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Lost in Translation: Why the Pope Says the Lord's Prayer Has a Mistake in It

12-13-2017

Pope Francis wants to revise a portion of the English version of what most of us call The Lord's Prayer.  

He doesn't particularly like the phrase "lead us not into temptation," suggesting that it should be changed to "do not let us fall into temptation."  

Some translations, such as the Spanish one, currently use that phrase.  Pope Francis hails from Argentina where Spanish is the primary language.

As recounted in Matthew 6:9-13, the so-called "Lord's Prayer" was taught by Jesus to his disciples after they asked how they should pray.  

Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and his words were later translated into Greek, then other languages such as Latin and English.   

The Pope is not suggesting changing the original words of Jesus. 

Instead, the Pope believes the phrase "do not let us fall into temptation" is a better translation of what Jesus actually said.

The difference between the two phrases is significant. 

The phrase "lead us not into temptation" suggests God tempts humans.  However, in James 1:13-14 the Bible tells us God does not tempt. "No one, when tempted, should say, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it." 

The phrase "do not let us fall into temptation" suggests God allows us to be tempted by Satan, such as when God allowed Satan to tempt Jesus as recounted in Matthew 4:1-11. It also suggests God will help us resist temptation such as in 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, "When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

There are more than 70 million Catholics in the United States, making up roughly 22 percent of the country's population. The Pope's suggested change to The Lord's Prayer is optional. However, the Catholic Church in France already approved the clarified phrase for use. 

 

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