Does God Tempt People?

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Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning whether God tempts people. The argument is that Genesis 22:1 says that God tempts Abraham, but James 1:13 says that God does not tempt people. However, there is a very simple explanation that explains this alleged contradiction in the Bible.

Scriptures – Does God Tempt People?

Genesis 22:1 – God Tempts Abraham

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.

Genesis 22:1

James 1:13 – God Does Not Tempt People

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

James 1:13

The Answer – Does God Tempt People?

Tempting Is Different From Testing

The word translated “tempt” in the King James Version can also mean “test.” This is a better translation of the word in this context. This is why the ESV (and other translations) translate Genesis 22:1 in this way:

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Genesis 22:1

There is simply no contradiction between Genesis 22:1 and James 1:13 because to tempt someone to sin is completely different from God testing a person’s faith. God does not himself tempt any person to sin, but he does test people’s faith.

Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties

There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.

More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible

To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.

These books are also excellent resources:

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