Reconquest Episode 108: Is ‘Lead Us Not into Temptation’ a Bad Translation? Guest: Jonathan Arrington

today01/03/2018 60 2

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Episode 108 debuts on January 3, at 8:00 PM Eastern. Rebroadcasts will take place according to the Crusade Channel programming schedule (note: all times listed are Central time). My topic: Is ‘Lead Us Not into Temptation’ a Bad Translation? Jonathan Arrington is my guest.


The Temptation of Saint Anthony, by David Teniers the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Image, top: the same theme, by an imitator of Hieronymus Bosch.

“Reconquest” is a militant, engaging, and informative Catholic radio program featuring interviews with interesting guests as well as commentary by your host. It is a radio-journalistic extension of the Crusade of Saint Benedict Center.

Each weekly, one-hour episode of Reconquest will debut RIGHT HERE on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central). It will then be rebroadcast according to the Crusade Channel programming schedule (note: all times listed are Central time).


Written by: Brother Andre Marie

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What do you think of this? The petition is rather like this, “Lead us not into temptation *unprepared,* but prepare us for it by your grace.” It’s not a petition for God to steer us away from temptation, as though He would otherwise steer us there. Rather, temptation is part of our life as wayfarers. Without God’s grace, we will fail. We’re asking God to do what God does (per St. James’ epistle) — we’re affirming His will for us, conforming to His will — so we are prepared for temptations that come. “Lead us not into a really perilous scenario, which life’s temptations are without your grace, but rather lead us to victory through temptation by means of Thy grace.” Also, “Lead me, as prone as I am to seek near occasions of sin, so that I don’t of my own sinfulness multiply the temptations in my life. Lead me away from the temptations that I would encounter without You guiding me. Strengthen me so that I grow beyond past temptations.” Does that work?

It certainly is possible to go astray starting from a decontextualized “literal” understanding of the text. Pope Francis is perfectly correct there. However, after reading St. James, we can still make sense of the received text without translating it incorrectly, and the incorrect translation eliminates much depth that the polyvalent (and hence potentially confusing) literal translation provides.

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