vs 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites……..
vs 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites……….
vs 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites……..
vs 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites……….
vs 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites………
vs 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites………
vs 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites………
In one sense, we can all be called “hypocrites” because we often do not live according to the values we profess. But for many people, it may not be actual hypocrisy, but rather a moral inconsistency of some sort.
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
Paul’s inconsistency was due to the war within himself between what he knew to be right and his wayward heart. Real hypocrisy, however, is much more than simple inconsistency between values and actions. A true hypocrite, according to the Biblical definition, puts on a mask of righteousness to cover up a self-righteous, self-seeking, and self-exalting heart.
The word Jesus uses in Matthew 23 is the greek word “hupokrites“.
Original Word: ὑποκριτής, οῦ, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (hoop-ok-ree-tace’)
Short Definition: a hypocrite, dissembler
Definition: (lit: a stage-player), a hypocrite, dissembler, pretender.
The above definition of “hupokrites” includes the term “dissembler”
to give a false or misleading appearance to; conceal the truth or real nature of
to put on the appearance of; feign
Furthering the deeper dive into the definition of “hypocrite”……
5273 hypokritḗs (a masculine noun derived from 5259 /hypó, “under” and 2919 /krínō, “judge”) – properly, a judging under, like a performer acting under a mask (i.e. a theater-actor); (figuratively) a two-faced person; a “hypocrite,” whose profession does not match their practice – i.e. someone who “says one thing but does another.”
5273 (hypokritḗs) was commonly used of actors on the Greek stage. When applied in the NT, it refers to a hypocrite.
The breaking down of hypokrite (5273) into hypo “under” (5259) and krino “judge” (2919) takes us even further. The word “judge” includes 1. “to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong”, and 2. “to pronounce judgment; to subject to censure; of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in the matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others”.
It gives the picture of one who is hiding under a mask (of righteousness), while judging and condemning others. This is the essence of a scoffer, discussed in “Sitting in the Seat of Scoffers / Narcissists as Judge”.
Not only were the hypocritical Pharisees pretending to be righteous while pursuing evil – bad enough by itself – they did so while sitting as arrogant judges in their hearts over others. Jesus’ use of the word “hypocrite” was much more than simple inconsistency between appearance and action – it included the intent to deceive.
Narcissists lie to themselves (and others) that what they say (rather than what they do) is actually true. They will not admit that there is any inconsistency between their words and actions. And because their words typically are based on some (perceived) moral high ground, their hypocrisy amplifies their proof (to themselves, not in reality) that they are morally superior.
The narcissist’s intent to deceive is one reason why we need to listen to what narcissists do, instead of what they say.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
- Please see Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective for a discussion on what this blog is about
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here