"Lead us not into temptation"

Within the last couple of days (December 6 or 7) I saw some comments about the Pope’s call to change the wording of the Our Father. I can’t find the thread now. Has it been taken down?

Thank you

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Unsurprisingly, yes it has.

That’s unfortunate, There were some interesting comments from a couple of priests (one of them a French Canadian) who welcomed the improved translation, because they have both come up against a large number of lay people who raised the objection about “Why should God deliberately lead us into temptation?”

I was going to use those comments to defend the Pope on an Anglican website. Too bad they’re not available anymore. Some other time, maybe.

It’ll come back around. Give it 24 hours

“The Gospel writers were unambiguous, as the Greek testifies: καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν. The verb εἰσφέρω ordinarily means to lead into or to bring in, and is rendered such elsewhere in the NT.”

From the article you posted.

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Teek.―I have no doubt that Cranmer is correct in everything he says about the Greek language. His argument makes a lot of sense for those Christians who have some knowledge of Greek. But is the Pope claiming that “Lead us not into temptation” is an incorrect translation? I don’t think so. He’s just saying that it can be too easily – and, in practice, very commonly is – misunderstood by people who have no knowledge of Greek, which means, after all, 99 percent of the congregation in a typical Catholic parish. He is proposing an alternative translation that would avoid this pitfall.

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I guess that is it then. The way we say it now is the most accurate translation of what Jesus taught us to pray.

A lot of people here expressed that they don’t like that it suggests God is tempting us. I never read it that way. I guess, knowing that God does not tempt us, I thought of Jesus being tempted, and Job being tested—not by God but allowed by God, and I think of how hard life can sometimes be and how God always comes through to aid me right when it think I haven’t the strength.

Basically: don’t let me betray you even at my most weak and pitiful moments.

I hadn’t really thought about martyrdom and persecutions, but those are valid tests—temptations to betray God. There is an awful lot of suffering, too. Don’t let me fail to trust in God even in the crucible of suffering and loss.


Pope Benedict XVI, in “Jesus of Nazareth,” has a whole section on the Our Father, line by line. I get it back out to see what he said about this little bit.

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I never read B16’s book. The reviews I read gave me a slightly negative impression, I think. Would you have the kindness to post a further comment, in due course, summarizing what he says about this part of the Our Father?

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Found it!! He examines Job and Jesus’ temptations and then says…

Now we are in a position to interpret the sixth petition of the Our Father in a more practical way. When we pray it, we are saying to God: “I know that I need trials so that my nature can be purified. When you decide to send me these trials, when you give evil some room to maneuver, as you did with Job, then please remember that my strength goes only so far. Don’t overestimate my capacity. Don’t set too wide the boundaries within which I may be tempted, and be close to me with your protecting hand when it becomes too much for me.” It was in this sense that Saint Cyprus interpreted the sixth petition. He says that when we pray, “And lead is not into temptation,” we are expressing our awareness “that the enemy can do nothing against us unless God has allowed it beforehand, so that our fear, our devotion and our worship may be directed to God—because the Evil One is not permitted to do anything unless he is given authorization”. (Pg. 163)

I think that is beautiful and it is real. It matches with real life.


Thank you, Teek. Yes, I fully agree with your assessment there. What occurs to me, having read this paragraph, is that what the words “Lead us not into temptation” mean to Benedict XVI and what they would normally convey to the the average Catholic in the pews who has never opened a theology textbook are two different things. I’m inclined to believe that Francis may be on the right track, after all.

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Could be. I was a theology major.

I just looked at my two texts. How much do you want to bet that everything I thought I was coming up with in the first text that mentions Pope Benedict XVI was 100% informed by the stuff in the second text that quoted his book?

There is not an original thought in my head! At least not any of the good ones! I should probably add fine print to all of my posts

*Please note: any ideas that are submitted by this poster that are beautiful and worthy of consideration are most likely from something the poster read from another, more original source.


You’re too modest, Teek! You have a good memory, that’s all!

I think the change will be well received. It seems very welcome here at least, and the reasons for that make sense. Some people were afraid it would cause discord. It seems that is not the case where it has already been changed.

I’m stuck being a theology major, though. If we change the English to what is being suggested, and then translate THAT into Greek, (and then Aramaic, to be thorough) will it still be Christ’s words? Or will it say something different?

I keep thinking, did Jesus know that people would read it that way? Of course. And yet, still, that is what he said. And I wonder, after so many years of understanding it one way, if it is a good idea to change it because today we don’t like what mistaken perceptions of God might be formed by people who don’t understand it.

I suppose I would root for asking the bishops to encourage the priests in their dioceses to teach to the faithful what it truly means and does not mean to dispel the myths created by that false interpretation and lead people to the fullness of the truth.

I just can’t get to where I feel it is okay to change the words Christ used. If the translation is bad, by all means! Fix it immediately! But if the translation was accurate, as we seem to agree here, unless new info comes to light from someone who knows more, we aren’t fixing the translation: we are changing his words to make them accurate to what we want him to have said.

However, when the Pope does it, that is where the authority lies to interpret Scripture. Definitely not with me, and so my little thoughts here are vastly irrelevant.

Aaahhh!! But do we have the right to change what has been preserved faithfully and passed down to us? Well, it’s not like he wants to change Jesus’ words in the Bible, so there is that. Just how we recite them. Ooo. See, I can’t get all the way behind it! It’s maddening!!!

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Now you’ve got me worried. I need to mull it over. It’s late here – I’ll get back to you tomorrow, okay?

What, exactly, is the new translation that the Pope is proposing? Is it “And let us not enter into temptation”, corresponding to the new French wording, “Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation”? Or is it possibly “And let us not fall into temptation,” which to my ear would sound more natural in English? In either case, I suppose the next step would be to translate that into New Testament Greek and see how closely it matches the text of Matt 6:13 and Luke 11:4,


All I’ve seen is that he said he’d like to look into a better translation. Did he propose actual wording?

In Italian, too, he has said he wants it changed, but without spelling out his preferred new wording. The only hard evidence we have for the time being is the duly approved new French text.

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The Spanish translation already has the equivalent to "let us not fall into temptation "

Portuguese also, “Não nos deixeis cair em tentação.” So the plan is to Hispanicize the Our Father in every language!

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Here’s a better explanation


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