Does anyone know if the saying that the Bible says “Do not fear” (or varients of this) 365 times, "one for every day of the year is true or not? I’ve looked it up a few times and get conflicting answers.
(I have the resources to do the primary research on this; I just don’t have the time right now.)
I will appreciate your comments when you do have the time.
Well, for starters, just the phrase “fear not” shows up 63 times, but that includes some clauses like “those who fear not God” (I’m searching in the KJV in my PC Study Bible software; it is a full KJV). The phrase “not afraid” shows up 35 times, and again some of those are in statements like “she is not afraid.” We’re going to have a hard time making 365.
Edit: Google the text string (“fear not” 365), with the parantheses, and you’ll get a number of hits from people who have done their homework. The bottom line is that my figures are close. The total number of times that someone is told in the text of the Bible not to be afraid (in whatever wording) appears to be slightly less than 100.
I thought so. My Bible study teacher has told us several times that “fear not” is mentioned in the Bible 365 times, something she heard from someone else. I don’t want to correct her but it kind of bugs me when she says this.
She really seems to know her Bible, backwards and forwards, has a BA, MA and PhD in theology but… this error really bugs me.
Huh, I wonder how to tell her that she’s wrong about this? I think the woman who’d told her this is pretty educated in Theology, but if they’re wrong they’re wrong.
I highlight all the “do no fears” and variants of this in my Bible and it didn’t take me very long to doubt her claim. I’d have to be still running across them occasionally but I haven’t read it in awhile.
If you have her email address, email her the links to a few of the websites that I mentioned. You could also ask her to provide a list of the verses where the phrase occurs.
I know what you mean about being irked at dumb mistakes like this. I hear it from some of the evangelical preachers that I hear from time to time, but I don’t have any way to correct them.
I emailed her a link. She got her information from someone who, IIRC, also has impressive credentials. They both should know better than to make a claim like that without verifying the facts.
It’s really one of those Christian urban legends, right up there with the folded napkin and the “eye of the needle” being a small gate somewhere in Jerusalem (or some other city): beautiful, but not exactly factual. And yes, sometimes even people with impressive credentials do unwittingly perpetuate these urban legends, so don’t feel bad about it.
To paraphrase Cuba Gooding’s character in the movie Jerry McGuire, “Show me the proof!”
Thanks for telling me that because I really look up to my Bible study teacher and have learned so much from her. For awhile there I was feeling like I couldn’t trust her teachings anymore.