Those of us who are lapsed Christians, however long ago it was that we fell from grace and chose the express lanes to hell, will likely remember the Lord’s Prayer even if we have forgotten everything else in the liturgies. We said it so often that it was deeply embedded in our brains long after we stopped paying any attention to what the words actually mean. So it is a big deal when none other than the pope suggests changing a line in the prayer because it puts their god in a bad light.
Pope Francis has called for the English wording of the Lord’s Prayer to be changed, because it implies God “induces temptation”.
The prayer asks God to “lead us not into temptation”.
But the pontiff told Italian broadcasters he believed the wording should be altered to better reflect that it was not God who led humans to sin.
“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.”
The 80-year-old also highlighted that the Catholic church in France had adapted the prayer, and uses the phrase “do not let us fall into temptation” instead.
The Rev Ian Paul, an Anglican theologian, said the pope’s comments would make traditionalists nervous.
“The word in question is peirasmos [from New Testament Greek] which means both to tempt and to be tested. So on one level the pope has a point. But he’s also stepping into a theological debate about the nature of evil.
Although the pope is making a good point, I don’t expect to see any change any time soon because people are devoted to their liturgies and resist change. But I can see theologians devoting many hours to debating this issue.
John Morales says
That’s the English version.
In Spanish, it’s “y no nos dejes caer en la tentación,” (“and do not let us fall to temptation”).
Marcus Ranum says
Meanwhile everyone understands that upportunity causes us to be tempted.
So the Pope does not believe in a deity that planted a tree with fruit that “was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise” within access of humans and told them not to eat its fruit?
The Bible comes right out and says that God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 9:12 and elsewhere, “justified” by Paul in Romans 9:17-22), that God sent an evil spirit to cause the men of Shechem to betray King Abimelech (Judges 9:23), that God either passively allowed or actively sent (and really, what’s the difference to an omnipotent being?) an evil spirit to plague King Saul (I Kings chapters 16 through 19), that God encouraged a “deceiving spirit” to “entice” King Ahab to his death (I Kings 22), and that when the Antichrist is revealed God will send the remaining non-Christians a “strong delusion, so that they believe a lie” (II Thessalonians 2:11). To deny that the God that they worship “induces temptation,” Jews and Christians must — as usual — cherry-pick which parts of the Bible they actually believe.
John Morales says
Friendly, nah. Orwell coined the applicable term: “doublethink”.
Mano Singham says
anat @#3 and Friendly @#4,
Are you using the Bible to argue that the Christian god is not wholly good? Surely you know that that is not allowed!
anonymous lurker says
The Latin is “ne inducas nos in tentationem” which literally means “Do not lead us into temptation”. (That’s from the Latin Vulgate Matt: 6:13)
@John #5: While “doublethink” definitely applies to what fundamentalist Christians do with the doctrine of free will vs. God’s sovereignty and predestination (for example), I don’t think that it applies to the portions of scripture in which God influences people to evil, because — as I did, when I was one of them — they absolutely don’t believe that that could ever possibly happen. Rather than hold two contradictory positions on it, they subject the problematic Biblical passages to fantastic semantic contortions to arrive at interpretations that absolve the Almighty of any responsibility for anything bad whatsoever. It might have been more accurate for me to say that “conservative Jews and Christians must cherry-pick which parts of the Bible they take literally as written in the language of the earliest texts.”
I think that doublethink could refer to believing, on the one hand, that the bible is inerrant, and that it correctly describes God’s actions, and on the other hand, as you write, not believing God could possibly influence people to evil, despite that being in the bible.
Or perhaps more significantly, believing that God is the omnipotent omniscient creator of all things, and is therefore responsible for their natures, and yet also believing that humans (or the devil) are somehow responsible for our own evil nature.
Religions, or at least christianity in particular, actively encourage doublethink. That’s the entire point of the central mysteries. The three people in one thing is deliberately laced with caveats so that any explanation you might come up with is denied. It’s supposed to be nonsense. Because if it’s nonsenes it’s unexplainable and if it’s unexplainable, then there must be god(s). It’s creating gaps for the god of the gaps.
Reginald Selkirk says
How ridiculous that a God who is purportedly all-knowing and all-powerful should not be accepting responsibility for absolutely everything that happens. Blaming subordinates is distasteful enough when the one in charge is a fallible human, it is nonsensical for the allegedly perfect.
Lassi Hippeläinen says
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” (Oscar Wilde)
steve oberski says
Gratifying to see that the pope is using his super power for the important things that help make life better for all.