In 1 Corinthians 10:9 ERV we find

Neither let us tempt the Lord, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents

1 Corinthians 10:9 NLT reads

Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites

1 Corinthians 10:9 ESV

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

The English Revised Version of Jude 1:5 reads,

Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things once for all, how that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not

The New Living Translation Jude 1:5

So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful

Jude 1:5 ESV

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Was Jesus personally present in these events?

5 Answers 5


1 Cor 10:9

There is a textual matter here - the NA28/UBS5, W&H, Byzantine, Orthodox, TR texts all have "Christ". However, a number of important MSS have "Lord" and this has been followed by W&H which influenced some modern versions. For details of which MSS have which reading, see UBS5.

Jude 5

This is another textual problem here that is quite undecided. UBS5 rates its selected reading of "Jesus" as {C} (uncertain). the MSS are almost equally divided between "Jesus" and "Lord" - for details see UBS5. The Byzantine, TR and Orthodox text has "Lord". Even some early editions of NA (eg, NA4) had "Lord". UBS4 had "Lord" but UBS5 now has "Jesus" because of the arrival of new MSS evidence.


**1 COR 10:9 ** nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

‘Christ’ - christos - ‘anointed’.

Found 569 times in the New Testament. And translated ‘Christ’ 569 times in the NKJV. Strong’s concordance doesn’t even have ‘Lord’ in the range of meanings.

So, what justification is there that some translations use ‘Lord’? Some Greek manuscripts do actually have ‘Kyrios’ (Lord). And, there are some scholars that argue for it.

Context here is Paul talking about the history of the Israelites, specifically putting God to the test (Exodus 16:2-3, 17:2-7, Numbers 14:22, Psalm 78:18). And, [in some respects the argument is valid] some Jewish teachers argue that the name should be seen to be God - not ‘Christ. But, as Jewish scholars won’t use (write) the name ‘God’, they substitute ‘Lord’ (as they followed in the Old Testament Hebrew scripts).


Was Jesus personally present in these events?

What we know for sure is from the Gospels which tell us when Jesus - the Christ, came to be. He was born of Mary, so he cannot have been with the Israelites in the dessert while they were encountering the serpents.

Is there another Jesus? Another Christ? Not according to the scriptures. Nor are we told of this Jesus having two lives - one in the OT and one in the NT.

We are also informed that it is God, the same God Jesus had, called Yahweh, that made this Jesus Lord and Christ.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." Acts 2:36

Now as we read of Jesus' beginning in approx. 4BC and there is no other beginning we are told of, then he cannot have been this Lord in the OT. The only other Lord is God - who made Himself known to the prophets and Moses etc. as the one God who made all things. The things that Jesus would be pronounced heir of at his climactic ascension and glorification to eternal life (and God's right hand) Heb 1.

Thus we are faced with the only possible reason for Jesus being placed in the OT context - the translators have put him there out of error, confusion or just traditional bias introduced into the holy scriptures in many places as we see in these examples.


Let us not be confused by the 'word' or logos of God which was in the beginning 'with' God. Any verse that speaks of the logos cannot be automatically read as Jesus. This is basic and proper treatment of the word God has inspired and should be regarded for what it does say - not what it does not. For eg, John 1:1-3 does not speak of Jesus even though most of Christianity seems to think it does. He was not born yet - how could it possibly?

  • The context of John 1 is in reference to Yeshua, how can you deny that? So who do you think the logos or word refers to then?
    – 0000
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 3:57
  • Please r e a d the words without a pre-determined bias. It's quite elementary - if Jesus is the result of the 'logos became flesh', then before it became flesh, it was not YET Jesus. I specifically referenced verse 1-3 which speaks of the logos not Jesus. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/84384/…
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 4:01
  • Its not a pre-determined bias. It's determined by the context of the following scriptures. You have to read verses 1-3 in context with the rest of the verses. Just reading verses 1 to 3 by themselves is reading it out of context, the rest of the verses that follow after gives clarity as to whom it is referring to. It has nothing to do with my opinion, it is what is written.
    – 0000
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 4:26
  • ok, as you wish. John wrote "logos" for a reason - simply because it wasn't yet Jesus. If he meant Jesus, that is what we would be reading, but we don't. "became" denotes a time event - there is a before and an after. Jesus is not before or it wouldn't make any sense, but he is after - - - the logos became flesh. In v1-3 this has not happened yet.
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 4:37
  • Sorry i just read the link. So your point is that Jesus didn't exist until he was born by Mary, or in other words, the Logos was a separate entity that took the form of Jesus when he was born by Mary, making the case that until his birth he didn't exist, so the word in v1-3 is a different entity to the word mentioned in v14. Because why has John made a distinction between the 'Word' and the entity Christ. Is that a fair summary of what you mean?
    – 0000
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 5:13

What is the justification for substituting "Christ" for "the Lord" in 1 Corinthians 10:9 and Jesus for "the Lord" in Jude 1:5?

As to the translation of 1 Corinthians 10:9, note what is stated in the Appendix C3 "Verses Where the Divine Name Does Not Appear as Part of Direct or Indirect Quotations in the Book of 1 Corinthians" of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition):

REASON(S): Many Greek manuscripts use the term “the Lord” (ton Kyʹri·on) here; a few manuscripts use “(the) God” (ton The·onʹ). Some Greek manuscripts read ton Khri·stonʹ, “the Christ.” This reading is reflected in the Nestle-Aland Greek text and several modern Bible translations. However, not all scholars agree that “the Christ” is the original reading here. For example, the Greek text published by Westcott and Hort (1881) and the Greek text produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (2017) use ton Kyʹri·on (“the Lord”) in their main text. Considering the Hebrew Scripture background, this would give reason to believe that the divine name was originally used in this verse and later replaced with the title “Lord” or “the Christ.” Paul is here referring to occasions when the Israelites put Jehovah God to the test, such as those mentioned at Exodus 16:2, 3; 17:2, 3, 7; and Numbers 14:22. The Greek word for “put to the test” (ek·pei·raʹzo) is also used at Matthew 4:7 and Luke 4:12, where Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:16. The Hebrew text reads: “You must not put Jehovah your God to the test the way you put him to the test at Massah.” The Greek word used for “put . . . to the test” at 1 Corinthians 10:9 is also found in the Septuagint rendering of Deuteronomy 6:16, where the Hebrew text contains the divine name. The occasion at Massah is described at Exodus 17:1-7, where Moses asks the people: “Why do you keep putting Jehovah to the test?” In the latter part of 1 Corinthians 10:9, Paul says, “as some of them put him to the test, only to perish by the serpents.” This refers to what is described at Numbers 21:5, 6: “The people kept speaking against God and Moses,” and “Jehovah sent poisonous serpents among the people.” Paul may also have alluded to Psalm 78:18, where the psalmist says that the Israelites “challenged [lit., “tested”] God in their heart.” These scriptures clearly show that God is the one whom the Israelites “put . . . to the test.” So in view of the context and the Hebrew Scripture background, there are solid reasons for using the divine name here.


  • The Anchor Yale Bible​—First Corinthians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, 2008, (Vol. 32) says of 1 Corinthians 10:9: “Most older commentators preferred to read kyrion [Lord] and to understand it as in the LXX [Septuagint], meaning Yahweh.”

  • The book The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, edited by John Parry, 1916, on page 147 makes this comment on 1 Corinthians 10:9: “We cannot conclude that S. Paul meant to speak of the Israelites as ‘tempting Christ’; . . . Even in view of v. 4 it would not be natural to speak of the Israelites tempting Christ.”

  • In the article “The Tetragram and the New Testament,” by George Howard, published in the March 1977 issue of Journal of Biblical Literature, the following comment is made regarding 1 Corinthians 10:9: “The passage is [an] allusion to Num[bers] 21:5-6, where the MT [the Hebrew Masoretic Text] says that Yhwh sent fiery serpents among the people. On the analogy of the Qumran documents, it is possible that an original Tetragram stood here in Paul’s words. If so, θεόν [the·onʹ] and κύριον [k_yʹri·on_] are most likely to be the first substitutes for it and Χριστόν [Khri·stonʹ] a later scribal interpretation.”

  • A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians, by Archibald Robertson and Alfred Plummer, 1911, makes this comment on 1 Corinthians 10:9: “In the N.T. [New Testament] ὁ Κύριος [ho Kyʹri·os] commonly means ‘our Lord’; but this is by no means always the case, and here it almost certainly means Jehovah, as [Numbers 21:4-9] and [Psalm 78:18] imply.”

  • The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, by R.C.H. Lenski, makes this comment on page 397 concerning 1 Corinthians 10:7: “The quotation is taken from the LXX [the Septuagint] of Exod[us] 32:6, which describes a case of indirect idolatry, namely the gay feast in connection with the golden calf. This image was idolatrous although it was intended for Jehovah; Paul, however, fixes attention on the feast which was entirely after the manner of idol worship. By doing this Paul strikes home directly at the Corinthians who thought that they, too, could preserve their relation to Jehovah while, pretending to make use of their liberty, they ate, drank, and amused themselves at idol celebrations.” Lenski goes on to say with regard to verse 9: “To try out the Lord is to go to the limit and to see whether he will show himself as God by punishing those who thus try him out.”

SUPPORTING REFERENCES: J7, 8, 10, 17, 18, 22, 23, 46, 65, 95, 96, 100, 101, 125, 138, 139, 145, 147, 167

As for the translation of Jude 5, note what the Pulpit Commentary has to say:

In the second half of the verse there is a still more serious difficulty in the text. Instead of the term "Lord," some of the very best authorities read "Jesus." If this must be accepted, we have an act of the Jehovah of the Old Testament ascribed to the Jesus of the New Testament. But this would be an entirely unexampled usage. For, while the New Testament not unfrequently introduces the name of Christ when it refers to deeds of grace or claims of honour which the Old Testament connects with the name of Jehovah (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 3:15, etc.), it never does this with that name of the Redeemer of the New Testament which specially marks his human nature and origin. Hence Professor Herr speaks of the reading "Jesus" here as a blunder, however supported. The ordinary reading may, therefore, be adhered to, especially as it is by no means ill accredited, having on its side two of the primary uncials and other weighty authorities.

[Scripture quotations are from their linked sources.]


In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Moses is the Christ (anointed one) Paul is referring to. Moses is a type for Christ Jesus who came into existence long after Moses was dead. There is no record of anyone tempting Jesus in the OT. No record of anyone claiming to have seen Jesus in the OT. Whether the LORD or Christ is your preferred reading, it makes no difference. The Israelites certainly tempted the LORD by disobeying Moses, but nowhere in the OT is Jesus tempted by the Israelites or anyone else.


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