Translation Help on Lord's Prayer
Thu, 23 May 1996 11:13:33 -0500 (CDT)

I need some translation assistance from you readers of Greek.
In Matthew 6:9-13, the Lord's prayer, there are two words on which I'd like
your comment. The last two lines of the prayer, conventionally rendered,
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,"
are also translated,
"And do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil
Are the Greek words, translated alternately as temptation/final test and
evil/evil one, referring to abstract ideas or to definite things? Is
this language general/universal/quotidien, or is it specific/eschatological/
apocalyptic? Which, if either, translation connotes the original sense?
I am teaching a Literature of the Bible course in which we are tracing
the development of the idea of embodied evil. Is Jesus here referring to
the evil one or to evil itself?
Katherine Downey
University of Texas at Dallas