Pope Francis has officially approved a change to the translation of the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:13 that replaces "lead us not into temptation" with "do not let us fall into temptation," which many scholars say is a better translation of the original text.
US Catholic reported Monday that the Vatican enacted the change on May 22.
The Pope said he thought the current English translation was not correct because it implies that God leads people into temptation, an action that is against his nature as a good and holy God.
"A father doesn't do that, a father helps you to get up immediately," Francis said of the line in question. "It's Satan who leads us into temptation, that's his department."
For years, Christians have wrestled with the actual meaning behind, "Lead us not." After more than 16 years of study, some biblical researchers say a better translation of the scripture would be: "Abandon us not when in temptation."
The late theologian Charles Spurgeon explained during a sermon in 1863 that the word "temptation" in Matthew 6:13 actually holds two meanings, both the temptation toward sin and the facing of trials and tribulations.
While Spurgeon agrees that God does not tempt us, he does argue that God will send us into trials and situations in which temptation toward sin is ever-present.
"God tempts no man," Spurgeon said. "For God to tempt in the sense of enticing to sin [is] inconsistent with his nature, and altogether contrary to his known character; but for God to lead us into those conflicts with evil which we call temptations, is not only possible but usual."
The Catholic Church is using the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible to try to determine the best phrasing. But Spurgeon argues in his sermon that he believes the original Greek version, which says "lead us not" is best.
Dr. Corne Bekker of the Regent University School of Divinity agrees with Spurgeon's analysis. He told CBN News he believes the bigger question is, "What is the purpose of temptation?"
"God allows us to be tempted, and I think two things happen. We get to know ourselves a little bit better, and of course what we learn is that we have no recourse against sin. But more importantly, we get to know God Himself. We have to remember the next phrase in the Lord's Prayer - 'and deliver us from all evil.' He's able to do that," Bekker explained.