What the Bible Says about Hypocrisy
The Bible consistently condemns hypocrisy in its many forms. From religious leaders with ulterior motives to individuals who exude false piety, deception and insincerity are portrayed unfavorably. The Bible steadfastly implores followers to veer from hollow displays of faith, as these are seen to mar the integrity of one’s spiritual journey. Instead, believers are encouraged to act in ways that reflect their faith sincerely, emphasizing the importance of inner piety over external demonstrations of religious devotion.
Why Hypocrisy is Condemned in the Bible
Hypocrisy is highlighted as being antithetical to the themes of authenticity and sincerity that are central to the Bible’s teachings. By pretending to be something they are not, hypocrites are seen as living dishonestly. This dishonesty goes against the Bible’s teachings about truth and righteousness. Acting in a hypocritical manner displays a lack of respect for oneself, for others and most importantly, for God. Hence, the Bible holds a harsh stance against behavior that indicates hypocrisy.
Where the Bible Advocates for Authenticity
Throughout the Bible, believers are exhorted to embody their faith in every aspect of their lives. This encourages a lifestyle that is in harmony with their beliefs, rather than one that simply appears to be so. The Bible extends this call for authenticity to all actions, whether public or private. Therefore, the Bible strongly advocates for believers to be genuine, honest and unaffected by hypocrisy.
Who the Bible Identifies as Hypocritical
The Bible goes beyond just condemning hypocritical behavior in the general sense. It specifically calls out individuals and groups who claim a godly appearance, but whose hearts are far from God. This especially includes religious leaders who set themselves high standards of righteousness but fail to meet them in their private lives. Their failure to live up to the religious teaching they espouse creates a persona of double standards, which is highlighted as a form of hypocrisy in the Bible.
When Believers are Encouraged to Examine Themselves
The Bible provides guidance on how one should protect themselves against hypocrisy. It urges believers to examine their own behavior deeply and reflectively, in hopes of maintaining a life guided by sincerity and truth. This self-examination serves as a way to ward off hypocrisy by achievement of personal awareness and by maintaining continuous alignment of actions and beliefs. Thus, the Bible not only condemns hypocrisy but also provides practical advice on avoiding it.
Below is the full list of bible verses on hypocrisy (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Hypocrisy
1 John 4:20
“20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
“5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
“26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
“1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
“7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
“3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”
1 John 2:9
“9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
“2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.”
2 Timothy 3:5
“5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
“15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
“16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
1 John 2:4
“4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
“5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
“21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
“2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
“1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”
“23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
“1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
1 Peter 2:1
“1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”
1 Peter 2:16
“16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
“15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Related Themes: Hell
“16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
“13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
“7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”
“13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”
“27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
“21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.”
“15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
“3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”