In Spanish, the Lord’s Prayer, or Padre Nuestro, includes the line: “No nos dejes caer en la tentación,” or ‘don’t let us fall into temptation’.
In English, it calls for God not to ‘lead us into’ temptation; in Italian, “Non indurci in tentazione,” or ‘don’t induce us to temptation’, which is an exact translation of the much older Latin version, “Ne nos iducas in tentationem.”
But it’s the Spanish translators who have got it right, says the Pope who, being originally from Argentina, speaks this as his native language and, as Pontiff, would be required to be fluent in Italian, Spanish and English as a condition of the role.
The Latin, English and Italian versions of this line of the Lord’s Prayer, translated from the original Ancient Greek, hint that it is God who pushes us towards temptation, the Pope says, which is incorrect.
“I’m the one who falls into it. It’s not Him who pushes me into temptation to see whether I fall into it or not. A Heavenly Father does not do this; a Father helps you to get back on your feet straight away. It’s Satan who leads us to temptation, because that’s his ‘job’,” Pope Francisco argues.
The Catholic Church in France has recently decided that the Lord’s Prayer recited in Spain is a better version, and has changed the ‘temptation’ line in the last week.
Before, this line read: “Ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,” (‘don’t subject us to temptation’) but now says: “Don’t let us enter into temptation,” or “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation.”
Language-learners who have not yet encountered the Lord’s Prayer as it is recited in Spain, Italy and France may be surprised to see how all three versions speak to God with the informal, familiar version of ‘you’ – tú, or tu, rather than usted, Lei or vous, which are the more formal and respectful and tend to be used to talk to an authority figure or an elder.