Pope Francis has proposed changing the text of the Lord’s Prayer, saying the translation into different modern languages is flawed because it suggests that God could be the source of temptation.
“This is not a good translation,” the Pope said in a recent interview on Italian television, referring to the Italian text of the line “Lead us not into temptation.”
“The French have changed the text with a translation that says ‘do not let me fall into temptation.’ I am the one who falls, but it isn’t He who throws me into temptation and then looks on to see how I fell. A father does not do this; a father helps us get up immediately.”
“The one who leads you into temptation is Satan,” he added, “that’s Satan’s role.”
The real meaning of the prayer, Francis continued, is “when Satan leads me into temptation, give me a hand.”
The pontiff was speaking in the seventh installment of the program “Our Father,” conducted by Father Marco Pozza, a young prison chaplain from the northern Italian city of Padua.
In his evaluation of the translation of the Lord’s prayer, Pope Francis may have influenced by his native Spanish, which uses the phrase “no nos dejes caer en la tentación” (do not let us fall into temptation), instead of “lead us not.”
Translations into modern languages generally proceed from the Latin vulgate, a late fourth century Latin text attributed to Saint Jerome, who translated much of the Old Testament from Hebrew and the New Testament from Greek.
Scholars generally agree that the four gospels were originally written in Greek, although Jesus himself was presumably not speaking in Greek with his disciples, but rather in Aramaic.
The Greek word πειρασμός refers broadly to a trial or test, and is not limited to the modern sense of temptation to sin.
The Vulgate version of the Lord’s Prayer contains the expression “ne nos inducas in tentationem,” which has been rendered in English with “lead us not into temptation.”
A new French version of the prayer no longer includes the passage “ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,” which has been replaced with “ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (do not let us enter into temptation).
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