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For other uses, see Temptation (disambiguation).
"Tempter" redirects here. For the album, see Tempter (album). For works called "The Tempter", see The Tempter (disambiguation).
"Tempters" redirects here. For the Japanese musical group, see The Tempters.
"Temptress" redirects here. For pornographic actress, see Temptress (actress).
Capital representing scenes from the Book of Genesis: temptation of Adam and Eve, Musée de Cluny.

Temptation is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret. In the context of some religions, temptation is the inclination to sin. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.

More informally, temptation may be used to mean "the state of being attracted and enticed" without anything to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation; for example, one may say that a piece of food looks "tempting" even though eating it would result in no negative consequences.

Religious usage[edit]

Temptation has implications deeply rooted in Judaism and the The Old Testament, starting with the story of Eve and the original sin. Many non-Western cultures had no precise equivalent until coming into contact with Europeans.[citation needed] For example, Jesuit missionaries in Brazil, translating the Lord's Prayer into Old Tupi, had to use the Portuguese word tentação, since Tupi had no word expressing "temptation" in that sense (see Old Tupi language#Sample text).[citation needed]

In the text of the Lord's Prayer, the King James Version uses "temptation" to translate the Greek word πειρασμός peirasmos.[1] This word has nothing to do with "temptation" with moral-ethical or spiritual-eschatological overtones. It is simply "being put to test", referring to a situation in which a person is challenged to keep the name of God honored (a reprise of the text in Matthew 6:9).[citation needed]

A research article was written by Vanchai Ariyabuddhiphongs, a professor at Bangkok University, about the motivational and persuasive negative effects of such temptations such as money, that can push one to disregard religious beliefs whether it be Buddhism, Christianity etc.. He says that when given an opportunity at a large amount of money we have a larger chance harming, stealing, partaking in sexual misconduct, or start doing drugs. This idea of money as a negative persuasion tactic regarding following religions is psychologically proven to affect our cognitive ability to make decisions. Vanchai's article talked solely on Buddhist practices but can be broadened to all beliefs. Our religious beliefs may define us a spiritual people, but this article described how a possible outside source can push those thoughts away and look to benefit us in a way that may include disregarding religion.[2]

Non-religious usage[edit]

Temptation is usually used in a loose sense to describe actions which indicate a lack of self control. Temptation is a common recurring theme in world literature. Temptation has repercussions for even the strongest.[citation needed] "Temptation" is something that allures, excites, and seduces someone. Infatuation can also lead to temptation as someone might do something for love in spite of one's better judgement.

In advertising, "temptation" is a theme common to many of the marketing and advertising techniques used to make products more attractive.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matthew 6:13
  2. ^ Ariyabuddhiphongs, Vanchai (2007). "Money Consciousness and the Tendency to Violate the Five Precepts Among Thai Buddhists". THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION 17 (1): 37–45. Retrieved 2014-09-25.