The General Synod, which is meeting in Westminster this week, voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the line "And lead us not into temptation", which has been used since decreed by Henry VIII in 1541, rather than replacing it with the words "Save us from the time of trial".
The Church's new service book, Common Worship, will have two translations of the Lord's Prayer in the main text: the traditional one that begins "Our Father who art in Heaven" and a modified version that starts "Our Father in Heaven". Both refer to temptation. The modern version, which is used throughout the Anglican Communion and has been adopted by the Methodist Church, will be printed in an appendix at the back of the service book to be published next year.
For the past three years the synod has been debating whether "temptation" should stay or go. The argument, which has split modernisers and traditionalists, has hinged on the translation of the Greek word peirasmos. The original wording won because it was better known by the public.
The Bishop of Woolwich, the Rt Rev Colin Buchanan, argued that the Church should move with the times and adopt the version used widely in the Christian world. "Synod is ...trying to hold back the tide of change," he said. "Temptation is too trivial a word; it has resonances of pinching jam tarts from the larder."
But traditionalists cited contemporary advertising campaigns, such as the poster for Abbott Ale, which refers to "temptation", as evidence that temptation is a far more familiar concept than trial.Reuse content