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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary


Jesus repeatedly condemned the Jewish religious leaders of his time as hypocrites, because though they were outwardly religious, inwardly they were ungodly (Matthew 22:18; Matthew 23:25; Mark 7:6-8; Mark 12:15). They had no knowledge of God and his teaching, and could not see their own sin. They thought that their show of religion would impress people and please God, but it brought instead condemnation from Jesus (Matthew 6:2-5; Matthew 23:13-36; Luke 12:56). While pretending to be sincere, they had evil motives (Luke 20:19-20; cf. 1 Timothy 4:2). Their hypocrisy was, in fact, malice (cf. Mark 12:15 with Matthew 22:18; see MALICE).

God’s people must constantly beware of the dangers of hypocrisy. It shows itself in many ways, as, for example, when people accuse others of what they are guilty of themselves (Matthew 7:5; Luke 13:15; Romans 2:1-3; Romans 2:19-24). It shows itself also when people flatter others, or when they change their stated opinions solely to please others (Psalms 12:3-4; Galatians 2:13). All insincerity, whether in speech or actions, is hypocrisy (1 Peter 2:1). Christians can learn to overcome it through practising genuine love and developing a sensitive conscience (Romans 12:9; Romans 14:13; 1 Timothy 1:5).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Hypocrisy'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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