Who’s going to learn the Lord’s Prayer again? | Barbara Ellen

Mistranslation or not, the pope should reconsider

Pope Francis has signalled his approval of moves already under way in the Catholic church to change the line in the English version of the Lord’s Prayer, from “Lead us not into temptation” to “Don’t let me fall into temptation”. Noting that it was a bad translation, Pope Francis said: “It’s Satan who leads us into temptation”, adding, as though studying a health-and-safety leaflet, “that’s his department.”

There have been controversial changes to the Scriptures before. In 1631, printers left a crucial “not” out of the Ten Commandments and people were solemnly instructed to commit adultery and this was even before the emergence of the holy churches of Ashley Madison and Tinder.

Translation errors aside, while the Catholic church might go ahead with the change, would everybody else follow suit? It seems unlikely that people would bother to “unlearn” the Lord’s Prayer – the version they memorised at school would stay stuck, dusty, but indelible, in their cerebral cortex forever. Then there’s the bad PR. The devil already has all the best tunes; now Satan would be given sole credit for temptation.


Barbara Ellen

The GuardianTramp

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