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.
Although the VL of Matt 6,13 normally read the petition as ne nos inducas in temptationem, sed libera nos a malo, at some early stage the permissive paraphrase was introduced into some copies of it, probably from liturgical usage: ne passus nos fueris induci in temptationem (MS c [Codex Colbertinus, 12/13th century]); ne passus fueris induci nos ... (MS k [Codex Bobiensis, 4/5th century]). These variants are absent from the Lucan form of the petition in the VL, which has only the literal translation of Matt 6,13.
Later, Cyprian (A.D. 200/210-25 8) quotes the sixth petition as ne patiaris nos induci in temptationem, without any awareness of the more literal translation (De oratione Dominica 25; CCLat 3A. 106)17. He immediately explains that the adversary can do nothing against us, unless God has first permitted it ("nisi Deus ante permiserit").
A different permissive paraphrase is found in Hilary of Poitiers (A.D. 315-367/368): non derelinquas nos in temptatione, quam sufferre non possumus (Tract. in Ps. 118, 15; CSEL 22.369). This is introduced by "quod et in Dominicae orationis ordine continetur, cum dicitur", which shows that this was the way Hilary was reciting the sixth petition of the PN. He alludes specifically to 1 Cor 10, 13.
Ambrose (A.D. 339-397) also quotes the petition in the permissive paraphrase traced to Tertullian, ne patiaris nos induci in temptationem (De sacramentis 5.4.29; CSEL 73.7 1), to which be adds in his explanation "quam ferre non possumus", again an echo of 1 Cor 10, 13. He states further, however, "non dicit ‘non inducas in temptationem’", which shows that be was aware that some people were reciting the more literal translation of the petition.
The literal translation of the petition is used, however, by Chromatius of Aquileia (died A.D. 407), ne nos inducas in tentationem, but in the course of his explanation of the petition, he introduces a variant of the literal version, ne nos inferas in tentationem, "do not bring us into temptation" (Tract. in Ev. Matthaei 14.7.1-3; CCLat 9.433-434), which does not change its basic meaning.
The latter form of the petition in Chromatius is the way it is normally used by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430), ne nos inferas in temptationem (Enchiridion 30.115; CCLat 46.111; De peccatorum meritis 2.2.2; 2.4.4; CSEL 60.72, 74 [line 9]; De natura et gratia 53.62 and 68; 67.80; CSEL 60.278, 285, 294; Contra duas ep. Pelag. 4.13.27; CSEL 60.446). Augustine was aware, however, of the more usual Latin form, ne nos inducas in temptationem, because he notes, "sicuti nonnulli codices habent" (De peccatorum meritis 2.4.4; CSEL 60.74 [lines 21-25]–75 [line 2]; De sermone Domini in monte 2.9.30; CCLat 3 5.119)18. He also knew the form of the petition used by "beatissimus Cyprianus", but be admits that he has never been able to find that form in any of the Greek manuscripts: "in euangelio tamen