Why Do Catholics ...?
Regarding the Our Father: Why do we keep saying, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ when we know this is an inaccurate translation? In Spanish, the prayer is: ‘Let us not fall into temptation,’ which seems more accurate.
“The Latin Vulgate of the Roman lectionary is the basis of translations into other languages for use in the liturgy and subsequent use in devotions,” explains Colin Donovan, vice president of theology at EWTN. “The Latin text has ne nos inducas in tentationem (‘lead us not into temptation’). So the English very accurately translates the Latin text. The Latin, in turn, is based on the canonical Greek of Matthew 6:13, which has me eisenenkes (‘not bring in’ or ‘not lead in’ to temptation).
“Naturally, this raises the question: ‘In what sense does God lead us into temptation that we would ask him not to do so?’ Father of the Church St. Cyprian states that it shows ‘that the adversary can do nothing against us, unless God first permits him; so … devotion ought to be addressed to God.’ The English translation, therefore, more completely expresses what we are asking the Father to do for us, which is not simply preventing us from falling into temptation, as if temptation were outside of divine Providence unless God intervenes. Rather, God is Lord of history, so everything is provided by him, whether positively or permissibly.”
Have you always wondered about some aspect of the faith or Church teaching? Or maybe you’d like to know some trivia about Pope Francis or the saints. If so, email us your question at [email protected] and look for the answer in an upcoming issue.