And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil … Mat 6:13 (KJV)
Does anybody see anything wrong with this translation? The word “tempt” has a very negative connotation. According to American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828, Foundation for American Christian Education, “to tempt” means: to incite or solicit to an evil act; to entice to something wrong by presenting arguments that are plausible or convincing, or by the offer of some pleasure of apparent advantage as the inducement.
Is our Creator the one who leads us into temptations? No, YHVH does not tempt people to fall. But the same word is found also in Jas 1:13, where Ya’akov assures us that it is not YHVH who “tempts” us:
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Jas 1:13-15 (KJV)
From the context, we see that “tempt” and “entice” are used synonymously and we may say that this translation is correct. But why is this discrepancy in the translations? The problem, however, is in the Greek text where, in Mat 6:13 and in Jas 1:13, we can find the same Greek word πειράζω, pi-rad’-zo, which means to test, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline, assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt, try (Strong Dictionary).
How come the same word piradzo is used in two so diametrically different cases as “to test” and “to entice”? Is Elohim an Elohim of confusion? No, not at all. So, how can we solve the problem in the Greek text? By going into the original language: Hebrew. Let us see what Elohim says in Exo 16:4,
And Yehovah said to Mosheh, ‘See, I am raining bread from the heavens for you. And the
people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, in order to try them,
whether they walk in My Torah or not. Exo 16:4
Clearly the intention here is the trial, whether the Israelites would be found faithful or not. The word translated above as “to try” is the Hebrew word nasah which literally means “to continue to grab hold” (AHLB), as YHVH can grab us to test us, seen also in Exo 17:2.
We can also find the same word nasah in the Hebrew text of Matthew 6:13, aka Shem-Tov Hebrew Matthew, where we read,
and do not lead us into the power of trial/testing and keep us from evil. Amein.