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PopeWatch: Pope Francis Wants to Change “The Lord’s Prayer”

Doing my morning scan of Foxnews.com, the following headline caught my eye: “Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’ ”    Here’s the story:

“Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the ‘Our Father.’

 

Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation,’ saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.

 

‘That is not a good translation,’ the pope said, according to Reuters.

So, whaddya think?

 

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Bob Kurland, Ph.D.

Retired, cranky, old physicist. Convert to Catholicism in 1995. Trying to show that there is no contradiction between what science tells us about the world and our Catholic faith. Intermittent blogs and adult education classes to achieve this end (see http://rationalcatholic.blogspot.com/ and http://home.ptd.net/~rkurland). Extraordinary Minister of Communion, volunteer to federal prison and hospital; lector, EOMC. Sometime player of bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, tenor bowed psaltery for parish instrumental group and local folk group.

45 Comments

  1. Leave it as is.
    What’s he going to change next ? “Give us this day our daily gluten-free rice crisps”

  2. καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

    No doubt, the Holy Father is a better Greek scholar than I, but it is clear that the literal meaning of the verb εἰσφέρω is to carry in or into. From Homer onwards, it also means, more generally, to bring to or into. It can also be used in the figurative sense, to bring news, as in Acts 17:20, or simply to tell someone something, as in the Ajax of Sophocles 149.

    Πειρασμός is a little trickier. Certainly, it can mean temptation, as in Luke 4:13 and 1 Tim 6:9, but it also has the more general sense of test, trial or experiment, plainly the sense of Gal 4:14 and 1Pet 4:12 and, probably, James 1:2. I suppose one could paraphrase it as “Do not put us to the test,” but there isnothing in the text to force one reading rather than the other

    I would give much weight to the early Latin versions, which all have temptare or tentare. The literal meaning is to attempt (the source of the word in English). However, it has the derivative sense to entice or lure – In other words, to tempt.

    So, in the absence of some variant manuscript reading, I am inclined to favour the traditional version.

  3. I think we’re headed for the situation you had in Russian Orthodoxy, with a corps of ‘old believers’.

  4. Can God lead us to be tempted? Tested might be a better word. I think so. How about Mathew 4:1?
    “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”
    Just thinking as I type (which can be dangerous)…maybe some of us need to be tested, and we should pray that we should have no need of it.

  5. God can call off the tempter at any time.
    How does fallen man derive perfection?
    Never truly perfected on earth, man struggles with vice to then finally be assisted to trade vice for virtue. Assistance from God via sacraments, brothers and sisters. Rosary.
    Our Lady.

    So in my opinion the wording is perfect as it is.
    Following the Lord isn’t being lead to temptation, but asking Him to lead us not into temptation is not a bad thing, even though temptation is like the fire that burns off our imperfections….the anvil and hammer?
    I’ll leave that up for you to decide.

  6. The Spanish version is similar in meaning to the French one, and obviously the version Argentinians almost certainly use.

  7. Taken out of context, the petition is “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” must be understood as mankind not misinterpreting the works of God; mankind’s embracing the challenges of life and of sanctity and taking up our daily cross and carrying our cross joyfully instead of cursing God even for our very lives.

  8. I think there’s something to the argument in favor of a change–but the old wording is there for reason, too.

    Ultimately, this strikes me as more agenda-driven change change change, and if for no other reason I’m opposed.

  9. It’s Reuters– the same guys who did the headline-grabbing report that turned out to be due to their reporter having a terrible grasp of the language.

    I’d wait until some more reliable source commented on it, might turn out to be another instance where he said something like “I think the French sense is closer” and they blew it up.

  10. Mary De Voe wrote, “Taken out of context, the petition is “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil””

    Or, possibly, “from the Evil One.” [τοῦ πονηροῦ] Compare Matt 13:38, Eph 6:16, 1 Jn 3:12.The Latin “a malo” could mean either.

  11. Or, possibly, “from the Evil One.” [τοῦ πονηροῦ] Compare Matt 13:38, Eph 6:16, 1 Jn 3:12.The Latin “a malo” could mean either.

    So could the Greek, depending on whether you take τοῦ πονηροῦ as coming from the neuter τὸ πονηρόν (since in Greek, neuter adjectives are often used for abstract concepts — τὸ πονηρόν = the evil (thing) = evil), or the masculine ὁ Πονηρός (in which case it would be used for a concrete object or person, most likely Satan in this context).

  12. “The phrase ‘do not let us fall into temptation,’ which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.”

    My little research seems to be consistent with what MPS pointed out (correct me if I err, MPS). Neither the Greek nor the Latin says, “Do not let us fall into temptation.” Analysis is below.

    REFERENCES

    Parsed Greek New Testament:

    http://www.greekbible.com/index.php

    Strong’s dictionary:

    http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html

    Blue Letter Bible parsed with Strong’s numbers hyperlinked to individual Greek words:

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/

    William Whittaker’s Words

    http://archives.nd.edu/words.html

    Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/bible/nova_vulgata/documents/nova-vulgata_index_lt.html

    ANALYSIS

    Matthew 6:13 is here:

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/mat/6/1/ss1/s_935001
    καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν
    KJV and Douay-Rheims: And lead us not into temptation
    Literal: And may you not lead us into temptation

    The verb εἰσφέρω,v \{ice-fer’-o} is written in the 2nd person, active tense, aorist voice, subjunctive mood singular, singular person. It means:

    1) to bring into, in or to 2) to lead into

    The noun πειρασμός,n \{pi-ras-mos’} is written in the accusative case, singular person, masculine gender. It means:

    1) an experiment, attempt, trial, proving 1a) trial, proving: the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since condition served as to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul (Gal. 4:14) 1b) the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy 1b1) an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances 1b2) an internal temptation to sin 1b2a) of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand 1b3) of the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness 1b4) adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness 1c) temptation (i.e. trial) of God by men 1c1) rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves

    The Latin Nova Vulgata reads as follows:

    et ne inducas nos in tentationem

    Induco is written in the 2nd person active subjective present tense. It means:

    lead in, bring in (performers); induce, influence; introduce

    Tentationem is 3rd declension and written in the accusative case, singular person, feminine. It means:

    temptation; trial

    A literal reading of “et ne inducas nos in tentationem” is this:

    And may you not lead us into temptation

    A reading like this, “let us not fall into temptation,” would look like this:

    Et ne cadamus in tentationem

    CONCLUSION

    As usual, Jorge Bergoglio is a sentimental old fool full of excrementum fetens

  13. Pardon me for being a little concerned regarding the “newly enlightened” mentality addressing this. The same mindset never uttered the word repentance during the Year of Mercy.

  14. LOW KEY INCREMENTALISM,,,DRIP DRIP DRIP,,,,,LEADS TO DESTRUCTION,,,it’s been downhill since john 23,,,,and JFK.

  15. Original sin, the sin of Adam is visited on every sovereign person. Man carries concupiscence in his flesh. Concupiscence battles man’s sovereign personhood every moment of his existence. In The Lords’ Prayer, we pray: “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”
    This petition is asking God to return us to our original innocence and prevent us from falling into evil. Through this petition the effects of the burden of original sin is taken away and the sovereign person is delivered from the evil effects of the sin of Adam.
    We, the people have been led into temptation by the sin of Adam and Eve, by the world, the devil and the flesh; by God’s creation, but never by God.
    All men are created equal in sovereign personhood in the image of God, with free will and a rational soul, the breath of God in us. Our soul transcends this world from the very first moment of man’s existence at conception. See: Ephsians 1: 3-6.The Eternal Plan of the Father
    The posterity of Adam and Eve are led into evil by original sin. To deny this truth or to blame God for their evil choices as the sodomites do is an inquisition against God.

  16. And maybe the 6th commandment should be re-translated too.
    I agree with Hank. Let’s keep the prayer the way it is, and change the pope;

  17. We need a change in the person filling the role of the Supreme Pontiff, not a change in the Lord’s Prayer.

    By the way, I’ve noticed that my comments are being placed in moderation. What rule have I broken? I would like to know

  18. Enough is enough! It is well past the time for replacing this misguided Pope Francis with a traditionalist pope who is obedient to the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church.

  19. BRUCE MARCIANO AS JESUS …..ON YOUTUBE AS THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT,,,,,works for me everytime i need inspiration,,,,,and of course there are the old classic good hearted errol flynn pictures which extol a lot of what Jesus preached,,,happy holidays and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  20. 1. My concern is that the casting of doubt on the translation puts a cloud of suspicion on not only Holy Scripture but also on Holy Tradition a la Julius Wellhausen and other biblical scholar cynics and skeptics who have led us away from faith.
    2. I read the phrase with the grammatically “understood ‘You’ ” as in “(You) lead is not into temptation”. In other words, an affirmation of that which we already know.

  21. Anzlyne wrote, “I read the phrase with the grammatically “understood ‘You’ ” as in “(You) lead is not into temptation”. In other words, an affirmation of that which we already know.”
    But, in that case, one would expect to find the indicative, εἰσφέρεις whereas εἰσενέγκῃς is in the subjunctive, as LQC rightly points out above. Of course, one could argue that εἰσενέγκῃς is a scribal error, but there is no MS evidence to support this and, once we go down the road of conjectural emendations, there is no end to it.
    As for “casting doubt on the translation,” we must remember that the Greek New Testament IS the New Testament. All else is translation. Jesus speaks to us out of every page of the Greek. Many of his ipsissima verba are here preserved for us, for our Lord often spoke in Greek. To get these words of Jesus, it is worthwhile to plough through any grammar and to keep on to the end.

  22. Pat wrote, “Is it just that he’s smarter than St. Jerome..?”

    Not only that. St Jerome preserved the early Italic version, with which people were familiar, unless he saw very good reasons to change it.

    Now, those early versions were made by people who were bilingual in Greek and Latin and were contemporaries, if not of the Apostles, then of their converts. It is a sound principle, therefore, to read the two together

  23. Not a Greek scholar. But, “lead us not into” means same as “lead us away from”. and if it’s not broke why fix it? And why for only Catholics when it seems to be uniform with all denominations?

  24. “The phrase ‘do not let us fall into temptation,’ which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.”
    Men live in temptation through concupiscence. The petition “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” asks God to lead us away from temptation or concupiscence, but deliver us from evil. In the Act of Contrition men promise to avoid the near occasion of sin. So, to ask God to lead us away from the near occasion of sin makes common sense. The idea of falling into temptation means that men are above concupiscence and that if men sin it is somehow God’s fault for not preventing our fall.

  25. Mary De Voe.

    Good explanation and a good reason NOT to meddle with the prayer.

    Me thinks himself is having a crush on himself.. hence the suggestion from himself.

    A four year silent retreat is a good start for himself to LISTEN to the Holy Spirit.

  26. Bill Polito: “Not a Greek scholar. But, “lead us not into” means same as “lead us away from”. and if it’s not broke why fix it? And why for only Catholics when it seems to be uniform with all denominations?”
    Let me propose a solution to you rhetorical quandary. Pope Francis wants to leave a legacy of greatness.
    All Bishops hold the office of “ORDINARY”, that is, holding to the ordinary truths of the faith. Greatness is conferred after death by the Church. For Pope Francis to be called “The Great One” in his lifetime would be a term of affection but not a description, even as St. John Paul II was called “Big Charlie”

  27. On the moderation– at one point my mom’s emails were being automatically bounced as spam, because *one* computer in her ISP’s area got infected by one of those horrible spam robots. Had to call my ISP and inform them that no, it was NOT OK. They fixed it.

    Another time HER ISP was marking everything that routed through Seattle as spam, and not allowing it through…. (that was a Barracuda mess-up triggered by an attempted DDOS for their servers)

  28. In 1990s youthful slang, the phrase could have been rendered as “Lead us into temptation–not!”, a colloquialism for “lead us away from temptation”. Similarly, the archaic phrasing used in the English translation of the Missal is also a colloquialism, an obsolete one of course, that also means “lead us away from temptation”.

    This wouldn’t be the first time that archaic language in our worship and Scriptures has been an obstacle to the faith for many people.

    Only hot-heads believe that Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer. He simply suggested that the ancient prayer be translated into the typical speech used in our day. Duh!

    I see that some people around here could use a Bible emblazoned on its cover with the words “Don’t Panic!” in friendly red letters.

  29. Thank you so much for answering me MPS- I appreciate that.
    Catechism # 2864 says it is a petition to show forth the victory already won over Satan. a fait accompli

    I think I will continue to read it in the subjunctive sense….

    Matthew has the Prayer teaching us how to pray as part of the teaching on the Mount– all the teachings are indicative aren’t they? but I also see them as subjunctive, or, if you will, anagogical … considering first of all the literal indicative
    but also free to consider the spiritual sense, which includes anagogic (along with allegorical and moral)

    But my bigger concern is that the discrediting of various translations and their perceived meaning makes people more uncomfortable with the inerrancy of the Scripture… that it can mean whatever one wants it to mean. I just don’t like to insert this kind of doubt/ mistrust about what our forefathers in Faith have prayed in these days of everybody being their own authority
    Jesus may have prayed it originally in Aramaic, with a Galilean flavor — He and Matthew and Luke may have all been bilingual in Greek and Aramaic especially because of the location/history of Galilee. There were different dialects of Aramaic. Saint Jerome certainly had a good grasp of those languages as well as Latin.
    plus- don’t forget the Holy Spirit! not only inspired the writers, preserved the texts, but also gives us ears to hear.
    I think it should be left alone. The pope is inspiring doubt I think. Maybe next he’ll suggest a better translation of “marry” or – “it is good.”

  30. “I believe the Lord’s Prayer is out of date, which should be
    modernized and known as Bergoglio’s Prayer.”
    “Ancient Beauty, ever new” Saint Augustine. God is outside of time and ever present. There is no expiration date on the Lord’s Prayer. To be sure, Bergoglio is trying to make a name for himself…and he has but its not a good name.

  31. Anzlyne
    You might like this version, from a Scottish horn-book of about 1520:-
    Our fader that art in heuenis,
    hallewit be thi name.
    Thi kingdom cum to.
    Thi wil be done in erde, as in heuen.
    Gefe to vs this day our breid ouer vthir substance.
    And forgif to vs our dettis,
    as we forgef to our dettouris.
    And leid vs nocht into temptatioun,
    bot deliuer vs fra euile.

    Note the rather curious translation of ἐπιούσιον (Matt 13:8), a rare word that means “for the coming day” or, by extension, “for subsistance.” It may be one of the earliest translations to show the influence of Erasmus’s NT

  32. To be fair, this is the least troublesome thing coming from the current occupant of the chair. I can see the argument, and as pointed out above, in Spanish (and apparently French) it is recited “do not let us fall into temptation” and has been said that way for at least 50 years. English is not the be all and end all of the original text, and as MPS points out, it was likely in Aramaic or Greek. “Do not put us to the test” seems a reasonable alternative. “Do not lead us into temptation” always seemed a bit odd to me, but then, it is certainly not a deal breaker either way. Like I said, one of, if not the least troubling thing I’ve heard from him.

  33. he would be on more solid ground if he were to replace “daily bread”with Luke’s superesubstantial bread.

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