Is it tempt or try?


In Matthew 4:7, it seems to say something different in two translations.

The ESV: Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

The NKJV: Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"

Which translation is more accurate on this passage, the ESV or the NKJV? I think of tempting and testing as being two different things, but I could be wrong.


The Greek word is ekpeirazo, which means to put to the test, to try, or to tempt. While English speakers see the two as different, Greek speakers used one more generic word. After all, a temptation is just trying to get someone to do evil or testing them to see if they will do evil. Both translations are correct. Since Satan was trying to get Jesus to do evil, either English word would work.

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