Testing Temptation: The Meaning of Q 11:4b

[Pater (hmwn) ... kai] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon

 
Jeffrey Gibson
 
 
 
As my title suggests, the question I wish to deal with here is the question of the meaning of Q 11:4b, the petition in the Lord's prayer (Q 11:2-4) urged by Jesus upon the disciples regarding God "not leading" his "sons" corporately and communally /1/ "into" a phenomenon or an experience denoted by the term peirasmoV. What originally -- that is, at the very least according to the compiler(s) of Q, if not to Jesus himself /2/ -- was the petition's object? What was it that at the behest of Jesus the disciples are to ask for?

Now, anyone who has surveyed even the recent history of the investigation of Q 11:4b knows that answers to this question have been many and varied. As C.F.D. Moule, D. McCaughey, and others have noted, some views have proved more dominant than most, though no single one has won the day. /3/ Moreover, as is shown for instance by the on-going series of exchanges between scholars on the issue that was begun in 1938 in Expository Times and contines up to the present day, the matter remains unresolved. /4/ And so I enter the fray. /5/

I note at the outset of my attempt to establish what [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon means in Q that I hold two things to be apparent. The first is that determining the object of the petition principally involves providing answers to the following three questions:

(1). What is the meaning of the expression [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV?

(2). What is the nature or content of the peirasmoV referred to?

(3). Who is it that is envisaged within Q 11:4b as potentially engaged with or subjected to peirasmoV?

And the second thing is that the variety of opinions about the meaning of the petition arises because there is no consensus regarding how these questions are to be answered. For instance, with respect to Question One commentators are divided between:

(a). those who take the implications of the petition's syntax and wording at face value and claim that [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV means "Father, keep us far way from becoming engaged with or subjected to peirasmoV", whatever peirasmoV denotes, /6/ and

(b). those, such as J. Jeremias /7/, J. Carmignac, /8/, I. H. Marshall, /9/ and others /10/ who see the expression as meaning "Father, once we are 'in' or 'under' (i.e., fully subjected to) peirasmoV, keep us from yielding to it" /11/.

An even greater number of answers has been given to Question Two. Here we find commentators lined up in groups according to those who see that the phenomenon or experience here denoted by peirasmoV refers to as either:

(a). that which seduces or entices a person expressly to do evil (i.e., the experience denoted by the word "temptation"); /12/

(b). afflictions and (penal) sufferings; /13/

(c). a "trial" in the forensic sense of the word, and therefore a "being brought before the bar of justice and judgement"; /14/ or

(d). a "trial" in the sense of a "test", that is, a "proving", of faithfulness and/or integrity; /15/

Moreover, those who see the noun peirasmoV as bearing the meaning a "test"/"proving" of faithfulness and/or integrity disagree as to whether the noun refers to:

(e). a "test"/"proving" of faithfulness and integrity that can occur or be engaged in at any time in the life of those who pray the petition, /16/ or

(f). the so-called "final/eschatological testing", the great tribulation, that according to some apocalypticists' scenarios of the "end times" was expected to beset and afflict the people of God, if not the entire world, at the dawning of the end of the age, revealing who among God's elect was pistiV /17/.

And while the answer to Question Three has most often been given in terms of:

(a). those who in Q 11:2-4 are instructed to pray the petition [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon, namely, the disciples, and then by extension anyone else who "makes bold to say" the prayer of which the petition is a part, /18/

a small number of exegetes have suggested that its answer is

(b). the one to whom the petition is addressed, i.e., God /19/.

So it would seem that determining the original meaning of Q 11:4b is dependent upon determining which, if any, of these sets of answers to our three primary questions is correct.

In pursuit of this goal I shall examine each of the sets of answers in turn, attempting to establish as I go their relative plausibility. My motto in all of this is the dictum of one S. Holmes: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
 
 

1. The meaning of the expression [Pater (hmwn )... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV (lead us not into ...) and the object of the petition

I do not think we need dwell long on the question of which of the two alternative views of the meaning of [Pater (hmwn )... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV is correct. Two considerations make the former most likely. First, the verb employed within the expression (eisferein) seems generally to refer to enforced movement of some one or something from one place or sphere of activity to, but, notably, not into, another /20/. So a plea such as we have in Q 11:4b, that is, a plea not to be "led/brought into" (mh eisenegkhV ... eiV ...) something is a plea to be kept "outside of" or "entirely away from" that something /21/. Moreover, here the form of the verb is a negated aorist subjunctive in a prohibition. In this form and in this context it therefore carries with it a sense of how imperative the absolute avoidance of coming into any kind of contact with the object of eiV is. Thus, even should some air of the permissive or "allowative" hang about mh eisenegkhV, /22/ the meaning of the full expression is still "Keep us away from" not "preserve us from succumbing to" /23/. Given this, the petition should be viewed as a pointed and heartfelt request on the part of the disciples to be preserved from their ever coming into contact with the phenomenon or experience denoted by peirasmoV /24/.
 
 

2. The nature of the envisioned peirasmoV

What, then, is this thing peirasmoV, contact with which the disciples are to pray against? Is it any of the five options outlined above? Our answer to this question is dependent upon knowing the answer to another, namely, what the semantic range of the term was at the time of the speaking/composition of the Lord's Prayer. And this in turn can only be determined by a full scale diachronic examination of the instances of usage of peirasmoV prior to the middle of the second century C.E. /25/ Space forbids this from being carrying out here, as there are some thirty six such instances extant /26/. But such an examination of these instances would, I contend, warrant the following conclusions: /27/

First, there is no reason to think that in Q 11:4b peirasmoV bears any of the connotations we associate with the word "temptation" or that it could possibly denote either "afflictions designed to punish a sinner" or "a judicial trial". In virtually all of the known pre-150 CE instances of peirasmoV, the noun means "a trial", "a test", and always, when applied to God or mortals, signifies "a putting to the proof of integrity or faithfulness". Never, save for one possible late exception in 1 Tim. 6:9, does it mean "an enticement or inner psychological allurement, brought on by the prospect of pleasure or advantage, to do evil", /28/ let alone "penal suffering" /29/ or "a trial before a judge" /30/. So, insofar as lexical considerations and historical and contemporary usage have a bearing on what we are trying to establish here, we may say with some certainty that whatever it is that the disciples pray to be protected against ever coming into contact with, it is not "punishments", "inner psychological allurements to sin", /31/ or "being brought into court" /32/.

Second, the evidence of usage also indicates that, despite the claims of Jeremias, /33/ Davies and Allison, /34/ E. Lohmeyer, /35/ R.E. Brown, /36/ and others, the noun does not mean "the final/eschatological test", "the test of faithfulness to which believers will be subjected at the 'end of the age'". Not one instance can be found in all of the extant pre-150 CE occurrences of the noun that gives any hint whatsoever that peirasmoV was a recognized term for this climactic test /37/. True, Rev. 3:10, which has Jesus promising the Philadelphians that kagw se thrhsw ek thV wraV tou peirasmou thV melloushV ercesqai epi thV oikoumenhV olhV peirasai touV katoikountaV epi thV ghV, might at first glance seem to be an exception to this. But two things need to be noted. In the first place, in Rev. 3:10 peirasmoV not only has the definite article (i.e., it is arthrous), but, as R.G. Gundry has pointed out, it also needs the help of the accompanying expressions "the hour" and "coming upon the world to test the ones dwelling upon the earth" in order to carry a reference to the great test expected to wind up the present age /38/. Therefore the use of the noun in Rev. 3:10 is no evidence that anarthrous peirasmoV -- that is, peirasmoV as it appears in Q 11:4b -- was, as advocates of the "final/eschatological test" opine, a recognized and recognizable technical term for the ultimate crisis of apocalyptic expectation /39/. On the contrary, as C.F.D. Moule has observed, "it only shows how carefully it [peirasmoV = "eschatological test"] is defined and given the article when it has to mean this" /40/. In other words, Rev. 3:10 is the exception which proves the rule /41/.

Along these same lines, we should also keep in mind that if the compiler(s) of Q (let alone the authors of GMatthew and GLuke) had wanted it to be understood that what Jesus had originally told his disciples to pray for was protection against "the final testing" of apocalyptic expectation, then the compiler(s) of Q (and the evangelists) surely would have used something like h hmera qliyewV or kairoV qliyewV or simply qliyiV instead of anarthrous peirasmoV /42/. The fact that neither the compiler(s) of Q nor the First and Third Evangelists do so, strongly indicates that for them the peirasmoV referred to in Q 11:4b (Matt. 6:4a//Lk. 11:4) does not signify "the final/eschatological trial".

Accordingly, when, in the light of the evidence that a diachronic examination of use of the noun peirasmoV produces, we evaluate which of the various meanings proposed above for the instance of the noun at Q 11:4b is most likely, it would seem then that both by default and by the positive considerations in its favour, that the meaning "a 'present' test of character or fidelity, that is to say, one that is not dependent upon the arrival of the end of the age to be felt or engaged in, is our only real choice.
 
 

3. The object of peirasmoV

While the review of the use and meaning of the term peirasmoV has been helpful in determining the nature of what is being petitioned against in Q 11:4b, it fails us when we seek an answer to the question of who it is that is here envisaged as the object of this "testing of faithfulness and/or integrity". For lexical evidence and contemporary usage -- including, notably, a comparison with what secular, Biblical, and biblically related literature shows are the connotations of the verbal cognates of peirasmoV, i.e., peirazw and ekpeirazw, as well as of the main synonym of our noun, namely dokimasia and cognates -- does not help us to decide at whom the peirasmoV is here thought of as aimed. On these grounds alone, both options proposed by scholars, i.e., the disciples or God, are possible. For in some of the known instances of the use of the noun, the experience it denotes is something that human beings are said to encounter, while in others it is God /43/. How, then, do we decide which option is more likely?
 
 
a. peirasmoV = the testing of disciples' faithfulness

Here, I think, we are best served by taking note of the function that the petition takes on when we assume that it is the disciples who are envisioned within the petition as the object of peirasmoV, and then asking whether or not this function is plausible. So, what is the petitions's function if the disciples are the subject of peirasmoV? Given what we have established regarding the meaning of both the expression [Pater (hmwn )... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV and the noun peirasmoV, it is to secure divine aid for the disciples, God's sons, against their ever experiencing a test of their own faithfulness or integrity.

But how plausible is it that, according to the compiler(s) of Q, what the disciples are asking for in Q 11:4b was protection against their ever experiencing such a test? If we take into account all that the biblical witness reveals about the nature of "testing" vis a vis the people of God or any who would be among God's elect, the answer is not at all.

In the first place, as is shown by even a cursory review of the context of the Biblical and intertestamental instances of peirasmoV in which "sons"/the elect and their faithfulness are said to be subjected to peirasmoV, the "testing" of believers' faithfulness (including, indeed, especially, one which arises in the context of an "eschatological" tribulation) was something which was known to be unavoidable /44/. Indeed, not only was peirasmoVperceived of as the inevitable consequence of being a son of the covenant (Sir. 2:1); it was also thought to be a desideratum. For to be subjected to a "testing of faithfulness" was viewed as a way both of reducing all doubt of how much an individual or a community loved God (Ps. 26 [25 LXX]:2; cp. Pss. 139 [138 LXX]:1; 139 [138 LXX]:23) as well as of knowing that one was the object of God's fatherly love and concern (Judith 8:25-27) /45/. In other words, it was a cause not for fear but, as the Epistle of James 1:2 remarks, for rejoicing /46/.

In the second place, if we accept as authentic the agraphon quoted by Tertullian in his De baptismo 20.2, that

No one can obtain the kingdom of heaven who has not passed through testing, /47/
we have testimony that Jesus himself shared and proclaimed these views.

In the face of these considerations, the idea that what we have in Q 11:4b is the disciples pleading to be spared ever coming in contact with a peirasmoV of their own faithfulness proves difficult to accept. Not only does it make inexplicable why Jesus would call his disciples to utter such a plea, but it presents us with what C.F.D. Moule calls an unresolvable problem:

Why should anyone pray to escape testing -- even if it is testing by the Devil and constitutes temptation [enticement to evil]? If one knows that testing and temptation are inevitable; if one knows that, before the glorious climax of God's final triumph, there will be inescapable testing of an exceptionally severe kind; if, moreover, one knows that testing can be salutary and that the Lord himself has pioneered the way through it to spiritual effectiveness -- then what is the logic of praying for exemption? /48/
The answer to Moule's question "what is the logic of praying for exemption?" is, of course, that there is none /49/. To be sure, claims have been made to the contrary. C.F.W. Smith, for instance, has argued that, while admittedly there would be a contradiction in praying mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon when the peirasmoV in view has to do with something believers ordinarily experience, a prayer for "escape" or exemption from an anticipated "testing" nevertheless makes perfect sense if we adopt what he calls "the very profitable solution" that the peirasmoV of the petition refers "primarily to the final time of trial, the messianic woes" /50/. Given the extraordinary nature of these times and the extreme threat to faithfulness which they represent, a prayer for "escape" or exemption from being subjected to them is, Smith opines, something we should expect Jesus to urge upon his disciples, let alone something that they themselves would be eager to pray even without prompting /51/. And Moule himself has put forward the view that in the end, however much it may be recognized or assumed within the petition that to pray for escape from peirasmoV is indeed not Biblical and therefore involves a "logical inconsequence", the petition itself still makes sense because it is intent to express the "psychological insight" that one does not always wish to be placed under what one recognizes is inevitable; indeed, not praying to escape peirasmoV is, in the light of human weakness, a form of hubris /52/.

But Smith's view rests upon an assumption about the nature of the peirasmoV referred to in Q 11:4b that, as we have seen, has no real standing. And in any case, even if peirasmoV did here signify "the final/eschatological test", this denotation would not really diminish the difficulty we have noted, since it is recognized in the biblical witness that even "eschatological trial" could be providential and salutary. And Moule's "solution" to the conundrum is, as H.D. Betz has pointed out, /53/ beset with two problems: (1) it resorts to the theological presupposition "that religious truth is in essence illogical, that is, irrational" and, however much it might stand as an impressive testimony to religious humility and contains insight into the paradoxes of human behaviour, it nevertheless "confirms psychology not theology"; and (2) it runs roughshod over the fact that the words of the petition do not say what they are made by Moule to say. Indeed, as Moule himself admits, the trouble with his "solution" is that "all the rest of the traditions of Jesus' teaching emphasizes the inevitability of suffering, and do not bid the disciples [to] pray for escape" /54/.

To repeat, then: Given the biblical teaching on the inevitability for those who would serve God of "testing", it makes no sense for the disciples to pray for exemption from experiencing or ever coming into contact with peirasmoV /55/. And in the light of this observation, we should rule out the possibility that the peirasmoV, the "test of faithfulness", spoken of in Q 11:4b is intended to be seen as one aimed at the disciples.
 
 
b. peirasmoV = the testing of God's faithfulness?

But is there anything that indicates positively that the peirasmoV referred to in Q 11:4b is a test of faithfulness and/or integrity aimed at God? Before I answer this, I think we should first be clear about what "putting God to the test" was thought to involve, that is to say, (a) how or when or why, according to the biblical witness, it was perpetrated and (b) how the activity was evaluated theologically.

Here I can do no better than to quote the discussion of these matters found in The Testing of God's Son by B. Gerhardsson. Beginning with the observation that the concept of "the testing of God" is something that presupposes that God has established a covenant relationship with his "son", his elect, in which he has promised to protect and redeem those who are his, Gerhardsson remarks:

To test God is to examine him to see if he will keep his obligations, challenging him to demonstrate his fidelity to the conditions of the covenant. It is usually a query raised by the covenant son, a demand that God should show by a powerful work, by a "proof" ... or "sign" ... that he really is the god of his people, is in their midst, is active as their saviour, protector and provider in accordance with his covenant promises. The action is condemned in the Old Testament as a very serious offense against God. What the sin consists of can scarcely be defined in one simple formula, but broadly speaking it is a violation of JHWH's divine honour for man to dictate to him; man is demonstrating his suspicion and unbelief in not regarding JHWH as trustworthy, reliable, faithful to the covenant (...pistiV). To test God is thus the opposite of believing in him and therefore a very definite violation of the covenant bond. According to the Old Testament JHWH reacts in anger to exterminate his people /56/.
With this in mind, I think there are three things that indicate that the peirasmoV referred to in Q 11:4b is intended to be taken as meaning "the testing of God". First of all, there is the consideration that the "testing of God" is not only one of the set meanings with which peirasmoV was employed, but the one which seems to be demanded by the logic of the petition. As we have seen in our analysis of the meaning of the expression [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon, the experience or phenomenon here denoted by peirasmoV is perceived as something with which a "son" must have no contact, something which a faithful "son" had at all costs to avoid. What meaning of peirasmoV fits better with this, given its connotations, than "the testing of God"?

Second, the petition that contains our term peirasmoV is part of a prayer which exhorts the community called by God to be his "son" not to shame God's name, but to serve it, to be in concert with, and therefore to avoid all that resists the establishment of, God's will being done on earth (Q 11:2). Now in form, content and language, this prayer not only evokes themes which are at the core of the traditions about the Wilderness generation's "putting God to the test" this is spelled out in Ex. 17:1-7; Num. 14; Deut. 6-8, Pss. 78, 95, 106: Wis. 1:1-3, and in 1 Cor. 10 and the Epistle to Hebrews; /57/ It also echoes the substance of exhortations both of (a) Moses found in Deut. 6:10-19 for Israel to hallow God's name, to obey him, and to see that his will is done, /58/ and (b) that of the author of the book of Wisdom who at Wis. 1:1-3 urges those in Israel who would "fear the Lord" to

Love righteousness [and] think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart.
Now we should note that in Deut. 6:10-19 and in Wisdom 1:1-3 (and in the Massah tradition as well) this exhortation to hallow God's name and to see that God's will is done is explicated specifically in terms of an obligation on the part of those who consent to revere God's name to do so by avoiding putting him to the test. For Moses reminds the Israelites that
16"You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah /59/.
And the author of the Book of Wisdom declares that
[God] is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him /60/
and that
when his power is tested, by men engaging in perverse thoughts, it convicts the foolish /61/.
So with all of this echoed and evoked in the prayer of which our peirasmoV petition is a part, the peirasmoV referred to within that petition is surely the activity of "testing God".

Third, there is the observation that seeing peirasmoV as bearing the meaning "the testing of God", and therefore referring to an activity that "sons" might engage in against him (instead of an experience to which they become victims), creates no tension or contradiction (as the alternative "the testing of believers" most certainly does) with the meaning and intent of the petition that God mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon. Indeed, it resolves what is on the other view an unresolvable problem.

Now it follows that if peirasmoV here means "the testing of God", then given all that the idea of "the testing of God" connotes, the petition in which the term appears must mean not only "prevent us, Father, from putting you to the test", but "prevent us, Father, from putting you to the test by doubting your ways and renouncing all that you have deemed fit for us to follow". Accordingly, anything that indicates that this is indeed what the petition means will strengthen the conjecture upon which it is based. But, what if anything, indicates that this is a correct interpretation of the text?

That the petition kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon seeks God's help to avoid engaging in peirasmoV against him is supported by the following five things:

The first is the often overlooked consideration that within the Biblical tradition, seeking God's help to avoid engaging in peirasmoV against him is both a perfectly acceptable thing to pray for as well as something which God would be willing to grant.

Second, this view is consistent with understanding the Lord's Prayer as an eschatological prayer, even if that means no more than that it is something that is uttered as a response to the actual dawning of the basileia tou Qeou and is formed in the light of the crises and kairoV for humanity that this situation brings about, rather than something whose focus and horizon is the future Kingdom and which is intent to call down into the now the yet-to-be-realized benefits of God coming to Israel in glory and strength /62/. As apocalyptic literature, with all of its warnings about the dangers of apostasy, makes clear, it is, after all, in a time of crisis that "sons" are most likely to engage in the type of activity which is the essence of subjecting God to peirasmoV, namely, questioning and then going on to reject the propriety or reasonableness or effectiveness of the way that God has constrained his elect to follow in living out faithfulness to him. What, then, would be more appropriate in such a situation than a prayer to have help in not putting God to the test. That such a prayer is appropriate is certainly the witness of the Epistle to the Hebrews whose author, seeing his readers as living in the last days (Heb. 1:2) and as confronting a crisis of faith on account of the dawning of the long promised "Day", feels his readers are on the verge of giving up as foolhardy the ways God has given them to live out their confession, thus repeating the sin of the wilderness generation and putting God to the test (Heb. 3:7-9).

The third thing is the consideration that a call from Jesus for his disciples to pray that they should be protected from "putting God to the test" is exactly what we should expect from the Jesus of Q, and this whether the predominant and original image of Jesus in Q is (a) the Sage who grounds his message and his ministry in the sapiential tradition spelled out especially in the Book of Wisdom, which was subsequently overlaid with the portrait of Jesus as a prophet in the Deuteronomic judgement tradition, as Kloppenborg and others have argued, /63/ or (b) the Deuteronomic prophet sent by Wisdom who denounces the wickedness and faithlessness of "this generation" and proclaims the urgency of repentance for Israel, which was later mixed with material grounded in sapiential themes or devices, as A. Jacobson has urged /64/. Now, throughout Q, and notably in both the Sapiential and "judgement" layers, the disciples are those who have taken on the call, administered through Jesus, to be "Sons of God" /65/ and to live out their lives accordingly. Moreover, they are those who have been instructed in the true ways of obedience to God and the full pattern of filial obligation. Now, in the Sapiential layer of Q this call and these instructions are rooted squarely in an ethic which is (1) grounded in a representation, and a demand for an imitatio, of God as the supremely caring Father who can be relied upon implicitly to know and provide for his all of Son's needs, and which consequently (2) constrains Sons of God to trust in that care even, indeed, especially, when evidence of it seems sorely lacking and God seems to have abandoned them /66/. In the "Judgement"/Deuteronomic layer of Q this call and these instructions take their cue from, and even recapitulate, the Deuteronomistic portrayal not only of who the people of Israel were commissioned by God to be, but of what they were exhorted to do to avoid showing themselves as a "wicked and adulterous generation" /67/. It is to be noted, then, that in the Book of Wisdom (esp. Wis. 1-3:10) as well as in the Old Testament Wisdom tradition as a whole, /68/ a Son's refusal to trust in God's providential care and loving surveillance is expressly denoted as involving the Son in "testing God" /69/. And, as we have seen, what Deuteronomy expressly states as the very thing that made Israel faithless and disobedient, kindling God's anger against her and disinheriting her from God's promised "rest", was her subjecting God to peirasmoV.

The fourth thing in favour of viewing the petition in Q 11:4b as one in which what is asked for is help from God to avoid engaging in peirasmoV against him is, I think, the most decisive of all: that in the Markan parallel to Q 11:4b, namely, Mk. 14:38, a text in which Jesus is presented, as in Q, as urging his disciples to pray to be kept from "entering into" peirasmoV ([grhgoreite kai] proseucesqe, ina mh elqhte eiV peirasmon) /70/ the object of what the Markan Jesus tells his disciples to pray for is specifically for help in refraining from putting God to the test. That the injunction in Mk. 14:38 means "pray to be kept from perpetrating peirasmoV" is indicated by the often overlooked fact that in Biblical usage, when mh [eis] elqhte eiV is used, as it is here, in a command where the object of the expression is something other than a place, the phrase does not mean "do not succumb to"/71 / but "do not engage in". Consider, for instance, Ps. 142:2 (LXX) where, as K. Grayston notes, kai mh eiselqhV eiV krisin meta tou doulou sou means, "do not engage in judging your servant" /72/. Similarly, in Jer. 16:5 (LXX) the divine command Mh eiselqhV eiV qiason autwn obviously means "do not engage in mourning". And in Josh. 23:6 Joshua's final exhortation to the Israelites mh eshlqhte eiV ta eqnh ta kataleleimmena tauta, kai ta onomata twn qewn autwn ouk onomasqhsetai en umin means "do not engage in the idolatrous practices which typify the "nations" /73/. So Jesus' command to the disciples to pray mh [eis]elqhte eiV peirasmon seems quite clearly to mean "pray to be kept from perpetrating peirasmoV".

But what indicates that what the Markan Jesus tells his disciples to pray for by uttering mh [eis]elqhte eiV peirasmon is for help in refraining from putting God to the test? Here the answer arises when we take into account what it is according to Mark that prompts Jesus to exhort his disciples to [grhgoreite kai] proseucesqe, ina mh elqhte eiV peirasmon. As Mk. 14:37 shows, Jesus' exhortation is prompted by the disciples' refusal to be willing to "stay awake" and to "watch" as the hour finally arrives in which Jesus allows himself, in obedience to the divine will, to be "delivered up to suffer many things" and to die on the cross -- a refusal which culminates in the disciples abandoning Jesus and his ways and rejecting as "of God" how he has called them to follow him (cf. Mk. 14:50; Matt. 26:56). Now, as a number of Markan and other synoptic texts show, /74/ being willing to "stay awake" and "watch" is, among other things, to refuse to succumb to any doubt that God will provide especially when it seems otherwise /75/. And to "fall asleep" and to be unwilling to "watch" is equivalent to denying that God is faithful and that his ways are adequate to what he claims are his purposes /76/. Accordingly, when Jesus commands his disciples, as they become embroiled in "sleeping" and "unwatchfulness", to [grhgoreite kai] proseucesqe to God mh elqhte eiV peirasmon, he is not only warning them that they are on the verge of putting God to the test. He is saying that by uttering this petition, they would be in effect seeking God's help not to do so.

It follows, then, that if this is the meaning of this petition at Mk. 14:38, it certainly is the meaning of its parallel at Q 11:4b /77/.

Finally, that the petition means "Father, prevent us from ever putting you to the test" is indicated by the fact that this is the way Matthew read the petition. The evidence for this is that Matthew explicates the petition by means of a phrase, alla rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou (Matt. 6:13b), /78/ that is itself a request for the community to be protected against putting God to the test, and this whether tou ponhrou here is masculine and means "the Evil One" (i.e., "the Devil"), as the Eastern Church and the Greek Fathers have always held /79/ and most modern commentators have claimed, /80/ or, as Augustine, many Western fathers after him, and others since have argued, is neuter and means "evil" /81/.

It is easy to see how alla rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou is a request for the community to be protected against putting God to the test if tou ponhrou at Matt. 6:13b is masculine and means "the Devil" once we take into account just who, in Matthew's time and in Matthew's world of thought, the Devil was taken to be. Now, as is shown by such texts as TB Sanhedrin 89b (which I take to contain tradition dating from the first century CE), Apoc. Abraham 13 (cf. esp. vs. 9-13), the Testament of Job (especially in Chapters 24-27), Mk 8:27-33, Lk. 4:1-12, Jn. 8.44, 2 Cor. 11.14), the Devil was regarded as one engaged principally in trying in a variety of ways to get the pious to break a prior commitment to covenantal faithfulness to God by bringing them to express and act upon the doubt that what God has commanded them to do (or put their trust in) is not really "of God" /82/. Thus ultimately he was one who attempted to involve the believer in "testing God" as Israel had tested him at Massah. Significantly, this comes across nowhere as clearly as in Matthew's Gospel, particularly in his story of Jesus' confrontation with the Evil One at Matt. 4:1-11 in which the Devil is portrayed as petitioning Jesus to procure 'bread' from stones (Matt. 4:3), to throw himself down from the "wing" of the temple (Matt. 4:5-6), and for Jesus to offer him "worship" (Matt. 4:8-9). For here the Matthean Jesus expressly declares that should he accede to the Devil's petitions, he would then be guilty of a refusal to heed the particular commandment Moses gave to Israel to trust in God and ouk ekpeiraseiV kurion ton qeon sou, on tropon exepeirasasqe en tw peirasmw (cf. Matt. 4:7) /83/. In the light of this, then, to ask to be "delivered from the Evil One", would be to ask to be protected against solicitations and inclinations to subject God to peirasmoV.

But let us see how for Matthew alla rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou would also be a request for the community to be protected against putting God to the test even if Matthew intended the tou ponhrou in the phrase to be taken as neuter and to mean "Evil". This begins to become clear when we realize that if tou ponhrou is neuter, then the phrase rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou means "deliver us from desiring or doing Evil". Why? In the first place, when to ponhron is used as we find it here, i.e., absolutely and not predicatively, it frequently denotes "the evil deed" /84/. In the second place, attached as it is to the petition mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon, the interpretative context of the explicatory phrase rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou is, as we have seen is true of Matt. 6:13a as well as of Matt. 6:9-13 as a whole, the Massah tradition in Ex. 17:1-7; Num. 14; Deut. 6-8, Pss. 78, 95, and 106, as well as the exhortation of Moses to Israel in Deut. 6:10-19. Now, within this tradition, and presupposed within this exhortation, the term to ponhron signifies "desiring and/or doing evil" (cf. Deut. 4:25; cp. Deut 9:18) /85/. In the third place, there is the evidence of 1 Cor. 10:6 (tauta de tupoi hmwn egenhqhsan, eiV to mh einai hmaV epiqumhtaV kakwn, kaqwV kakeinoi epequmhsan). Here we find Paul engaged in the same sort of activity with which Jesus is engaged in Matt. 6:13b, namely, urging upon believers the necessity of their praying to be delivered from "evil" /86/. Notably, here Paul's exhortation that the Corinthians should hope to be delivered from "evil" is an exhortation to hope to be delivered from "doing evil".

But what for Matthew constitutes "desiring and/or doing evil"? I think there is little doubt that it is subjecting God to peirasmoV. It certainly is this in the O.T. Massah tradition which Matthew takes up and uses here in the explicatory phrase. It is specifically what is envisaged by Paul when in his parallel to Matt. 6:13b he exhorts the Corinthians to avoid epiqumhtaV kakwn (cf. 1 Cor. 10:9!). And in the light of Matthew's identification in Matt. 12:39 and Matt. 16:4 of those among Israel who, having seen God's mighty works in Jesus, still seek proof that God is, as Jesus' claims, in their midst, as genea ponhra kai moicaliV (cf. Matt. 12:45), thus recalling the "testing" themes in Ex. 17; Num. 14; Pss. 78, 95), it is this for Matthew as well. So, if tou ponhrou here means "(doing) evil", then to be "delivered" apo tou ponhrou is also to be protected from putting God to the test.

What then does this conclusion mean? If I am correct in assuming that Matt. 6:13b is meant by Matthew to explicate the petition in Matt. 6:13a, then there can be no doubt that kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon originally meant (and was taken to mean) "protect us from repeating the sin of Massah", "from putting you [God] to the test". For if the explicatory phrase alla rusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou means this, then that which it explicates must (at least in Matthew's eyes) do so as well.
 
 

Concluding Remarks

Within one section of his passionately rendered, and lamentably unfinished New Testament Theology, entitled "What did Jesus expect?", Joachim Jeremias summed up all of his studies of the original meaning of kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon with the words: "The petition for protection from succumbing to ... peirasmoV is the desperate cry of faith on trial: preserve us from apostasy, keep us from going wrong" /87/. The evidence examined in the previous pages indicates that in this conclusion Jeremias is absolutely right. It is protection from "going wrong" that is the intended object of the petition. But what also must be concluded in the light of the evidence I have adduced above is that nature of the "going wrong" envisaged within the petition is that of the particular sin that Israel engaged in at Massah, the grumbling and the disobedience that was tantamount to "putting God to the test". Therefore, I submit that the original meaning of Q 11:4 was a cry in which the community of believers asks as a community to be protected by God not from experiencing peirasmoV, but from subjecting God to it.

If this conclusion is correct, it remains for me to indicate how, according to the Jesus of Q, being "led into peirasmoV" and consequently engaging in the activity of "proving God" would flesh itself out. What actually is it in his eyes that the community of believers he has called to be "Sons of God" could do that would be the functional equivalent of Israel's sin at Massah? The answer to this question seems clear whether we see the Jesus who charges his disciples to pray for help not to "test God" as either the Sage or the Deuteronomic prophet of judgement. The community would involve itself in rejecting the call from Jesus that it should regard as "of God", and therefore be bound by, the principle of non-retaliation and especially the constraint to love the enemy. For a posture of non-retaliation and the willingness to love the enemy are together the epitome and the essence of the way in both the Sapiential and the Deuteronomic strands of Q that the community has been charged to show itself faithful to the God it acknowledges as father. They are what Jesus claims at Q 6:26-35 that disciples must commit themselves to if they are to be acknowledged by God as Sons. They are the things which "this generation", the antitype of the community Jesus tries to form, refuses to accept as the path God has ordained for those of Israel to follow. And, as I have shown elsewhere, they are the things which are presumed and identified in the story of Jesus wilderness confrontation with the Devil as what a Son must uphold as God's way in the world in order to avoid "putting God to the test" /88/.

We find then in the petition of Q 11:4b yet another link to the Markan Gethesmane story. For what the Jesus of Q urges the disciples to pray for should they utter the words [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon is a cry not only for help to be kept from "going wrong", but also for the ability to say, as Jesus at Mk. 14:36 does when he is on the verge of rejecting the cross as not "of God", "Father, ...not my will, but yours be done". Perhaps, then, given this link and the independent testimony it gives to the validity of my interpretation of the original Q meaning of Q 11:4b, we are justified in thinking that this interpretation of [Pater (hmwn) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon was also that of Jesus himself.
 
 



Notes:

1. As J.A. Fitzmyer notes (The Gospel according to Luke 10-24 [Garden City/New York: Doubleday, 1985] 898), the use of the first person plural in the petition reveals that within the petition those envisaged as the ones who are "not to be led" are the disciples "in their communal existence as disciples of Jesus" (emphasis Fitzmyer's). No sense of "lead me not" hangs about the petition.

2. I assume here that Q 11:4b is an accurate reproduction in Greek of an authentic dominical saying. For a contrary opinion, see H. Taussig, "The Lord's Prayer," Forum 4 (1988), 25-41, esp. 36-37, M. Goulder, "The Composition of the Lord's Prayer," JTS 14 (1963), 32-45], S. Van Tilborg, "A Form-Criticism of the Lord's Prayer", NovT 14 (1972) 94-105), and J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus (San Francisco: Harper Collins, ), , all of whom argue (though each for different reasons) that the petition is a secondary formulation.

It should be noted, however, that resolution of what Q 11:4b meant in Q does not necessarily resolve the question of what Jesus himself meant when he uttered what the author/compiler of Q reproduced as [Pater (hmwn) . . . kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV . For, as J.S. Kloppenborg has warned us, it is dangerous to follow the notion often advanced by some members of earlier generations of form and source critics that Jesus traditions simply and inevitably precipitated as written documents or that the problems of Q and those of the historical Jesus could be collapsed. It is, he notes, rather "facile" to identify "the interests and social location of those responsible for the composition of Q with those of Jesus and his immediate followers"; for while it would be foolish to deny social and theological continuities between the Jesus and the Q community, one must recognize that "the act of literary composition [such as can be demonstrated within and behind Q] presupposes a social context that is simply not identical with that of the various oral performances of Jesus" ("The Sayings Gospel Q and the Quest for the Historical Jesus", HTR 89 (1996), 307-324, cf. p. 322).

3. C.F.D. Moule, "An Unresolved Problem in the Temptation Clause of the Lord's Prayer", RTR 33 (1974), 65-75; D. McCaughey, "Matthew 6:13a: the 6th petition in the Lord's Prayer", Australian Biblical Review 33 (1985), 31-40; W.M. Buchan, "Recent Research on the Lord's Prayer", ExpT 100 (1989), 336-39.

4. The "first shot" in the Expository Times exchange was made in Vol. 50 (1938-39) by J.N. Hoare ("Lead Us Not into Temptation", 333). The latest has been fired by E. Moore ("Lead Us Not into Temptation", ExpT 102 [1991], 171-172). In between volleys have been thrown in articles by G.B. Verity ("Lead Us Not into Temptation, but ...", ExpT 58 [1946-47]), 221-222), C.L. Richards ("Lead Us Not into Temptation", ExpT 59 [1947-48], 24-25), W. Powell ("Lead Us not into Temptation", ExpT 67 [1955-56], 177-78), M.H. Sykes ("And Do Not Bring Us to the Test", ExpT 73 [1961-62] ), M.B. Walker ("Lead Us Not into Temptation", ExpT 73 [1961-62], 287), P.S. Cameron ("Lead Us Not into Temptation", ExpT 101 [1990], 299-301), and S.E. Porter ("Mt 6:13//Lk 11:4, Lead us not into temptation", ExpT 101 [1990], 359-362).

For a concise survey of the history of scholarly research on the petition, as well as on many other aspects of the prayer of which Q 11:4b is a part, up to 1989, see W.M. Buchan, "Recent Research on the Lord's Prayer", ExpT 100 (1989), 336-39. An extensive bibliography of the monographs and periodical literature devoted to the petition (complied by Mark Harding) can now be found in J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Lord's Prayer and Other Greco-Roman Prayer Texts (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1995), 186-200.

5. What follows is revised version of a paper given at the Autumn 1997 meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research. I wish to express my gratitude to those members (especially Wendy Cotter and Richard Stegner) whose comments and criticisms gave me food for thought on what aspects of the article might need to be revised before its submission for publication. And a special word of gratitude must be expressed to Professor Robert Jewett of Garret Evangelical Seminary. It was a wintery's day conversation with Bob, in which he asked me to tell him what I thought [Pater (hmwn ) ... kai ] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon meant, that was the catalyst for finally getting around to fulfilling the commission to explaining the passage given me long ago by the sorely missed George Caird.

6. On this, see McCaughey, "Matthew 6:13a", 31-32; Porter, "Mt. 6:13 and Lk 11:4: Lead us not into temptation", 360; R.E. Brown, "Pater Noster", 249.

7. Jeremias, The Lord's Prayer (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1964) 28-31.

8. J. Carmignac, Recherches sur le "Nôtre Père" (Paris: Letouzay & Anè, 1969), 236-304, 437-445, following J. Heller, ZKT 25 (1901), 85-93.

9. I.H. Marshall, Commentary on Luke (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 461-462.

10. Especially many of the ancient authorities including Dionysius of Alexandria (P.G. X, 1601) and Hilary of Potiers (Tract. in ps. cxv111, 15 P.L. IX 510).

11. Among the considerations mooted -- considerations which these authors claim arise soley from taking mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon as accurately and transparently reflecting both the wording and the logic of the Semitic original which puportedly stands behind it -- are that (i) the verb employed in the expression means "to penetrate into the interior of", (ii) the phrase eiV peirasmon means "to come fully under the power of" peirasmoV, (iii) the negative particle mh qualifies not the verb but its limiting phrase, and (iv) the expression's causative form (apparent from the use of mh with the aorist subjunctive) has a permissive nuance. Thus the thought of the phrase is not "do not cause us to encounter peirasmoV", but "when we encounter it, cause us not to succumb to peirasmoV".

Now, it should be noted that those who hold this view almost always also assume that the peirasmoV spoken of in Q 11:4b is there thought to be (a) something specifically aimed at the disciples, that is, something they themselves could anticipate becoming the victim of, and (b) the great "final" or "eschatological" trial of the faithfulness of the people of God that some Jewish apocalyptic thinkers predicted would transpire when God decisively established his sovereignty on earth. Indeed, there is a strong case to be made that their conclusions about the meaning of [Pater (hmwn) ... kai] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon are derived more from an a priori acceptance of these assumptions (or that they are argued in order to justify these assumptions) than from a disinterested analysis of the expression's syntax and wording. At any rate, we will see below that these assumptions are highly questionable.

12. So Tertullian (De Oratione 8), Luther (Small Catechism in The Book of Concord. The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1959, 346-348; see also his An Exposition of the Lord's Prayer for Simple Laymen in Devotional Writings , Vol. 42 of Luther's Works [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1969), Calvin (Institutes 1559 3.20.46), Luz (Matthew, 384 n. 103), J. Carmignac (Recherches sur le "Nôtre Père" [Paris: Letouzay & Anè, 1969], 267), H. Seesemann ("peira, ktl.," TDNT 6 [1968], 31), Porter ("Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4", 359), and much devotional literature.

13. So K. Knoke, "Der urspr. Sinn d. 6. Bitte", Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift 18 (1907), 200-220, and A. Harnack, "Zwei Worte Jesu. 1. Zur 6. Bitte des Vaterunser (Mt. 6:13 = Lk. 11:4)", Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschalften zu Berlin (Berlin: 1907), 942-947 (reprinted in A. Harnack, Kline Schriften zur alten Kirche [Leipzig: Zentraluntquariat der Deutchen Demokratiischen Republic, 1980], 830-835), who claim that peirasmoV bears this meaning in the LXX of Deut. 4:34; 7:19; 29:2 and in the NT at Mk. 4:17: Acts 20:19; 1 Peter 1:6. On these texts, see below.

14. So Cameron, "Lead Us Not into Temptation", 301, who consequently sees the petition as meaning "Do not [you, God] judge us according to our deserts, do not bring us into open court where the verdict would be inevitable", a view that makes mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon equivalent to asking God to cover our sins.

15. So most commentators.

16. Seesemann, "peira, ktl.", 31; Moule, "Unresolved Problem", 66-67; Porter, "Mt 6:13//Lk 11:4", 359-360.

17. So, as I have already above, J. Jeremias (The Lord's Prayer, 29; idem., New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus [New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1971], 202), as well as R.E. Brown ("The Pater Noster as an Eschatological Prayer" in New Testament Essays [Garden City: Image/Doubleday, 1968], 275-320, esp. 315-317), E. Lohmeyer (The Lord's Prayer [London: Collins, 1965], 202-203), and many others including A. Schweitzer (Das Messianitäts u. Leidensgeheimnis: eine Skizze des Lebens Jesu [Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1929], 84-86), C.W.F. Smith ("The Lord's Prayer" in IDB Vol. 3 [1962], 157), and K.G. Kuhn ("New Light on Temptation, Sin, and Flesh in the New Testament", in The Scrolls and the New Testament , ed. Krister Stendahl [New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1957], 94-113).

18. The names of commentators, both ancient and modern, who hold this position are far too many to list completely here. But among the earlier ones are Marcion (see Harnack, Marcion: the gospel of the alien God, translated by John E. Steely and Lyle D. Bierma (Durham, N.C.: Labyrinth Press, 1990), 207), Tertullian (De Oratione 8), Origen (De Oratione 29.1-19; 30.1-3), Hilary (In Ps. 118, aleph, 15), Ps.-Ambrose (De Sacramentis 5.4.29); Jerome (In Ezech. 48.16) Cyprian (De Oratione Dominica 25), Augustine (De Serm. dom. in monte 2.9.30), Luther (Small Catechism), Calvin (Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 328-329 in Vol. 1 the English translation by Pringle [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1895). Among the numerous 20th century voices supporting this view are those of W.D. Davies and D. Allison (Matthew [Edinburgh: T.& T. Clark, 1985], 613 n. 51), U. Luz (Matthew 1-7: A Commentary [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989], 384-388; Jeremias (The Lord's Prayer , 28-31); Moule ("Unresolved Problem", passim), Lohmeyer (The Lord's Prayer, 191-208), H.D. Betz (The Sermon on the Mount [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1995], 405-413), G.B. Caird (St. Luke [London: Pelican, 1963], 152), I.H. Marshall (Commentary on Luke [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978], 461).

That orants of the petition have, from at least the third century onwards, generally assumed that it is believers (including themselves individually) whom the petition envisages as the ones potentially engaged with or subjected to peirasmoV, is clear from (a) the various embolisms on the petition that were (and continue to be) offered by a celebrant when the Lord's prayer is recited in various liturgies and from (b) the glosses attached to the petition in both the Eastern and Western catechetical tradition.

For examples of early Byzantine, Syriac, Coptic, and Alexandrine embolisms, as well as instances of Greek and Latin glosses which show the universality of this view among orants of the Lord's Prayer, see G.G. Willis, "Lead Us Not into Temptation", Downside Review 93 (1975), 281-288.

19. C. Jaeger, "A propose de deux passages du sermon sur la montagne", Revue d'historie et de philosophie religieuse 18 (1938), 415-418; R.F. Cyster, "The Lord's Prayer and the Exodus Tradition", Theology 64 (1961), 377-381; C.B. Houk, "PEIRASMOS, the Lord's Prayer, and the Massah tradition [Ex 17:1-7]", SJT 19 (1966), 216-225; K. Grayston, "The Decline of Temptation -- and The Lord's Prayer", SJT 46 (1963), 279-295. The view is noted, but dismissed without real argument, by Porter, "Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4", 359 and by Davies and Allison, Matthew , 613 n. 51.

20. K. Weiss, "eisferw", TDNT 9 (1974), 64-65. Lohmeyer, The Lord's Prayer , 194-195; Grayston, "Decline of Temptation", 279. Contra Carmignac, Recherches , 396; Marshall, Luke, 462.

21. Weiss, "eisferw", 64, n. 2; Porter, "Mt 6:13 and Lk 11:4", 360.

22. As I have noted above (n. 11), the argument for the idea that the Greek expression mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV [peirasmon], which has an unambiguously causative sense, would nevertheless have been taken by speakers or hearers of the phrase as having a permissive nuance, is usually grounded in two claims: (1) that mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV is a translation of a Semitic original that ran very much like w'l tby'nw [bmsh] (so Carmignac, Recherche, 396, arguing that Hebrew would have been the tongue in which Jesus prayed) or wela' tha`elinnan [lenisyon] (so Jeremias, Lord's Prayer, 15, assuming Aramaic as Jesus' prayer speech)--- that is, a phrase with a negated hiphil (aphel) which, given the supposed force of this construction, presented the effect of what was in view in the phrase, and not the main verbal idea, as that which the negative modifies, and therefore had the sense "cause us not to [succumb to...]"; and (2) that the sense of the original Semitic saying would have been perceived in its Greek counterpart.

Now, given the general consensus that Jesus' did not usually teach in Greek, it is reasonable to assume that if Q 11:4b represents authentic dominical tradition, then mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV [peirasmon] is indeed a translation of an Hebrew or an Aramaic expression. But that this expression was one that contained a negated hiphil (aphel), let alone that it read anything like w'l tby'nw [bmsh] or wela' tha`elinnan [lenisyon], is far from certain. The claim that it did seems based not so much on a simple retrojection from the Greek -- since, as Dalman has shown (Die Worte Jesu mit Berücksichtigung des nachkanonischen jüdischen Schrifttums und der aramäischen Sprache erörtert, 3rd. ed [Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich'sche Buchhandlung, 1930], 344-347; see too Willis, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation", p. 282), the Semitic original can be reconstructed with an active/causative nuance -- as it is on a theological apriori which is grounded in (a) the unestablished assumption that the peirasmoV petitioned against in Q 11:4b (in both its Greek and Aramaic/Hebrew forms) is one that is (or will be) experienced by believers and (b) a desire to resolve the theological conundrum that occurs when this assumption is set alongside the Biblical tradition that peirasmoV is not only God authored but something that, for the believer, is unavoidable.

But even assuming that the original Hebrew/Aramaic saying that stands behind the Greek version of Q 11:4b did contain, as Jeremias and others allege (e.g., also J.H. Charlesworth, "The Beth Essentiae and the Permissive Hipel (Aphel)", in H. Attridge, J.J. Collins and T. Tobins [eds.], Of Scribes and Scrolls: Studies on the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental Judaism, and Christian Origins, College Theological Society Resources in Religion 5 (New York and London: Lanham, 1991], 67-78, esp. 78), a negated hiphel (aphel), it does not follow that the saying possessed a permissive nuance. For, as C.W.F. Smith notes ("Lord's Prayer", 157; see also, John Lowe, The Lord's Prayer [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962], 43), Hebrew and Aramaic made little distinction between cause and result. So the claim that the Semitic verb form underlying mh eisenegkhV has a permissive nuance is of little weight as an argument against the expression's having a causative force. Moreover, the claim implicitly attributes a large degree of incompetence to whomever it was who originally framed the Aramaic/Hebrew original of Q 11:4b in the Greek form in which it has come down to us. For if the original form of the petition was an hiphil/aphel with a sense of permitting, then, as Willis notes, "it would have to be said that mh eisenegkhV is not an adequate rendering ("Lead Us Not Into Temptation", 282). But is it not more likely the case that this unknown translator got it right, and that the reason the Greek expression is in causative form is that the Aramaic/Hebrew original underlying it was too?

And if we assume that the Hebrew/Aramaic saying that stands behind the Greek version of Q 11:4b did originally possess a permissive nuance (as argued by Charlesworth, "The Beth Essentiae and the Permissive Hipel [Aphel], 78; see also his "Jewish Prayers in Time of Jesus" in The Lord's Prayer and Other Prayer Texts from the Greco-Roman Era , 36-55, esp. 48 n. 36), it is difficult to think that its Greek form, which contains no notion of "allowability" within it, would have been recognized as having this nuance by any one except those already familiar with both the original Aramaic/Hebrew saying and Hebrew/Aramaic grammar.

23. It should be noted that even if we admit that in Q 4:11b mh with the aorist subjunctive has a permissive nuance and means "let us not", it does not follow, as Jeremias and others claim, that the force of the petition is "Allow us not to become deeply involved in and succumb to". At best, it would simply give the petition the sense of "Guard us from encountering."

24. Lohmeyer, Lord's Prayer, 195.

25. I have chosen this date as the terminus of my diachronic lexicographic examination even though I, in concert with the majority of Q scholars, consider the final date for the compilation of Q to be no later than the 60's of the first century C.E., for two reasons. First, this is latest terminus for composition of the tradition of writings of which Q is a part, i.e. the NT. Second, without some determination of the sense or senses with which peirasmoV was used in literature which is clearly post Q in date, we would otherwise never know if there was any proof against the possible claim that, whatever the lexical evidence/history of usage indicates regarding the semantic range peirasmoV was understood to have up to and contemporary with the date of the final composition of Q, the author/compiler of Q might have abandoned the "traditional" sense or senses and used peirasmoV with a meaning it had not previously borne. But if it can be shown that well into the century after Q was compiled/composed peirasmoV was never or only rarely anywhere used with any meaning other than that with which it was employed in Secular, Biblical, or Biblically related literature written prior to or within the accepted dates of Q's composition, then we will have strong evidence that in Q the noun was not being used with a meaning or meanings other than what contemporary and historically prior usage indicates it bore at the time Q 11:4 was composed.

26. The noun peirasmoV is found most frequently in literature in the Greek biblical tradition where it appears with some frequency. It occurs thirteen times in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Ex. 17:17; Deut. 4:34; 6:16; 7:19; 9:22; 29:3(2); Ps. 94(95):8; and Eccl. 3:10; 4:8; 5:2, 13; 8:16 if we accept as authentic the reading of Alexandrinus in Eccl. 3:10; 4:8; and 8:16 [B and Sinaiticus have perispasµ-V], of Sinaiticus in 5:13 [A and B have perispasµ-V], and of the three main textual witnesses in 5:2. On the Hebrew equivalents of peirasmoV in these instances, see below), seven times in the Apocrypha of the Septuagint (Sir. 2:1; 6:7; 27:5, 7; 36(33):1; 44:20; 1 Macc. 2:52), twice in the Pseudepigrapha (Test. Jos. 2:7; Fragment of Greek Jubilees W on Jub. 10.8 [text in Fragmenta Pseudepigraphorum Quae Supersunt Graeca, A.M. Denis, ed., Vol. 3 of Pseudepigrapha Veteris Testamenti Graece, A.M. Denis and M. DeJonge, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 1970), p. 87]), once in the extant fragments of non-Septuagintal Greek versions of the Hebrew Scriptures (Symmachus, Gen. 44:15), and, not including twenty two times in the New Testament (Matt. 6:13; 26:41; Lk. 8:13; 11:14; 22:40; 46; Acts 15:26 (D E), 20:19; 1 Cor. 10:13 (twice); Gal. 4:14; 1 Tim. 6:9; Heb. 3:18; James 1:2, 12;; 1 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 2:9; Rev. 3:10). In the so called Apostolic literature composed before 150 C.E. peirasmoV appears at least four times: used once in the Didache (Did. 8:2), once in Hermas (Hermas Man. 9:7), once in Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians (Epistula ad Philippenses 7.2.5), once in a fragment of Ignatius' To Polycarp (Fragment 25, from e cod. Florent. Laur. 6.4 [Ad Polycarpum] in J.H. Crehan, "A New Fragment of Ignatius' Ad Polycarpum', Studia Patristica 1 [T. & U.] 63 [1957], p. 24), and nine times if we accept a relatively early date for both the Acts of Paul, where the noun appears four times (Acta Pauli et Theclae 25.6; 25.9; 40.7; Recenscion C Codex E 5.14), and 2 Clement, where peirasmoV appears once (2 Cor. 39.7).

But peirasmoV also occurs in pre-150 C.E. "secular" literature at least ten times. peirasmoV appears once in a section of the work by the (probably) second century B.C.E. grammarian Ptolemaeus of Ascalon entitled De differentia vocabulorum (Sigma 146, according to the enumeration of the work in the edition of De differentia vocabulorum edited by V. Palmieri in Annali della Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia dell' Universita di Napoli 24 [1981-1982] pp. 191-225), once in the preface to the Materia Medica, a work on the medicinal properties of plants and the effects of drugs by the first century C.E. physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides (Mat. Med. Praef. 5.12), once in the Partitiones, a work by the first century Alexandrian grammarian Aelius Herodianus (Partitiones 110.5, ed. J.F. Boissonade, Herodiani paertitiones [London, 1819]), three times in what I take to be a pre-2nd century C.E. commentary by an anonymous author on Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric (In Anonymi in Aristotelis Artem Rhetoricum 98.29 [on Rhet. Book II.iv (1381b) 27]; 102.29 [on Rhet. Book II.v (1383a) 17]; 103.9 [on Rhet. Book II.v.(1383a) 18]), once in an a pre-2nd century anonymous commentary on Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics (Anonymi in Aristotelis Ethica: In Ethica Nichomachea Commentaria 454.10 [on Nichomachean Ethics Book VII.xiii (1153b) 17]), once in an early Scholion on Euripides' Hecuba (Scholia in Eupripdes, sch Hecuba 1226 which appears in cod. Vat. 909), once in the Syntipas (Ed. V. Jernstedt and P. Nikition, Memories de l'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg, 8me Serie, Classe des Sciences historico-philologique, Tome XI. No. 1. (1912), p. 124), an anonymous first century C.E. Arabian Nights, and once in the Cyranides (Bibloi KuranideV or KoiranideV) (Cf. F. de Mely and C.-E Ruelle, Les Lapidaries de l'antiquite et du moyen age, II: Le Lapidaries grecs, (1898) Sec. 40.24), a first century C.E. work on magical curative powers of plants, stones, and animals.

If we were to cast our net even wider to include Biblically related literature composed before the end of the second century C.E., then our number of occurrences of the noun in early Christian literature would increase by at twenty additional instances. For peirasmoV is used twice in the Acts of John (at 21.13 in the main text and 16.6 in the Recension), eight times in the writings of Clement of Alexandria (at Protrepticus 9.84.3; Stromata 1.9.44; 1.17.86; 4.6.41; 4.7.47 (a quotation from 1 Peter); 4.20.129 (a quotation of 1 Peter); 7.12.76; Excerpta ex Theodoto 4.84.1), and ten times in the later Pseudo Clementines (Epistle of Clement to James 2.3; 14.3; Hom. 2 39.1; Hom. 16 13.2; 13.5; 21.4; Hom. 18 20.2; 20.4; Epitome Prior 145.10 [= Epistle of Clement to James 2.3]; Epitome Altera 146.6 [= Epistle of Clement to James 2.3).

27. For a defense of the following, see J.B. Gibson, The Traditions of the Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity (Oxford D.Phil. Thesis, 1993), .

28. So also, after reviewing the linguistic evidence, Moule, "An Unresolved Problem", 70-71 and J.V. Dahms "Lead Us Not Into Temptation", JETS 17 (1974), 223-230.

29. Contra Knoke and Harnack who, as I noted above (see note 13), claimed that peirasmoV bears this sense in Deut 4:34; 7:19; 29:2; Mk. 4:17, Acts 20:19 and 1 Peter 1:16. Now apart from the fact that peirasmoV does not at all appear at Mk. 4:17 (Knoke and Harnack are obviously reading this text in the light of its parallel in Lk. 8:13, on which, see below), the very most all these texts seem to show with respect to the meaning of the noun is that it sometimes possessed connotations of "ordeal". But no air of the idea of "retribution" hangs about them.

30. Contra Cameron, "Lead Us Not into Temptation", 301.

31. My conclusion regarding the exclusion of "seduction" from the semantic range of peirasmoV is still sometimes disputed even by those who are aware of both the linguistic evidence I have produced above and the inference that anyone who operates on the meaning=use principle must draw from it. For while it is admitted in principle that the evidence of usage militates strongly against any idea that during and up to well after the time of the composition of Q peirasmoV bore the meaning "temptation", the noun would still have been regarded in the period under review as bearing this sense because the verb peirazw, from which peirasmoV is derived, was used then to mean "to seduce", "to entice to evil".

But save from the possible exceptions of James 1:13 (mhdeiV peirazomenoV legetw oti apo qeou peirazomai: o gar qeoV apeirastoV estin kakwn, peirazei de autoV oudena) and the Greek Anthology 12.213 (tw toicw keklikaV thn osfua thn periblepton, Kuri. ti peirazeiV ton liqon; ou dunatai), there is to my knowledge not a single instance of peirazw (or, notably, its closest cognate, ekpeirazw) in all of Greek secular, Biblical, or biblically related literature composed before 200 C.E in which the verb bears this sense. (For a [now slightly dated] listing of these instances in Classical and pre-third Greek literature [based on the data in the TLG C disk], see the section entitled "Appendix: Instances of the Verb peirazw in Classical and Hellenistic Greek", in my The Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity [Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995], 325-326. On the contrary, its semantic range seems entirely confined to either (a) "to try to do something" - and this exclusively when peir-zw is used intransitively or with a verbal object (cf., e.g., Apollonius Rhodius, Agonautica 1.495; Polybius, Hist 8.4.7.3 Deut. 4:34; Aquila, Deut. 28:56 Acts 9:26; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 4.12.85) - or (b) "to test someone or something", "to put to the proof" (cf. e.g., Aesop, Fabulae 234, Anacreontea 28.12; 33.14; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 2.58.5 among instances from "secular" writers; Gen. 22:1; Ex. 17:2, 7; Deut. 8:2; Is. 7:12; Dan. 1:12, 14; 12:10; among instances from the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Wis. 1:2; 2:17, 24; 3:5; 11:9; Sir. 4:17; 13:11; Tobit 12:13; Judith 8:12, 25, 26 among instances from the LXX of the Apocrypha, (iii) 4 Macc. 9:7; 4 Macc. 15:16 [A]; Aristeas the Exegete in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica 9.25.1-4 as the instances from the Pseudepigrapha, (iv) Symmachus, Gen. 44:15; Deut. 33:8; Mal. 3:10; Theodotion, Dan. 1:12, 14 as the instances in the non Septuagintal Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, (v) John 6:6; 8:6; Acts 5:9; 15:10; 1 Cor. 7:5; 10:9, 13; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:1; 1 Thes. 3:5 (twice); Heb. 2:18 (twice); 3:9; 4:15; 11:17, 39; Rev. 2:2, 10 among NT instances, and (vi) Hermas Sim. 7:1; 8:2.7; Ignatius Mag. 7:1; Egerton Papyrus 2, fragment 2 recto, lines 44-59; Logion 91 of the Gospel of Thomas (twice); Martyrdom of Paplus and Agathonice 19.2; Justin's Dialogue with Trypho 103.6; 125.4; Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 9.84.3; 10.95.2 among instances of peirazw meaning "to test", to "put to the proof" in other pre-third century C.E. Christian literature).

Moreover, even if peirazw means "to tempt" in Greek Anthology 12.213, the text is, compared to Q 11:4b, relatively late, and therefore of dubious weight in the argument for seeing the peirasmoV referred to in Q 11:4b as meaning "temptation".

But, even more importantly, we should note that if in James 1:13 peirazw does actually mean "to entice to sin", then instead of confirming the idea that at Q 11:4b peirasmoV means "temptation" "seduction into sin", James 1:13 actually stands as evidence that peirasmoV in Q 11:4b cannot be construed as having this meaning. For the peirasmoV refereed to in Q 11 4:b is, as we have seen, given the meaning and intent of the phrase kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV, something into which God could lead the orants of Q 11:4b, and James 1:13 insists that God "tempts" no one!

32. Cameron's claim that part of the semantic range of peirasmoV is this forensic idea is grounded in an argument that formally is parallel to that used by those who assert that the noun still means "seduction" despite no known instance in which it is used with this sense. That is to say, he argues from the "fact" that the noun's verbal cognate peirazw possessed the meaning of "being judged in a court" to the conclusion that the verb's meaning would therefore have also been that of the noun. The problem here, however, is that, as the evidence adduced in the previous note indicates, no such notion of "to subject to forensic judgement" ever hangs about peirazw.

33. Lord's Prayer, 29; New Testament Theology, 202.

34. Matthew, 613-614.

35. Lord's Prayer, 202-203.

36. "The Pater Noster as an Eschatological Prayer", 315-317.

37. Luz, Matthew, 384.

38. R.H. Gundry, Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 872.

39. Luz, Matthew, 384. So also Carmingac, Recherche, 340-341.

40. "Unresolved Problem", 67.

41. Perhaps we should also note the implications of the fact, pointed out by Schuyler Brown, that those whom the seer says are to experience the particular peirasmoV spoken of in Rev. 3:10, namely, "the inhabitants of the earth" (touV katoikountaV epi thV ghV), are actually the persecutors of the church (S. Brown, "The Hour of Trial [Rev. 3:10]", JBL 85 [1966], 309). So here the evidence indicates that even should peirasmoV mean "the final test of apocalyptic expectation", Rev. 3:10 implies that this test was viewed as something that the enemies of believers, not believers themselves, would experience (not to mention that it is only the Philadelphians, and not Christians in general, who are promised protection from the fallout of their enemies being "tried").

42. It might, of course, be countered that Luke, at least, does indeed do this, if only indirectly, and therefore provides a witness to what the noun in Q 11:4b was intended to mean. After all, as Marshall (Luke, 326) and Seesemann ("peira, ktl.", 31) note, Luke's substitution of en kairw peirasmou for Mark's (genomenhV) qliyewV in his redaction of Mark's parable of the Sower (cf. Mk. 4:17; compare Lk. 8:13) seems to indicate that Luke regards qliyiV and peirasmoV as synonymous. But, even if so (see, S. Brown, Apostasy and Perseverance, 14-15, who marshals arguments to show that Luke did not regard qliyiV and peirasmoV as synonymous terms; and H. Conzelmann (The Theology of St. Luke [New York: Harper & Row, 1961], 90) who argues that at 8:13 Luke has substituted peirasmoV for Mark's qliyiV in order to avoid a term with eschatological associations!), we should note that the qliyiV/peirasmoV Luke speaks of at Lk. 8:13 is not the "final test" and is not grounded in a/the crisis brought about by the apocalyptic woes of the "end times". Rather, since the qliyiV which Luke refers to is a qliyewV h diwgmou dia ton logon, that is, as Marshall also notes (Luke, 326), one which occurs as the believer tries during "ordinary times" to live a life of faithfulness, it is one arising from the persecution of believers which is envisaged as occurring well before the onset of the end of the age and therefore is hardly eschatological. So it is not likely, even if Luke viewed peirasmoV as a cipher for qliyiV, that he viewed or intended the peirasmoV of Lk. 11:4b to be seen as the expected final qliyiV.

43. The same may be said of the cognates of peirasmoV, peirazw and ekpeirazw, as well as of the noun's synonym, dokimasia. In "Biblical" usage peirazw and ekpeirazw are associated with the topos of "men testing God" (Ex. 17:2, 7; Deut. 6:16 [twice]; Num. 14:22; Jdgs. 6:39; Is. 7:12; Ps. 77[78]:18, 41, 56; Ps. 94[5]:9; Wis. 1:2; Sir. 18:23; Judith 8:12) almost as frequently as that of "God testing men" (Gen. 22:1; Ex. 15:25; 16:4; 20:20; Deut. 8:2, 16; 13:3; 33:8; Jdgs. 2:22; 3:1, 4; 2 Chron. 32:31; Ps. 25(26):2; 34(35):16; Dan. 12:10; Wis. 2:17, 24; 3:5; 11:9; Sir. 4:17; 13:11; 31(34):10; 37:27; Tobit 12:13; Judith 8:25; 26).

And while it is true that dokimasia is often linked in usage antecedent to, or contemporary with, Q 11:4b to the idea of peirasmoV = "the testing of a believer's faithfulness", that is, a "testing experienced by believers" (cf. Ps. 26 (25 LXX):2-3), the noun and its cognates are also frequently linked in synonimity with peirasmoV = "the testing of God", e,g., in Heb. 3; Ps. 95(94 LXX):9.

44. This also is the import of the contexts of the Biblical and intertestamental instances of the cognates peirazw and ekpeirazw.

45. The text of Judith is instructive:

 

25In spite of everything let us give thanks to the Lord our God, who is putting us to the test as he did our forefathers. 26Remember what he did with Abraham, and how he tested Isaac, and what happened to Jacob in Mesopotamia in Syria, while he was keeping the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother. 27For he has not tried us with fire, as he did them, to search their hearts, nor has he taken revenge upon us; but the Lord scourges those who draw near to him, in order to admonish them."
 

46. pasan caran hghsasqe, adelfoi mou, otan peirasmoiV peripeshte poikiloiV. Cf. James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:6.

Pertinent here is the judgement of C. Spiqc ("peira, ktl.", in his Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, 3 Vols. [Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1994], vol. 3, p. 88), who sees that behind the New Testament usage of peirasmoV with men as its object lies a conception of "testing of the faithfulness of a believer" which centers in the experience of hardships which may occur in varied forms and with greater or lesser intensity at any time in a believer's life but which, even when it appears in it's most pronounced form, namely, "tribulation" - "painful and dangerous personal or social conditions that put the everyone's faithfulness to the test", is always thought to be providential. It is:

 

a test of a Christian's authenticity [and] for the participants in Christ's suffering ... it is a purification, like that of metal in a furnace. This marvelous fruitfulness makes it possible to understand that for a believer under the new covenant the most dangerous and painful peirasmos can be a source of joy and even gladness; [indeed] Jesus had commanded to bear fruit by persevering."
 

47. neminem intemptatum regna caelestia consecuturum. For discussion and a defense of the authenticity of the saying, see J. Jeremias, Unknown Sayings of Jesus (London: SPCK, 1964, 73-74).

48. "Unresolved Problem", 71.

49. Noted, if only indirectly, by J. Schniewind, in his remarks that the petition confronts us with an insoluble contradiction of thought (Das Evangelium nach Matthäus [Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1964], 88).

50. Smith, "The Lord's Prayer", 157.

51. Smith, "The Lord's Prayer", 157. Smith's "solution" is also that of Lohmeyer (Lord's Prayer, 203-209) and R.E. Brown ("Pater Noster", 316-317), Jeremias (Lord's Prayer, 29), and for the same reasons. Like Smith, Lohmeyer/Brown/Jeremias recognize that since a believer's undergoing of peirasmoV is so often viewed in both the OT and NT as salutary, and that consequently praying for escape from experiencing peirasmoV is not biblical, what the petition has to have in mind is a type of peirasmoV which, given its nature, was perceived to be more likely, if experienced, to result in the fall, rather than the exaltation, of the believer. The intertestamental and NT notion of "the final testing", they argue, admirably fills the bill, since, as such texts as Mk. 13:19-20, Mk 14:38, Rev. 3:10, and Matt. 6:13b purportedly show, it is during this "eschatological testing" that all the forces of Satan will be unleashed in one final and almost irresistible onslaught against the elect of God. Who would not wish, they ask, to be spared this test?

52. "Unresolvable Problem", 75 (emphasis Moule's).

53. Betz, Sermon on the Mount, 410.

54. Moule, "Unresolved Problem", 75.

55. Moule's observation that there really is no sense in praying for exemption from peirasmoV if the peirasmoV in the petition is taken as a "testing to be experienced by believers" -- indeed, that taking peirasmoV to have this meaning, renders the petition illogical, if not absurd, and that it therefore cannot be what Q (or Matthew and Luke) thought Jesus was saying when he urged his disciples to urge God mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon -- is supported by the peculiar way the petition is (mis)transmitted in the manuscript tradition or glossed by early commentators. For instance, Marcion reproduces it as "Do not suffer us to be led into 'testing' (kai mh afeV hmaV eisenecqhnai eiV peirasmon), a gloss which appears again in the early third century in a fragment of a work by Dionysis, Bishop of Alexandria and pupil of Origen, who, when commenting on how the petition is to be understood, says, "that is, do not suffer us to fall into 'testing'" (kai dh kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon: toutesti, mh eashV hmaV empesein eiV peirasmon, Dion. Alex., P.G. X, 1601). Tertullian rendered it "Do not allow us to be led into 'testing' by him who 'tests' (the Devil)" ("Ne nos inducas in temptationem, id est, ne nos patiaris induci ab eo utique qui temptat", De Orat 8) and Cyprian recites it in the form "do not suffer us to be induced into 'testing' (et ne patiaris nos induci in temtationem"). In Codex Bobbiensis and the Itala we find "ne passus fueris induci nos in temptationem", and Chromatius of Aquila, Jerome, Augustine, and various Western liturgies gloss it as "Do not lead us into testing which we cannot bear" ("et ne nos inferas in temptationem quam suffere non possumus"/"ne inducas nos in temptationem quam ferre non possumus") (On this, see Willis, "Lead Us Not into Temptation", 281-288; A.J.B. Higgins, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Some Latin Variants", JTS (O.S) 46 (1945), 179-183.

The types of changes that appear in the tradition of variants, namely, (a) a qualification of the nature of the peirasmoV in view or (b) a transmutation of the plainly causative force of the petition into one which is permissive, testify to the immense difficulty that taking peirasmoV in Q 11:4b to mean "a test of a believer's faithfulness" originally presented to any one who was trying to make sense of the petition. Indeed, As Betz notes (Sermon on the Mount, 408-409), it is precisely this difficulty that stands as the motive force behind the attempts of both Jeremias and Carmignac, noted above, to show that kai mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmoV has a permissive sense and is to be taken as originally meaning "cause us not to succumb to peirasmoV".

56. B. Gerhardsson, The Testing of God's Son (Matt 4:1-11 & Par), (Lund: C.W.L. Gleerup, 1966), 28.

57. On this, see .H. Houk, "PEIRASMOS, the Lord's Prayer, and the Massah tradition", 222-223. See also R.F. Cyster, "The Lord's Prayer and the Exodus Tradition", Theology 64 (1961), 377-381. Houk draws attention to the parallels between (1) the petition in Q 11:2 that God's name be hallowed (agiasqhtw to onoma sou) and Exod 19, with its notice of the restriction on the people not to go up the mountain with Moses as he journeys to receive the Law; (2) the petition that God's Kingdom come (elqatw h basileia sou) and the divine declaration at Exod. 19.5-6 that Israel "shall be my own possession among all peoples ... and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation"; (3) the "bread" petition and the account in Exod. 16:4-5 of the giving of manna in the wilderness; and (5) the petition in Q 11:4a that God forgive the petition's orants their sins (kai afeV hmin taV amartiaV hmwn) and the Exodus incident of Moses pleading with God to forgive the sins Israel committed in creating and worshipping the golden calf (Exod. 32:30-35).

58. The text reads:

 

10"And when the LORD your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build, 11and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full, 12then take heed lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 13You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name (kai proV auton kollhqhsh kai tw onomati autou omh). 14You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you; 15for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.... 17You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you.
 

59. ouk ekpeiraseiV kurion ton qeon sou, on tropon exepeirasasqe en tw Peirasmw ..

60. eurisketai toiV mh peirazousin auton, emfanizetai de toiV mh apistousin autw.

61. skolioi gar logismoi cwrizousin apo qeou, dokimazomenh te h dunaµiV elegcei touV afronaV.

62. As is argued by Jeremias, The Lord's Prayer, , R.E. Brown, "The Lord's Prayer as an Eschatological Prayer", , and many others.

63. See J.S. Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q: Trajectories in Ancient Wisdom Collections (Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1987).

64. A. Jacobson, The First Gospel: An Introduction to Q (Sonoma, Cal.: Polebridge Press, 1992).

65. On this, see J.D. Kingsbury, Jesus Christ in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981), 20.

66. Kloppenborg, Formation of Q, . See also, Kloppenborg, "The Sayings Gospel Q and the Quest for the Historical Jesus", .

67. Jacobson, The First Gospel, .

68. See, e.g. Sir. 18:23.

69. Seesemann, "peira, ktl.", 27-28; Gerhardsson, The Testing of God's Son, 28-30.

70. As R.E. Brown (The Death of the Messiah, 2 Vols. [New York: Doubleday, 1994], Vol. 1, p. 197), following H.G. Meecham ("The imperatival use of ina in the New Testament", JTS 43 [1942], 179-80) notes, ina in Mk. 14:38 is epexegetical and therefore, in signifying that the phrase mh elqhte eiV peirasmon is the content of what Jesus commands his disciples to pray, makes Mk. 14:38 both a parallel and an allusion to the tradition contained in Q 11:4b. On Mark's proseucesqe, ina mh elqhte eiV peirasmon as the imperatival form of the invocation [kai] mh eisenegkhV hmaV eiV peirasmon, see, Seesemann ("peira, ktl.", 32) and Houck (PEIRASMOS, The Lord's Prayer, and The Massah Tradition", 221-222).

71. Contra J. Carmignac, ""Fais que nous n'entrions pas dans la tentation'", RB 72 (1965), 218-226; R.E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah, Vol. 1, p. 159.

72. Grayston, "The Decline of Temptation", 292.

73. See also 1 Sam. 25:26 and 25:33 where mh elqein eiV aimata (aqwon) means "not committing murder"; Dan. 3:2, where the Royal command of Nebuchadnezzar to his satraps, prefects, and the governors, counselors, treasurers, justices, magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces elqein eiV ton egkainismon thV eikonoV thV crushV, hn esthse Naboucodonosor o basileuV is a command to participate in this dedication ceremony.

74. Matt. 24:42; 25:13; Mk. 13:34-37; Lk. 21:36. See also 1 Peter 5:8.

75. On this, see T.J. Geddert, Watchwords: Mark 13 in Markan Eschatology (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1989). W.L. Lane, The Gospel According to Mark (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), 520.

76. Lane, Mark, 520; Kuhn,'New Light on Temptation, Sin, and Flesh in the New Testament', 94-113.

77. Notably, this conclusion follows even if the Markan tradition is dependent upon or is derived directly from Q. In the first place, why would Mark give the petition the sense that it has for him if he did not see it as originally meaning "pray not to test God"? In the second place, neither Matthew nor Luke, who each reproduce Mark's scene of Jesus urging his disciples to pray "not to enter peirasmoV (Matt. 26:41; Lk. 22:40, cf. Lk. 22:46), disagree with Mark in presenting the object of this prayer as help in refraining from putting God to the test (note that in both Matthew and Luke, the occasion for Jesus urging his disciples to "pray not to enter peirasmoV is the disciples' refusal to be willing to "stay awake" and to "watch" and Jesus' anticipation that they will abandon him, and thus reject as "of God" how he has called them to follow him). Should we not have expected them to have done so if they understood the petition which Mk. 14:38 mirrors to have had a meaning other than that which it has in the Markan account?

78. Also in the text of Lk. 11:4 according to Sinaiticus1 A C D R and other witnesses.

79. On this, see especially J.B. Lightfoot, Appendix II, "The Last Petition of the Lord's Prayer" in the 3rd. edition of his On A Fresh Revision of the English New Testament (London: Macmillan, 1891), 307-309.

80. Cf. e.g., Carmignac (Recherche, 315), Manson ("Lord's Prayer", ), Lohmeyer (Lord's Prayer, 210-17), Jeremias (Lord's Prayer, ), Sykes ("And Do Not Bring Us to the Test", 190), Davies and Allison (Matthew 1: 614-615), F.W. Chase (The Lord's Prayer in the Early Church [Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Partristic Literature, 1.3; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891), 71-146; J. Blekensopp ("Apropos of the Lord's Prayer", Heythrop Journal 3 [1962], 57 n.1), J.B. Bauer ("Libera nos a malo", Verbum Domini 34 [1956], 12-15), E. Schweitzer (The Good News According to Matthew [Richmond, Va.: John Knox Press, 1975], 156-157).

81. On the interpretation of the phrase by the Latin Fathers, both before and after Augustine, see Lightfoot, "The Last Petition of the Lord's Prayer", 315-319. Modern advocates of tou ponhrou as neuter include Schniewind (Matthäus, 88-89), H. Schurmann (Das Gebet des Hernn [Freiburg: Herder, 1958], 99-102), D. Hill (The Gospel of Matthew [London: Oliphants, 1972], 139), and G. Harder ("ponhroV, ponhria", TDNT 6 [1968], 560-561), who offers a full discussion of arguments for and against both readings of the phrase.

82. On this, see my Temptations of Jesus , .

83. See also Matthew's story of Jesus' confrontation with Satan at Matt. 16:13-23 where Jesus, in his rebuke to Peter (Matt. 16:23), also declares that getting God's faithful to engage in putting God and his ways to the test stands behind much of Satan's activity.

84. Lightfoot, "The Last Petition of the Lord's Prayer", 276. G. Harder, "ponhroV, ponhria", TDNT 6 (1968), 548-549, 552, 561-562: "the bad which one might plan or do against someone", "the wicked act which men do to someone'.

85. Harder, "ponhroV, ponhria", 551.

86. Here the term for "evil" is kakon, a synonym of to ponhron. Cf. Harder, "ponhroV, ponhria.",     .

87. New Testament Theology, 129.

88. Gibson, Temptations of Jesus in Early Christianity, .


© 1998 Jeffrey Gibson. This paper was prepared for the Q Section of the SBL Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, November 1998. It is not to be reproduced wholly or in part without written permission from the author.

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