According to the King James Bible, Jesus teaches us to pray these words: “Lead us not into temptation.” Pope Francis says, “It’s not a good translation. It is I who fall, it is not God who throws me into temptation and then sees how I fell.” He suggests we pray “do not let us fall into temptation.”
The problem is not in translation. The King James Version of Jesus’ model prayer is a very literal translation. Jesus really did say, “Lead us not into temptation.”
God allowed Satan to tempt Job with evil, but God set the limits (Job 1-2). He tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his own son, but then stopped him short of it when he proved himself obedient (Genesis 22). The Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, but He was strengthened by angels (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). God may allow us to be tempted by Satan with evil to test our faith, too. For this reason, Jesus taught us: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
The problem is not in translation, but interpretation. If you think this means God wants you to fall into sin or that He is responsible for it, you would be wrong. Notice:
No man, including the Pope, has authority to change the words of Jesus. Rather, let us seek to learn and understand the true meaning of Jesus’ teaching.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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