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Temptation
Witnessing Tools
Thursday, December 28, 2017
J.L. Robb

The word, temptation, generally refers to something that is not particularly good.

Temptation is the state of being tempted, especially to evil; and the tempter is something or someone that entices the tempted to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.

If one is dieting, a bowl of chocolate truffles might be tempting. If one is studying for an exam, a friend who calls and talks to you about a great movie instead is tempting. If you think your child might be stealing your loose change, you might leave some counted change on the counter intentionally, a temptation.

Is it wrong to set up your kids? Or is it love? Suppose you tell your fifteen-year-old not to smoke, but you have a strong suspicion he is; so you leave home and tell your son you will be back in an hour. You go around the block and “forget” something. You enter the house and sure enough, there’s Junior smoking on the back porch; and it’s not tobacco.

Sometimes in life, temptation comes from those who love us but know we are headed for disaster. They want to help. If Mom reads a child’s diary, it usually is not because she is looking for a good book. It is because she loves her child and is afraid she is headed for harm.

Does God ever tempt the children He loves? Apparently not, according to Pope Francis.

The headline was glaring: Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer.

According to Sky News:

The Pope has revealed he wants to change the Lord's Prayer - as he thinks the current version implies that God pushes people toward sin.

He said the line "lead us not into temptation", memorized by hundreds of millions of Christians for centuries, is based on a flawed translation.

"It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation," the Pope said.

The implication is awkward for Christians, who believe it is Satan who tempts people to sin.

Since I was a child, I have been taught that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. In sixth-grade Catholic school, we were taught the same. Inerrant means there are no errors.

Biblical scholars claim that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew like the Old Testament. I am not an adherent of this belief, but so far the Greek is all that has been found. The Greek to English translation seems specific, and temptation in Greek can also mean testing.

The Lord’s Prayer is arguably the best-known prayer in the Bible; and probably, the world. In every translation I have researched, Jesus asked God not to lead us into temptation.

So what does Pope Francis want to change the temptation line, to?

The French Catholic Church voted recently to change the scripture, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” to “Do not let us enter into temptation". The Mormons changed the scripture to, "suffer us not to be led into temptation". Not sure what happened to the part about evil.

Who planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17 NIV

At this point in time, Satan has not been introduced. It would appear, since God was discussing trees and telling Adam he could eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that God was the Planter. The forbidden tree turned out to be the bowl of chocolates. There was only one rule in the Garden of Eden, and the penalty for breaking the rule was death. That is serious.

Unfortunately for Adam and Eve, the tree became the temptation and Satan became the tempter.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6 NIV

Why did God plant the temptation? Was it a test? If so, it was man’s first failure; and the result was much worse than an F on a report card.

I am not a Catholic basher, though I think they got a lot of things wrong; but a book is either inerrant or it is not. Jesus said the prayer, the words were a gift from the Holy Spirit; only in this case, the Pope apparently thinks there is a mistranslation. That is a Pandora’s box if there ever was one, because once the Pope changes the scripture to better fit his views instead of Jesus’, there will be more to come.

Christians who do not believe there is a Hell use a similar logic. Would God really want to subject his children to Hell? Would you throw your children in Hell? What kind of parent would do that?

Would God test us?

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:1-2 NIV

Hopefully the Pope will not doctor up scripture, at least until the Hebrew scrolls are found and prove the Greek version is inaccurate. Our entire life is a test if we are believers, because God wants to save us from impending danger, like the parent who tested his son about smoking.



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