Friday, December 08, 2017

Pope Francis on μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν


There’s been quite a lot of press excitement about Pope Francis wanting to change the translation of Lord’s Prayer (The Telegraph, The Times, etc.). It wasn’t easy to find the original interview online. Therefore I thought it would be good to present the short video clip here. I hesitate to transliterate since I think that sometimes his words are not clear even to a native Italian speaker.

All the early translations of the Lord’s Prayer I checked had an active equivalent. I guess the Pope is expressing the usual concern that the masses may misunderstand unless the clerics do the work of interpretation for them.


  1. I wonder what he thinks people who pray the prayer in Greek should say?

    Also, the rabbit trail the Telegraph article ended with came out of nowhere:
    //Throughout history, new editions and translations of the Bible have been plagued with errors. They include the most infamous version, Robert Barker’s King James Bible, published in 1611, which omitted the word “not” from the seventh commandment.

    The mistake meant that the commandment read: “Thou shalt commit adultery”.//

  2. >I wonder what he thinks people who pray the prayer in Greek should say?

    Obviously: μη επιτρεψης ημας πεσειν εις πειρασον

    (another conjecture to warm the soul of Ryan W. and Jan Krans).

    1. Wait- who told you I have a soul??

    2. That was just a conjecture.

    3. Thanks for this little exchange, which encapsulates one of the things I really like about this blog.

  3. Robert Barker did publish an English Bible in 1611. It had some mistakes--but not that one. He published an English Bible in 1613. It had other mistakes (such as printing "Jesus" as "Judas")--but still not that one.
    It wasn't until 1631 that he published The Wicked Bible. In addition to the the omitted 'not', he misprinted God's 'greatness' as his 'great asse.' He never recovered from the financial fallout from that one.

  4. Cf. Marcion's version of the Lord's prayer as reconstructed by Adolf von Harnack (Marcion. Das Evangelium vom fremden Gott. 2nd edition 1924, 207*): μὴ ἄφες ἡμᾶς εἰσενεχθῆναι εἰς πειρασμόν.

    Harnack based his reconstruction on Tertullian adv. Marc. 4.26.5: quis non sinet nos deduci in temptationem? In Tertullian this is part of a highly rhetorical argument with a series of rhetorical questions. So we should not take his wording as representing Marcion's.

    Quite to the contrary, Tertullian by all means is framing this "citation" according to his own theological agenda as is evidenced by his little treatise de oratione, where we read in chapter 8: ne nos inducas in temptationem, id est, ne nos patiaris induci, ab eo utique qui temptat. Ceterum absit ut dominus temptare videatur... Diaboli est et infirmitas et malitia. (Don't lead us into temptation, i.e., don't let us suffer to be led (sc. into temptation), by the one of course who tempts. Moreover, don't let the Lord appear to be tempting... wickedness and badness belong to the devil).

    I'm happy to learn that I have saved Pope Francis from agreeing with an alleged Marcionite tendentious textual alteration. Instead, he agrees with good old Montanist Tertullian's interpretation of the active voice, which is clearly a better choice.