Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I have a number of questions:

  • The film about the life of the Lord Jesus Christ produced in 1965, called "The Greatest Story Ever told" depicts our Lord as backing up in fear when tempted by Satan to let self fall from the mountain. Do you think that had really happened?

  • Is fear an innate component of human nature, or is it something that was externally introduced to our nature through sin?

  • Did our Lord Jesus Christ experience fear during difficult moments the way we do? If fear is not good, why are we asked to fear God?

This scene as described is total fiction. Our Lord did not look down and measure the height of the place where he was standing. Fear is a state that originated after the sin of Adam. The Holy Bible tells us how Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, how God talked to them and how they were used to hear and recognize His voice. However, after the fall, the Holy Bible says, "then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?' So he said, 'I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.' And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?'" (Gen 3:9-11). Only after they had sinned did Adam and Eve feel  afraid and hid themselves from the Lord.

We have to distinguish between the different meanings of the word fear. Fear is defined as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight). This is what Adam and Eve felt after they had sinned, a feeling of fearfulness and fright. This differs from the Fear of God that every Christian should have. The latter is defined as a profound emotion inspired by God; "the fear of God" in other words is the reverence of God.

The Holy Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10), "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov 1:7); "The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil" (Prov 19:23).

You can read more about this topic in "Fear of God' by His Holiness Pope Shenouda.
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