ROME - When it comes to understanding two thousand year old texts things can get tricky, and with the Our Father, a recent change in France has the Catholic Church debating whether prayers should be translated word of word, or interpreted to stay closer to the ancient meaning.
It's one of the most well known prayers, and English speaking Catholics could see a new version. From Aramaic to Greek and Latin and finally modern languages, it’s easy for meaning to be lost in translation.
In the English Our Father there’s one line that’s been brought to light, “Lead us not into temptation,” and it’s not one the Pope agrees with.
“It’s not a good translation. In French they've changed the text with a translation that says ‘don’t let us fall into temptation,’ saying it I who falls. “Pope Francis said in an interview with Italy's TV 2000 this week.
“It isn’t [God] who is pushing me into temptation.”
The debate is set around linguistics and the challenges that come with working when the original Aramaic words have been translated into Greek and Latin before being changed to local languages.
Pope Francis suggests English and other languages adopt less literal translations like the Spanish and French prayers where the faithful are asking for help.
“I would say to leave it. You mentioned it’s the actual translation from Latin, and I would say to leave it just the way it is.” said Gloria Tovar, who had just left Mass.
“I believe that we shouldn't have a literal translation, I think we should go with the more authentic translation,” said Josie Tinajero outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
As this Theological and Academic debate goes on, faithful we spoke with said they’ll wait for an official decision before making any changes.
“We would follow the lead from our Holy Father, the Pope, and although we would have differences of opinion, I believe we will follow what our Holy Father has to say,” Tinajero said.
Change wouldn’t be as simple as the Pope just declaring the new lines. The French Church had to get together and ask for it, the same would have to happen in English speaking countries.