Albert Mohler: This is the Lord’s Prayer, Not the Pope’s
President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, has said he was “shocked and appalled by the proposal” of Pope Francis to update the translation of the Lord’s prayer.
Francis had in an interview suggested that the line of the Lord’s Prayer that reads “and lead us not into temptation” be better translated “do not let us give in to temptation” and suggested it be updated, stating Satan and not God does lead people into temptation.
In a recent podcast, Mohler said the Pope was not wrong in saying that God does not lead humans to sin as that was Scriptural.
While referencing James 1:13-14, the theologian said, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
Mohler says his biggest concern is not the fact that the Lord’s Prayer might require some explanation, it’s what the proposed change insinuates about the nature of Scripture and what it misconstrues in terms of the task of translation.
“My main concern is not with the long-standing tradition of the church or the elegance of the liturgy, my concern is with the nature of the New Testament as the very Word of God, speaking specifically of the gospel of Matthew, and my concern is not the fact that the Lord’s prayer in this petition or any of the text of Scripture might require some explanation, that’s actually the job of teachers and preachers of the Word of God.
“The biggest issue I have with this is what it insinuates about the nature of Scripture and what it misconstrues in terms of the task of translation. No one should underestimate the complexity of the translation task, we are looking in this case at words that were almost surely originally spoken by Jesus in Aramaic, they were later recorded, as we find them in terms of the Lord’s prayer in one form of the Gospel of Luke and another more familiar in the Gospel of Matthew, and then we’re looking at the challenge of translating from New Testament Greek into contemporary languages, for us that means contemporary spoken English,” he said.
Albert Mohler holds to the view of verbal plenary inspiration of the original manuscripts. That means that we have in the Greek New Testament, by the very sovereign power of God, exactly the words we need, to know exactly what Jesus said.
He said, “It is the words that bear this inspiration, every single word, the full weight of that inspiration.”
Mohler goes on to say, “We must affirm the fact that our sovereign, omnipotent all loving God does sometimes allow his creatures to be tested. Jesus taught his own disciples that it certainly is not wrong to pray to the father that we not be tested, but it certainly would be wrong to change the translation to appear to make the Scriptures say that God never tests us.”