The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Magazine
April-May 1965
Volume: Vol XIV, No. 4-5
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The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Staff  

In James 1:13, we read that God tempts no man. Yet, in Genesis 22:l it says, "God did tempt Abraham." Can you explain what appears to be a contradiction?

   First, let us realize this is NOT a contradiction! The Bible NEVER contradicts itself! (John 10:35.)
   In James 1:13-14 God says He tempts no man, but "every MAN is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST." MAN'S OWN DESIRES tempt him. His lusts conceive and bring forth sin.
   It is our own human nature which causes us to sin, NOT GOD!
   What, then, is meant in Genesis 22:1, where it says, "God did tempt Abraham"?
   The word here used should be translated "try" or "put to the test," instead of "tempt."
   In Hebrews 11:17 we find a reference to the occasion discussed in Genesis 22. It says, "By faith Abraham, when he was TRIED, offered up Isaac." This is the way Genesis 22:1 should read! The Old Testament translators translated the Hebrew word "nacah" into tempt. In this scripture it could have been as easily and more correctly translated "try, put to the test, or prove."
   This Hebrew word means "to put to the test." It may be translated, "try, to put to rest, or tempt" (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).
   This word is translated "try" in II Chronicles 32:31. Everywhere, except once, the word "prove" in the Old Testament also comes from the Hebrew "nacah"!
   Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, under tile word, "tempt," states the first meaning as the following: "to put to trial; to test."
   God does not entice us into evil, or lure us into sin, as stated in James 1:13. However, God does try us and test us, just as God "TRIED" Abraham.

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Good News MagazineApril-May 1965Vol XIV, No. 4-5