Pope gives bless­ing to chang­ing Lord’s Prayer

The Dominion Post - - Front Page -

VAT­I­CAN CITY: If you find your­self sur­rounded by temp­ta­tion, don’t blame it on God. That was the mes­sage from Pope Francis as he called for the Lord’s Prayer to be al­tered to shift re­spon­si­bil­ity for our sins and vices on to the Devil.

The Lord’s Prayer is con­sid­ered by the Catholic Church to be a per­fect sum­mary of the gospels, but Francis said the line ask­ing God to ‘‘lead us not into temp­ta­tion’’ had been trans­lated badly.

It should read ‘‘don’t let me fall into temp­ta­tion’’, he said, as this would re­flect the be­lief that a sin­ner finds their own way to temp­ta­tion.

‘‘It’s not a good trans­la­tion . . . I am the one who falls. It’s not [God] push­ing me into temp­ta­tion to then see how I have fallen. A fa­ther doesn’t do that, a fa­ther helps you to get up im­me­di­ately.’’ He added: ‘‘It’s Satan who leads us into temp­ta­tion, that’s his de­part­ment.’’

The re­marks give a pa­pal seal of ap­proval to moves al­ready un­der way in the church to change the line in the prayer.

Last month French bish­ops switched from ‘‘Do not sub­mit us to temp­ta­tion’’ to ‘‘Do not let us en­ter into temp­ta­tion’’. Francis said ap­prov­ingly: ‘‘The French have changed the text [to], ‘Don’t let me fall into temp­ta­tion’.’’

The dis­pute re­volved around how to trans­late eise­nenkes, the Greek used in the orig­i­nal New Tes­ta­ment, Mas­simo Grilli, a pro­fes­sor at the Gre­go­rian Univer­sity in Rome, said. ‘‘The Greek verb ei­sphero means ‘take in­side’, and the form used in the prayer, eise­nenkes, lit­er­ally means ‘Don’t take us in­side’. But that’s a very lit­eral trans­la­tion that must be in­ter­preted.’’

The New Tes­ta­ment was writ­ten in con­tem­po­rary Greek by a num­ber of au­thors be­tween AD50 and AD100, be­fore all 27 books were brought to­gether in AD398, Grilli said. A Latin trans­la­tion of the Bi­ble by St Jerome in the 4th cen­tury, which was adopted by the Catholic Church, keeps the lit­eral mean­ing, us­ing the Latin in­duc­ere, which means ‘‘bring in’’.

Grilli said the trans­la­tion was be­ing ques­tioned through­out the church, with the Span­ish hav­ing switched to ‘‘Don’t let us fall into temp­ta­tion’’ and Ital­ians to ‘‘Don’t aban­don us to temp­ta­tion’’. Var­i­ous English trans­la­tions read ‘‘Do not bring us to the time of trial’’ and ‘‘Keep us from be­ing tempted’’.

The Lord’s Prayer has been up­dated a num­ber of times. The Church of Eng­land’s web­site con­tains the tra­di­tional ver­sion and a con­tem­po­rary one. The modern ver­sion asks God to ‘‘for­give us our sins’’ rather than ‘‘tres­passes’’, starts with ‘‘Our Fa­ther in Heaven’’ rather than ‘‘Our Fa­ther who art in Heaven’’, and fin­ishes with ‘‘For the king­dom, the power and the glory are yours’’, rather than ‘‘Thine is the king­dom’’.

Bi­ble schol­ars said last month they had pro­duced the most ac­cu­rate edi­tion of the New Tes­ta­ment, af­ter elim­i­nat­ing al­most two mil­len­nia of ty­pos. The most in­fa­mous er­ror was made by Robert Barker in 1631. He had printed the first edi­tion of the King James Bi­ble in 1611 but in a later edi­tion he left out ‘‘not’’ in the sev­enth com­mand­ment, which was printed as: ‘‘Thou shalt com­mit adul­tery.’’

Pope Francis

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