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Jesus Tempted


(1) 3Q: Luke 4:1-2a = Matt 4:1-2a
(2) Mark 1:12-13



(1) 3Q: Luke 4:1-2a = Matt 4:1-2a

4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 4:2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

= Matt 4:1-2a
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 4:2 He fasted forty days and forty nights,

See 139. Jesus Tempted Thrice for dialogue between Jesus and Satan, including Buddhist parallels.


(2) Mark 1:12-13

1:12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 1:13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.




RCL: Lent 1, Year B
ECUSA & RC: Lent 1, Year B

advanceWord: Lent 1B

Sermon: Testing 1-2-3

John Dominic Crossan

Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Double
Historicity: ±


Jesus Seminar

The Seminar voted all three accounts gray, but the commentary in The Acts of Jesus (p. 55) notes that "the Fellows were fairly evenly divided on whether Jesus underwent a period of testing in the wilderness such as Mark depicts here. The weighted average fell just below the line separating pink and gray."


Samuel T. Lachs

Lachs [Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, 50]:

The theme that a hero or holy man was to be tested before his career began or before his mission was undertaken is commonplace in the literature of antiquity. Rabbinic homilies on this theme are often based on Ps. 11.5, The Lord tests the righteous, not the wicked. The most notable example of this testing in Jewish tradition is Abraham, of whom it is stated, "With ten trials our father Abraham was tried, and he withstood them all to make known how great was the love of Abraham our father."


Gerd Luedemann

Luedemann [Jesus, 10] dismisses the tradition as unhistorical:

The tradition is present only in rudimentary form (cf. by contrast the tradition in Q: Matt. 4.1-11/Luke 4.1-13) and the details can no longer be reconstructed. Perhaps it seeks to depict Jesus as a righteous man, a new Adam (cf. Rom. 5.12-21; I Cor. 15:45-49), who embodies the righteous son of God.



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