Genesis 22:1 (Genesis 22:1-18)
KJV: And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
NIV: Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
James 1:13 (James 1:13-14)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
The apparent contradiction here stems from the KJV’s use of the word “tempt.” The definition of “tempt” (from the Merriam-Webster dictionary) is:
1 : to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain
2 a obsolete : to make trial of : TEST b : to try presumptuously : PROVOKE c : to risk the dangers of
3 a : to induce to do something b : to cause to be strongly inclined
“Tempt” in Genesis 22:1 refers to definition 2a, as shown by the NIV translation. The verse comes from the account of God’s testing of Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac. God was testing Abraham to see if he would do the right thing (trust God’s instructions and be obedient to him), not enticing him to do wrong. In contrast, James 1:13 refers to the temptations of evil, which of course falls under definition 1.