“aphobōs”

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: ä-fo’-bōs
  • Strongs Concordance: #G870
    • without fear, boldly
  • Appears 4 times in 4 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “fearlessly” (1x)
    • “he has nothing to fear” (1x)
    • “without fear” (2x)

Where and how aphobōs is used in the New Testament

Luke 1:74 HCSB – “since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear

1 Corinthians 16:10 HCSB – “If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear from you, because he is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am.”

Philippians 1:14 HCSB – “Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message fearlessly.”

Jude 1:12 HCSB – “These are the ones who are like dangerous reefs at your love feasts. They feast with you, nurturing only themselves without fear. They are waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn — fruitless, twice dead, pulled out by the roots;”

My observations and perspective

The word aphobōs is the negative of phobos, or the absence of  phobos. We are told we can serve God without fear. We can also see that the Corinthians were exorted to make sure that Timothy ( a church leader) was to not have anything to fear from the Corinthians (the opposite of the flock having fear of a church leader!). We can also see mention of Paul’s “brothers in the Lord” being emboldened to speak the message without fear. Again, no fear of church leaders going on.

Lastly, Jude makes mention of those who wrong live without fear when perhaps they should. Looking further into Jude, we find who this is, and why they ought to fear. First… who are “they” in Jude 1:12?

Jude 1:4 HCSB – “For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord. “

and

Jude 1:4, 19 HCSB – “For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.  … These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit. “

We can see here that the “they” is “some men” (unbelievers) “who come in by stealth” that are “ungodly”, who “turn the grace of our God into promiscuity”, and deny Jesus Christ. Not to state the obvious, byt who is it they should fear, and why?

Jude 1:4, 15, 19 HCSB – “For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.  … to execute judgment on all and to convict them of all their ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against Him.  … These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit. “

 

In summary, there is no use of aphobōs which demonstrates any member of the Ekklesia demonstrating fear of a church leader.

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