Does God tempt people or not?

There are different ways to understand temptation. God tested Abraham but did not tempt him with sin. One person can offer a temptation to a second person, but the second person is not tempted. For example, I have no interest in sports whatsoever. If someone were to tempt me with tickets to a football game instead of going out to dinner at my wife, they've offered a temptation, but I'm not actually tempted. So, it can be understood differently.

  1. God tempted Abraham, Genesis 22:1, "Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
    1. The KJV says, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am"
  2. God tempts no one, James 1:13, "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."

According to the Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, the word "test" (NASB), "tempt" (KJV) is nacah. It means "1) to test, try, 2) to attempt, assay, try, 3) to test, try, prove, tempt." This is why the KJV translated it as "tempt" and NASB, NIV, NKJV, ESV, and RSV translate it as "test." Therefore, it was a test that God offered to Abraham - not a temptation to sin.

 

 

 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.