From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sun Jun 29 1997 - 18:25:23 EDT

OK, once again I'm really impressed by how much y'all know, and I'm really
grateful for all that you've said. I have now gone from having no reasonable
way to interpret it to having too many reasonable ways to interpret it, and
they keep coming!

IMHO, there are a few things that seem to argue against the view that hO
PEIRASMOS is being used in an eschatological sense, for the time of the
betrayal of Jesus, or for the great tribulation of 66-70 AD:

1. In Matthew 6, the phrase does not seem to have a great deal of emphasis
or to need any explanation, and I would think that both would be in order
for hO PERISASMOS if it had one of those senses. Instead, Jesus moves from
forgiveness, brings in temptation, then returns to emphasize and explain the
part about forgiveness: Matt 6:12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also
have forgiven our debtors 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver
us from evil. 14 "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive
men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

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 later
teachings of Christ, not this early in his teachings. (I could be way wrong
on this, and if so, I count on some of you to point out where...)

I also have a question about how you all perceive the Greek: to me, if KAI
MH EISENEGKHiS hHMAS EIS PEIRASMON meant "tempting God" or "bringing God to
the test", I would have expected KAI MH EISENEGKHiS hHMAS EIS PEIRASENAI SOU
or something like that (who knows if I got that grammar right...). Although
I *could* construe KAI MH EISENEGKHiS hHMAS EIS PEIRASMON to mean "into
tempting/testing God", it doesn't feel like the most natural interpretation
for the phrase. I'm wondering if we would choose the phrase to mean that if
we weren't struggling with what it appears to mean on the surface...



Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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