pope change lord's prayer
Theology

Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer (but doesn’t apparently understand it)

It is reported (all over the place) that Pope Francis wants to change the wording of a line in the Lord’s Prayer because it is potentially misleading. The troublesome phrase is ‘Lead us not into temptation’, of which the Bishop of Rome says, “That is not a good translation.” The Guardian provides the full reasoning:

“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation. 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.”

Does God tempt? Does the Holy One lead people astray? Does the traditional rendering of the Lord’s Prayer in the Vulgate – ‘et ne inducas nos in tentationem‘ – contradict Scripture elsewhere?

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (Js 1:13f).

Are these temptations or tests not simply an unavoidable fact of life? If so, is there any point in asking God to spare us the difficulty and inconvenience? Are they even pre-ordained?

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane…
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt (Mt 26:36, 39).

If the Son attributes times of trial and testing to the Father, who is Pope Francis to suggest otherwise? 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. So why does the Bishop of Rome think Matthew and Luke got it wrong?

In fact, their thinking is wholly consistent with the OT understanding of a God who tests His people:

Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no (Ex 16:4).

And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not (20:20).

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no (Deut 8:2).

Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (v16).

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him (13:4).

And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah (33:8).

That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not (Jdg 2:22).

To ‘prove’ in all of these contexts is manifestly to test or endure a trial, and is so rendered in all modern translations: ‘I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did’ (Jdg 2:22, NIV). Does Pope Francis intend to revise all these texts also?

Perhaps if instead of scratching the world’s itching ears with his meek and mild Lord’s Prayer eisegesis the Bishop of Rome engaged in a little seriously meaty exegesis, he might ask what sort of trial or test Jesus is talking about (for these are, after all, the words of Jesus which the Pope is seeking to ‘clarify’). Clearly, in light of James 1:13f, it is not the temptation of our own lust, for that is indeed Satan’s department (cf Lk 4:2). So perhaps, in light of Matthew 26:39, it is the trial of of immense pressure and trauma, perhaps even persecution and suffering, because the same Greek word is used (πειρασμός) in the plural and in connection with Jesus’ whole experience and ministry.

So isn’t this line of the Lord’s Prayer simply a plea that disciples of Jesus might be spared the same?

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mt 26:41).

It’s easy to say you want to identify with Jesus and all the nice things he said, and the good he came to do like feeding the poor and healing the sick. But the Disciples couldn’t handle what Jesus was about to suffer for righteousness. Even Jesus himself could scarcely contemplate it. The ‘temptation’ to which Jesus refers is the trial of overwhelming mental and emotional pressure or the physical pain of an unbearable situation.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask God if we may be spared this, or to plead for strength that we might bear up under it, even if it is an inevitable consequence of speaking the truth and witnessing for Christ. It is hard to know why a pope who is so besieged by thousands of critical and condemnatory co-religionists does not understand this.

  • len

    No one can be tempted to do something they don`t already desire.
    It is not the tempting but the giving in to temptation which defines the man

    • Yes… with a ‘but’ and an ‘and’

      but, as advertising shows and the serpent showed much earlier, we can be taught to desire what we did not previously desire

      and, there are things we may desire that are not intrinsically sinful. Like Jesus desiring not to face the sin and wrath bearing death of the cross, desiring not to have the intimacy he had with his God broken. There was nothing intrinsically essentially sinful in this.

      • len

        Jesus called Peter ‘Satan’ for trying/tempting Him to stop Him going to the cross. Jesus was tempted with all the things we are tempted with but never succumbed to temptation.

        • Indeed, but as you say, we are not tempted by everything. I have never been tempted by some sins others find alluring and presumably vice versa. By tempted, here I do not mean some outward effort by another but an inner attraction in myself.

          Do you think Jesus was ever internally drawn to gross sins. I don’t. He had a holy nature (unlike us) that was repulsed by sin. However, he knew what human frailty (not sinfulness) meant and all the trials this brings. Indeed it is when he is at his most frail, diminished, weak both in the desert and on the cross that Satan most strongly attacks him. In situations where humanly he is overwhelmed he does the will of God regardless of the cost.

          • len

            The sin that Jesus was tempted with were basically the same sin as Adam and Eve were tested with…and failed. That sin was to to act on their own intelligence/will and to ignore God’s Wisdom/ Will.
            Jesus succeeded despite the horrific ordeal that lay ahead of Him , because if he had failed humanity would have remained under the power of Satan.

          • Indeed. But the differences are also marked aren’t they. Adam was forbidden one small thing in an ideal situation. Christ in the most gruelling of situations (after fasting for 40 days or facing the cross) faced powerfully attractive situations to any human instinct – evading intense human suffering.

            He succeeded in my view, because he was in his nature a new kind of human being. He was a human being with a nature invincibly opposed to sin. He was holy and hated sin. Adam was innocent but not holy in the sense Christ was. Christ in my view (like God Himself) could not sin. It was utterly alien to his nature, utterly contradictory of his nature to sin. He was light who hated darkness.

            That did not mean he couldn’t be tempted from outside as Satan did but he steadfastly resists. There is of course great cost in resisting. A hero may well say come what may he will save the damsel in distress. What makes him a hero is the person price he pays, ‘come what may’ necessary to save her.

            I don’t admire the hero who thinks, ‘maybe I’ll not save her after all… maybe it’ll cost me too much… o yes I will… o no I won’t’. It is not moral uncertainty or vulnerability to caving in that makes him a hero, it is commitment at whatever personal cost.

            What makes Christ great is not the possibility he may secumb to temptation (after all God proclaims, behold my servant he shall not fail) moral susceptibility is not a virtue but a meant, mind and will determined to do what is right whatever the personal cost, indeed knowing that cost, this is truly great, truly heroic.

          • len

            If Jesus could not be tempted then He couldn`t empathize with us in our fallen condition, for we are all tempted.

            ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.’ (Hebrews 4:15)

            Jesus had to be totally human(to be tempted) and totally God( to hate sin)
            This is why Jesus Christ is the ONLY mediator between fallen man and a Holy God.

            I think we are saying the same thing?.
            Jesus was sweating blood (literally) just before the crucifixion knowing what He had to go through.

          • I think we probably are. We are certainly not far apart. And I don’t claim to have every answer on this question. Far from it. Thee are deep waters.

            We have a high Priest who helps us in our weaknesses. I think this means human frailties but I don’t think it includes moral frailties. I want a high Priest a Counsellor who for every temptation or trial that has come his way has always known, always taken, and never wavered about always taking th direction that God wishes him to take.

            Jesus in the weakness of humanity facing the cross, facing being made sin, longed in his spirit to avoid it. It made him groan and shudder inwardly to say the least… sweating great drops of blood. However, if Satan came and suggested, ‘why don’t you just say you made a mistake and it’ll all go away’ not for one second is Christ willing to listen to this. Not for one second does disobedience attract him. Rather, he immediately, as in the desert, cites Scripture to overthrow this. He does so, as in the desert in a physically and mentally weakened state, being in an agony, it takes great deal of his resources to do so, it is costly, but he does it, because he is invincibly committed to God will.

            And he helps us in our temptations for he knows the strength and thoughts nd resources we need to overcome for he has used them before us.

            Nowadays it’s fashionable after you fall to write a book telling others how to resist. It seems failing is a qualification for being an authority on how not to fail. The opposite is of course true. It is the person who has succeeded who can best tell others how to succeed. He has the answers. Thus Christ is our Priest.

            The hard thing in a temptation/trial is not giving in. We give in easily before it all gets a bit too wearing. Christ never gives in and so pays the price.

          • len

            Thanks for your input John, I too find this an interesting subject but a difficult one.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Christ was the Son of God so he could not fail At the same time he was human but an extraordinary human like no other human being ever was or will be.

            Why did Adam sin? Because although he had an ideal idyllic situation he wanted more.You can never have enough of a good thing and must seek more because we think we will never be complete without the constant search for more of everything…this is the human affliction encouraged and nurtured in our secular society.

            PS
            I am sorry to hear of your illness because I know what an awful
            affliction depression is, not only for you, but for those you are connected to. Take comfort in the fact that you have belief. I know those who do not and this affliction takes on an entirely new and terrible dimension in that situation . If you pray God will grant you peace. You will find coping strategies. You will.

          • Thanks Cassandra. I do find peace in the Lord. In fact it is in Him I have found all the resources to fight the illness. Without the Lord I don’t know how others cope. And you’re right, those who are close, my wife in particular, have a hard time too. If the boot were on the other foot I don’t think I’d cope or be so understanding and patient.

            Over the years I have found coping strategies and in time the depression does rise and plaguing thoughts subside. And of course, I recommend seeing a doctor. Medical help can be very significant and we shouldn’t be afraid of it… for any others who may read this.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Erm…It’s Cressida but in truth I am capable of a touch of the Cassandras on occasion:)

          • Oops. Sorry.

  • The emphasis is on the NOT in that sentence. It’s guiding us not to be tempted by our desires, but to stop and think.

    • Is it not simply asking the Lord to keep us from testing trials that may expose us to the ferocious attacks of Satan? Let this cup pass from me is a properly human request in many circumstances though of course for Jesus the cup was an exceptional one, only he could drink.

      Trials and testing must come but we are foolish to invite them and wise to ask to be protected from them.

  • Dolphinfish

    Francis is the pope who, in my lifetime, I have least empathy with or understanding of (and I’m old enough to remember Paul VI). Nevertheless, it’s a testimony to Cranmer’s powers of provocation that I instantly feel impelled to defend him whenever Cranmer mentions him. Possibly, this has something to do with our host’s habit of turning a request for the time of day into a protestant triumph. On this occasion, however, I will restrict myself to noting that it a brave protestant indeed who ventures out on the exceptionally thin ice of scriptural alterations. The George Cross surely beckons.

    • len

      Our host hasn’t hesitated to point out the errors within the C of E, and as a Protestant I also realise that there are things going on within Protestantism that I disagree with and some things within the RCC that I do agree with.I will get accused of taking a’ pick and mix’ attitude to Christianity but I try and examine everything within the Light of scripture and see whether it lines up with scripture.
      I have the ability to get things wrong(and sometimes do) but I find God is faithful to those who genuinely seek His Truth and will guide their path.

      • Amen. In my case ( and often do). God is faithful and gracious. He knows we’re dust. He doesn’t mark our transgressions or who could stand. We do not need to hide our talents in case we make a mistake in using them. He bears with our weaknesses and forgives all our sins. What a God for those who trust him.

    • magnolia

      And your contribution to this particular debate is…….?

    • Albert

      I’m completely with you. Cranmer’s need to dig Pope Francis is psychologically fascinating, as is the effect it has on people like you and me.

  • Anton

    God tests us (and hopes we pass), Satan tempts us (and hopes we fail), but it’s the same word in Greek.

    Just as Greek has more words for the English “love”, so English has two words for peirasmon.

    Which is meant in this prayer? It’s a legitimate question.

    • I agree with this only I’d change the word ‘hopes’ to ‘with a view to us’.

      In the same test/trial God and Satan have different goals.

      I think trials is better for it puts the focus on the event and makes the event itself neutral. For us ‘tempt’ always carries the desire to ensnare with something illicit. We tend also to confuse matters by introducing our own illicit desires responding to the illicit eternal siren.

      Supposing God desires to put us through a time of ill health, or pain of one kind or another. In his case he does so to prove us and refine us. He has no thought of tempting us to trip and fall. His aim, like a trainer, is to make us stronger. In the same trial however, Satan wishes us to stumble and fall. He wants us to fail in faith and will do all he can to further this end.

      I know these points only touch the surface of a deep topic.

      • carl jacobs

        Where have you been, John? Your absence was noticed.

        • Hi Carl.

          Unfortunately my depressive illness has hit me again recently. When it does, almost immediately I stop reading blogs. My mind becomes very tired and unable to think straight. Thought in any way even slightly demanding seems to create anxiety symptoms. I need to give my mind as much rest as I can until the exhaustion begins to lift and the mood rises.

          It’s all very hard to describe or to relate to if you’re not familiar with it. I scarcely understand it and I’ve had it as a companion over the years. i Am feeling a little better at the moment so cautiously put my toe in the water. An added complication is that when mood is lowered in this way (much more than simply being down in a normal way) thinking becomes skewed. I easily become over-scrupulous and ready to agonise over every word I write which is debilitating and immensely stressful.

          I trust you are well.

      • We could add too that God may lead us into sphere where Satan is allowed to tempt us. He did this with Jesus who was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. Something similar happened with Adam and Eve and Israel in the desert. God is allowing a trial to ‘see what is in our hearts’. As in Job, he gives Satan permission in certain areas. Again, his aim is never our downfall but our ultimate blessing… our affliction creates eternal glory when properly received.

  • David

    Assuming that the translation is accurate then I ask, how can anyone, alter the words of Jesus ? The answer of course is that no human has that authority.
    On reflection, the words make sense to me. As the Kingdom of God is diametrically opposed to the World, where Satan prowls scattering temptations to try to wrest us away from God, it is inevitable that the genuine Christian will face many such tests or temptations. So we ask God, in prayer, that the tests and temptations we will face will be ones that are we can overcome. That’s how I see it.

    • CliveM

      Isn’t it Francis’s point that the translation is correct just not understood and that the wording needs changes, not to amend the meaning, but to make the original meaning clear.

      TBH it’s what people do with bible translations all the time.

  • ardenjm

    “So why does the Bishop of Rome think Matthew and Luke got it wrong?”

    Because this particular Bishop of Rome is muddle-headed and an auto-didact who makes stuff up on the spot according to a strange mixture of genuine kind-heartedness and the very worst consequences of the lapse in Thomistic formation in the 1960s-1990s. But thank God he is as contradictory and muddle-headed as he is because that Mercy is preventing him from being the first Pope to fall in to formal heresy (instead of the material heresy which has has espoused, thereby joining a very undignified list of two other Popes in the Church’s history to do so.)

    Let us hope that this latest well-meant but confused exposition will convince Cranmer once and for all about the truth of Pope Francis. Cranmer has lionised Pope Francis on countless occasions as being the best thing to happen to the Catholic Church for over 500 years. But it was the traditionalists who got it right all along: Pope Francis is a wrecking-ball. Now, at last, I hope the scales will fall from the eyes of those who think Pope Francis is a Good Thing.
    He isn’t.
    He will go down, alas, as one of the very worst successors of St Peter.

    Kyrie eleison.

    • Ivan M

      Maybe it was time we got a Marxist inspired leftist at the Vatican. Francis may not be a theologically sound Pope but he knows the ways of the world. As a sometime denizen of the Third World I.have to say that he rarely puts his foot wrong overseas. Hardline theology just gets the minority Christians in trouble.

    • Albert

      material heresy which has has espoused

      I assume this should read “which he has espoused.” If so, could you tell me what his material heresy is?

      • ardenjm

        I’m happy for you to parse à la Ron Conte the canonical precision of material heresy and endorse his conclusion that a Pope cannot err in teaching even materially. I think he thus has to inflate a vast category of pontifical “teaching” as not really “teaching” at all in order to somehow absolve the errors of John XXII and Hororious….
        https://ronconte.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/can-a-pope-teach-material-heresy/

        Rorate Caeli likewise does a thorough job of defining material and formal heresy in section One (see link) but reaches the exact opposit of Conte’s conclusion – and indeed goes further – finds it hard not to conclude that Pope Francis is not formally heretical over Amoris Laetitia:
        https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/02/article-on-formal-correction-of-pope.html

        On December 23, 2016 Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, one of the four Cardinals of the dubia, said: “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”
        Whilst Canon 915 hasn’t been formally over-turned on this matter (which would make Pope Francis teaching in Amoris Laetitia formally in contradiction with the prior teaching of the Church and, arguably the words of Our Lord Himself) nevertheless neither is AL as it presently stands in clear harmony with that teaching either. There is ambiguity. An unresolved ambiguity that, slowly, but surely, as “interpretations” of it find “canonisation” by being included in the Acts of the Holy See with the approval of Pope Francis, is becoming de facto unambiguous.

        Accordingly, I use the term material heresy to mean that the Pope has given tacit approval to interpretations at odds with the teaching of the Church.

        One last example of a problematic formulation is the one below which are prima facie incompatible with Catholic teaching – but which, no doubt, with circumstantial exegesis can absolve Pope Francis from teaching error – even materially:

        “Regarding the young Jesus being in the temple, he said in his 2016 Epiphany homily in Italian: “Instead of returning home with his family, he stayed in Jerusalem, in the Temple, provoking great suffering to Mary and Joseph, who were unable to find him. For this little ‘escapade’ (questa ‘scappatella’), Jesus probably had to ask forgiveness (dovette chiedere scusa) of his parents.”

        Hmm. Well, now, no, the Incarnate Word didn’t have to ask forgiveness of his Immaculate Mother who never wavered for a second in her trust…

        Hope that clarifies.

        • Albert

          Thank you. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read the attached posts. I agree there are problems, whether the risk of misinterpretation is a reason to accuse him of material heresy I don’t know, but I would have thought not.

          “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”

          I don’t think that would be heresy actually. To be barred by sin from Holy Communion, one must be in a state of mortal sin. Now mortal sin requires more than simply to do an act of grave matter. It follows someone whose actions involve grave matter is not necessarily in a state of mortal sin. Am I missing something here?

          “Jesus probably had to ask forgiveness (dovette chiedere scusa) of his parents.”

          Now that is more serious, assuming the Pope means that in terms of sin. Earlier on you worried about:

          the lapse in Thomistic formation in the 1960s-1990s. Now I’m right with you there.

          • ardenjm

            “assuming the Pope means that in terms of sin.”

            And there, in a nutshell, you have ALL of the problems of this pontificate.
            The Pope says something. It’s most obvious interpretation is one that is problematic. A second or third interpretation, “if you look at it this way” can be reconciled with the Faith because, of course, that second or third interpretation twists words around in order to do so.
            You have to somehow dig around in what Pope Francis’s intention rather than in what he said. You have to give him constantly the benefit of the doubt because surely, SURELY, he can’t have meant something so crassly at odds with the Faith.
            We’re like frogs being slowly boiled to death in a saucepan.

            Scusare: to apologise.
            But, of course, we all say ‘sorry’ every day as an act of polite consideration – without investing it with its original meaning of asking forgiveness for a wrong-doing etc etc.
            Nevertheless, in this instant: a 12 year old child runs off without telling his parents where he is for 3 days…this isn’t a ‘scusi’ kind of situation.
            Even if Pope Francis DIDN’T mean it in terms of sin THAT’S what he said. It’s not for us to have to parse everything he says in order to render it Catholic to the best of our abilities – it’s for the Pope to “strengthen the Faith of his Brethren.”
            Pope Francis starts to remind me of Shift The Ape in C S Lewis’s The Last Battle: A mouthpiece of Aslan who says things that ordinary Narnians (with their sensus fidei) twist their heads to one side saying, “That doesn’t sound quite right.” but who, out of filial piety and obedience keep on giving the benefit of the doubt until, Shift pronounces that Aslan and the demon-god Tash are one and the same.

            Let us pray that we never get to that point under this pontificate…

          • Albert

            There are clearly problems of this Pope and the difficulty of knowing what he means (or perhaps the certainty of knowing what he means) is part of the problem. However, I do not think he is in any sense heretical on the question of divorce and communion. Unwise, imprudent, careless, misleading – all those words could be discussed, but not heretical, and I think the accusation of heresy actually misses very basic elements of moral dogma.

            I don’t think there is an issue about his silence. I think he just felt that they had gone about it in the wrong way. Why rebuke him publicly? It is harder than we think to know what Francis actually believes. Every now and again someone speaks for him and gets shut down, when he takes a more conservative view. Now it may be a problem that so much of this is about interpretation and inference, but that is a different problem from the problem of heresy.

            Now regarding the issue of the boy Jesus in the Temple. What did the Pope mean? I don’t know. But I am sure he didn’t mean to impute sin to Jesus, for he explicitly says Jesus was sinless. There’s an interesting post on this matter here:

            http://www.catholicstand.com/does-the-pope-really-think-jesus-sinned/

            Perhaps the most interesting paragraph is here:

            If you bump into someone by accident in a crowd, for example, or if you cough, you would say “scusa”—or, as we do in English, “excuse me.” But no one suspects you are guilty of sin. Instead, you say it as a polite custom of etiquette.

            and the post goes on:

            So perhaps the pope’s meaning was to speculate (for he is speculating at this point in the homily) that Jesus may have said to Mary and Joseph something like,Oh, I see I caused you worry. I am sorry.”…An interpretation like the one I suggest above, far from putting the pope’s words in context, seems to be taking them out of context. One would have to assume that the pope was speaking loosely and rambling around and not keeping to a consistent context. The pope never does that! Does he?

            And that seems to me to be the problem here and in many places.

          • Cressida de Nova

            This was an interesting link. It seems that the Pope was rambling and contradicting himself. He has a sister I believe. If she could convince him to just pray and look after the doves in the Vatican garden and dissuade him from any impromptu comments it would be good. If he needs to makes statements he should get it checked out firstly by a Catholic theologian and not a Jesuit:)

          • Albert

            Thank you Cressida. That made me laugh!

  • Jon Sorensen

    It always intrigues me how people make a theological claim asserting that pope/head of other religion or denomination is wrong but they are right. Do they have a hot-line to God’s brain while other have a fake line?

    And how do they justify to them self that they are right while coming up no objective way to check the claim.

    • Anton

      This is a discussion among people who take the New Testament to be authoritative about what a certain prayer in it means. Please do not try to make out that it is anything else.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Are you some kind of Christian thought police? We have seen so many time that these “discussions” escalate and consequences spill over to the whole society to suffer the consequences and pay the cost. So don’t pretend that this is just what your opinion about this is.

  • Norman Yardy

    1 Corinthians 10:13King James Version (KJV)
    13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    Temptation is common to all men. Yes the Devil tempts us but also God tempts us to prove us as is seen in Cranmers blog. The Popes intervention is totally inappropriate. Does he want to make his mark on scripture?

    • bosco49

      “He said to him: ‘Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of
      vision: and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will shew thee.’…” Genesis 22:2

      Sounds like a trial to me.

  • Ivan M

    I had trouble understanding the prayer too. Cranmer’s thorough exegesis has clarified matters for me. It is gratifying that I had the same level of theological understanding as Pope Francis.

    • Chefofsinners

      The prayer is written in couplets. The following line “but deliver us from evil” is an essential part of the phrase, clarifying the meaning of the whole. The prayer is that God will guide us away from sinning, into His way.
      What is needed here is not a rewrite, dumbing down the scriptures, but just proper explanation.

      • Ivan M

        Well Francis has at least made a stab at it. There is no use pretending that the plain sense means anything other than what he seeks to correct, for ordinarily temptation means temptation to sex, gluttony, avarice etc, not world shaking persecutions.

  • carl jacobs

    Oh, this has possibilities …

    The New Honest Catholic Translation.

    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Pope, and you will sit on a throne in Rome, and rule over the Earth, and pronounce infallible things in my name.” Matt 6:17-18 NHCT

    • Ivan M

      Well there is at least that to get your temperature up.

  • Inspector General

    Let’s see. You can’t have “lead us away from temptation” because that puts the onus on God to proactively not to allow us to be tempted. We have free choice in the matter. We avoid temptation voluntarily because as Christians, that is the thing to do. We need to take responsibility for ourselves, you know!

    Perhaps a small improvement would be to reduce “into” to “in”.
    That would indicate that we are to be led by God’s desire, but as we do
    so, we are not in a state of temptation and are content with what we have or
    are. Perhaps if the ladies could start covering their glorious hair again at
    mass…there’d be even less temptation around for fellows, what!

    Now, about this Trinity business…

    • Anton

      Have you tried discussing it with the priest of the Catholic church that you attend? Don’t restrict yourself to online debate, there’s nothing like a good face-to-face.

      • Inspector General

        God Almighty would not allow himself to be nailed up on a cross. The very idea!

        Only very odd human-centric types could believe that. And not very bright ones either…

        • Anton

          It is the Muslims who believe it is the grossest blasphemy to say that God would let himself be nailed on the Cross. Are you a Muslim agent, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            How dare you sir!

          • Anton

            If that’s a No then you nevertheless have a lot in common with them, theologically speaking.

          • Inspector General

            So? They are mono theistic. So are you. What can we deduce from that about YOU!

          • Anton

            I believe that Jesus Christ is divine, ie God. You don’t. Muslims don’t. You both say it is blasphemy that God should permit himself to be killed by man. My reply is: Have you ever watched a war film in which one man, the bravest and toughest and strongest, volunteers to die for the battalion? What does one think of that man?

          • Inspector General

            Heroic. But why do you think you are so entitled as to expect the Creator to do anything like that for you?

            Let’s cut to the chase. Why does someone with an intellect like yours limit its understanding of what is and what happened to that of a first century middle eastern shepherd…

          • Anton

            I am not entitled to expect the Creator to do something like that for me. I’m just grateful that he did.

        • Merchantman

          But God did put Abraham to be put to the severe test of being wiling to sacrifice Isaac his son. When we read about this, it probably reminds us a bit about Jesus’ going through with it on the cross.

          Inspector doesn’t your (higher) understanding pretty much tally with the Pharisees who mocked Jesus and wondered why he couldn’t save himself?

          • Inspector General

            Ignore Isaac, Merchantman. He was clearly deranged. The authority for this? That’s easy. The OT is also the history of the Jewish nation.

            Jesus was unable to save himself because he couldn’t. Hence the Passion. His angelic contact had tipped him off. He couldn’t get out of it. It was no sacrifice on his behalf, just a tragic end to his ministry.

        • Phil Young

          If you mean that, then I suggest you really have no idea what it’s all about. Ultimately it makes us less human-centric and more God-centric. We ourselves find it totally amazing that God our Creator would do such a thing for us. And we are incredibly grateful.

          • Inspector General

            One is not ignorant of how men understood, millennia ago. They were standing on the creation and God and heaven were above them in the blue somewhere. We know more of how it is now, including a distance of an incredible 13,000,000,000 light years. Let’s grow with it too, us Christians…

          • Phil Young

            Maybe I misunderstood what you were getting at

  • The Snail @/”

    After 2000 years of Apostles, Saints, Theologians and indeed heretics – he has trouble with a verse that has been accepted by everyone. Is it something in the Zeitgeist of the 21st Century that has made the Pope question the Lord’s Prayer?

    Should everything in this life be there just to make it less demanding?

    Matthew 4
    The Temptation of Jesus
    “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. ”

    The Spirit led, the Devil tempted our Lord. The Lord triumphed by resisting the temptations
    If there are no temptations then there is no virtue in resisting – there is nothing to resist.
    Many of us when tempted fall for the temptation but there is Grace for repentance.

    Job 23
    “10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.”

  • Sir John Oldcastle

    Job 1:12. Satan is only able to tempt Job with the permission of God. God is as in charge of temptation as He is in charge of everything else.

  • A Berean

    If the Pope and the Roman Catholic institution wants this changed then what will they want changed next? To put it bluntly the Bible doesn’t conform or support Roman Catholic theology and doctrine so in cynically fuelled attitude I’m thinking this is either an attempt to change the Bible to read the way Roman Catholic theologians want it to or to instill doubt in it so that the RC institution will be seen as the one and only place of truth and “Christian” teaching.

  • Chefofsinners

    I can see how it must be very tempting to rewrite scripture to reflect one’s own theology. However, I think we should pray that we be not led into that temptation. If only I could think of the right form of words…

    • betteroffoutofit

      And, of course, every translation involves interpretation . . . .

      • Chefofsinners

        Yes. It’s transliteration you want really.

  • Ray Sunshine

    On a Catholic website where I look in from time there were a couple of lengthy comments posted yesterday by priests – one a French Canadian, the other an American, I think – who welcomed the Pope’s proposed new wording because they have both repeatedly had to deal with lay people who had difficulty with the idea of “Why would God deliberately lead anyone into temptation?”

    Sadly, the thread seems to have been taken down because it was mildly controversial, not to mention newsworthy.

    Cranmer’s arguments in the OP make a lot of sense, of course, for those Christians who can find their way around a Greek dictionary without too much difficulty. Priests, however, in their day-to-day dealings with parishioners, meet quite a lot of people who can’t tell their alpha from their elbow.

    • Dominic Stockford

      In general Roman Catholic lay people have little to do with the Bible, and many may well be surprised that the Lord’s Prayer comes from there. They, in general, have even less to do with Greek and may not even know of the Septuagint, or of the use of Greek within the New Testament at all – though decent Reformed congregations will frequently hear in preaching about the issues of translating from New Testament Greek into English. I suppose it all stems from the view of the Bible taken by the denomination/congregation.

      • Albert

        many may well be surprised that the Lord’s Prayer comes from there.

        To see a former Catholic saying such things, makes one gasp and stretch one’s eyes. It’s fascinating how a legitimate biblical point has been largely ignored on this thread by Protestants, who find it more important to attack the Pope than to engage in exegesis. I wonder what that says.

        • Dominic Stockford

          It is NOT a legitimate Biblical point. Temptation is not sin, God is sovereign, and he (Job 1:21) is in control of all such things. I know you lot decry the Bible as a source of anything that stands counter to what your ‘church’ thinks, but that utterly undermines Christianity – it cannot possibly be based on what men think as we are lost sinners, dead in our sin – it can only have any veracity based on revelation from God – which he has given us in that Word, the Bible.

          • Albert

            Your point is that God does lead us into temptation is it? Yet, scripture says this:

            Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one;

            Tempting people is role of the enemy of God and man:

            Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…And the tempter came and said

            I know you lot decry the Bible as a source of anything that stands counter to what your private interpretation or human tradition thinks, but that utterly undermines Christianity – it cannot possibly be based on what men think as we are lost sinners, dead in our sin.

          • len

            That includes the Magisterium.

          • Albert

            According to you, when judge by your private interpretation and human tradition, which itself stems from men. In other words, you judgement is worth less than a breath.

          • len

            As is the magisteriums.

          • Albert

            And you disagree with me, in what?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            You haven’t read what I said. There is, therefore, no point in further discussion with you.

          • Albert

            I wasn’t aware I was having a discussion with you. As any reader of my post will see, I was commenting on Dominic, not you, so I could, with more justice, turn your post back on yourself.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            I am Dominic. My phone insists on logging in this way. Would you like more to pass you a damp cloth?

          • Albert

            Well that’s hardly fair. Why not indicate you are Dominic when you say you are Sir John? Obviously, I hadn’t read what Sir John had said when I was replying to Dominic. You can hardly fault me for that. And I am left awaiting some kind of response.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Because I had hoped my phone had sorted itself out. It hasn’t. The words, and the avatar, I would have hoped would have cleared it up anyway. Now it is clear, “You haven’t read what I said. There is, therefore, no point in further discussion with you.”

          • Albert

            It’s hardly a fault in me that I hadn’t read what you said, given that you impersonate someone else. Is it this post, that you are referring to:

            Job 1:12. Satan is only able to tempt Job with the permission of God. God is as in charge of temptation as He is in charge of everything else.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Anyone who thinks God leads us into temptation is frankly a little strange and has no understanding of Christ or Christianity.

      • Terry Mushroom

        You’ve not had much to do with Catholic parishes for a while, I take it: the Bibles for sale, booklets with suggestions for daily scriptural readings for, say, the various seasons, the scripture groups and so on.

        Those who leave a country can make the mistake that it’s still as they left it. Or as they imagined it.

        • Dominic Stockford

          You ought to read what is written above a little more carefully.

          • Terry Mushroom

            I did. And you’re mistaken.

  • ardenjm

    Not so.
    Cranmer THOUGHT Pope Francis was all the was wonderful because Pope Francis took the wrecking ball to the kind of Catholicism that Cranmer scorns: the kind that gives him a bad conscience and exposes his own weird theological incoherencies.
    BUT Cranmer does have sincere Christian convictions of his own and so now, all of a sudden, he realises that the present Pope’s iconoclasm isn’t just with respect to the Catholic icons that Cranmer himself enjoys seeing torn down but can even extend to such fundamental things as the words Our Lord Himself used in the Lord’s Prayer!

    In short: The Catholic Traddies told you. And they told you years ago. But you castigated them because of your own protestant prejudices against the Catholicism they represented.

    Repent at your leisure, then.
    And, in future, be careful what you wish for.

    • Cressida de Nova

      I have never understood or recognised the term traditional Catholic. My understanding of Catholicism does not allow for various hues and shades of Catholicism Catholicism is not malleable in essence. It is strong secure and granite like.

      Do you think that Pope Francis is aware of the damage and confusion he is causing? Might it not be that he is cerebrally challenged and unsuited for a position that requires theological accuracy.I am also wondering why he was elected and what was the agenda of the Cardinals who voted for him. They must have known what he was like.

      • ardenjm

        “I have never understood or recognised the term traditional Catholic.”
        Nor did I. But I don’t know how else to describe the Faith now that we have a liberal pontificate which barely seems Catholic sometimes.

        “Do you think that Pope Francis is aware of the damage and confusion he is causing?”
        Yes. He’s a Jesuit. He’s not a stupid man.

        “Might it not be that he is cerebrally challenged and unsuited for a position that requires theological accuracy.”
        He has had a bad theological formation. This become evident in the gobbledegook passages which were clearly his in Laudato Sí. Check out the stuff on space and time. Utterly incomprehenisble drivel!

        “I am also wondering why he was elected and what was the agenda of the Cardinals who voted for him.” De facto apostates. Some of them were part of the St Gallen Mafia – like our own egregiously awful Murphy-O’Connor. (Another one praised by Cranmer, btw. How anyone could ever praise a man who furthered the career of Conry and appointed a pedophile to Gatwick Airport chaplaincy is beyond me.) I’m sure that some of them are Freemasons, also.

        “They must have known what he was like.”
        Not really. When would Cardinal X from Mumbai get to meet Cardinal Y from Santiago for enough time to REALLY see what he was like.

        My explanation?
        It’s the End of the World in the next 20 years…

        • Cressida de Nova

          Thank you for your answers.
          20 years.? ….I hope not.

          Miracles happen. We must believe God will protect his Church here on earth and this nightmare will be over eventually.

          Why is schism such a bad idea? If this continues would it not be better to get rid of all the rotten fruit (enemies of the Church) who are preaching heresy and are confident enough now flaunting it in the press and on broadcast without any consequence…still practising as priests,still celebrating Mass and hearing confessions. Truly it is just blood chilling …Young Catholics are at great risk .They will never know what Catholicism means.

  • Dominic Stockford

    And I would add, regardless of any abuse that may be being levelled at me by one of the several I have blocked, I think he is wonderful precisely BECAUSE he is a wrecking ball.

    • ardenjm

      I’m glad Dominic has blocked me because it allows me to point out to any casual reader:
      Look at the preening vanity of this ex-Catholic priest who just assumes that abuse may already be being levelled at him by me.

      In a fit of thin-skinned pique (much like the one of patrician & condescending Carl Jacobs before him) ex-Father Dominic clutched his pearls and blocked me. If he hadn’t I’d have been able to say:
      Sorry, Dom, me old heretic, but just because for you everything revolves around you doesn’t mean that anyone else gives the proverbial monkeys. For, as much as it must infuriate you to not be the centre of attention, I hadn’t given you a second thought. Indeed, in relation to this particular issue, why on earth would I think of you?
      Why on earth would anyone?
      You and your views aren’t that significant…

  • Dreadnaught

    Hey diddle diddle
    the Pope’s got a riddle
    He says the Lord’s Prayer got it wrong
    Both the dead and the living
    When praise they were giving
    Were fooling themselves all along

    • Dominic Stockford

      Very clever, not sure how the second three lines refer to the first ones though…..

      • Dreadnaught

        Can’t please everyone all the time Dominic,

    • Chefofsinners

      Hey diddle doddle
      The Pope’s talking twaddle
      He says the Lord’s Prayer got it wrong.
      But turns the whole nation
      Away from temptation
      By thrusting about in a thong.

      • Dreadnaught

        hahaha – nice one Chef

      • Hey diddle duddle,
        The world’s in a muddle,
        The Pope says the Lords Prayer is wrong.
        It may seem absurd,
        but it’s barely one word,
        Stick to Latin, ’twas right all along 🙂

  • carl jacobs

    Francis is like the Bestest Pope Ever. He just keeps on giving. For a Protestant, every day has become Christmas during his Papacy.

    • Darter Noster

      I must admit that Francis is the first Pope under whom my immediate reaction is not to write this story off as an April Fool’s prank.

      Πειραομαι, the passive form of πειράζω/πειραω, can mean ‘I am attacked, assaulted’. It’s the root of the word ‘pirate’. Πειρασμος can clearly imply more than just temptation in the sense of God dangling wealth or sex in front of your face. Πονηρος, which we subsequently ask for deliverance from, means labours, toils, tribulations, as well as the ‘evil’ implied by the Latin ‘malus’.

      My GCSE Greek class will be dead chuffed when I point out that the Pope and his advisors have less competence in translating than they do.

      • Albert

        Well said. And the point is curiously made similarly by Cranmer himself, except, in his haste to turn everything into an attack on the Pope, he seems to squander the point.

        • Anton

          His Grace is simply a little keen. Give it time and I expect you and Arden will be attacking him too. Do you think the Curia will bump him off?

          • len

            Like they have done before?

          • Anton

            I don’t believe the conspiracy theories about JPI but the ‘pornocracy’ era 1100 years ago was responsible for most of the list of murdered Popes:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes_who_died_violently#Murdered_popes

            So different from the home life of our own dear Pope?

          • Ray Sunshine

            There appears to have been only one hole allotted to popes, each of whom remained with his burning feet protruding till his successor arrived to thrust him down lower and take his place.
            ―Dorothy L. Sayers’ note to her translation of the Inferno, canto 19, line 53 (Boniface VIII).

          • Martin

            Anton

            The pornocracy pretty well destroys the idea of the apostolic succession, unless you believe it is in the saying of magic words, independent of the one speaking, that it resides.

          • Albert

            I’m quite happy to disagree with the Pope when he expresses personally. In fact, if you look at my posts here, I do disagree with him – I think he has picked the wrong word to worry about. No, I don’t think he will be bumped off.

  • Chefofsinners

    The EU commission’s first indication that a deal had been reached on stage 1 of Brexit was… to Tweet a picture of a chimney with white smoke rising.

    Perhaps Jean-Claude will now have a go at rewriting the Lord’s Prayer…

    Our sugar daddy which art in London
    Hammond be thy name
    Thy kingdom’s scum
    Thou wilt be done
    From Perth even down to Devon
    Give us this day our pound of flesh
    And forgive us our debts
    As we forgive absolutely nothing
    And lead us not into negotiation
    But deliver us 50 billion Euros
    For mine is the United Kingdom
    The power and the glory
    For ever and ever. Amen.

    • Anton

      Wherefore:

      the EU has spent money on our behalf which we okayed permitted them to, which therefore becomes liable on our departure;

      we are partway through a (7-year) EU budgeting cycle which we signed up to;

      we seek to be in a tariff-free zone with the EU and simultaneously free to negotiate whatever we wish with the rest of the world:

      I believe that 50bn Euros is not a bad sum. In order to get a sense of it, it should be compared to GDP, national debt etc.

      The solution to the Irish border problem is to declare it hard and not enforce it. What must NEVER be conceded is jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, etc.

      • David

        Nigel Farage, a well informed MEP is adamant that any moral responsibility we have, for commitments already entered into, would be covered by £25 billion, off which should be netted the assets in land and buildings that we will be losing.
        But then the EU never, ever had any respect for anything resembling a sensible, fair accountancy based approach to calculating costs, being driven purely by ideologically driven politicians without any real life skills or connection to reality.

        • Anton

          In that case the rest should be viewed as the cost of being in a tariff-free zone with the EU while free to negotiate what we like with everybody else. Germany and France don’t have that freedom and it is reasonable to pay a one-off fee to get it. What I DO NOT WANT is any continuing EU jurisdiction in my country.

          • David

            The tariff free zone, so called, works well for goods, and specifically German exports. But we are as much a service economy as a manufacturing one, if not more so, and the bureaucratic barriers against selling our services across the bloc are considerable. Yes it works well for selling Italian and French agricultural products and German engineering ones, but not that well for us, a service economy to a large extent.
            Moreover I object morally to the way that the tariff free zone erects walls against the African farmers, anxious to sell their few products to the west, trapping them in dependency. It is the last echo of colonialism. They are allowed to export their raw products to the EU easily, but if they process those foods and then try to sell us the finished goods, prohibitive taxes hit them.

          • Anton

            I agree but we can’t influence EU policy towards Africa so I’m not going to put much energy into pondering it. I just want out.

        • dannybhoy

          The EU has never had their accounts properly signed off, and corruption is rife.

          • David

            Indeed.

  • David

    T. May, a globalist Remainer at heart, has agreed a deal which is very good for the EU and very bad for the UK.
    Now the EU will be able to continue on its profligate way, without revising its budget, paid for by the mugs in the UK. This is money we desperately needed for our NHS, infrastructure, pensioners and Armed Services.
    The hated EU courts will still exert its influence in our Kingdom – a travesty.
    If it turns out that we are still locked into the Customs Union and the Shared Market that will represent a huge failure of political imagination, an inability to seize the vision of the far greater opportunities for prosperity that we could achieve as a totally unfettered free trading nation.
    All this gives the EU much of what it wants, which is control over our nation, and insults the integrity of the UK’s greatest ever democratic exercise, the Referendum which delivered a clear signal to separate, to leave and become once more a sovereign nation – we have instead a terrible situation. She has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
    I am 66 years old and Theresa May is quite simply the very worst PM that I have seen in my lifetime.

    • len

      You can join the EU but never leave (even if you think you have)

      • Sarky

        It’s not hotel california!

        • len

          Bit like it though Sarky?

    • not a machine

      Mmm a globalist, well if she is then like the other globalists she will continue a lie, a succession of quitters, starting with… Well there are others in history, some in living memory. So we have the end gamers, the labour uncertainty, the tory treachery and a cabinet with some powerful remainers, and all in all its starting to look a little toxic, which might be what the remainers need for fuel. The other interesting question whilst we are still wading through the various layers, is should it have been different, we’ll its an unfair question as the UK is the first to trigger article 50.A point to also note is what Mr Shulz said in that other European countries wanting out, should do so now, so make of that what you will in how things will be moving under the EU. Mr Farrage made the point that the people who Mrs May had to embrace were all unelected. I have not changed my mind about what the EU will become, some fiscal aspects are a problem for me, but the currency is if Mrs May is smiling like a true brexitier but running another sell us all out to the EU operation like some before her, it’s a precarious mystery?

    • Anton

      She’s not worse than Blair.

      Quite simply, she has no room for manoeuvre given the differing factions in her party. Each will veto one or other thing she agrees with Brussels. I defy anybody else to do much different given the present balances in her party and in Parliament. What is needed is for her to cease to be Tory leader and an internal fight take place in the party which the Brexit faction wins, so that a hardline Brexiteer takes over as party leader and PM without Corbyn getting a look-in, and with the Tory Remainers in retreat. That is not an impossible scenario.

      • David

        Is your crystal ball up for sale ?
        Obviously I like the scenario !

  • not a machine

    I perhaps approach this a little differently to your grace, it is only originally written in the Greek as far as my translational knowledge goes, the Vatican no doubt has all or copies of the original texts, and then we are left with the original meaning in the oration, which would seem to be said by Jesus in Aramaic, which gives a further layer. At a basic level the Lords prayer has been said in this translation for over 1500 years, and with it a certain question, so the question must be in the way so said, has it served God’s understanding unto man?

  • Ray Sunshine

    Perhaps if instead of scratching the world’s itching ears with his meek and
    mild Lord’s Prayer eisegesis …

    Oooohh look! It’s that word again!

    • Sarky

      My Mum likes that Julio eisegesis.

      • Chefofsinners

        Eisegesis eisegesis baby.

  • Albert

    The issue here is about the correct translation of πειρασμόν. Scripture seems to use this to mean either to tempt or to test. Now clearly, as Cranmer says, God does not tempt, for that is the department of the Satan. But that means the Pope’s complaint about the normal rendering of the sentence is well founded (which in turn means that Cranmer’s complaint about the Pope’s eisegesis is a bit harsh).

    So yes, the Pope does seem to be complaining about the wrong word in the sentence (“lead us”, seems sound), but his over all point is theologically and scripturally sound – God does not lead us into temptation, so there’s little point in praying that he doesn’t. We might as well pray that God does not sin against us.

    It seems then, that Cranmer has written an over-long post simply to enable him to take a pot shot at the Pope. A pot shot that seems to have mislead some of Cranmer’s co-religionists, such as Len. One could almost think that for some Protestants, not misleading co-religionists is less important than attacking the Pope.

    • len

      I don’t suppose you even see the irony of your post?

      • Albert

        No. Please explain.

        • len

          You appear to be doing what you accuse Cranmer of ,Albert.

          • Albert

            How?

          • len

            perhaps you should read your posts

          • Albert

            Or perhaps you should have the courage to state what you think.

  • Mark Preece

    Surely your reference to Mt. 26 doesn’t work as intended. The word “temptation”, as usually used, refers to a desire to do something we believe to be wrong. In his prayer in the garden, Jesus expresses a desire not to do something he believes to be right — not the same thing at all. He’s not asking to be saved from the temptation to being crucified. He’s asking not to be brought to this trial, which is why most modern liturgies authorize a version of the Lord’s Prayer that says “save us from the time of trial” or words to that effect.

    The Pope is reacting against any suggestion that God plants “honey traps” throughout our lives, to see what we’re made of. While “lead us not into temptation” doesn’t necessarily imply that, I think he believes that’s what people are hearing when they say it.

    • Ivan M

      Yes that is what most would ordinarily assume if they think about it.

  • Anna

    ‘Lead us not into temptation’. In some languages this line is translated – perhaps more correctly – as ‘keep us hard trials’ or ‘difficult tests’. We are tempted by the devil who is also called ‘the tempter’ and by our own wrongful desires or lusts, never by God. The enemy has been given the power to deceive and attack the saints in this age, and God permits some testing in order to help us grow spiritually strong (for we develop our spiritual muscles as we learn to resist the evil one), and to make us partakers of Christ’s victory. He has a hedge of protection around our lives, as we learn from Job, which the enemy seeks to undermine. Just as we are taught to petition the Father for our daily bread, we ought to, petition Him to 1. spare us from the sort of trials that we are either too weak to bear, or the tests that will cause us to fail; and 2. forbid the devil from attacking us incessantly. I suspect that one of the reasons that we see too many failures in the church, and particularly among Christian leaders is that – unlike Christians in previous generations – we no longer take this prayer seriously.

  • Chefofsinners

    So, Pope Francis doesn’t understand the verb ‘to lead’. Who knew?

  • Chris Bell

    Perhaps, the most incendiary temptation is for the church to rewrite its foundation to better agree with the emerging secular religion. But Mr Pope needs to be careful, then, that he, rather than the Lord, might be seen as leading us all into temptation. I can envisage litigation that will dwarf Kafka.

  • Phil Young

    Well, surely, as the Lord’s Prayer is one of the very first or basic things one learns (apart of course from Jesus death and resurrection and all that means), then it should be explained at some point, whether it be in some sort of classes for new Christians, or in Bible studies or whatever. There are many seemingly inexplicable or at first sight incomprehensible things in the Bible. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because they make you think and seek out a fuller understanding of things. I wonder how many people just trot out the Lord’s prayer by rote without even beginning to think about what it’s getting at. I’m not ure how things work in the RC church or if they have Bible studies or anything, but surely it is not beyond the wit of the churches to have people who can either explain things or if they don’t know, to find out about it for someone.

    • Anna

      I agree that teaching on the Lord’s Prayer is neglected in most churches. In traditional churches people say this prayer by rote without thinking about its real meaning, and in Evangelical circles, people are taught that the components of prayer are ‘adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (ACTS)’, which ignores the important fact that we are engaged in a battle ‘against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:12 ESV). Many believe that the ‘devil can’t touch us’ or say that God is ‘our defence’ and ‘the battle belongs to Him’, so there is no need for us to pray specifically for protection. Yet, Christ reminded His disciples to ‘watch and pray’, because the ‘spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’. Therefore, we ought to cooperate with God by asking for His aid in this battle.

  • betteroffoutofit

    Thank you, Your Grace. Personally, I don’t go any later than the KJV – the new stuff is all alien garbage, to me.

    However, I do use this version, daily:
    Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum
    Si þin nama gehalgod
    Tobecume þin rice
    Gewurþe þin willa
    on eorðan swa swa on heofonum
    Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg
    and forgyf us ure gyltas
    swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum
    And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge
    Ac alys us of yfele
    Soþlice.

  • len

    Here’s an explanation of how Satan is used to test professing Christians(I have heard this somewhere before , from Francis Frangipane i think?.)

    ‘So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.’ (Genesis 3:14)

    Man was created from the dust and to the dust he returns , ashes to ashes dust to dust.

    The Apostle Peter promised Jesus that he would stand by Him right to the end no matter what happened, was this pride in his Peters own abilities , Peters own strength?.
    Jesus said to Peter “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat” And apparently God gave Satan permission to’ sift ‘Peter. This led to Peter denying Christ 3 times.

    Satan sometimes asks and gets permission from God to sift each of us to expose our own frailties , our pride , our rebellion, our independence because these are the very things which hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives .

    Of course atheists and non believers are no threat to Satan so he will leave them to their own devices.

  • Ivan M

    I now recall that the Our Father prayer in the old days circa 1970s had the words ‘do not bring us to the test but deliver us from all evil’ in place of the new fangled ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.’ The former is much closer to what Cranmer is getting at. What changed?. Must be the new fangled search for ‘authenticity’ in competition with the Proddies in Bible translations. It is then clear that Francis is on to something in raising this matter for pastoral reasons.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘The old days’, the 1970’s?!!!
      How about 1549? How about the original Cranmer?

      “And leade us not into temptacion…”

      Or, how about the man who gave us the prayer himself, Jesus:

      “And lead us not into temptation…” (both Luke and Matthew’s Gospels use the same language).

      Which translates correctly from the Greek, and is what we have been given by the Holy Spirit.

  • andrew

    From Haydocks Catholic commentary:
    Ver. 13. God is not the tempter of evil, or author of sin. (James i. 13.) He tempteth no man: we pray that he would not suffer the devil to tempt us above our strength: that he would remove the temptations, or enable us to overcome them, and deliver us from evil, particularly the evil of sin, which is the first, and the greatest, and the true efficient cause of all evils. (Haydock) — In the Greek we here read, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory; which words are found in some old Greek liturgies, and there is every appearance that they have thence slipped into the text of St. Matthew. They do not occur in St. Luke (vi. 4.[xi. 4.?]), nor in any one of the old Latin copies, nor yet in the most ancient of the Greek texts. The holy Fathers prior to St. Chrysostom, as Grotius observes, who have explained the Lord’s prayer, never mention these words. — And not being found in Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, &c., nor in the Vatican Greek copy, nor in the Cambridge manuscripts. &c. as Dr. Wells also observes, it seems certain that they were only a pious conclusion, or doxology, with which the Greeks in the fourth age began to conclude their prayers, much after the same manner as, Glory be to the Father, &c. was added to the end of each psalm. We may reasonably presume, that these words at first were in the margin of some copies, and afterwards by some transcribers taken into the text itself. (Witham)

  • Is is not just a question of a couple hyphens or comma. “Lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

  • grutchyngfysch

    The key word, surely, is not temptation but lead. That’s the verb, not tempting. Matthew wrote that the Spirit led Christ into the wilderness in order that He might be tempted (Mt 4:1). Likewise Paul confirmed that God does not allow anyone to be tempted beyond what they might be able to bear, always providing a way out.

    The issue at the heart of this, I suspect, is not that God tempts or that any competent reader believes that the Lord’s Prayer implies any such thing. It is the issue of the nature of a sovereign God who permits evil, testing and trial to come even on His Church. That’s a pill far harder to swallow in an age that believes all ethics stem from the harm principle.

    The way that Jesus taught us to pray first and foremost grounds the reality that it is our Father in Heaven who rules. We do not pray to any other power for aid of relief but to the sovereign God who gives and takes away.

  • pobjoy

    The so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was a prayer intended for a particular time, belonging to the same dispensation as Abraham (or even Abram), to whom a saviour was promised. It came at the close of that dispensation, just before the fulfilment of that promise. Jesus summed up ‘theology’ that had been developed since Abram had been justified by his faith.

    Translation of ‘temptation’ is incorrect because the Greek word πειρασμός must here refer to testing, or, more specifically, to assay, as a chemist assays for purity. So Jesus would have reminded his hearers of the refiner’s fire of later prophecy. ‘Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?’ So ‘Lead me not into temptation’ is better translated, “Do not bring me to account yet, because I can’t measure up.”

    In that way Jesus continued the work of John the baptiser, reinforcing the need for recognition of personal moral inadequacy. Hence, “Deliver us from evil.” But delivery from evil and its judgement was made available by Jesus’ crucifixion.

    Today that plea is an anachronism, and has been since the first Pentecost, witness of ascribed ‘purity’ to those who could then ‘measure up’.

    • SimonToo

      I cannot speak for the Greek version, let alone the original Aramaic, but the Latin is “Et ne nos inducas in tentationem; sed libera nos a malo.” If there is a mistake, it would appear to be a long-standing one.

      • pobjoy

        The error comes in prolonging the use of an English word that has changed its meaning since first used for translation. The Latin ‘tentationem’ meant ‘trial’, ‘proof’ or ‘judgement’ as well as enticement; and the only Hebrew word that was likely to be used as a synonym, with which the Jews were very familiar, carried similar meanings. As Jesus always grounded his teaching in existing Scripture, the possible use of Aramaic (that was closely related to Hebrew, anyway) is incidental. So Greek, Latin, Hebrew and probably Aramaic all agree!

        Middle English, likewise. Rendition of ‘tentationem’ as ‘temptation’ was fine in the days of Wyclif, and even of Tyndale, because it also meant ‘trial’, ‘assay’ or ‘proof’. But the English word has taken a narrowed meaning since their days, now signifying evil intent or consequence only.

        • SimonToo

          Thank you for that explanation.

          • pobjoy

            🙂 You’re welcome.