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Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2004 19:33:21 -0800 (PST)
From: “Robert Monti”
Subject: RE: Lead us not into temptation….
To: Monti Cell Group

Howdy all.

I took a moment to put my rusty Greek skills to use in
order to verify my suspicion about Matthew 6:13.

It turns out that the verb that is translated “to
lead” can also be rendered “to bring into.” I don’t
want to bore everybody with Greek grammar, but here
are a couple points of interest:

  • The verb in question is in the subjunctive mood,
    which generally conveys probability or contingency. It
    has a number of uses, however, depending on the syntax
    of a sentence. It can also indicate a simple
    prohibition when addressing someone. For example, in
    John 3:7, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that
    I said to you….” So a literal English translation of
    Matthew 6:13a might go, “Do not bring us into
  • Jesus and the New Testament writers commonly used a
    literary device called “litotes,” which is essentially
    the expression of a positive idea or concept by
    negating its opposite. For example, Paul says in 2
    Cor. 2:11 that he and the Corinthians are “not
    ignorant” of Satan’s devices. The negation of the
    negative term “ignorant” is used to convey a positive
    fact: they are aware of Satan’s devices.
  • In the same way, Jesus employs litotes in the Lord’s
    Prayer when He teaches us to pray against temptation
    in our lives. The prayer negates the very negative
    idea of being “brought” or “led” into temptation. What
    Jesus intends is for us to petition God to do the
    opposite, to “bring us away or out of” temptations. A
    very positive idea!

So the issue is not that God will push us into
temptations if we don’t pray for Him not to. Instead,
we are to ask God to help us stay out of situations
where we are weak and vulnerable to temptation, or
where the enemy might have an “in” to attack us or cause
us to stumble. It’s a beautiful prayer for protection.
I’m heartened to know that my Heavenly Father
understands and acknowledges our weakness, and pledges
to us through Christ’s own prayer that He will gladly
make provision for our rescue. All we need to do is

I hope you all found this information helpful. We love
and appreciate you, and will continue to pray for you.



P.S. I really enjoyed our discussion on Tuesday night!

Robert R. Monti, M.Div.