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Nigerians with Christian, Muslim names react as Pope suggests to alter “Our Lord’s” Prayer

By Anthony Ogbonna

Nigerians bearing both Christian and Muslim names have reacted to the news making the round alleging Pope Francis sought to alter the “Our Lord’s” prayer in the bible.

Pope Francis had, Thursday, sought to alter the ‘Our Lord’s’ prayer in the bible when he said that the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

According to the Pope, “That is not a good translation,” as he said in a television interview on Wednesday night.

Pope Francis said the Catholic Church in France had decided to use the phrase “do not let us fall into temptation” as an alternative and indicated that it or something similar should be applied worldwide.

The prayer, also called “The Lord’s Prayer”, is part of Christian liturgical culture and memorized from childhood by hundreds of millions of Catholics.

It is a translation from the Latin vulgate, which was translated from ancient Greek, which was in turn translated from Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.

Liturgical translations are usually done by local Churches in coordination with the Vatican.

The old and Pope’s suggested usages are as follows:

“Do not lead us into temptation” – old usage.
“Do not let us fall into temptation” – Pope’s suggested usage.

However, some of the Christians and even, perhaps, non-Christians who reacted in the comment section of a news story, “Pope seeks to alter Our Lord’s prayer” published on Vanguard, were divided as to the rightness or otherwise of the Pope’s request to alter the phrase.

Below are reactions from our readers:

Facebook Commenters:

Ebele Chu Kwu argued thus, “As far as am concerned, these two phrases are the same, its just a matter of semantics.
The pope merely wants it to sound better, “do not lead us into temptation” sounds more like Its God that leads us into temptation himself. Besides, Pope Francis is the vicar of Christ, he reserves the right to make minor changes.”

Isah Abdulkaim argued, “The Bible testified to that as many will alter it,after all the Bible is not in it original text,so why are u complaining?
The alterations of Bible didn’t start with or from him as it’s an acts of immemorial.
Pls, Pope go ahead and perhaps u all should be happy because he takes permission.
Kj version of revised standard, do they took permission?”

Peter Utulu wrote: “In the first place who wrote the Bible. The Church (Catholic) and the question here is TRANSLATION into English and not CHANGE. He has the Right and Authority to undo wrong translation.”

Francis Okorie: “People should read the article before judging.
“Lead us not into temptation” is the same as dont let us fall into temptations, so the meaning is not getting altered but the wording is, so that it doesnt get misinterpreted ( it doesn’t make any sense for us to be asking God not to do what He doesnt seem to do in the first place).
The first translations for many seems to say God leads people into temptation which is not true because in james 1:12-15 we are made to understand that when we get tempted let us not say that God is tempting us because God does not tempt us.
It is the devil that tempts but if we trust in God he will gives the grace to overcome such temptation.
The supposed “altering” of the translation by the pope does not actually change the meaning or revelation of that particular Word (i stand to be corrected by God if i am wrong) but rather it makes the meaning or revelation of the Word more understandable and reduces the chances of it been misunderstood or misinterpreted.
This is actually what has been done with several translation of the bible, theirs wordings are not the same but they still give the same meaning or revelations.”

For Saddiq Odariko, “It thought the prayer itself was directly from the bible. Change it and you have authored on behalf of God who is said to be the writer or the words of God as written. Well no man can think for God.”

Augustine Agbo wrote:  “Pope Francis needs a serious prayer and Catholic faithfuls should beware. This portion of the Holy Bible has been existing for ages before his was born and none of these Popes before him thought of altering that particular portion. He should not be wiser than the Lord Himself who invented the Our Lord prayer.

Sule Musa wrote, “Better still, the Pope should rephrase it to Protect Us from Temptation…”

Joseph Obong reminded others thus, “Please let’s carefully go through this verses of the bible:
Matthew 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

For Unyime Ossom, “Jesus himself taught us the Lord’s prayer… Now little pope is claiming to be wiser than someone who died on the cross for me.”

Matthew Achuba wrote: “Our Lord’s prayer is not pope’s prayer. We should not add nor reduce anything from God’s word. The man should respect himself.”

Musa Habu wrote: Abeg drop whatever philosophy it is you are standing on, study scriptures and be grounded…Oga pope no allow office become something else, why becoming the comfussion? who else can keep your ways from temptation and sin if not God?The churches one foundation remains CHRIST, teach God’s people about the ONLY WAY that leads to him and not bothering on altering potions of the BIBLE no be your book it is GOD’s SPECIAL BOOK.”

Omons Enaholo said, “By the time this present Pope is through with the Catholic church, the church will never be the same again.”

Disque commentators:

These are our readers who comment through Disque right in the website after reading a story.

BeforeMyeyes wrote: I agree with the Holy Father that “lead us not into temptation” is not an appropriate translation.

The translation by the Catholic Church in France as “do not let us fall into temptation” DOES NOT CUT IT FOR ME EITHER.

Both translations seem to be creating a job for our Father in heaven to work assiduously 24/7/365 ENSURING that the over 7 billion earth’s HUMAN inhabitants do not fall into temptation. Never mind the other inhabitants of this our infinite universe.

Rather than shoving it all to God, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY, individually, to take steps NOT TO FALL into temptations….The appropriate translation should be : “HELP US TO RESIST TEMPTATION”.

Jake Snakeys argued: “Like everything else, the bible deserves regular upgrades. After all upgrades are the modern identifiers of progress. Why not accord the bible the same respect? It becomes extreme fanaticism and total cognitive myopia to always expect some document to remain static.”

Pastor Taiwo partly wrote: “There is nothing wrong with the translation. The only Person who posseses exclusivity of correct biblical interpretation is the Blessed Holy Spirit not a mere man called Pope.
What the Pope is trying to do is translating the scriptural verse into what conforms with some apostate and strange doctrines of Catholic church.

The biblical truth is that God usually takes His children/believers into a trial Just like He took Jesus, Job, Paul, Peter and others into a trial.

The Bible also makes us to understand that God TESTS US NOT TEMPS US.”

Princegab who seemed to reply Pastor Taiwo wrote, “Testing and tempting are synonymous, the more you are brain washed, the more the separation line thickens.
Every temptation or testing (If you like), brings forth the best in you (ie true you).”

Olowoinlionsden wrote: “A better translation really. “Lead us not into temptation”, almost seems God is responsible for all our Acts, which is contra to the general order, whereby God has given us liberty to do as we wish, and He can only prevent us from doing wrong when we ask Him to strengthen us in our Acts to do what is right.”

But for Marcus Ijele, the inspiration should have come from God and not from the Pope. He wrote thus, “That would be good if it is a clear revelation from God. It should not be a mental idea of the Pope. It is a well known fact that God does not lead any one into temptation. The interpretation of the original seem to be incorrect. It contradicts Psalm 23, which its part said “The Lord is our Shepherd. He leadeth us beside the still waters. A shepherd does not lead the sheep into temptations.”

Kofuche submitted thus, “Better still “Lead us away from temptation”, “and deliver us from evil”. After all everyone is already in one temptation or another and everyone is already in one evil or another.”

For Endipin, “The Bible should be left as it is.. Its a perfect book in its present form.”

Corroborating, El Patron wrote thus, “The bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and greek is perfect. Translating it to English was done by men like me and you about 500 years ago. They were not perfect people so it’s not impossible that some words were lost in translation. Translating written text from one language to another is not very easy.”

Always read and comment on Vanguard site so we can collate and publish you. Thank you.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.