What does “temptation” mean in the gospel …
Today, news feeds are full of reports that the Pope Francis has approved changes in the Italian translation of the Our Father prayer. In the new edition, the words “do not lead us into temptation” will be replaced by “do not let us fall into temptation.” He spoke about the need to change the text as early as 2017: “God does not lead to temptation, but helps you to rise immediately after a fall … This is a bad translation, because it speaks of God, who inclines to temptation. But the one who encourages temptation is Satan, this is the role of Satan. ” Previously, changes were made to the French translation. The reaction of Catholics, of course, turned out to be quite ambiguous.
In my opinion, the previous translation was not unsuccessful, but it really could be misinterpreted as if God intentionally substituted a tripping for a person. Slavic text is a literal translation from Greek and, if properly understood, is perfect. My main thesis: the word “temptation” should be understood not so much as the action of the subject, but as a designation of space.
How is the word "temptation" understood in the Gospel?
1) “Do not lead us into temptation.”
Let us turn to the final petition of the prayer of our Father. If they ask for “do not enter,” doubt may creep in from someone, it means that God “introduces” after all … By the way, the second part is omitted in the Gospel of Luke (11: 4), but in many manuscripts there is no “but deliver us from Evil ".
First of all, it makes sense to read this petition as a whole "do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One." Similarly, it is necessary to read the entire previous request – “leave us our debts, as we leave our debtors”, in order to see the internal logic of the phrase in which the thought unfolds in a certain way. "Do not enter us … and pull us out of …".
It remains an open question how to translate the ending – “from the evil one”, “from the evil one”, “from evil”, “from evil”. Anyone knows that the evil one, known by his traditional names "devil" (sower of strife, balamut) and "Satan" (enemy), acts as the tempter. In the Gospel of Matthew, he acts as a tempter in the episode of the three temptations of Christ in the wilderness. So, you should certainly keep both parts of the petition in mind.
2) Who tempts in the Old Testament?
The word "temptation" is quite difficult to understand modern man. In modern language, “temptation” is most often understood as temptation, seduction. One does not exclude the other, but this is not its basic meaning. If you look at the Old Testament, some things seem rather strange.
In Hebrew, the verb nissâ means "to tempt," "to subject to trial." In the book of Exodus, the city of Massa is mentioned, its name is the sacrament formed from the verb nissâ: “He called this place the name Massa and Meribah – Trial and Quarrel – because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel and because they were testing the Lord (they tempted Him), saying, “Is the Lord among us, yes or no?” (Ex 17: 7). In Psalms, the name Massa will forever remain as the day of temptation: “Do not harden your hearts, as it was in Meriva, as then in the desert, in Mass” (= as on the day of temptation in the desert) (Ps. 94: 8).
Who tempts in the Old Testament? There are several possible options:
· God tempts a person by putting him to the test (Gen 22: 1; W 8: 2);
· In the case of Job, Satan tempts man with God's permission;
· The devil illegally arrogates to himself this power and tempts a person;
· A person tempts God, for example, by demanding food (Ps 77:18);
· A person tempts a person.
Therefore, to answer unequivocally this question is quite difficult. When we conduct an investigation, first of all ask the question "Who is to blame?". It is important for us to establish the cause and find the culprit. The question “Who tempts?” Spontaneously directs us to search for the “acting cause.” Oh no! The word “temptation” means the space in which people are tempted, the space of violence in which they pass the test … it is necessary one day to find a more suitable word.
3) In the Gospel, temptation is spoken in terms of space.
● This world / the world to come:
court space and conviction / non-court space and non-judgment.
This is unusual and different from our thinking categories. However, if we are able to provide hospitality to a guest from a distant country and another culture … So, the Gospel for us is a guest from an unknown country and an infinitely distant culture. You can verify this by referring to the word "court" or "conviction". Judgment is the name of this world, this age is the space of judgment. Also, “temptation” is the name of “this world,” which “tests our faith, our virtues, for strength”.
On the one hand, there is this world, the world of temptations and temptations, on the other hand, the world to come (the future Kingdom). Similarly, by all means insist on returning debt where it could be “left”, “released”, “removed” is a characteristic feature of the established order, which is called this age. However, the word kosmos also means first of all order, ho kosmos outos (this world) is the order of the world in which we found ourselves at the moment of our first birth. The Apostle John says: “God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. Anyone who believes in Him (who hears Him) does not come to judgment – in other words, hearing the Word makes it possible to leave the courtroom. Faith makes it so that I gain the freedom not to participate in court, I do not judge and I will not be convicted. “He who does not believe (does not hear) has already been convicted for not believing,” that is, he remains in the court space in which we found ourselves by first birth ”(John 3: 17-18).
The space of the court is the space of murder, death, hatred. In this space, the father of lies and hatred rules the prince of this age. He opposes the kingdom. Therefore, the sons of the Kingdom pray: “Thy kingdom come” and, for the court and temptation in the space, the search for the guilty cannot be a top priority.
● Realize the temptation, while not finding the perpetrators.
Relatively speaking, since the time of Aristotle, a Western man has been aimed at establishing the cause. This allows you to make some progress in some areas (for example, in the development of technology). But it undoubtedly closes access to something more substantial. How to learn to think of temptation, not focusing on the question of the causes, the perpetrators and the "grounds"? This question may seem strange, since even God appears in the consciousness of modern man, in fact, as a valid reason. He made everything! But the "root cause" is not the main meaning of the word "creator". Yes, such is the god of Voltaire. The great root cause, the culprit, the watchmaker, the computer, the programmer of the universe is an invention of the West, it has nothing in common with the Gospel. You say: God is the Creator. And no, not in that sense.
4) Other aspects of temptation: challenge, challenge …
To take a step towards understanding how violence is different when it comes to temptation, I would suggest the word challenge. Temptation is a challenge.
When it comes to “debt forgiveness,” two extremes usually arise: denial and annoyance. Denial: I owe nothing to anyone, I have nothing to apologize for, everything around us is not sinless, we did not quarrel with anyone. Until the denial disappears, the miracle does not take place. But there is another way to talk about your sin, which aggravates the situation, that is, doubles sin. If I confess sin, but I take this word as stigmata, as an accusation, it turns out to be annoyance. Both should be avoided. Both denial and annoyance. Then confession and forgiveness will become a source of joy and gospel exultation. The Bible speaks of sin only in terms of deliverance, deliverance, reconciliation, forgiveness, which leaves no denial or vexation. All the other talk about sin is that there is a sin.
There are many distortions associated with the word “sin”; it is very important to understand and hear this word in its native context. So, we rejected the negation, rejected the annoyance, the challenge remains. The challenge can be a harsh test, provocation. Another word that needs to be heard correctly.
The word "test" has a positive meaning. Then the temptation is presented as an opportunity to experience, test, see the best. In the imagination, this word draws a smelting furnace in which coarse ore passes through a fire test and turns into pure gold or silver: this is the original meaning of the word “tempt” in Hebrew. In addition, the challenge is a noble sports term, it is not something abstract, it is the moment of manifestation of power, the opportunity to emerge victorious.
5) Why does Jesus tempt Philip (John 6: 5)?
So, challenge, provocation, test, test. It is the word "temptation" that John describes the question that Jesus asks Philip before he multiplies the loaves in the wilderness. In synoptics, on the contrary, the disciples ask the question: “Should we go and buy food for all these people?” (Luke 9:13). In John, the initiative belongs to Jesus. When he saw the crowd, he said to Philip: “Where should we buy bread to feed them?” (John 6: 5). Then the evangelist adds: “He spoke thus, desiring to test him” (tempting him). What does it mean? It is important for him that Philip voiced what is in his heart now. He voiced what is completely opposite to what the whole chapter is devoted to: true bread is not bought and not sold, it is sent as a gift, as grace.
In essence, this whole long chapter is devoted to one thing: “The bread that I will give is My flesh, I give it for the sake of the life of the world” (v. 51). Answer Philip opens up the opportunity to present the main lesson: bread as a synonym for life is not a commodity, a subject of sale. The evangelist says the key verb – “give”, “bestow” – this chapter and the Lord's Prayer. "Give us our daily bread to wait …"
To put to the test, to temptation, means to open your eyes to a close student that he has not yet understood the most important thing. Temptation opens his eyes to him and us on the existing problem.
6) Deliver us from Evil or from evil?
You will say: if one so often speaks of the “Prince of this world,” it means there is some kind of prince (“prince”) and he really has something to do with the first principle (“principle”) of the being of the universe? Perhaps he is the root cause? And what is its nature? Another stumbling block: how to translate the word poneros, evil or evil? In this case, referring to an abstract idea or a particular creature? In the end, his names are well known: devil (balamut), Satan (accuser, slanderer), pseudos (liar and false, father of lies, falsifier).
The peculiarity of our thinking is that we are able to imagine either abstract things or faces. We are doomed to choose: either this or that, or "prince", or "principle". Undoubtedly, not this and not the other, at least in the form in which we imagine them.
Atheists may have a similar question regarding God: is this an idea or a creature whose name is a participle, derived from the verb “to be”? Not that, not the other, for a completely different reason. Here we run into the limitations of our categories and therefore the effort of thought is necessary.
7) "Who tempts"? Does this question make sense?
Often the word “temptation” occurs in the context of a situation that I would like to call a challenge. We saw several answers to the question “who tempts?”
When we pray "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One," this word is undoubtedly used in a negative sense, which is why we ask you to extract us from there. It is not excluded that the thought that God tempts can creep into your head. And then does the question “who tempts” make sense? This seems rather unusual for us, but the question of the cause or the perpetrator must be questioned. This is basically an irrelevant question. It should, of course, be understood that it is difficult for us to do without it.
When asked such a question to Christ, He decisively evades, avoids the vicious attempt to establish cause-and-effect relationships where it is inappropriate: “His disciples asked Him: Rabbi! Who sinned, he or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered: neither he nor his parents sinned, but (this is for) (that), that the works of God might appear on him ”(John 9: 2-3).
The disease is not due to sin, but for the sake of glory. The ending of our Father also paradoxically translates the question of temptation to a completely different plane. “Yako Thy is the Kingdom” … There are two opposite spaces: ho kosmos outos (this world), into which we arrive at the moment of our first birth, and there is a coming world. In the Judaism of the times of Jesus Christ, they were designated by the terms ‘olam ha-ze (this world) and‘ olam ha-ba (the world to come). These are two governed areas, each has its own tonality, its own tension … There is this world ruled by "the prince of this world", and there is the Kingdom that comes with Christ, that is, with the Tsar-Messiah anointed for the Kingdom. And the main question is not “who is to blame?”, But “who reigns?”, “Whose kingdom”? The gospel message consists in the answer to this very question: Christ is risen, that is, Jesus reigns.
So, it is necessary to get used to the idea that in the New Testament temptation means the space of judgment, the space of sale and purchase, the space of violence in which the challenge reigns. But the main thing is the revelation of the Christian space, the space of gift and thanksgiving, in which the resurrected Christ reigns.
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