Because God’s appearances in the Bible have been shrouded in power and mystery, and there are many statements about “fearing” God, there has been a tendency among the Christian world to fear God rather than love Him. This is an unfortunate situation.
It just so happens that much of the current Bible’s translations from the original Hebrew and Greek to Latin in the Fifth Century AD by ecclesiastical scribes employed by the Romans decided to translate the Hebrew word יָרֵא (yare') to "fear," instead of its more logical translation, according to the lexicon, "to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe." It also describes the word as "reverence, honour, respect."
Why did the early Biblical translators - and those later who carried on the interpretation - want to see the Supreme Being as someone to fear?
Because they wanted to control the people - and fear was a better means than devotional reverence.
This interpretation began among ecclesiastical Jewish teachers who taught that God was to be feared, in order to control their assemblies and followers.
The interpretation was furthered by the Roman Catholic Church, with the Synods of Nicaea. The first synod council was assembled by Constantine, who wanted to organize and control the Christian world by organizing the prominent teachers around the Middle East and Europe. The first Council of Nicea accepted (decreed) and rejected certain scriptural positions (such as those from the Gnostics). They made interpretations regarding the role and position of Jesus, and eventually oversaw the choosing of the books of the Bible. They screened out and tossed out certain texts that did not meet their political objectives, and burned or hid the rest.
Then they translated the books of the Bible into Latin and outlawed the translating of the Bible to any other language for the next 1,000 years.
They carried on the determination that it would better meet their objectives if God the Father were a God the people feared. If the people feared God, they would come to church under threat that He would punish them if they did not attend church and pay tithings.
For this reason, we find many translations, especially among the books of the Bible using the phrase “fear” rather than its original intention to “honor" or "revere" God.
This can be confirmed simply, by the loving relationship that existed between God and the saints of the Bible, such as Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jonah and so many others. We also have to consider Moses' and Joshua's statements:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)So we know that the instruction to love the Supreme Being is not a fluke. It was emphasized over and over by Moses, and then Moses' student Joshua. We also know that David instructed his followers the same:
"Love the LORD your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, his laws and His commands always." (Deut. 11:1)
"So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul—" (Deut. 11:13)
"If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to Him—" (Deut. 11:22)
"because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the LORD your God and to walk always in obedience to Him—then you are to set aside three more cities." (Deut. 19:9)
"For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess." (Deut. 30:16)
"and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." (Deut. 30:20)
"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Josua 22:5)
"So be very careful to love the LORD your God." (Josua 23:11)
Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. (Psalm 31:23)And of course, Jesus reiterated this teaching:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)The big question is: So how can a person love someone they fear? You can't. Love requires a person come to know and feel comfortable with the person they love. Love requires trust, and in the case of the Supreme Being, also feeling protected by God.
In other words, we cannot feel protected by the Supreme Being and fear Him at the same time.
Furthermore, the idea of fear is a self-centered notion, while love is a selfless notion. Love means caring about the other person more than one cares about oneself. Therefore, love and fear are not compatible emotions.
With respect to the Council of Nicaea, there were several other decisions made by the councils, including the Nicene Creed, which has been inherited by nearly every Christian church and sect over the hundreds of years since its writing. Part of the creed says:
"In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."
Notice the intent to form one "authorized" church. This illustrates the political incentive of the entire creed. It also invalidates every other statement in the creed. Because the meeting was politically motivated, we cannot trust the interpretations made by this group, even if some may have had more honorable motives.
When politics and the intentions of power become mixed with devotional teachings, the resulting teachings become invalidated. There is no representation of God in those resulting teachings - and thus, have no authority.
The glaring error of the Nicean creed is the individuality between the Supreme Being and Jesus were blurred. By blurring their individuality, they erased their loving relationship.
The other offensive error is that the Creed basically says God became a man. This would means God somehow came under the control of the physical world and became crucified to redeem humanity. Why would God need to be crucified in order to redeem people? Are we saying that God does not have the ability to save people without dying on a cross? Are we saying that God does not control things? That he has to suffer for us?
No way. God does not have to suffer for us. God is the Controller of all things. God is the Creator of everything. God does not have to follow any rules. He makes the rules. The Supreme Being could save everyone one of us with one thought.
So why doesn't the Supreme Being do this? Because He gives us the freedom to make this determination. He only brings home to Him those who want to return to Him.
Jesus is the loving servant and representative of God. This concept of Jesus being the "only begotten son" of God was interpreted in an attempt to create exclusivity. Are they saying that God is impotent? That even humans can have many sons but God can only have one? Don't be ridiculous.
If we are not God's children, then why did Jesus say:
"They are God's children...." (Luke 20:26)Who begot us then? To be begotten means to be created. Surely this language was put forth to be politically expedient. They had to create a statement that would give their church the sole access to God. Without their church, the people would have no other way to reach the Supreme Being.
This isn't the situation at all. Jesus is the child and loving servant of God. Because he had dedicated himself to pleasing the Supreme Being, God empowered Jesus to represent Him. Jesus' life was spent serving God in an effort to please Him. This is confirmed by God directly, as He stated:
"with him I am well pleased." (Matt. 17:5)It is Jesus' loving service, and the teachings coming from loving service that have the ability to save us. And this is why God also said, "Listen to him!” (Matt. 17:5)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)