French Bishops have taken a closer look at Jesus’ words given to his Apostles as to what is important to pray about. The “Lord’s Prayer,” as recorded for us in Matthew Chapter 6, is part of instruction Christ gave regarding prayer, starting in verse 5.
A number of French Catholic bishops have now decided that a portion of that text sounds blasphemous, and went ahead and made a change, reports MSN Now on Oct. 16.
The original text, from Matthew Chapter 6, starting in verse 9:
“You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’”
It’s that last bit that has the Bishop’s tunics in a bind. The phrase "Lead us not into temptation," or "Do not bring us into temptation." Here’s the explanation, courtesy of Agence France-Presse:
“This has long been controversial because of the possibility of interpreting it in a way that suggests God has the power to make people succumb to the temptation of sin -- contradicting most orthodox Christian theology which holds that He is infinitely and unchangeably good. In the revised formulation, to be included in new bibles published on November 22, the line will read ‘Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation’ or ‘Let us not enter into temptation.’”
The French Bible has been in use since 1966, but will soon be updated because of the above, so-called “blasphemy.”
Unfortunately, the Bishops do not grasp the meaning of Jesus words, recorded earlier in the chapter that tell us:
“When praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words. So, do not make yourselves like them, for God your Father knows what things you are needing before ever you ask him.” --Matt. 6: 7,8
The Lord’s prayer is not meant to be recited over and over as if somehow a certain number of such prayers can cancel out a sin or gain us an audience with the Almighty. We would never think of speaking to a close friend or a family member by just banally repeating the same phrases over and over. Why do we treat our Creator in the same manner?
It's the sincerity of our prayers, the genuine expressions that come from our heart, that are heard. Sadly, many do not know what God's kingdom is, what it means to pray for it to "come," or even what God's name is that they are praying to be sanctified, or made holy.
These are the paramount concerns, not semantic renderings or obtuse interpretations of "blasphemy" coming from the Bible itself.