Pope Francis is eyeing a major change to translations of the Lord’s Prayer, arguably the world’s most well-known Christian invocation.
At the center of debate is the key line “lead us not into temptation.” It’s a wording that the pontiff said this week is “not a good translation,” as he seeks to find a more viable wording for the phrase, Reuters reported.
Pope Francis detailed his views in a Wednesday night TV interview, proclaiming that the current translation makes it seem as though God is the one who brings mankind into temptation.
“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he said. “I am the one who falls; it’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen.”
The pontiff continued, “A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
The NIV version of the Lord’s Prayer, which can be found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, goes as follows:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
The King James Version has the same temptation language, though the New Living Translation opts for a totally different wording: “And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
The translation that Pope Francis isn’t a fan of comes originally from the Latin vulgate after being translated from ancient Greek and Aramaic. He pointed to an alternative wording being used in France, which goes as follows: “Do not let us fall into temptation.”
The pontiff reportedly wants to see something similar be adopted in Catholic churches across the globe, as Reuters noted.
Pope Francis is hardly the first Christian to consider this wording, though many others have found a way to reconcile it. In fact, GotQuestions.org has a primer on this very topic, noting that “temptation” is also a word that describes potential trials in life:
We might illustrate Jesus’ words “Lead us not into temptation” like this: a mother takes her young children grocery shopping with her and comes to the candy aisle. She knows that taking her children down that aisle will only stir up greediness in their hearts and lead to bouts of whining and pouting. In wisdom, she takes another route—whatever she may have needed down the candy aisle will have to wait for another day. In this way the mother averts unpleasantness and spares her children a trial. Praying, “Lead us not into temptation,” is like praying, “God, don’t take me down the candy aisle today.” It’s recognizing that we naturally grasp for unprofitable things and that God’s wisdom can avert the unpleasantness of our bellyaching.
You can read more about all of that here.