"Fear is useless, what is needed is trust." Which Bible Version?


I have read, and even heard, many times that this is one translation for Mark 5:36. However, is this true? And is there a Bible version that has this exact wording of the passage?

I don’t see it in any common translations. http://bible.cc/mark/5-36.htm

Even Good News for Modern Man doesn’t translate it that wayhttp://www.biblestudytools.com

These exact words impressed me so much when I read them years ago , that I wrote them on a sticky memo paper and stuck it on my desk where I would see it often.

I was fairly sure I’d read it in the New American Bible, but this online version of the NAB would say I’m wrong. So I went digging through some boxes of books I’d packed when I moved a few months ago, and found it - worded exactly as you posted eddadonkey - and exactly as I remembered it.

It was worded this way in previous versions of the NAB . The one I’m going to quote from is the:

*"Saint Joseph Edition of * The New American Bible

-Translated from the Original languages with Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources by
members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America

-NIHIL OBSTAT Stephen J. Hartdegen. O.F.M., S.S.L.
Christian P. Ceroke, O Carm., S.T.D.

… and the IMPRIMATUR is from July 27, 1970 , Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D. Archbishop of Washington. "

Here’s a look at the entire paragraph for context because there is more than one change.

First,from the 1970 New American Bible cited above , Mark 5:35-40 [pg 49 NT]

He had not finished speaking when people from the official’s house arrived saying , “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher further ?” Jesus disregarded the report that had been brought and said to the official : “Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.” He would not permit anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and James’ brother John. As they approached the house of the synagogue leader, Jesus was struck by the noise of the people, wailing and crying loudly on all sides. He entered and said to them: “Why do you make this din with your wailing ? The child is not dead. She is asleep.” At this they began to ridicule him. Then he put them all out.

Now from the current online version of the NAB linked above :

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out .

’Fear is Useless, What is Needed is Trust’

Here’s an interesting take on what Jesus was implying.

In Greek it’s “Me phobou, monon pisteue.” (Fear not, only believe.)

It’s the same “fear not” phrase that angels use (like phob- in phobia), and “monon” has that mono- stem you already know. “piste-” is connected to faith, etc.


I’m sorry for the late reply, work was leaving me ragged.

@Richard320: I know! I have been looking for it everywhere, and I couldn’t find it, that’s why I was asking :slight_smile:

@NeedImprovement: YES!!! Thanks for finding that for me, and for the effort in typing all that! I really appreciate it :thumbsup: Now I am wondering if I should look for one of the old NAB’s at Ebay…

@centurionguard: I’ve read that article before, and I was so impressed by how this, among many, articles have worded Mark 5:36 and interpreted it that I wanted to be sure that it is a legitimate translation!

@Mintaka: Ah, thanks for the break down Mintaka :thumbsup: So do you think Mark 5:36 from the old NAB is truthful or an exaggeration or a poor translation?

“Fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” seems to be a pastoral translation, and while it strays a bit from the literal meaning of the underlying Greek, it does seem to speak to men of our time. I know many people that have this particular translation memorized instead of “Fear not, believe only,” without actually owning a copy of the St. Joseph Ed. NAB from whence it comes. People hear it, remember it, and take it to heart. I was shocked when my search for ‘fear is useless’ in the ‘Faith Database’ came back with nothing in all of its Bible translations. That is what lead me to this discussion forum. I am glad to know which Bible translation it comes from so that I can continue quoting the phrase with a bit more certainty. Thanks to all who put in effort to answer and research this. Blessings to all.

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