- (AMP) And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.
- (ASV) And bring us not into temptation.
- (BBE) And let us not be put to the test.
- (CEV) And keep us from being tempted.
- (ESV) And lead us not into temptation.
- (GNB) And do not bring us to hard testing.
- (GW) Don’t allow us to be tempted.
- (ISV) And never bring us into temptation.
- (KJV) And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
- (LITV) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.
- (MSG) Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
- (NLT) And don’t let us yield to temptation.
- And don’t let us yield to temptation.
- and don’t let us yield to temptation,
- but rescue us from the evil one.
There are a number of issues we need to deal with in this thought.
What do we do with the additional element that Matthew adds to the thoughts here? – namely: “rescue us from the evil one.”
- Why is this not in Luke’s account?
- How do we deal with all the variations found in translations?
Don’t. . . bring us into temptation, put us to the test, be tempted, lead us into temptation, allow us to be tempted, yield to temptation.
The word [peirasmos] has the sense of “test, trial, temptation, enticement”. How does that match the ideas translated with the sense that it is God who leads us into the temptation or the test? Does God Himself guide us, lead us, bring us into temptation? James 1:13 strongly suggests otherwise. We have to interpret Scripture with Scripture. It can’t mean that it is God who is active in bringing us into temptation. We are tempted by the devil and our own desires. That is why I like the NLT translation which renders the clause, “And don’t let us yield to temptation”. The notion here of “entering temptation” means not to “be tempted” but rather not to yield to it. Temptations are inevitable as long as we live this side of eternal life. In fact Eugene Peterson puts it succinctly in the Message, “keep us safe from ourselves and the devil”. Let’s face it, our temptations come from the devil and from within ourselves. The biblical teaching is that the sources of evil are the world, the flesh and the devil. Yes, it is true that living in this world subjects us to temptations that are impossible to avoid. Praying that God will keep us from being tempted is a futile prayer. Temptation will inevitably come. In fact we will be tested. But the greatest danger of temptation comes from within us, as James reminds us in the verse I listed above. We are our greatest danger and then there is the devil who knows just how to push the right buttons (or wrong buttons depending on your perspective) and tailor-make the temptation to our greatest weaknesses.
It is clear that it is not God who knowingly or willfully leads us into temptation. The verb here reflects a Hebrew causative construction, which is focused on the entry point. The point of entering into sin. The sense is not “do not cause us to succumb to temptation” but rather “cause us not to succumb to temptation”. Do you catch the subtlety there? There is a subtlety of the English language embodied in those two constructions. It is not God who is involved in the causation to be tempted. God cannot and will not cause us to succumb to temptation. He may stand back and allow the devil to tempt us for various reasons (á la Job) but He won’t actively tempt us to sin. Rather, this prayer request is asking for God to cause us to resist our own tendency to succumb, or to yield to what the devil may be doing to tempt us. Father God, keep us from yielding to the temptation. Protect us from ourselves and from the enemy of our souls.
Now we come to the debate as to whether the words, “but rescue us from the evil one” should be included here in Luke’s account. That this element should be in Matthew’s gospel is not in dispute. The issue is, should it be in the Luke’s gospel? It doesn’t appear in the bulk of Lukan documents before the 12th Century. This reading appears in bulk in the manuscripts that are called the Majority Text. Basically, there are a multiplicity of documents that have readings like this in them. But to make it simple, I could say they come from a time after the printing press had been invented, and so it was easy for the same reading to be duplicated. Whereas the extra words don’t appear in the more ancient manuscripts. Hence, it is not likely to be original Luke, but more likely to be assimilated by scribes to Matthew’s version so that they both read the same. It is more likely that Luke didn’t include it in his version and went for a shorter version of the Lord’s Prayer. They are the facts and we have to endeavour to come to grips with them and figure out why.
To defeat temptation you must first recognize how it happens.Anon
You must admit you have self-control before you can use it.Carrie Latet
What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don’t want to discourage it completely.Franklin P. Jones
Your power to resist temptation is proportionate to your submission to God.A. R. Bernard