Pope wants to re-word the Lord's Prayer??

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Lowly Layman, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    @anglican74 I accept that both cases are rendered in English. Nonetheless I think it is true to say that English as it is spoken in the 21st Century has morphed quite substantially from English spoken in the 16th Century, and not all for the good I would admit. Very few of us would regard judges executing justice indifferently as something to be lauded, applauded or aspired to, and most of us (I dare say not all) would prefer us to pray that Justice might be administered impartially in our land.

    I no longer believe that the formal English of the Tudor period represents English as spoken and I do see an argument that the principle of article 24 does require us to think about the words we are using in our liturgies. If there's an argument that lead us not into temptation is not properly understanded by the people then maybe Article 24 is relevant. Please note that I am not seeing Article 24 as a legislative requirement that gets triggered by some event, so much as a guiding principle for the way we use language in liturgy.
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In some sense I understand your point, in that 'preventing grace' was then used to convey a grace that allowed you to do something (prevenient grace), whilst today it seems to suggest a grace that hinders you from something (a grace that prevents)

    However I still fail to see how your larger point applies to this particular issue... Would you like to make the case that one of the words in the Lord's Prayer has changed its meaning in the last few centuries? It seems to me that "lead", "us", "temptation" all mean the same thing still..
     
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    In terms of the ELLC argument that I posted earlier, I repeat it here, better paragraphed so perhaps the point can be made. To me, whatever their reliance on the original language of Matthew 6:13 the NRSV rendering of the text seems strongly in line with what the ELLC argued for.

    Matthew 6:13 (NRSV)
    And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.​

    The rendering of line 9.

    Line 9.
    “Save us from the time of trial.”

    Two errors must be avoided in this line.
    • The first is the misconception that God would “tempt” or entice people to evil, and
    • the second is to think that the original Greek word peirasmos means “temptation” as it is meant today.
    The reference here is primarily eschatological—a petition for deliverance from the final “time of trial” which, in biblical thought, marks the last days and the full revelation of the anti-Christ. The peril envisaged is that of apostasy—the renunciation of the Christian faith in the time of suffering and persecution which is expected to herald the final triumph of God’s kingdom (Luke 22:31, 32, 40: Revelation 3:10).

    Yet a reference to any occasion of testing, including the lure to sin, is not excluded.

    Commenting on this line, Luther speaks of “despair, unbelief, and other great and shameful sins,” which is his way of saying that ultimately all sin is a failure of faith.

    The Consultation considered whether to restore the negative of the original by writing a more literal version of the Greek—“Do not bring us to a time of trial.” The practical problem of making a change at this stage, however, when many Churches have overcome the difficulty of adopting the ICET version, was too great to be countenanced. In the end, the Consultation was persuaded that the preposition “from” sufficiently conveyed the negative sense (compare “Do not let the children starve” and “Save the children from starving”), while avoiding the misleading inferences mentioned above. Attention was also given to a request that “from” be changed to “in.” Apart from weakening the negative force of the original, it was considered that “in” conveyed only one of the two principal meanings of the line, that is, either a request to be spared from coming to the time of trial or a request to be spared, when one is in a time of trial, from its effects, especially from apostasy. ​

    In a sense from an English point of view the phrase Lead us not has been rendered as Save us from. This is perhaps indicative of common English usage which moves away from passive and subjunctive voices and expresses most things in an active voice.

    I think that into temptation does not carry the eschatological overtones that were part of Matthew 6:13, and whilst I for one would not argue that the meaning is simply eschatological, there is an eschatological edge in the phrase.

    As I have said all along, this is to my mind not a big issue for me personally, and I am interested to see the impact of Francis I saying something about it seems to have ignited a debate. It is not really my case to argue, however in following the case put by the ELLC, I felt it made sense, most especially of the original intent in the Greek. The case is not so much about what individual words meant in 1549 as against 2017, but rather more how the language is used and sentences constructed.

    As Anglicans we are not obliged to believe that everything was perfect in Tudor/Elizabethan days, and most of us would argue that it clearly was not perfect then just as surely as it is not perfect now. I guess my question is if Cranmer, or indeed Katherine Parr were rendering the text today, with the scholarship of our age, how would they render the text. I remember struggling with saying the Lords prayer in Pigeon English as it began:

    Papa e stap antop
    I guess what I am saying is that some part of it is a matter of what we are used to. And let me say I favour the predictable rhythm of liturgy that lifts and enables us to pray more fully, yet I am also open to looking at the words to ensure that they are doing the best job they can. The principle of liturgical reform in the Anglican setting was that the liturgy was to be in the vulgar tongue. My question I guess what is the most important, the words as rendered or the principle that gave birth to them?
     
  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think we should turn to scripture on this issue. Can God lead us to temptation or does He merely allow us to be tempted? And moreover, is leading one to temptation tantamount to tempting someone?

    To answer both, I submit St. Matthew 4:1-11, the Temptation of Christ, which begins "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

    From this we see that Jesus was not just allowed or permitted by God to go into the wilderness, He was led (anago - to bring, to lead, to launch) to His temptation. Yet we also see that Our Lord was tempted by the devil not God.

    Your concerns can be allayed by actually reading Scripture, not editing it.
     
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  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So many instances where God makes men do bad things.. in the Exodus narrative it is God who makes the Pharaoh persecute and disregard Moses' warnings and scourge the Jews, which is what leads them into the whole Exodus in the end

    "... and God hardened the Pharaoh's heart"
     
  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Matthew 6:13 (NRSV)
    And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.​

    I did not edit this.

    I would urge some caution in the line of argument that you are suggesting here. God does not make us do bad things, each of us is more than capable of enough evil without divine assistance, and each of is responsible for our decisions and actions. The

    Romans 9:14-18
    What then are we to say? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses,
    ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ ​
    So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.’ So then he has mercy on whomsoever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomsoever he chooses.​

    I certainly accept that we are tried and tested in the fire of life, that we might grow and develop, and sometimes we gain the upper hand and sometimes we fail, but I pull up short of saying that God made me do it, for when I fail it is my fault.

    No doubt rarely quoted on this site, Rita Mae Brown is attributed with 'Lead me not into temptation; I can find it by myself', though she may well be quoting an undocumented earlier source. No doubt it was intended to be humorous or shocking, it certainly remains a sentiment that resonates for me.

    For me personally, some thirty years after having begun to say the Lord's Prayer in the ELLC rendering, I think it does make sense, and I think it makes the sense that Jesus was intending it to make, and I think it is probably the sense it had in the 16th century where the sense of the temporal and the atemporal could be carried in the term.

    And just to be clear, I do not have a problem with the Lord's Prayer being rendered in the more traditional way 'Lead me not into temptation' however I can see the other side of the discussion, and I honestly believe that the argument has some merit.
     
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  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I have to side with @Lowly that the caution should be urged in reverse, on those who find the words of Scripture ill-fitting to their comfortable theology. To do otherwise seems remarkably backwards to me... Our rule of faith is not to hold fast to the ELLC translation or defend what the Church of Australia has been saying in recent decades... Our goal in life is not to stay within the comfortable truth of something that the liberal mainline Christians have told themselves for the last 50-60 years. Sacred Scripture is God's Word. Our world, including our understanding of God, must revolve around what He reveals about himself there...

    The testimony of Scripture is abundant that God does lead men into temptation. The lexical analysis that @lowly has provided of the Lord's Prayer is clearly in favor of the traditional and orthodox translation, and certainly not in favor of the modern man-centered translation where we fear a God that is too poweful and a world that is not fully in our control. Yes, in the divine order of things Man is not the highest being, and he can't always control his life and the world around him.. God is the sovereign author, and we are all just playthings in his drama of Creation
     
  8. neminem

    neminem Member

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    Am I the only one who can understand this.
     
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  9. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Philip, I never said you did. I hope my post didn't give that impression. While the NRSV is a relatively good translation, I prefer the KJV and the historic prayerbook translation.

    To be clear, the Pope did not say his translation would follow the NRSV so I don't think we should argue as if he did. My point is that the purported problem with the historic rendering is not a problem of syntax but of catechesis. And the suggested softening from "lead" to "allow" is just as fraught with anti-scriptural implications as the original translation and imho more so. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    I'm sorry, I think we're talking past each other. I don't believe God makes us sin and can't see where anyone in the thread said they believed otherwise. If I am wrong on this, please correct me.

    Leading to temptation is not the same as tempting, which I hoped Matthew 4 illustrated. And in any case, the Lord's Prayer entreats God to "lead us not".

    If the argument is that God can't lead us to temptation, that would constitute a pretty sizeable limitation on His omnipotence wouldn't it? If the argument is that He wouldn't lead us to temptation, I think scripture disagrees in a number of places as I and @anglican74 have shown.

    Here is my worry: any attempt to change the meaning of such a historic and important prayer based on what we think Jesus intended, 2000 years removed from His time, place, and culture, is ill-advised in the extreme. Even if every bit of it were kosher and we are completely right to change it, the act itself creates a dangerous precedent that will make changing the Gospel's meaning all-the-easier next time with no guarantee that next time's change will be the right thing to do and it only emboldens those with problems with God's Word to change it rather than themselves and to be more ambitious with their changes. It's a reckless business even when done with the best of intentions imo.

    Having said that, I do admire that generosity of spirit and open-mindeness you show. Experience has made wary of being too quick to compromise, especially over something so important.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  10. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    hmm what is Pope Francis going to do next..

    He does have a good point that God doesn't give or lead us into temptation, but I don't want to change the prayer Jesus gave to us in the bible.
     
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  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here is the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, which again closely mirrors the apostolic Greek provided by @lowly above:

    et ne inducas nos in temptationem sed libera nos a malo

    literally:
    and don't lead us into temptation but free us from evil
     
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I did have the impression that was what you were saying, and so I do appreciate the clarification.

    I agree with you, God does not make us sin. It is not about that being a limitation of God's omnipotence, but the understanding that it is counter to nature of God whom we understand in scripture to be loving and just.

    I believe the Lord's Prayer from the Didache translates as:

    Our Father, the one in heaven,
    your name be made holy,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be born upon earth as in heaven,
    give us this day our loaf that is coming,
    and forgive us our debt at the final judgement
    as we likewise now forgive our debtors.
    and do not lead us into the trial of the last days
    but deliver us from that evil
    because yours is the power and glory forever

    I am conscious that the text in Matthew 6, is a term which has both a temporal and an atemporal sense, and there is an eschatological edge to the prayer, which can be easily missed by the contemporary English speaker using the traditional rendering. Initially I had thought that was the point that Francis I was making, but it seems he was perhaps not looking at the depth of the text, as yet.

    Anyway, let me be very clear. I am not arguing that the Lord's Prayer should be changed, though clearly in the Anglican Church of Australia it has been changed. My simple point was that there is an argument for change that has some merit. It is, to my mind, within the spirit of the Anglican Tradition that we should have sufficient breadth about us to listen to those arguments, within the spirit of the three legged stool, Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
     
  13. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Excellent suggestion, Phoenix!

    "And lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from Evil. That is; Lead us not Thyself nor suffer us to be led by the Devil our ghostly Enemy, nor by any other, into any Temptation or Tryal that may be too hard for us, so as to cause us to fall: But deliver us from the Evil One, and from all manner of Evil, both of Sin and Misery. So that we here Pray for every thing that is or can be good for us: It being a great Evil to want any thing that is Good."

    The good Bishop puts it perfectly. And this is what I've taught my own children on the issue. What a marvelous resource to have available to us. What a blessing this website is!
     
  15. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Do Calvinists believe that God causes evil?
     
  16. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Generally, yes, that it what is problematic about it. Arminians counter several accusations in this way:

    1. Calvinists falsely assume that Arminians deny prevenient grace, that is, that God acts first to enable someone to have a choice to believe in him. Arminians do believe this, but believe it is through the same intervention and outpouring of his spirit that they have the power to reject him as much as accept him. This refutes claims that Arminians believe in man-centered salvation.

    2. Romans 9 is a favorite pet verse for Calvinist apologetics. Paul is referring to Jeremiah 18:6 when he is talking about the potter and in the clay. In that verse, Jeremiah watches a potter making clay and makes a prophecy based on that symbolism. In it, it shows that God would turn away from doing evil, had his audience repented, but if not, he will not give them the good they would've had for their repentence. It also says afterward that God knew they would still reject him anyway. What Arminians teach, because they do still believe in God's sovereignity, is predestination by foreknowledge and not that God actually caused evil directly. Rather, He allows it to unfold when people reject his intervention and calling. Calvinism tends to view everything as a huge puppet show whereby it seems God gives people freedom but actually caused that too, then blames it on them and condemns them to hell for it.

    As for pharaoh. The way I see it, God can enact a hardening on people to keep them in place, as a judgment for continually rejecting Him, so that after it's all said and done, he may remove it and allow them another chance, if they realize the cost of what they did, and repent. Not all hardening is necessarily permanent. God can enact judgement on the whole of a nation because of its leaders. He did so in the Old Testament, with our sin because of Adam and Eve, with the destruction of the earth by a flood in Noah's day, with Pharaoh and Egypt, even with the controversial Canaanite destruction. And it seems to suggest he did so with many of the Jewish leaders of the time, which I think is what Paul talks about since he's talking about the adoption of the gentiles and the Jews becoming blinded, but it doesn't mean that all Jews were blinded or hardened on the same level or for the same length of time when God placed that on them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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  18. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    http://aramaicnt.org/2017/12/09/pope-francis-suggests-change-to-lords-prayer/

    This article is from Steve Caruso who is an Aramaic Scholar and offers an alternative view. I had asked if he had a view on the subject and about a week later he has published this, so I guess he has thought about it in light of the Pope's suggestion. I know he declares himself to be Anglican, but I do not know which variety of North American that is. It was his scholarly approach to a number of questions that first caught my attention.
     
  19. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    Steve is affiliated with TEC.
     
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  20. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Funny that.. He now offers a revisionist translation. Here was literally his own reconstructed Aramaic from a few months ago (not that it matters, since it's not the original language of the Scriptures)
    http://aramaicnt.org/2007/06/09/o-father-mother-birther-of-the-cosmos/

    (Our father who is in heaven.)
    (May your name be holy.)
    (May your kingdom come.)
    (May your will be [done])
    (As it is in heaven)
    (Also [be] on the earth)
    (Give us bread)
    (That we need today)
    (And forgive our sins)
    (Also as we)
    (Have forgiven sinners)
    (And don’t lead us into danger.)
    (But deliver us from evil)
    (Because the Kingdom is yours.)
    (And the power, and the glory)
    (Forever; To eternity)
    (Amen)
     

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