Certainly, I feel like the term hypocrisy is overused and misunderstood. For example, there have been times my husband and I have been having discussions about Christ and the other party would say that Christians are hypocrites because they’re not perfect. Yet, the Bible never calls us to be perfect. The Lord calls us to repent, turn from our sins, be sanctified, and grow in our faith. The more you grow in the Spirit, the less power the flesh has over you. That’s why I wanted to look up what the word hypocrisy means in Hebrew and Greek.
But first, let’s look at the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word hypocrisy:
“Simulation; a feigning to be what one is not; or dissimulation, a concealment of one’s real character or motives. More generally, hypocrisy is simulation, or the assuming of a false appearance of virtue or religion; a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.
Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy Luke 12:1.
2. Simulation; deceitful appearance; false pretence.”
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Hypocrisy’ Mean In Hebrew?
choneph- moral filth; wickedness.
What Does The Word ‘Hypocrisy’ Mean In Greek?
anupokritos- sincere; genuine.
This word means something that is true, unfeigned (sincere), or without hypocrisy. It’s used when speaking of:
- love (2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Peter 1:22; Romans 12:9)
- faith (1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5)
- the wisdom that is from above (James 3:17)
hupokrisis- deceit, hypocrisy.
Hupokrisis came to mean the acting of a stage player; hence the meaning of pretense. It suggests play-acting.
“And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”
– Galatians 2:13
This word can be found in the following scriptures:
- Matthew 23:28
- Mark 12:15
- Luke 12:1
- 1 Timothy 4:2
- 1 Peter 2:1
I think the reason this term is so misused is that people point fingers at Christians who make mistakes and call them hypocrites. Now, are there actual hypocrites hiding within the church walls? Of course! The Bible tells us we will know a tree by the fruit it bears. That’s why it’s important to be educated in the Word of God and the effects of having the Holy Spirit in your life.
When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within someone, that entire person is now completely changed on the inside. The outside may need a little time to catch up, but their heart is made clean. Their conscience is now awakened. They can no longer sin recklessly without hearing from God. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time until they submit and give up their sins.
In conclusion, that’s what the word hypocrisy means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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