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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Pride

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This word occurs thrice in the AV_: in Mark 7:22 as the rendering of ὑπερηφανία, in 1 John 2:16 of ἀλαζόνεια, in 1 Timothy 3:6 as the rendering (‘lifted up with pride’) of τυφόω (the same verb is found in 1 Timothy 6:4, ‘he is proud’ [RV_ ‘pulled up’], and in 2 Timothy 3:4, ‘highminded’ [‘puffed up’ RV_]; it is formed from the substantive τύφος, ‘smoke’ or ‘cloud,’ which does not occur in the NT, but is found in the metaphorical use in 1 Clem. xiii. 1 along with ἀλαζόνεια and suggests the pride which beclouds the moral sense and destroys self-control). In 1 Corinthians 13:4, where we read that love ‘vaunteth not itself’ (οὐ περπερεύεται), ‘is not puffed up’ (οὐ φυσιοῦται), the first verb appears to denote the arrogant or forward manner of one who sounds his own praises, the latter (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:1) the disposition of self-conceit which loves pre-eminence.

The two words ὑπερηφανία and ἀλαζόνεια, with their corresponding adjectives, are common in the literature of the early Church: e.g., in Hermas, Mand. VI. ii. 5, both stand together as signs of the presence within the heart of ‘the messenger of wickedness.’ In Romans 1:30 with these is associated the epithet ὑβριστής (AV_ ‘despiteful,’ RV_ ‘insolent’); but ὕβρις indicates the unrestrained insolence of wrong-doing (common in Greek tragedy) rather than pride in the strict sense: it is essentially the contempt of others breaking forth into acts of wantonness and outrage, and therefore the strongest word of the three in the scale of guilt. In distinguishing the pride of the ἀλάζων from that of the ὑπερήφανος, R. C. Trench (NT Synonyms9, 1880, pp. 98-105) rightly refers the former to ‘speech,’ the latter to ‘thought,’ but not thought, it must be noted, as merely quiescent and passive. The pride of overmastering language is definitely brought out in the use of ἀλαζόνεια in such passages as James 4:16 (AV_ ‘boastings,’ RV_ ‘vauntings’) and 1 Clem. xxi. 5; in 1 John 2:16 Trench suggests that the Germ. Prahlerei is the most adequate rendering; the English ‘pride’ is too vague and colourless; and Beza’s ‘gloriosus’ is a better rendering of ἀλάζων than Vulg._ ‘elatus.’ On the other hand, ὑπερηφανία (Germ. Hochmuth) is a vice developed not so much in society as in the secrecy of the heart; none the less, it manifests itself in outward acts of arrogance, cruelty, and revengefulness. The ‘proud’ of James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34 are those whose overweening treatment of others calls forth and merits the Divine antagonism.

B. F. Westcott (Epistles of St. John, 1886, p. 65) suggests that while ἀλαζόνεια may be referred to a false view of what things are in themselves, empty and unstable-a sin against truth-ὑπερηφάνια is a sin against love as implying a false view of what our relations to other persons are. Thus, ‘the vainglory of life’ is a false view of the value of our possessions, and therefore ἀλαζόνεια in 1 John 2:16 is rightly associated with life (βίος) in its external and transient significance, not in its essential principle (ζωή).

It may be noted that the verb καυχάομαι, with its corresponding nouns καύχημα and καύχησις (see art._ Boasting) is often used by St. Paul in a good sense to indicate the legitimate pride with which an apostle contemplates the effects of his ministry in the life and conduct of his converts (e.g. 2 Corinthians 9:2, Philippians 2:16); it also expresses the sacred glorying of the inner life in God or Christ (e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:31, Philippians 3:3, and elsewhere)-a characteristic and very common Pauline expression.

The pride of racial exclusiveness, e.g. of Greek towards barbarian and especially of Jew towards Gentile, as done away in Christ, is a common theme with the same apostle; cf. Romans 10:12 (and argument of the whole chapter), Galatians 3:28.

R. Martin Pope.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Pride'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/p/pride.html. 1906-1918.

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