[B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 5 21:09:51 EDT 2007

Aside from the fact that the NLT turns the passive hOTI APO QEOU PEIRAZOMAI ("that I am tempted by God")  into an active ("God is tempting me") and the changing of the genitive of agent (Wallace's "genitive of production / producer" (pp. 104-05) to an infinitive as complement of the verb (i.e. "God is never tempted TO DO WRONG" BDF § 392) I see no real difference between the NLT and other translations.  The tempting of God and God's tempting another are alike denied by the translations.  I'm not sure what it is that you find so problematic.

Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth, 
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus

----- Original Message ----
From: Oun Kwon <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
To: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2007 3:17:05 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'

On 7/5/07, Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Oun Kwon" <kwonbbl at gmail.com>
> To: "greek B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 2:05 AM
> Subject: [B-Greek] Jam 1:13 APEIRASTOS 'unable to' or 'unable to be ~'
> > Jam 1:13
> >
> >
> > APEIRASTOS occurs in N.T only once here.  Why it should be understood
> > as God 'being unable to be tempted/tested' (a passive  voice)?  With
> > this rendering (strange concept to me) as in all the translations I
> > know of, this makes the whole verse difficult to understand.
> > Commentaries do not help for clear exegesis on this verse.
> One problem is how to understand the genitive KAKWN. If APEIRASTOS is used in a
> passive sense, which I agree is demanded by the context, is KAKWN then the
> implied agent for such temptation? It would be easy to come to such a conclusion
> from the many English versions that translate the genitive by the word "by" as
> if the text had said hUPO KAKWN. NCV says: "Evil cannot tempt God." BAGD and
> BDAG take the genitive as the complement and translates "to do evil". This is
> clearly and correctly translated by NLT which says: "God is never tempted to do
> wrong."

> The other problem is ...

If we take NLT rendering as a correct one (others do not make a sense
at all), how this statement can be logically connected with the
preceding clause, which demands a supporting statement. 'Don't say 'I
am tempted by God'. The reason should 'God does not tempt'; not 'God
is not tempted'.

If APERISTOS is taken in a passive meaning as you and most do, it does
violate the plain logic of the sentence in v. 13.

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