(RNN) – Pope Francis believes the Roman Catholic Church needs a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Lord’s Prayer,” also called “Our Father.”
The pontiff’s issue is that the prayer in Italian and English asks God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Pope Francis said in an interview with an Italian TV network that the prayer “is not a good translation” because it is not God who tempts.
God helps those who are “provoked into Satan’s temptation,” the pope said.
Earlier this week, France’s Catholic church adopted a new translation for their “Our Father” prayer, changing the phrasing from “Do not submit to temptation” to “Do not let us enter into temptation.”
In September, Pope Francis changed the Code of Canon Law to allow national bishops’ conferences to make the liturgies more understandable to the people they serve. France’s recent change to the Lord’s Prayer is a result of decentralizing how liturgies are approved.
In a theological version of telephone, the Our Father prayer is a translation from the Latin Vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek, which was translated from Aramaic – the language that Jesus spoke, according to Reuters.
Rev. Ian Paul, an Anglican theologian, told The Guardian that the pope’s comments may upset some Catholics who learned the prayer as children and might be wading into a larger discussion.
“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,” he said.
However, according to the National Catholic Reporter, the French handled the phrasing switch smoothly and there seems to be little backlash.