From: Jeffrey Gibson (
Date: Sun Jun 29 1997 - 00:47:24 EDT

On Sat, 28 Jun 1997, Jack Kilmon wrote:

> The question is whether the Greek
> of PEIRASMON refers to our asking the Father to exclude us (the
> faithful) from
> that final horrible apocalyptic testing or whether it is a petition for
> everyday
> tests of"wrongful thinking."


As you may have gathered if you saw my previous posting on the topic you
have been discussing, the issue in the interpretation of Matt 6:13//Luke
11:4 is not the meaning of the phrase "lead us not" but of PEIRASMON, and,
even more importantly, of who it is who is "testing" whom. Even assuming
that envisaged here is a "testing" (directly or ultimately initiated) by
God of believers - as parallels to the petition in contemporary Jewish
Synagogal prayers, T.B.Ber. 60b, and 11 QPs 24.11ff might indicate -,
there is little evidence to suggest that PEIRASMOS here = a final
eschatological testing (we should expect to see TON PEIRASMON) and EVEN
LESS that it means "wrongful thinking". There is not a single instance in
Biblical or non Biblical Greek usage of the substantive PEIRASMOS where it
even comes close to this. Rather, it always means "a trial", a "test", a
"prooving", especially through affliction or hardship. Nor do any of the
Hebrew terms for which the LXX translators used PEIRASMOS as their Greek
equivalent ever come close what you suggest the term means. In the LXX and
NT it DOES, however, often render the name of the place where the
Israelites provoked God and put him to the test to see whether he was with
them or not (cf. Ex 17), or to call to mind that event (Ps 95.) - a fact
which lends credence to the idea I suggested previously that PEIRASMON in
Matt 6:13//Lk 11:4 refers to a "testing" of God by believers.

On what evidence do you support your claim about the meaning of the term?

Jeffrey Gibson

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