Lost in translation: French make adjustment to Lord’s Prayer

And you thought translating the Roman Missal into English was problematic.


France‘s Catholic Church has finally corrected a “blasphemous” error that crept into the Gallic version of The Lord’s prayer half a century ago.

After a 17-year debate, theologians and writers concluded that the French equivalent of “And lead us not into temptation” implied that God Himself could lead us astray, rather than help us keep on the straight and narrow, and thus had “blasphemous” overtones.

The French line before read: “And don’t submit us to temptation”.

It now reads: “And don’t let us enter into temptation”.

The change will be incorporated into a new French translation of the Bible validated by the Vatican that will be published next month.

Traditionalists were appalled when the unfortunate wording was introduced in 1966, as according to father Frédéric Louzeau, a theologian, it suggested that: “God, who is infinitely good and the source of all goodness, could drive man to evil or sin”.

Le Figaro, France’s main conservative daily, said the consequences of the poor translation on “millions of Catholics” was “incalculable”.

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