The Lord’s Prayer

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION

(January 22, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares on understanding an important scripture…

Recently Pope Francis suggested that in the English version of The Lord’s Prayer  the phrase, which is usually translated as ‘lead us not into temptation,’ should be revised to ‘do not let us fall into temptation.’

He maintains that the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation’ implies that God tempts humans.  One can understand such reasoning in view of what is found in James 1:13-14 which states ‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.’

So it states that God does not tempt. Consequently it would seem that the Pope’s suggestion (‘do not let us fall into temptation’) is a good one since it suggests that God will help us when we are tempted… and this seems to be in line with what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13, ‘When you are tempted, he (God) will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’

While that seems to settle the matter in favour of the Pope’s suggestion, let’s look more closely at the actual text of The Lord’s Prayer which is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and a shorter account in Luke 11:2-4.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
‘This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from the evil one”.’

The following line is often omitted (See *Footnote):  ‘For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’  (more…)