Pope Francis Our Father Prayer Change

The “Our Father” or “The Lord’s Prayer” is the oldest prayer in the Christian tradition. Jesus Himself gave it to his disciples as a template for how we are supposed to pray. Given in Mathew 6:9-13, and Luke 11:2-4, it’s the only prayer in scripture that is given to us word-for-word.

That not all Catholics pray it the exact same way is upsetting some. But, what are the Pope’s intentions in changing the words to the beloved prayer?

What’s the Change?

The change is a minor one, and it comes toward the end of the prayer. Instead of praying ”lead us not into temptation,” the new wording says “do not let us fall into temptation.”

France adopted the change shortly after Pope Francis first suggested it. The pope initially said that the wording that most readers are familiar with implies that the Lord leads us into temptation. Because it is the devil who leads us into temptation, it makes more sense to ask God for protection from that misguidance.

Most Catholics agree with that logic, but that doesn’t mean that they agree with the change. Of course, not all of them have to.

Does it Affect You?

The change is receiving coverage because it was approved for an upcoming edition to the Roman missal that is used in Italy, according to the Guardian. The change may seem shocking but a similarly revised version has been used in France for years.

As of right now, there are no public plans to change the wording of the prayer in other languages. That means that English speaking Catholics will be saying the traditional wording indefinitely.

Is the Pope Changing Scripture?

So, if most Catholics agree with the sentiment, why are they against the change? For most Catholics, it goes back to the sentiment described in the introduction. The wording that we have is in the Bible, so changing the wording accounts to changing scripture. Right?

Maybe.

The Bible is actually riddled with complications like this due to changes in language and changes in the Church.

Jesus spoke a dialect of Hebrew called Aramaic, but Mathew’s Gospel was written in Greek. Further, our familiar translation comes from the English translation of the Latin translation of Mathew’s original Greek.

The Pope isn’t the first one to “change scripture” in an attempt at restoring Jesus’s sentiment. As translators have attempted to get closer to the original wording, the Lord’s Prayer has already “changed.” 

For example, in the Revised Standard Version, the text reads “forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors” instead of the familiar “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Further, a version of the Lord’s prayer is also found in Luke 11:2-4. This version is slightly different from Mathew’s. 

Is This Okay?

Changing the words of a prayer is a controversial matter. That’s particularly true if Jesus wrote the prayer. As a result, it’s no surprise that some Catholics are less-than-thrilled about the idea. However, there’s much to be said for remembering that we don’t know exactly what Jesus said when he gave us the prayer and that the role of the church is to help us to interpret the word of God.

 

Article written by Johnathan Jaehnig with Christian Catholic Media News

Jon Jaehnig is a professional freelance writer and journalist, specializing in technology and health. He is a practicing Catholic and active Knight of Columbus living in upper Michigan, USA.


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