Does God tempt us to do evil?

One of the petitions in the “Lord’s Prayer” is: “and lead us not into temptation.”

So why does God temp us?

That is asking God to protect us from temptation. As we learned in Job chapter 1, God can permit temptation but does not cause it.

The section in the Catechism on lead us not into temptation give us good understanding of the question.


2846 This petition goes to the root of the preceding one, for our sins result from our consenting to temptation; we therefore ask our Father not to “lead” us into temptation. It is difficult to translate the Greek verb used by a single English word: the Greek means both “do not allow us to enter into temptation” and "do not let us yield to temptation."150 “God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one”;151 on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle “between flesh and spirit”; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength.

2847 The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man,152 and temptation, which leads to sin and death.153 We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a “delight to the eyes” and desirable,154 when in reality its fruit is death.

God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us.155

2848 “Lead us not into temptation” implies a decision of the heart: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . . No one can serve two masters."156 "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."157 In this assent to the Holy Spirit the Father gives us strength. "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it."158

2849 Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony.159 In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: "Keep them in your name."160 The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch.161 Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. "Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake."162

Fr. Corapi claims that “lead us not into temptation…” is a very poor translation. He prefers the Spanish translation which says it better - “Do not let us fall into temptation…” When I say my rosary, that’s the words I use for the Our Father.

God does not send temptation

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:40

Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
Revelation 3:10

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1

In OT times, those being tested in life were frequently saying “The BURDEN of the Lord” was upon them.

They got to saying it so much, blaming their difficulties on God … that God told Jeremiah to warn them never to say it again.

See Jeremiah 23:38.

=brb3;6235140]In OT times, those being tested in life were frequently saying “The BURDEN of the Lord” was upon them.

They got to saying it so much, blaming their difficulties on God … that God told Jeremiah to warn them never to say it again.

See Jeremiah 23:38.

The replies are beautiful and profound; so why is this petition in the Lord’s prayer? What does it mean?

Thanks, love and prayers,

The petition is good, the wording is bad. What this means, sadly, is that the liturgy in English still suffers from some bad and weak translations. Another example is “Do this in memory of me”, which leads many Protestants to claim that the Eucharist is but a symbol, a memorial of Christ. The Greek is very strong (I don’t know much biblical Greek, but I have read on the subject) and means something more like “Bring this back to life again.”

The bishops are still working on updating translations, if I’m not mistaken.

Pax et caritas,

You are right on both accounts.

In regards to “lead us not into temptation”… great petition. lousy translation.

In regards to “Do this in memory of me” (the absolute worse translation of the bible!!!), you are half correct. The Eucharist does make the Sacrifice present, but the words also instruct the Apostles (and hence, our priests today!) to “Offer Up” the Eucharist. The words Jesus said were used numerous times in the Old Testament in context of the Levitical priests offering up of the sacrifices that our prevalent throught the history of Israel. Sadly, those words are lost in the translation.

Although too wordy, I’d love to hear the priest say, “Offer this up as a perpetual sacrifice of me”. That’s just my opinion.

I recommend you get the book called Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI. He gives a detailed commentary on every line of the Lord’s Prayer, including 4 pages just on your question.
The other posters are correct. God does not tempt us.

As there are many translations that are poorly done ,none are as misleading as “lead us not into temptation.”
God doesn’t tempt us, but He allows Free Will choices.

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