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The etymology of the word suggests a neutral meaning of ‘trying’ or ‘proving’. This primary sense is retained in the idea of God's tempting Abraham (Gen. 22: 1). It may also be the meaning of the word in the traditional version of the Lord's Prayer. In most passages of the NT and in present-day usage, however, it has the implication of incitement to sin. In this sense temptation seems to be part of the human experience, even before the Fall. The inclination to wrongful action is not sinful before consent. According to Jas., temptation is inherent in free will, but God does not permit it beyond what the soul can bear. The traditional sources of temptation are the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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