Problem: God doesn't tempt people, but tempted Abraham
Verses: Genesis 22:1, James 1:13; Status: Weak

This is from one of several internet lists of Bible problems. Here is Genesis 22:1 as rendered in the King James Version:

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)

Compare James 1:13:

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. (ESV)

The problem seems to be with the KJV. In the story of Genesis 22, God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son as a test. To call this "temptation" is hardly accurate - one is only tempted to do something that one wants to do. Modern Bibles tend to render Genesis 22:1 like so:

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." (ESV)

Updated: Summer 2008

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