Thursday, June 6, 2019

It's The Lord's Prayer, Not the pope's prayer

Pope Francis approves change to the Lord’s Prayer despite opposition: 'It's deeply problematic'

By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter

Despite opposition from traditionalists, Pope Francis has officially approved a change to the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:13 that replaces "lead us not into temptation" with "do not let us fall into temptation."

"...David W. Pao, chair of the New Testament Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, told The Christian Post that the change reflects the idea that "the Aramaic original" of the temptation petition "might have carried a permissive sense."

"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)," explained Pao.

"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 also told CP that the proposed new language "does not represent the best reading of the Greek text nor does it exhaust the meaning of this petition."

"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," continued Pao.

"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)."

Pao added that "the petition likely assumes the presence (and the coming) of periods of testing, and this petition should then be understood as a call to God for protecting His people from falling into sin in the midst of such testing (Matthew 26:39, 41)."

Philip F. Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, told The New York Times that the pope's criticism of the traditional translation "isn't reasonable."

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

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer As a Manifesto for Revolution, called the changes "deeply problematic."

“I was shocked and appalled,” he told the Seattle Times. “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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