A brief note on temptation in the Lord’s Prayer

A brief note on the phrase “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” in the Lord’s Prayer.  See https://godblog.org/the-lords-prayer-puzzles-me/  for the original post.

This phrase has puzzled many over the years, for why would God lead us into temptation in the first place?  I don’t have a great answer, only a suggestion.  My answer is basically the same as Richard Tyson’s of October 30, 2021.  I simply suggest a paraphrase of the Greek. 

Though almost all translations render πειρασμός (peirasmos) as temptation (Strongs 3986), the word could as easily be rendered “testing,” in the sense of “do not test our faith, for we know that we are weak.” 

That would be a paraphrase, rather than a translation, but I see nothing in the context that contradicts it.  The transliterated Greek is “peirasmos me eisenenkēs hemas eis peirasmon.”  (Matthew 6:13)

There are many occasions in the Bible where God tests people.  Job is perhaps the most dramatic example.  I believe many people still see God as tempting their faith to make it stronger.  It is not just the work of the devil.

4 thoughts on “A brief note on temptation in the Lord’s Prayer”

  1. Jesus says in the gospel of John that those who believe in him will not face the judgement, as instead his mercy and the truth will glorify those who come to him. Forgiving others is the previous point, and also at the end of the prayer Jesus underlines the importance of having mercy. Those who do not believe in Jesus are tempted to continue holding on to their own unjust ways and hardships. Everyone can benefit from focusing on Jesus and his love, and the more injustice we are facing the more we need God and to remember that the temptation to retaliate is not from God, who will deliver divine justice at the right time.

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