This article has been updated since it’s original publication.
Pope Francis finally approved the changes he has long wanted to implement to the Lord’s Prayer by replacing “lead us not into temptation” with “do not let us fall into temptation,” reports UCatholic.
“On May 22nd during the General Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy, President Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti announced the approval of a third edition of the Messale Romano,” reports the outlet. The revised translation will include changes to the Lord’s Prayer and Gloria. The Lord’s Prayer will change from ‘and lead us not into temptation’ to ‘do not let us fall into temptation.'”
The changes will be implemented to the Italian missal only and will have no effect on the English speaking world.
Pope Francis first spoke of his desire to update the “lead us not into temptation” part of the Lord’s Prayer, arguing that it portrays God in a false light. “A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately,” the Pope said at the time.
“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he added.
Pope Francis also asserted that other translations had already been changed to correct mistakes and to modernize the language. “The French have modified the prayer to ‘do not let me fall into temptation,’ because it is me who falls, not the Lord who tempts me to then see how I fall,” he said.
According to the U.K.’s Express, the change to the Lord’s Prayer comes after 16 years of research by experts who found a mistake in the current translation “from a theological, pastoral, and stylistic viewpoint.” It has been translated into literally hundreds of languages from the original texts in ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.
The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles explored why the original translation may actually be the correct one by adhering to the ancient Greek word peirasmos:
While peirasmos, the word for “temptation” in Ancient Greek, may be open to alternate interpretations, who precisely does the leading is not. Peirasmos connotes not only “temptation” but also “trial” and “testing,” as in “to test one’s mettle.” It is in all of these senses, two paragraphs before St. Matthew relates the prayer, that Jesus is “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be [tempted/tested] by the Devil.” In both cases, while the Devil does the tempting, God leads the way to the trial.
Just why God might lead his faithful into temptation or testing poses a difficult theology question if not an outright mystery.
Defenders of the apparent change say that the new language simply switches out the literal translations so that modern ears may not get the wrong impression. Jimmy Akin argued at National Catholic Register that the current translation already has a change from the original Greek text — so Pope Francis is actually doing nothing radical, as others have asserted:
The previous petition in the standard Catholic version reads “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
That’s not what the Greek literally says.
It says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).
Debts are a Semitic metaphor for sins, and the English translators have rendered this non-literally as ‘trespasses’ to make the concept clearer to English-speakers.
Luke did the same thing for Greek-speakers in his version of the Lord’s Prayer, where this petition reads, “and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4).
Spanish-speaking Catholics have already seen a change to the Lord’s Prayer; the line “forgive us our trespasses’ to ‘forgive us our mistakes.”
UPDATE: The original article, nor the original source, did not clarify that the changes to the Lord’s Prayer affect the Italian missal only and will have no impact on the English speaking world.