“Have no fear!  Do not be afraid!”

by Fr. 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 “Fear not!” or “Have no fear!” or “Do not be afraid!” or “Be not afraid!”

Jesus Christ Victorious

Another closely related and very common biblical 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:

I) “Fear Not” in OLD TESTAMENT Texts (NRSV):


Historical Books:

Wisdom Books: 

Prophetic Books: 

“Fear Not” in New Testament Gospels:

In the Infancy Narratives:

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

During a Storm at Sea:

Jesus speaks to Jairus:

Jesus instructs his disciples:

As Jesus walks on water:

At the Transfiguration of Jesus:

At Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem:

Jesus Teaches His Disciples in Jerusalem:

At the Last Supper:

On Easter Sunday Morning, at the Empty Tomb:

“Fear Not” in Other New Testament Texts:

Acts of the Apostles:

Letters attributed to Paul :

Hebrews and Catholic Epistles:

Book of Revelation:

The Tetragrammaton: YHWHII) “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):

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

IV) Some Related Webpages:


Note: Many other published articles and websites simply claim that "Fear not!" is found exactly 365 times in the Bible, without providing any evidence or accurate analysis.
But even if this claim is not technically correct, we can certainly allow God to inspire us to "have no fear" (except to "fear God alone") each day of every year of our lives!

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