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OpEd

REV. FR. DR. DARIUS MAGUNDA: Sunday Perspective/Why the Pope called for changes in the Lord’s Prayer

Rev. Fr. Dr. Darius Magunda, a professor of Church History at the St. Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba, Uganda, shares insight into the recent changes in the Lord’s Prayer. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

By Rev. Fr. Dr. Magunda Darius

Dear brethren!

The Pope’s request [approval] to make changes in the translation of the English version of the Lord’s prayer shouldn’t worry people.

He is not calling for a change of the prayer and it is the original message but the English translation which can easily mislead if taken literally.

If you closely compare our Catholic Runyankore version of the Bible with the older version which the Protestants kept, ours is very clear and a translation from the original Greek (New Testament) and Hebrew (Old Testament).

Even our Runyankore Catholic version of the Lord’s prayer “otatureka tukoohibwa…” is clear and avoids that danger of presenting God as a tempter.

The Protestant version reads: “Otatutwara omukwohibwa…” Matthew 6:13. This can imply that God leads us into temptation.

The Pope’s proposal is okay for it only calls for an adjustment in the translation to portray what Jesus intended to mean.

Some linguists argue that the English language is practical but dry and poor in portraying the sense of ideas. It is common for the English language to use one word to mean several things where other Latin languages have one word for each meaning; e.g. English “love” is general whereas Greek has three words Agape (highest form love e.g. love between man and God), Philia (brotherly love), and Eros (sexual love/attraction).

English has only one word to mean the three aspects.

That is where problems arise with translations into English.

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The writer, Rev. Fr. Dr. Darius Magunda, is a professor of Church History at the St. Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba, Uganda.

This article has been adopted from his message to the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Mbarara living in Kampala (AMDA), for whom he is Chaplain.

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