All posts by Father David Nix

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

There has recently been some debate on the last line of the Our Father:

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.—Matthew 6:13

Should the Our Father read “lead us not into temptation” as it has always been translated or the modern “let us not fall into temptation”? Let’s look at the Greek. The Greek of Matthew 6:13a is καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν.  Word-by-word, it is καὶ (and) μὴ (not) εἰσενέγκῃς (to bring/lead) ἡμᾶς (us) εἰς (into) πειρασμόν (temptation.)—Matthew 6:13

Notice that the verb εἰσενέγκῃς (pronounced ace-in-egg-ace) is the active verb translated as bring or lead.  On the other hand, the whole idea of “let us not fall into temptation” is still technically an active verb in the English denotation, but very passive in the connotation.  Of course, God tempts no one:  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.—James 1:13.

But if God tempts no one, then why would we ever ask God not to lead us into temptation?  Since God always wills our good, wouldn’t it be better to simply ask God not to let us fall into temptation?

No.

Why?  Because Jesus said lead them not into temptation in the Aramaic of the Our Father.  How do I know that Jesus said lead in the Aramaic?  Because the Holy Spirit inspired the Greek to say lead (εἰσενέγκῃς.) But if you won’t grant me the premise of inerrancy in the Scripture, then all blog posts on this topic are giant piles of poop, including this one.  None of it matters.

But since the Bible is true……I’m all the more amazed how many good Bible-believing Catholics continue to ask me (after I explained the Greek to them) if it were still not better to ask of God that He not let us fall into temptation, rather than not leading us to evil, especially since God always wills our good.

Well, Jesus still got it right. Here’s why: “Let us not fall into temptation” is still technically an active verb in the English denotation, but very passive in the connotation.  (Think about it:  let me not…) So, for the sake of brevity, we’re going to label that business of let not fall into temptation as passive.  Of course, lead us not into temptation is a negation of an active verb, but it’s still obviously an active verb being used: lead.

Why in the world does it matter if the verb that we speak to God-the-Father has Him doing something passive or active?  Because a female deity has a passive role, whereas a male deity has an active role. It was the one God of the Universe (not me) who chose to reveal Himself as Father.  And the Father never takes a passive role in our spiritual warfare or our salvation.

You see, to your mother, you might say, “Don’t let me fall into the bathtub.”

To your Dad, while hunting, you might say “Don’t lead me to the beasts I can’t handle.”

Thus, Jesus got it right when he taught us the Our Father.

(Still, I’m pretty sure that the infinite, eternal Divine Word doesn’t need my stamp-of-approval on that.)

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  1. Just for the record, I do not think that these translation problems are new in the Church. The Creed in Greek has Jesus descending into “the depths” (of the Hebrew Sheol) but the ancient Church [erroneously?] translated it into the Latin as “hell” (as in the Hebrew Gehenna.) I am open to correction, but I think this was a horrible translation that even remains in the Traditional Latin Mass in Latin. This ancient error has led modernist theologians to teach that Jesus emptied hell on Holy Saturday. The truth of our dogma, however, is that Christ descended to the limbo of the patriarchs to bring them to heaven. So, people messing up doctrine by getting translation wrong 1500 years ago is still a serious problem. Notice that my blog post does not mention any Pope or Vatican II. This is an ancient problem. So, I’m very much against getting doctrinal language wrong, because when we get doctrinal language wrong, people’s faith gets messed up, too. That’s why I found this worthy of a blog post. Try to see past the current news in my blog posts.

Trent on the Holy Eucharist

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”—St. Luke 16:18

“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”—1 Cor 11:29

“For no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use of the Eucharist.”—Council of Trent, Chapter 6 on the Eucharist

The Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin:

  1. By counsel
  2. By command
  3. By consent
  4. By provocation
  5. By praise or flattery
  6. By concealment
  7. By partaking
  8. By silence
  9. By defense of the ill done

TLM Class 3

The six links of this podclass are:

  1. Conversation With Christ to learn how to meditate as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Ignatius of Loyola.
  2. Moveable Feasts pdf of the Traditional Calendar from 2000 to 2050
  3. YouTube Traditional Latin Catholic Mass: Easter Sunday by Fulton Sheen
  4. iMass app
  5. St. Francis De Sales’ meditations on the parts of the Mass
  6. Nothing Superfluous by Fr. James Jackson

The seven sections of the 1962 family Missal are:
1: Devotionals
2: Sundays in Advent and Lent (and Moveable Feasts)
3: Sundays after Pentecost (and Moveable Feasts)
4: Ordinary/Roman Canon and Prefaces (Baronius has prefaces before Ordinary)
5: Common Masses
6: Saints and Immovable Feasts
7: Votive Masses and Devotionals

Incense Diagram:

On Sedevacantism

Prior to the current and lively discussion on the actual validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Papacy, there was (and is) a group of Catholics called sedevacantists who believe that the Chair of Peter has been empty for nearly 50 years, due to putatively-changed doctrine.  “Sedes” (pronounced sed-ayz) as they are nicknamed in the traditional world, believe that the last valid Pope was Pope Pius XII. Some even deny the validity of his papacy and some even deny the validity his predecessors, going back centuries.  Sedevacantism is Latin for “empty chair,” in reference to the Roman Chair of Peter.  They have very good arguments for their positions, many of which I can not counter.   (For those unfamiliar with this debate, yes—there are actually Catholics who make me look like an ultra-liberal!)

In any case, I have a good friend looking at the sedevacantists. Here is an email I wrote to him to discourage him from joining them. It was only after I hit “send” that I decided it was worth a blog-post, published with his permission, but no names of course:

D,

You write “I simply don’t know what to do at this point.” My answer: Nothing. There’s an old phrase in Canon Law that is: impossibile non tenetur which means one is not held to the impossible in the Catholic life. In other words, God has not made life to be an intellectual riddle that is impossible to solve except for being solved by a few sedevacantists with their big book of old Pope quotes. I fully understand the difference between God’s positive will and His permissive will for this current Church crisis. But both types of providence still fall under God’s sovereignty. If that were not the case, then the only people to be saved would be sedevacantists because they have figured out God’s post V2 code.

It’s all intellectual for them, and really, it’s all intellectual for your quotes to me this past week. Yeah, they are pretty air-tight. So maybe they are totally correct. But sedes are so miserable and mean, that even if they were correct, I’m pretty sure I would not want to go to heaven with them. If only the miserable and mean who have finally cracked the intellectual code of Pope Paul IV and the 1917 code of canon law are going to heaven, then we are all held to the impossible by God and we are essentially nothing more than 5point Calvinists (who the sedes all remind me of.) Also, remember the sedes don’t really have charity (just try to counter me on this!) and if faith without charity means nothing for salvation (1 Cor 13) then no one is going to heaven…in which case every single person is in an impossible situation…and Satan has beat us all into despair via a mind game.

You will never beat Satan at mind games in quoting canon law. I believe sedes are following Satan because Satan can quote Councils and Popes as well as Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus in the desert. But Satan quoted Scripture without obedience and charity. As Calvinists live Sola Scriptura without obedience or charity, so also sedes are Sola Conciliar without obedience or charity.

Every family that goes sede is because the man gets wrapped up into endless syllogisms. I have never met a sede family where the woman, in total love, has a deep understanding of the Church. It is always the mind games of very, very intellectual men who is led by some spirit to lead their whole family into sedevacantism. And their arguments are usually air-tight. But again, Satan can quote Scripture and Popes perfectly.

Be very, very careful to not look at only all your endless arguments but to do St. Ignatius of Loyola’s discernment of spirits. More or less, St. Ignatius teaches that the one gift of the Holy Ghost that Satan can not simulate is peace. Peace is deeper than a feeling. If you are called to lead your family to sedevacantism, you will have an overwhelming peace of the Holy Ghost. (And remember that numerous Popes have set St. Ignatius’ discernment of spirits as the gold standard of retreats and decision making.)

But you will never have peace in sedevacantism, as evidenced by the fact you have never met a peaceful sedevacantist. They are all so jumpy. I used to think they acted neurotic, but now I see that from a secular point of view (not theological) they all act mildly psychotic. There is no peace there. Have you ever met a joyful, peaceful, inspiring sedevacantist?

If you say “No, but that doesn’t matter in the face of all their arguments” then you are left with this:

We are all then called to this Catholic-Calvinism or Sola Conciliar Catholicism of anger, where God has (in His permissive will) wired the universe as a horrible riddle where only loveless sedes are saved and where the average Catholic (who can not read hundreds of pages of 14th century Popes every week to figure out the truth) has a goal of SALVATION HELD TO THE IMPOSSIBLE.

Sounds like a pretty good pathway to despair made perfectly by Satan, if you ask me.