Article: Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? by Will Kinney

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Genesis 22:1 "And it came to pass after these things, that God DID TEMPT Abraham, and said unto him...Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest...and offer him there for a burnt offering..."


Bible critics and wannabe scholars sometimes bring up this verse as an example of an alleged error or contradiction in the King James Bible. One such self- appointed authority recently criticized the KJB in this typical way.


James 1:13: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"


While Gen 22:1 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." (KJV)


Then he said: "Even though tempt may mean several things without study, this appears to be a conflict of scripture. Are there any other contradictions in the KJV? If the King James is inerrant, wouldn't they have used a different word in Gen 22:1?"


Instead of straining at gnats, this Bible critic would be better served by consulting an English dictionary and learning more of his native tongue. The Cambridge Dictionary gives a modern example of the use of the word to tempt in the sense of putting to the test. It lists: "You're tempting fate by riding your bike without wearing a cycle helmet."


Likewise the Wordsmyth Dictionary list four modern meanings of the word "to tempt", and #3 is the meaning found in Genesis 22:1 as well as other places in the Bible.


  • 1. to entice or try to entice (someone) to do something unwise or wrong, as by promising pleasure or reward.


  • 2. to be attractive or strongly appealing to


Example The idea of a swim right now tempts me.


  • 3. to provoke or put to the test.


Example Such recklessness tempts fate.


  • 4. to cause to be strongly inclined or disposed.


Example I was tempted to reply to their rudeness.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1998 also gives these definitions and examples.


Tempt, v. t. O.E. tempten, tenten, from OF. tempter, tenter, F. tenter, fr. L. tentare, temptare, to handle, feel, attack, to try, put to the test, urge, freq. from tendere, tentum, and tensum, to stretch.


  • 1. To put to trial; to prove; to test; to try. God did tempt Abraham. --Gen. xxii. 1.


Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God. --Deut. vi. 16.


  • 2. To lead, or endeavor to lead, into evil; to entice to what is wrong; to seduce. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. --James i. 14.


Not only does the King James Holy Bible read that God did tempt Abraham, but so also do Miles Coverdale 1535, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1752, the Douay version 1950, Webster's 1833 translation, the Brenton Translation 1851, the Lesser Bible 1853, the 1936 Jewish translation put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York, and the 2008 Torah Transliteration Scripture.


Words obviously have more than one narrow meaning, and this is true in Hebrew and Greek as well as all other languages. Notice the context in James 1:13-14 is temptation to sin. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted WITH EVIL, neither tempteth he any man: (context, context, context - "with evil") But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."


As John Calvin comments: "The word temptation is often used generally for any kind of trial. In this sense God is said to have tempted Abraham, (Genesis 22:1,) when he tried his faith. We are tempted both by adversity and by prosperity: because each of them is an occasion of bringing to light feelings which were formerly concealed."


If, as some Bible critics suggest, there is a contradiction in the KJB, then many other modern versions likewise suffer from a similar contradiction in James 1:13. Both the NASB 1995 and the 1982 New KJV say God cannot be tempted with evil. Yet in the NASB we read in Psalms 78:41 and 56 of the children of Israel: "again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel", and "Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God.". Also in Psalms 106:14 the NASB says "they tempted God in the wilderness."


Likewise the NKJV has Moses asking the Israelites "Why do you tempt the LORD?", and "he called the place Massah...because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us or not?". The NKJV also says in Psalms 78:41 that "again and again they tempted the LORD and limited the Holy One of Israel."


So if God cannot be tempted with evil as the NASB, NKJV say in James 1:13, and we limit the definition of this word to one narrow meaning, then there is also a contradiction in these other modern versions when they tell us the evil and rebellious children of Israel tempted God again and again. Obviously one of the meanings of the word "to tempt" is to put to the test, to try or to prove.


The King James Bible is not in error in Genesis 22:1 where we are told that God did tempt Abraham. God tried and tested him, and this is one of the meanings of the word. In fact, when the same event is referred to in Hebrews 11:17, there we read: "By faith Abraham, when HE WAS TRIED, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son." The Bible critics would do well to learn their own English language a bit better before they come up with these silly objections.


What I have always found to be the case with Bible critics who attempt to find just one little error in the King James Bible, is that none of them has any final authority other than their own minds and understanding. If you ask them: "Do you believe there is any text, be it in Hebrew or Greek, or any Bible version in any language that you consider to be the infallible, preserved, complete words of God that you would not alter in any way?", without exception they do not have one. They always have an inflated view of their own intellects and abilities to pick and choose which texts they feel are God's words, and how they themselves prefer to translate them. Their particular mystical bible that exists only in their own minds always differs from everybody else's. They are their own Final Authority, and every man does that which is right in his own eyes.


For me and thousands of other Bible believing Christians, we will stick to the tried and true King James Holy Bible and not accept any spurious substitutes.

Will Kinney


External Link

Other Artilces by Will Kinney in the Textus Receptus database ~

Old Testament

Genesis Genesis 1:28 Replenish or Fill? - Genesis 6:6 Can God repent? - Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? Exodus Exodus 20:13 Thou Shalt Not KILL - Exodus - the Israelites "borrowed" of the Egyptians Numbers Numbers 22 Why was God Angry with Balaam? Job Bible Babel in Job - a comparative study 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 13:21 "a file" a "pim" or "two-thirds of a shekel"? 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 21:8 Michal or Merab? - 2 Samuel 21:19 Who Killed Goliath? 1 Kings 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face - 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense Psalms Psalm 8:5 Lower than the Angels, or a little lower than God? - Answering Doug Kutilek's anti-Preservation in Psalm 12 - Psalm 74:8 the synagogues of God; Psalm 77:2 my sore ran in the night - Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 2 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 3 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 4 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 5 How Different the Versions! Proverbs NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs - Bible Babel in Proverbs Isaiah Isaiah - a Comparative Study - Does God Create Evil? Isaiah 45:7 Jeremiah Jeremiah 8:8 the pen of the scribes is in vain - Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim or Zedekiah? - Ezekiel Ezekiel 29:7 Hebrew, Greek or Syriac? Hosea Hosea - a Comparative Study

New Testament

Did Jesus Tell Them to Take a Staff or Not? Matthew Is Matthew 23:14 Scripture or not? - Matthew 27:44 cast in teeth Mark Gospel of Mark - a Modern Version Mix-up Luke Is "cousin" wrong in Luke 1:36 - Luke 17:36 Is it inspired Scripture or not? John John 1:18 the only begotten Son Acts Act 3:19 times of refreshing; 7:20 Moses was exceeding fair - Acts 9:5-7 hear the voice; 7:20 exceeding fair - Acts 5:30 slew and hanged; 19:20 word of GOD - Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee - Acts 19:9 DIVERS were hardened, and believed not - Acts 19:35 Diana or Artemis? Jupiter, Zeus or Heaven? - The So-called "Science" of Textual Criticism. Science or Hocus-Pocus? Gospels through Acts Romans James White discussing Romans 6:17 Philippians Textual Studies in Philippians 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 3:16 Inspiration of God or God Breathed? Hebrews The Book of Hebrews - a Comparative Study 1 Peter 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship 1 John And These Three Are One Article defending the inclusion of 1 John 5:7. - 1 John 5:7 These three are one Jude The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts Revelations Revelation 13 Confusion - Vials or Bowls in the book of Revelation - Rev.16:5 and SHALT BE; 5:8-10 redeemed US - Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" - Acts 28:13 We Fetched a Compass; 1 Tim5:4 Nephews - Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:26 End of World or Age?

Modern Versions

Bible Babel 1 - Bible Babel 2 - Bible Babel 3 - Bible Babel 4 - The Oldest and Best Manuscripts? - Every Man for Himself Bible Versions - the HCSB, NET, ESV, TNIV, NKJV - The Inerrancy of Scripture - are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic? - True Bible? - Modern Versions Teach Racism - Modern Versions Teach Pride as a Virtue - Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes ESV The English Standard Version 2001 NASB The Ever Changing NASB's NKJV NKJV Word Changes - When the NKJV departs from the TR - The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - Is the NKJV the same as the KJB? - Don't go on Safari with a New KJV Translator - The NKJV is a Poor Substitute for the True Bible - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs

King James Word Definitions

Lucifer - Jehovah - Unicorns - Is the word "Easter" an error in the King James Bible? - Are the words "CHURCH" and 'BISHOP' wrong? - Hell and Damnation in the King James Bible - "By and by" versus "the-by-and-by" - Servants or Slaves? - Is "charity" an error in the KJB? - The Grace of God Destroyed - "Would to God" - Another alleged 'error' bites the dustIs "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible?

King James Bible

Is King James onlyism Scriptural? - Does the KJB only position "blow up"? - What About Those Printing Errors in 1611? - Does the King James Bible depart from the Hebrew Texts? - Why do you King James Bible onlyies Attack the word of God? - The Historic Confessions support the KJB position - Can a Translation be Inspired? - The Old Latin versions and the KJB

Septuagint

NO LXX Part 1 - NO LXX - the Fictitious Use of Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco

Hebrew Text

The NIV, NASB reject the Hebrew Texts - NIV, NASB reject Hebrew texts Part 2 - How to Destroy Messianic Prophecies

Greek Text

"The Greek" and Hebrew Games

Gender Inclusive Versions

Gender Inclusive Versions Dealing with the TNIV

Answering Critics

E mail exchange with Bible Agnostic Doug Kutilek - John MacArthur - Pastor with NO Infallible Bible - A Bible Believer's Response to James Price's book King James Onlyism - a New Sect - A King James Bible Believer's Response to Rick Norris' book 'The Unbound Scriptures' - 17 Parts

Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

Part 3 - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible

Part 4 - Revision

Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy

Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible

Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways

Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?

Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?

Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?

Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?

Part 13 - The Usual Suspects

Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God

Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument

Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?

Part 17 - Final Thoughts


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