From: Mark Goodacre (
Date: Mon Jun 30 1997 - 11:14:40 EDT

I have a couple of points to add on this one. First, I was brought
up in the Anglican Church where up until its replacement by the ASB
in 1980, the Series 3 communion service featured the line 'Do not
bring us to the time of trial' - but this was dropped in the ASB
(Alternative Service Book), presumably because it was not much liked.

Second, Ben Crick commented on the meaning of PEIRASMOS in context in
Luke. I am much in favour of this kind of exegesis - I think that it
is always advisable first to look for the meaning of the word
elsewhere in the book(s) in which the passage occurs.

However, in this case, Matthew shares the word and he has it only
twice in his Gospel. The other occasion is Matt. 26.4, GRHGOREITE
14.38 (only occurrence of the word in Mark) and Luke 22.46. It is
interesting that the clause in so similar to that in the Lord's
Prayer, with reference also to praying.

In Gethsemane, are they to pray that they avoid the 'final
eschatological trial'? Perhaps, but there are all sorts of ways one
could interpret it. Is it that they are praying to avoid entering
persecution, i.e. that they may not have to go through what Jesus is
about to go through? Or are they praying to avoid temptation to sin,
to flee, to fall away (as they do in Mark)?

Certainly one cannot ignore the links between Gethsemane and the
Lord's Prayer. The language of one has influenced the other in some
way. Note also Matt. 26.42, PATER MOU (cf. 'Our Father etc.),
GENHQHTW TO QELHMA SOU (identical to Matt. 6.10).

I would like to comment also on the following from Jonathan Robie:

>2. Eschatological teachings or warnings of future trials don't
>really seem to be what the rest of the Sermon on the Mount is about,
>or what the rest of The Lord's Prayer is about. Eschatology seems to
>come in during the late teachings of Christ, not this early in his

I am not so sure. There is some emphasis on persecution in the
Sermon on the Mount - especially the last beatitude (5.10) and its
explication (5.11-12), the theme also of the 'Love your enemies'
section (5.43-48). And persecution is often associated in this
Gospel and elsewhere with 'future trials' (Matt. 24, Mark 13 etc.).

I would be a little wary too about talking about 'the late teachings'
or 'early teachings' of Jesus. I think that one can know where
teachings come in the Gospels, but it is not so straightforward to
pinpoint them in reconstructions of the ministry of Jesus, to say the

Good wishes,


Dr Mark Goodacre
Department of Theology
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Tel.: 0121 414 7512 Email:
Fax.: 0121 414 6866

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:20 EDT