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Backlash as Pope Francis Approves Editing Lord’s Prayer

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the mediabankPope Francis in Vatican, Rome
Pope Francis in Vatican, Rome - Sputnik International
The debates around the most famous Christian prayer have been going on for months. The head of the Catholic Church insisted that the translation that has been in use until recently is inaccurate because it implies that the Lord can lead humans “into temptation”. However, many have vehemently opposed any alteration of the text.

Pope Francis has prompted heated debates by approving changes to the Lord’s Prayer, replacing the centuries-old verses “lead us not into temptation” from Matthew 6:13 with “do not let us fall into temptation”. Some have even urged to “fire” the current head of the Catholic Church.

The correction, reportedly enacted on 22 May, was preceded by 16 years of research and months of debates. The pontiff first signalled that he favoured changing the line in 2017. The passage itself is a translation from the Latin Vulgate Bible, translated, from the ancient Greek in the fourth century. In a televised interview, Francis stated that the version currently in use is not a “good translation” of the original since God does not lead one to sin.

“A father does not (lead us into temptation), a father helps you to get up immediately”, Francis said at the time.

Despite the support of Catholic authorities, the move has left the Christian community split. The Christian Post cited chair of the New Testament Department at Deerfield’s Trinity Evangelical Divinity School David W. Pao, as saying that the new version "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”, he noted.

According to the theologian, "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”.

READ MORE: Pope Francis Compares Abortions to 'Hiring a Hitman'

President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Albert Mohler, who authored a book on the Lord’s Prayer, told The Seattle Times that he was “shocked and appalled”, noting that this is not “the pope’s prayer”.

At the same time, editor of Catholic World News Philip F. Lawler has slammed Francis’ criticism of the prayer as “not reasonable” and took aim at the pontiff in an interview with The New York Times.

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

Some took this criticism further, calling on the pontiff to resign.

​However, some stood up for the pope, saying it is not about changing the prayer itself.

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