Joseph A. Fitzmyer, «And Lead Us Not into Temptation», Vol. 84 (2003) 259-273
The sixth petition of the "Our Father" has been translated in various ways across the centuries. This article discusses its literal meaning and the permissive paraphrases of it, explaining the sense of "temptation" and God’s activity in "leading" into it, as well as the various subterfuges adopted to avoid the obvious meaning of the Greek formulation, including its supposed Aramaic substratum. It concludes with a pastoral explanation of the petition.
Finally the statement that temptation comes not from God is clearly formulated in Jas 1,3, "Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one" (RSV). However, it must be noted that it is one thing to say that "God tempts no one", and quite another, that God "leads us into temptation", where the implication is clear that God himself is not the source or origin of the temptation, which is the meaning of the statement in James. Moreover, the temptation of which James speaks is that by which one "is lured and enticed by his own desire" (1,14), i.e. which comes from within, whereas the peirasmo/j of the PN is that which comes from without, as noted above.
4. The Early Permissive Paraphrase as a Reformulation of the Petition
The sentiment expressed in 1 Cor 10,13 and Jas 1,13d, however, has occasioned various reformulations of the sixth petition over the ages, beginning soon after it was first recorded by the evangelists. Normally, Greek patristic writers use the text of the Matthean or Lucan Gospels without a change, but Latin writers often have rephrased the petition.
Among such interpreters, Tertullian (A.D. 160-220) quotes the sixth petition as ne nos inducas in temptationem; but then he proceeds to explain it by a permissive paraphrase: id est, ne nos patiaris induci ab eo utique qui temptat (De oratione 8.1; CCLat1.262), "do not allow us to be led into temptation by him who tempts"15. In writing against Marcion, he again uses the permissive paraphrase:
Quis non sinet nos deduci in temptationem? Quem poterit temptator non timere an qui a primordio temptatorem angelum praedamnavit?, Who is it will not to allow us to be led into temptation? He whom the tempter cannot fear or he who from the beginning has already condemned the angelic tempter? (Adv. Marcionem 4.26.5; CCLat 1.615).
From this formulation, scholars have at times deduced that the permissive paraphrase was already pre-Tertullian, and some think that it even was formulated so by Marcion16.