First official French version of Bible to be published

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible
The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible Mark Pellegrini/GFDL

The first French translation on the entire Christian Bible recognised by the Catholic church was submitted to France's bishops on Saturday. It took 70 specialists 17 years to translate both testaments from Hebrew, Greek and and Aramaic.


With the Catholic church celebrating all services everywhere in Latin until the 1960s, previous liturgical translations into French have only been of those parts used for religious rites such as mass.

But in 1996 the 70 experts started working from original manuscripts to produce a compete version of what Christians call the Old Testament, a collection of documents written in Hebrew in or after the seventh century BCE, and the New Testament, written in the first and second centuries of the Christian era.

The product of their labours, produced "in dialogue" with bishops from French-speaking countries and the Vatican, is to be published on 22 November by Editions Mame, a publisher of religious books.

A change in the Lord's Prayer, in Greek in the original, has aroused some controversy.

The phrase "ne nous soumets pas à la tentation" (lead us not into temptation) has been changed to "ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation" (let us not enter into temptation) on the grounds that God cannot be responsible for tempting the faithful into sin.

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