Pope Francis Approves Change to The Lord's Prayer

Traditionalists oppose this change

Pope Francis has given his official seal of approval to edit in the Lord’s Prayer. The concerned change happens in Matthew 6:13, where the phrase “lead us not into temptation” is edited to “do not let us fall into temptation.” According to Francis, the new version is much better as the earlier translation implies God leads humans into temptation and impossible action which goes against the Almighty’s nature of a holy and good God.

The edit was done on May 22 after experts researched on the subject for 16 years. They found the phrase to be a mistake from stylistic, theological, and pastoral viewpoints. The sentence in contention is a translation from the original Latin Vulgate, which itself was a translated holy text from ancient Greek. Saint Jerome translated the text from its Greek roots to Latin. The pope pointed out that translations from the Latin Vulgate to other world languages have already been edited to account for language modernization. He cited an example of the French, who translated the phrase into “do not let me fall into temptation” reflecting the fact that it is the human who falls due to his temptation and not by the goading of God.

Pope Francis was personally invested in this change. He first mentioned his willingness to edit the sentence in 2017, arguing that this part of the Lord’s Prayer portrays God in a false light. The pope pointed out that the Bible refers to God as a father, and the latter will never lead his children towards temptation but assists those who have fallen to free them from the situation swiftly. He said that the earlier translation was not good as it refers to a God who actively induces temptation. The pontiff said Satan leads people into temptation as that is his role.

Church traditionalists have opposed this change. One of them is David W. Pao of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The chairperson of the institution’s New Testament Department told The Christian Post the original Aramaic composition of this temptation petition might have conveyed a certain “permissive sense.” The latter is following a Jewish prayer petition a Jew living in first century A.D. may be familiar. The chairperson claimed that this proposed new sentence does not mirror the best Greek text reading nor exhaust the petition’s meaning. The same is not bluntly expressed in Greek in that phase too.

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