Lord's Prayer - newer version

Jeffrey B. Gibson jgibson000 at attbi.com
Thu May 2 08:59:50 EDT 2002

richard smith wrote:

> I had expressed concerns to my priest regarding the new version of the
> Lord's Prayer which translates the above as, "Save us from the time of
> trial."
> My concerns had always been based on the English translations of Matthew
> and Luke, and my priest assured me that the Greek would support the modern
> version.
> However, it does not seem to me that the Greek text does support the
> modern version.
> And in my opinion there is a significant difference between praying that
> God save us from trial or praying that He not lead us into temptation.
> Is the modern version a fair rendering of the Greek?
> Does "Save us from trial" change the prayer which Jesus taught?


You may wish to know that this verse, along with the semantic range of PEIRASMOS, was
the subject of numerous posts to B-Greek (many of them by me)  several yeas ago.

Without going into any detail here (I'm sure I hear a collective sign of relief from
older B-Greek members since they know how involved I am in the question and how
loquacious I can be when it comes to discussing PERIAZW and its cognates!),  the
answer to your question is that "time of trial" is actually a MUCH better rendering of
PEIRASMOS than the traditional "temptation" since PEIRASMOS was rarely, if at all,
ever used for the phenomena that in modern usage the word "temptation" demotes (i.e.,
seduction/enticement). On the contrary, it consistently denoted "testing" "probing"

The real question in the interpretation of Matt. 6:13//Lk. 11:4 is" Who is the object
of the "trial" spoken of there?

As old timers here know,  I have argued in both published and unpublished works for
the view that the object is **not**, as is traditionally understood (and
contemporarily almost universally envisaged)  the disciples to whom the prayer was
given (and by extension,  anyone who now prays it), but the one **to whom the prayer
is prayed**, namely, God. That is to say, what Jesus was urging his disciples to pray
for here is not help to avoid their being "tested", but divine aid to avoid acting
like the wilderness generation at Merribah and Massah did (Exod. 17, Deut. 6, Num. 11,
Ps 95, etc) putting God to the test.


Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
          Floor 1
Chicago, Illinois 60626
e-mail jgibson000 at attbi.com
          jgibson000 at hotmail.com

More information about the B-Greek mailing list