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Pope upsets Muslims

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:13 am
by Fernando
The subject line is a bit of a cheat, just to keep this on topic and attract your attention.

There is much repetition in the newspapers of the story that Pope Frances wants the wording of the Lord's Prayer to be changed. He has argued that mistranslation
implies that god could lead us into temptation, and that that is not correct.
All the dozen or so articles read almost identically and not one of them ventures to discuss what the wording of the original aramaic actually says. I don't suppose many journalists are equipped to discuss the subject themselves, but surely they could find some academics who could tell them. Or could it be that the pope is wrong and they dare not tell him?
Eppure tenta ancora? (with apologies for Google Translate if necessary.)
Nigerians with Christian, Muslim names react as Pope suggests to alter “Our Lord’s” Prayer

Nigerians bearing both Christian and Muslim names have reacted to the news making the round alleging Pope Francis sought to alter the “Our Lord’s” prayer in the bible. Pope Francis had, Thursday, sought to alter the ‘Our Lord’s’ prayer in the bible when he said that the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity.
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/12/nigerians-christian-muslim-names-react-pope-suggests-alter-lords-prayer/

Re: Pope upsets Muslims

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:14 pm
by manfred
The Our Father is found in Matthew's gospel, and the line he is talking about says this in the original Greek:

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν


καὶ = and

μὴ = "not" as in a plea, command or rule, rather like "Don't" (there is another "not" in Greek for negating facts)

εἰσενέγκῃς =is a 2nd person aorist form of the verb εἰσφέρω.

εἰσ = in, into and φέρω =take, carry. (our word "ferry" comes from that, via Latin) so εἰσφέρω mean to take into, carry into, lead into.

The combination of the "don't" with the aorist in this way changes the "mood" of the verb. Instead of "Don't take us/lead us...." is softens it to a very polite form for a plea, and the expectation is that the plea cannot be granted, because it is impossible. We don't have such subtleties in the English language, so the Aorist is general just ignored, as there are no mood forms for verbs in English. I would try "Oh, if only you could not lead us into temptation" or similar.

Here is another sentence where an aorist is used like that:
εἴθε σοι, ὦ Περίκλεις, τότε συνεγενόμην.
If only I had been with you then, Pericles! (From Xenophon)
It expresses a kind of impossible wish. I hope this explains it somewhat.

ἡμᾶς = accusative, "us"

πειρασμόν = accusative of πειρασμός = test, trial, experiment, also "temptation"

The pope's suggestion is trying to include the aorist form into the translation (which is often very awkward), but he is, I think, taking it a bit too far, and somehow missing the point: "don't let us fall" changes εἰσενέγκῃς rather a lot. His translation would not remedy the issue that the text seems to "blame" temptation on God, as the aorist is left generally untranslated.

Quite tellingly, the next line, "and deliver us from evil" is NOT using the Aorist form, this time clearly expecting that this plea can and will be granted.

Re: Pope upsets Muslims

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:21 pm
by Fernando
Thanks Manfred. I abandoned Latin at school - and now I see why only the best went on to do Greek!
BTW, are such subtleties still around in modern Greek?

Re: Pope upsets Muslims

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:52 pm
by manfred
There is an aorist in modern Greek, but it only retained one of quite a few functions it had before, to describe a completed event that happened once in the past. But is is not used much any more. Modern Greek is about as different from Ancient Greek as Latin is from Italian or Spanish.

But looking closer at Francis's argument, it is a rather strange one he says it is a "bad translation" but then he argues not about words or grammar, but theology. He claims the text looks odd because "God does not lead me into sin, I fall into sin."

Both of these approaches are a little strange. First of all the text speaks of "temptation" or "test", not sin. So it has quite a different topic. We don't not "fall into" temptation, nor are we pushed, sometimes we simply yield to it. This is not a "fall" as if it is an accident, it is more of a jump, because we choose to yield.

The way the phrase in the our father is put together, it expresses a wish that temptation was not there, but also in a way that concedes that is not possible. It is a plea for melioration, of for a gift of strength in temptation, no more. "If only you could not test us" may also be a way of phrasing that line.

But temptations are necessary if you concede free will. Because we are meant to be people who can freely choose what we want to be, we also must be able to choose badly.

Re: Pope upsets Muslims

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:53 pm
by ronyvo
Fernando wrote:The subject line is a bit of a cheat, just to keep this on topic and attract your attention.

There is much repetition in the newspapers of the story that Pope Frances wants the wording of the Lord's Prayer to be changed. He has argued that mistranslation
implies that god could lead us into temptation, and that that is not correct.
All the dozen or so articles read almost identically and not one of them ventures to discuss what the wording of the original aramaic actually says. I don't suppose many journalists are equipped to discuss the subject themselves, but surely they could find some academics who could tell them. Or could it be that the pope is wrong and they dare not tell him?
Eppure tenta ancora? (with apologies for Google Translate if necessary.)
Nigerians with Christian, Muslim names react as Pope suggests to alter “Our Lord’s” Prayer

Nigerians bearing both Christian and Muslim names have reacted to the news making the round alleging Pope Francis sought to alter the “Our Lord’s” prayer in the bible. Pope Francis had, Thursday, sought to alter the ‘Our Lord’s’ prayer in the bible when he said that the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase “lead us not into temptation” in the “Our Father”, the best known prayer in Christianity.
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/12/nigerians-christian-muslim-names-react-pope-suggests-alter-lords-prayer/

This Pope upsets Christians way more. He says things against our Lord Jesus. Where are the cardinals? They should excommunicate him.