Narcissistic* Traits Case Study – Acting As Judge (Pharisees)


The Pharisees are one of the prime examples of Insolent Pride / Narcissism in the Bible (see here and here).  They were described as “scoffers” in Isaiah 28.   And “Scoffers” are one of the “names” given to those with insolent pride – [“‘Proud’, ‘haughty’, ‘scoffer’ are his names who acts with insolent pride” – Proverbs 21:24].  And insolent pride = narcissism (see here).

A prime characteristic of a scoffer is that they set themselves up as judge over others, based on an arbitrary standard of their own creation.   They will not try to keep their own standard, as they see themselves as above the rules.  And they will change the standard as necessary to suit their primary objective of being “above” others (that’s one of the reasons its an “arbitrary” standard).  The imperative of scoffers / insolent pride / narcissists is to maintain their superiority over others.

Here are some examples of the Pharisees acting as judge:


  • Matthew 9:11 – When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”

The Pharisees set an implied arbitrary rule as to who “righteous” people should eat with, and then judged Jesus against that rule]


  • Matthew 9:14 – Then the disciples of John *came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

The Pharisees took something they were doing (fasting), and turned it into a standard they could use with which to judge others]


  • Matthew 9:34 – But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Rather than carefully exploring how Jesus was able to cast out demons, the Pharisees jumped to the conclusion that since Jesus’ power could not be from God (based on the Pharisees’ own pre-determined view), it had to come from Satan.  Since linking Jesus’ miracles as being sourced from Satan would clearly undermine His ministry, the Pharisees were quick to take the opportunity to do this.]


  • Matthew 12:2 – But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”

The Pharisees were interpreting the law according to their own opinion, and using their interpretation as the basis for judging Jesus]


  • Matthew 12:24 – But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

Once again, rather than honestly exploring the true source Jesus’ ability to cast out demons, the Pharisees were quick to judge and condemn Him, based on an interpretation that would most fully demean and undermine Jesus.]



* Narcissism is the colloquial secular term for what the Bible refers to as “insolent pride”.

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