Is Pope Francis questioning Jesus? Christians react after pontiff changes the Lord’s prayer

By Vincent Kejitan | Friday, Jun 7th 2019 at 10:45
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The Lord’s Prayer is deeply ingrained in the hearts of Christians all over the world and it is one of the first prayers children are taught in school.

Most, if not all, primary school students in Kenya are familiar with the words of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples over 2000 years ago.

Recently, Pope Francis approved changes to the wording of the prayer and instead of saying “lead us not into temptation”, the prayer will now read “do not let us fall into temptation.”

The changes were approved last month by the general assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy and will appear in the third edition of the Messale Romano, the liturgical book that contains the guiding texts for mass in the Roman Catholic Church.

According to the pontiff, the changes were necessary because initially, the prayer appeared to suggest that God induces temptation.

“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” he told Italian TV. “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,” he said in 2017.

Some theologians and other members of the clergy, however, are not in agreement with the Holy Father.

“This is how Jesus, the son of God, taught his disciples to pray. Why should it be altered?” they argue.

A separate group believe meaning might have been lost in translation and people should not make a fuss out of it.

Some sections of the bible actually condemn adding or removing text from the holy book.

“Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you” (Deuteronomy 4:2)

According to Meredith Warren, a lecturer in biblical and religious studies at the Sheffield University, the pontiff’s reason for the change overlooks examples in the Bible where God uses the devil to tempt his own son.

“This new version of the Lord’s Prayer tries to avoid implying that God has some hand in evil. But in doing so the pope not only overlooks the many biblical examples where God works with the devil to tempt his followers and even his own son.

“The new version actually goes against the plain meaning of the Greek of the gospel text,” she was quoted by the Guardian.

Elsewhere, the Catholic church in England and Wales maintained that it had no plans to change the wording.

“The Lord’s prayer has been changed in the Italian language – there are no plans at present for it to change in English,” said a spokesperson.

“Each language will be studied to see the specific meaning and understanding of the language. I am sure there will be some consultation with the English-speaking nations.”

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