As CBN News has reported, Pope Francis wants to change the wording of one verse in the Lord’s Prayer in an effort to come up with a more accurate translation. The move has gained both support and criticism.
The Pope wants to use the most recent translation research on Matthew 6:13 which suggests the English version is incorrect. It currently reads, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
After 16 years of study, some researchers say a better translation would be: “Abandon us not when in temptation.”
The Vatican will now change the language to clarify that God does not tempt people. Still, others point out that God also doesn’t abandon us either, since Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This debate about the Lord’s Prayer is nothing new though, and Dr. Corne Bekker of the Regent University School of Divinity said it comes up for discussion at least every hundred years or so.
Bekker tells CBN News that while the Catholic Church is using the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible to try to determine the best phrasing, he actually believes the original Greek version is best.
“I’m with Charles Spurgeon,” Bekker says. “He preached a wonderful sermon in 1863 in which he said this is indeed the best translation of the Greek text. I agree with him. I don’t think it should be changed in English.”
Bekker points out the book of James is clear that God Himself doesn’t tempt us with evil. “But sometimes in His providence and in His wisdom, He allows us to be tempted,” he says. He points to an account in Matthew’s gospel which precedes the Lord’s prayer. It states that Jesus was actually led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted.
“I think the larger question here is to ask what is the purpose of temptation,” Bekker says. “God allows us to be tempted, and I think two things happen. We get to know ourselves a little bit better, and of course what we learn is that we have no recourse against sin. But more importantly, we get to know God Himself. We have to remember the next phrase in the Lord’s Prayer – ‘and deliver us from all evil.’ He’s able to do that.”
He explains that Spurgeon, a renowned Christian preacher from the 1800’s, also says the “lead us not” version is the right version of the Lord’s Prayer because it teaches us about the sovereignty of God.