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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Temptation of Christ

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The temptation of Christ, of which we read in the 4th chap. of Matthew, has been much the subject of infidel ridicule, and some ingenious writers, to avoid the difficulties of a literal interpretation, have reduced the whole to vision and allegory. But perhaps this has increased rather than removed those difficulties. Is it not best always to adhere as close as possible to the language of inspiration, without glossing it with fancies of our own? And, after all, what is there so inconsistent with reason in this account? That, when our Lord retired to the interior part of the wilderness, the enemy of mankind should assume a disguise (whether human or angelic is not important, ) and present the most plausible temptation to our Redeemer, under these trying circumstances, is perfectly consisted with the malevolence of his character; but how far he was permitted to exert his power in forming them, is not necessary to be inquired. The grand objection is, why was Satan suffered thus to insult the Son of God? Wherefore did the Redeemer suffer his state of retirement to be thus disturbed with the malicious suggestions of the fiend? May it not be answered that herein,

1. He gave an instance of his own condescension and humiliation.

2. He hereby proved his power over the tempter.

3. He set an example of firmness and virtue to his followers.


4. He here affords consolation to his suffering people, by showing not only that he himself was tempted, but is able to succour those who are tempted, Hebrews 2:13 . Hebrews 4:15 . Farmer on Christ's Temptation; Edwards's Hist. of Redemption, note 334. Henry, Gill, and Macknight, in loc.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Temptation of Christ'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 27th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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