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Pope Francis Faces Backlash After Approving Change To Lord’s Prayer

Mark Andrew

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  • The Vatican has approved a major change in the Lord’s Prayer.
  • In Matthew 6:13, the prayer reads “lead us not into temptation.”
  • The line has been changed to “do not let us fall into temptation” because, Pope Francis explains, “the one who leads you into temptation is Satan” not God.

Pope Francis is currently facing criticism from traditionalists. The outrage has been caused by the pope’s recent approval towards changing the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6.

In verse 13, the prayer uses the words “lead us not into temptation.” That line has since been changed to “do not let us fall into temptation” and it has since earned mixed reactions from the Christian community.

Vatican approved the change following 16 years of research by experts who claimed the translation was a mistake “from a theological, pastoral, and stylistic viewpoint.” In 2017, Pope Francis first showed support about the change when he pointed out that the verse portrayed God in a negative light.

The pope taught:

“A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately. It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.

“The one who leads you into temptation is Satan. That’s Satan’s role.”

He also added:

“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.”

Meanwhile, David W. Pao, chairman of the New Testament Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, explained:

“This permissive sense is consistent with a similar petition in the Jewish prayer a first century Jew might be familiar with (cf. b. Ber. 60b).

“Moreover, the petition that follows in the Lord’s Prayer (‘deliver us from the evil one,’ Matthew 6:13b) clearly points to the devil as the one who leads people to sin.”

Pao continued:

“First, this ‘permissive’ reading is not explicitly expressed in the Greek of Matthew 6:13a, and ‘lead us not into temptation’ remains the best and most natural rendering of this petition.

“Second, if ‘temptation’ is understood as ‘temptation that leads to sin” (see Galatians 6:1), then it is important to emphasize that God does not lead people into such ‘temptation’ (see James 1:13-14). Nevertheless, the underlying Greek word behind ‘temptation’ can also refer more generally to ‘testing,’ and the Bible does describe God bringing His people into times of ‘testing’ (e.g., Deuteronomy 8:2, 16).”

Catholic World News editor Philip F. Lawler also commented about the pope’s action, saying:

“Pope Francis has made a habit of saying things that throw people into confusion, and this is one of them. It just makes you wonder, where does it stop, what’s up for grabs. It’s cumulative unease.”

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler likewise added

“I was shocked and appalled. This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the pope’s prayer, and we have the very words of Jesus in the New Testament. It is those very words that the pope proposes to change. It is not only deeply problematic, it’s almost breathtaking.”

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