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Pedants' corner

Forgive us our trespasses

17 replies

NorkyPies · 01/04/2012 21:52

For the Lord's Prayer, I'm sure we learned 'as we forgive THEM that trespass against us' at school, but elsewhere I always hear 'as we forgive THOSE that trespass against us'.

It raises an interesting question: 'them' is the object of the verb 'forgive', and 'those' is the subject of 'trespass'. In other words, the same entity (them/those) is both object and subject at the same time, so a choice has to be made.

OP posts:
Northey · 01/04/2012 22:45

I don't think it makes much difference, grammatically. THOSE THAT is short for "those people that", which is subject + relative. THEM THAT is also subject + relative.

faeriefruitcake · 01/04/2012 22:47

We learnt 'those' but when you translate it from the original Aramaic it's all about serenity.


invicta · 01/04/2012 22:49

According to Wikipedia, 'those' is an early Catholc version, and 'them' is a 1622 Anglican version.

Northey · 01/04/2012 22:54

That's an interesting page, faerie. It makes me wish I understood the Arabic.

AgentProvocateur · 01/04/2012 22:59

In Scotland we say, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." Technically, there's no such thing as trespassers here.

Northey · 01/04/2012 23:03

That's close to the Latin, which is debita nostra.

Northey · 01/04/2012 23:04

I wonder how the Latin got so far from the Arabic serenity though.

ExitPursuedByABear · 01/04/2012 23:05

Trust the Scots to be focussing on money.

Northey · 01/04/2012 23:06

Do they really forgive their debtors, then? :)

NorkyPies · 01/04/2012 23:10

The Aramaic original is a poem! - mainly rhyming couplets. That's intriguing.

OP posts:
MyNameIsInigoMontoya · 01/04/2012 23:11

I thought it was 'those who' when you use 'those', anyway?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans · 01/04/2012 23:13

I'm sure we said 'those who,' back in the seventies < hazy memory >.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans · 01/04/2012 23:14

Spooky crossed post!

BackforGood · 01/04/2012 23:18

We say "those who tresspass against us" (as in, now, today, not just remembering back to childhood). this is the case in the Methodist Church I attend and also in the CofE School my dd attends.

NorkyPies · 01/04/2012 23:28

Yes, it always seems to be 'those who'. I was mistakenly generalising from my childhood variant that has 'them that'. Glad to realise that my own variant is a pukka one (1662 Book of Common Prayer - thanks Invicta) and not my faulty memory.

OP posts:
clam · 10/04/2012 10:14

Maybe that's why they changed it to the modern version, where it's "sin" not "trespass." I'm always irrationally irritated by this.

nickelhasababy · 10/04/2012 13:32

i know the answer!

it's "as we forgive them in 1662 book of common prayer.

amended in 1928 to those, adopted by the 1980 Alternative Service Book and used in 2000 Common Worship.

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