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Overview of the Use of “Fear” in the Bible December 5, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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The English word “fear” is used 517 times in the Bible – 404 times in the Old Testament and 113 times in the New Testament.

Almost all of the Old Testament books have at least one use of the word while 8 of the 27 New Testament books have no mention and 7 with one only mention. In the Old Testament, 25 Hebrew different words translate as “fear”. However, only 8 Greek words are translated as fear in the New Testament.

Generally, the Old Testament uses contain more of the concept of being afraid of God and the New Testament tends to speak more of a respect.

While never explicitly stated in Scripture, I believe that the lessened fear in the New Testament, as compared with the Old Testament actually may have spiritual significance. The New Testament is all about the New Covenant of Jesus’ blood that both covers our sins and rights our relationship with God. Without that blood, we are under God’s wrath. Further, since we have the love of God expressed through Jesus and final victory promised through the book of Revelation, we simply have less to fear now.

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