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

Written by on 01/03/2018




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).

Reader's opinions
  1. Tobias T   On   01/06/2018 at 4:19 PM

    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.

    • Brother Andre Marie   On   02/12/2018 at 7:01 PM

      Your paraphrases are not bad, Tobias.

      Yes it’s possible to go astray by reading the Greek or Latin text of the prayer. The same is the case with much of Holy Scripture. It is possible for the unlearned and the unstable to wrest them to their own destruction.

      I’m reading Dr. Peter A. Kwasniewski’s book, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages. He makes the point over and over again — citing the text of Sacrosanctum Concilium — that the New Mass was supposed to be immediately understood by the faithful without further explanations. In other words, it’s part of a new, “dumbed-down” version of Catholicism.

      I find that this attitude or disposition tends to impregnate much of the religiosity of contemporary Catholicism. Instead of elevating ourselves to something higher, we have to dumb it down and lose a lot in the process.

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