still does not represent the best reading of the original.

The Greek word peirasmos is translated variously as temptation, testing, trial, or experiment.

Others say that the Pope, self-proclaimed ‘Vicar of Christ,’ does not have the authority to make such a change.

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer As a Manifesto for Revolution, called the changes “deeply problematic.” Speaking to the Seattle Times as quoted by the Post, he said, “This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the pope’s prayer, and we have the very words of Jesus in the New Testament. It is those very words that the pope proposes to change. It is not only deeply problematic, but it’s also almost breathtaking.”

Most other churches including the Anglican Church still use the phrase “And lead us not into temptation.”

 

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