From: Glenn Blank (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jun 01 2001 - 16:27:09 EDT
I had written,
>> > What is explicit in the text [Mark 1:13] is that Satan is
>> > presented as the agent of PEIRAZAMENOS (hUPO SATANA), and from Matthew
>> > Luke we learn that the PEIRASMOS involved enticement to do evil. That
>> > to me to be the definition of "temptation."
>> It may be what the definition of temptation is. But the question is
whether or not
>> "temptation" is an adequate or justified translation of PEIRASMOS!
That is in fact the question I was attempting to answer by showing that all
three of the semantic components normally associated with "temptation"
(Satan as agent; enticement; to do evil) are also found in NTG contexts
using PEIRASMOS, which would suggest that it is a justified translation.
>>This is a common reading. But it seems belied by the fact that each of the
>>Jesus is asked to do (call upon God to, as is his right as son to do, to
>>with sustenance from rocks, . . .
You seem to be suggesting that the component of "to do evil" is not
necessarily present here. But the third PEIRASMON (EAN PESWN PROSKUNHSHiS
MOI "if you will fall down and worship me" Matthew 4:9) certainly was *not*
his right as son to do. But even the first two, although note evil actions
in themselves, were contrary to God's will for Jesus at that time and in
that way evil.
The same objective, to entice to evil, is born out in your citation of the
Midrash on Genesis 22, which your said shows "how the Devil goes about his
task of determining the faithfulness of the pious." But clearly his
objective is not only to find out how faithful they are but is in fact to
get them to do evil, as you said earlier in the preceding paragraph,
"attempt by the Devil to sway the one he `tests' from obedience to a divine
command," which would be evil by virtue of disobedience.
But I have interrupted you! Your main point, I think, is not an objection
to the "to do evil" component, but a problem with the "enticing" component
-- that the devil's "MO," when he is
>engaged in put[t]ing the pious `to the test', does so first by posing as
>one privy to the divine counsel and then attempts to get the pious to break
>faithfulness to God, and turn aside from obeying him, by bringing them to
>what God has commanded them to do (or put their trust in) is not really `of
>If this is enticement, it is an enticement of a different horse altogether.
Do I understand you correctly that when we understand enticement as it
relates to "temptation," it involves an appeal to the person's desires,
whereas PEIRASMON involves not an appeal to one's desires but instead
But Satan's appeals to Jesus certainly did involve his own desires: a
desire to satisfy hunger and a desire to take possession of the kingdoms of
the earth. But if am following your argument correctly, you would say that
although this element of appeal to desire happens to be in a few of the
contexts containing PEIRASMON, it is not in a significant enough percentage
of its contexts to conclude that that element is a part of the meaning of
PEIRASMON itself? Am I on target?
Would it be fair to say that we have these semantic components to consider
1) Agent: Satan
2) Activity: testing faithfulness
3) Means: enticement vs. deception vs. appeal to one's desires
4) Objective: to cause the person to sin;
and that of the above, only 2) is present in the meaning of PEIRASMON, and
the rest must be supplied by the context, with God as a possible alternative
to 1) and "to confirm one's faithfulness" or "to strengthen one's faith" as
possible alternatives to 4)?
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