Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity.
“That is not a good translation,” the pope said in a television interview on Wednesday night.
Francis said the Catholic Church in France had decided to use the phrase “do not let us fall into temptation” as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.
The prayer, also called “The Lord’s Prayer”, is part of Christian liturgical culture and memorized from childhood by hundreds of millions of Catholics.
It is a translation from the Latin vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek, which was in turn translated from Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.
On the new French translation, from NCR:
French Catholics finally went ahead with it Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent, and Massgoers said, “Let us not enter into temptation,” rather than the original wording, “Do not submit us to temptation,” chosen after the Second Vatican Council.
In the end, the switch went relatively smoothly, even if some parishioners mumbled the wrong phrase. But it came only after both long discussions about the translation and delays due to the word-for-word wrangling with Rome over other liturgical translations.
On Sunday, many parishes passed out sheets containing the new French text, with the changed words in bold, to help hesitant parishioners along. At Saint-Ignace, the Jesuit church in Paris, the new wording was written across a large banner for all to see.
Fr. Emmanuel Schwab, pastor of Saint-Léon Parish in Paris, said the new translation was “less ambiguous” than the earlier wording.
“The version ‘do not submit us to temptation’ made some people think God threw banana peels in front of people to see if they would slip and fall, but that is absolutely not the biblical view of God,” he said after Mass.