Why Pope Francis wants Lord’s Prayer changed
Pope Francis has called for the English wording of the Lord’s Prayer to be changed, because it implies God “induces temptation”.
The prayer asks God to “lead us not into temptation”.
But the Pontiff told Italian broadcasters he believed the wording should be altered to better reflect that it was not God who led humans to sin.
“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he told the TV2000 channel.
He added: “I am the one who falls; it’s not him 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. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
The 80-year-old also highlighted that the Catholic Church in France had adapted the prayer, and uses the phrase “do not let us fall into temptation,” instead.
The two versions of the Lord’s Prayer most commonly used in England both say “lead us not into temptation.”
“I’m not aware of any plans to change the translation in the English-speaking world but you can certainly see the logic of doing so,” said Austen Ivereigh, the Pope’s biographer.
“It is not God who tempts us into sin but the enemy of human nature. But tradition and familiarity are also important factors in weighing up any decision to modify a translation.”
The Rev Ian Paul, an Anglican theologian, said the pope’s comments would make traditionalists nervous.
“The word in question is peirasmos [from New Testament Greek] which means both to tempt and to be tested. So on one level the pope has a point. But he’s also stepping into a theological debate about the nature of evil.
“In terms of church culture, people learn this prayer by heart as children. If you tweak the translation, you risk disrupting the pattern of communal prayer. You fiddle with it at your peril.”
The Lord’s Prayer, which is memorised by millions of Christians across the world, appears in the Bible.