“Have no fear! Do not be afraid!”
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

The most commonly repeated phrase in the whole Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, is “Have no fear!” or “Do not be afraid!”

Another common theme is that people should "fear the Lord" or have "fear of the Lord" (see the second section below), but these ideas are not contradictory, when understood properly:

Old Testament Texts (NRSV):


Historical Books:

Wisdom Books: 

Prophetic Books: 

New Testament Gospels:

In the Infancy Narratives:

Jesus calls the First Disciples (in Luke’s version only):

Jesus speaks to Jairus:

Jesus instructs his disciples:

As Jesus walks on water:

At the Transfiguration of Jesus:

At Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem:

On Easter Sunday Morning, at the Empty Tomb:

Other New Testament Texts:

Acts of the Apostles:

Letters attributed to Paul :

Hebrews and Catholic Epistles:

Book of Revelation:

“Fear of God” or “Fear of the Lord”:

Old Testament Texts:

New Testament Texts (including some texts implying appropriate "reverence" toward Jesus or other people):

Negative Counter-Examples of People Being Afraid (New Testament Texts):

Electronic New Testament Educational Resources

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This page was last updated on April 6, 2012
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