What is Pride?

This Bible Study answers the question - What is Pride? This Bible study is suitable for individual study or weekly group reviews. It offers you a great opportunity for personal growth. This study presents you with an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and spiritual growth.

Small groups provide you an opportunity to share what you learned, but you can gain powerful insights from others. After all, The Holy Spirit works in all believers and you can learn a lot from other believers (and vice versa). Discussing and sharing your insights with others is a rewarding and fun way to study the Bible. This study also provides a great format to learn biblical truths we can apply in our daily lives. The idea is to share insights, explore what the Bible says together, and benefit from group discussion of biblical principles.

This website does not have all the answers and nobody expects you to have them either. However, we can learn from each other and learn more about pride and what God says about it together.

Our purpose is to learn from God's answer book - The Bible. Our purpose in this lesson is to see the Biblical perspective of pride so we can answer the question - What is pride? - with certainty and assurance from God's Word.

Our rewards for Biblical pursuits are eternal and our lessons from the Bible can be applied to our everyday lives.

So, what is pride? Why not start today and find out?

So What is Pride?

Daniel Webster provides six definitions, let's look at three:

First, it is the quality or state of being proud, as in inordinate self-esteem or conceit, or a reasonable or justifiable self-respect or delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship (such as parental pride). Secondly, pride is also defined as proud or disdainful behavior or treatment. A third definition is an ostentatious display.

So What are We Typically Proud of? This will help us answer the question "What is Pride?"

Here's a small list:

- Spouses

- Children

- Good Looks

- Skills We Have

- Where we Live

- Money we Make

- Scholarly Degrees

- Houses we Own

- How Smart we Are

- Schools we Attended

- Work Accomplishments

- Sports Teams Successes

- Cars, Boats, or motorcycles

- Fitness or Physical Aspects

- What we Make or “Create”

- Awards/Recognition/Titles

- Our Ancestry or Nationality

- Children’s Accomplishments

- How Much we Give or Donate

- Our Self-Sufficiency

What are some synonyms or words that have the same meaning; which one do you think best describes the idea or answer to the question - What is pride?

  • Joy            
  • Delight
  • Happiness
  • Pleasure
  • Gall
  • Self-Regard
  • Self-Respect
  • Self-Exaltation
  • Self-Admiration
  • Self-Confidence
  • Sufficiency
  • Disdainfulness
  • Contemptuousness
  • Condescension
  • Immodesty
  • Vanity
  • Hauteur
  • Contumely
  • Dignity
  • Conceit
  • Snobbery
  • Pridefulness
  • Conceitedness
  • Big-Headedness
  • Self-Glorification
  • Self-Satisfaction
  • Self-Importance
  • Self-Sufficiency
  • Overbear
  • Swagger
  • Pomposity
  • Haughtiness
  • Scornfulness
  • Smugness
  • Pretentiousness
  • Pretension
  • Flatter Oneself
  • Vainglory
  • Prance
  • Preen
  • Strut
  • Swell
  • Vaunt
  • Pick
  • Best
  • Elite
  • Prize
  • Prime
  • Cream
  • Choice
  • Airs
  • Crow
  • Hubris
  • Honor
  • Glory

Let's See How the Bible Answers the Question - What is Pride?

According to your concordance, the word pride occurs 49 times in the King James Bible, with only 3 of these occurrences in the New Testament.

In the New International Version it occurs 69 times with 8 occurrences in the New Testament.

In the King James Bible Old Testament it is translated from 3 Hebrew words.

This will help us understand the biblical answer to the question - What is pride?

They are:

1. Tip’eret (or tip'arah) - this word is a typically a noun but can be a verb, but when translated pride it is a noun. It is generally means “glory”. Besides pride, it is also translated as beauty, ornament, and distinction.

The word represents "beauty," in the sense of the characteristic enhancing one's appearance: "And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty" Ex 28:2-- the first occurrence. In Isa 4:2, the word identifies the fruit of the earth as the "beauty" or "adornment" of the survivors of Israel.

Tip'eret means "glory" in several instances. The word is used of one's rank. A crown of "glory" is a crown which, by its richness, indicates high rank-- Wisdom will "[present you with] a crown of glory (NASB, "beauty")" Prov 4:9. "The hoary head is a crown of glory" Prov 16:31, a reward for righteous living. In Isa 62:3, the phrase "crown of glory (NASB, "beauty")" is paralleled by "royal diadem." This word also modifies the greatness of a king Ester 1:4 and the greatness of the inhabitants of Jerusalem Zech 12:7. In each of these instances, this word emphasizes the rank of the persons or things so modified. The word is used of one's renown: "...and to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor [distinction]" Deut 26:19.

In another related nuance, tip'eret (or tip'arah) is used of God, to emphasize His rank, renown, and inherent "beauty": "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty..." 1 Chron 29:11.

This word represents the "honor" of a nation, in the sense of its position before God: "[He has] cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty [honor or pride] of Israel..." Lam 2:1. This nuance is especially clear in passages such as Judg 4:9: "I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor [i. e., distinction]; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman."

Finally, in Isa 10:12, tip'eret (or tip'arah) represents a raising of oneself to a high rank in one's own eyes: "...I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks."

2. Gobah – This noun, which occurs 17 times in biblical Hebrew, refers to the "height" of things 2 Chron 3:4 and of men 1 Sam 17:4. Besides height, it is also translated as exaltation, grandeur, haughtiness and of course pride. See the "grandeur" of Job 40:10 or the "haughtiness" or "pride" 2 Chron 32:26.

3. Ga’on – This noun comes from a root word that occurs only in northwest Semitic languages, as in Ugaritic: gan, "pride." It is a poetic word, which is found only in poetic books, the prophets (12 times in Isaiah), Moses' song Ex 15:7, and Leviticus 26:19. In rabbinic Hebrew, ga'on signifies a man of great learning. A ga'on was the head of the rabbinic academies of Susa and Pumpedita in Babylonia. Saadiah Gaon was one of the most outstanding.

In a positive sense ga'on, like the verb, signifies "excellence" or "majesty." God's "majesty" was expressed in Israel's deliverance through the Red Sea Ex 15:7. Israel as the redeemed people, then, is considered to be an expression of God's "majesty": "He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved" Ps 47:4. The meaning of ga'on is here close to that of kabod, "glory."

Related to "majesty" is the word ga'on attributed to nature as something mighty, luxuriant, rich, and thick. The poets use the word to refer to the proud waves Job 38:11 or the thick shrubbery by the Jordan; cf. "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling [literally, "majesty"] of Jordan?" Jer 12:5; cf. 49:19; 50:44.

The majority of the uses of ga'on are negative in that they connote human "pride" as an antonym for humility Prov 16:18. Proverbs puts ga'on together with arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech. In her independence from the Lord, Israel as a majestic nation, having been set apart by a majestic God, had turned aside and claimed its excellence as a prerogative earned by herself. The new attitude of insolence was not tolerated by God: "The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein" Amos 6:8. The Septuagint translations are: hubris ("insolence; arrogance") and huperephania ("arrogance; haughtiness; pride").

Some other nouns are related to ga'on. Ge'ah occurs once to mean "pride" Prov 8:13. The noun ga'awah, which is found 19 times, also means "pride": "And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart..." Isa 9:9. Ge'ut appears 8 times and refers to "majesty": "Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord" Isa 26:10.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Let's Look at the Word Proud

In the KJV version there are 6 occurrences of the English word “proud”. They are translated from the 2 Greek words shown below.


Appearing above others (conspicuous),i.e. (figuratively) haughty.

Luke 1:51
Rom 1:30
II Tim 3:2
James 4:6
I Pet 5:5


To envelop with smoke, i.e. (figuratively) to inflate with self-conceit.

I Tim 6:4

While the NIV translation shares the same translation of huperphanos to “proud” in 4 occurrences, there are 3 other Greek words translated as “proud” as shown below.


To take off together, i.e. transport with seduce, passively, yield): carry (lead) away with, condescend.

Rom 12:16


In the primary sense of blowing; to inflate, i.e. (figuratively) make proud (haughty): puff up.

I Cor 5:2
I Cor 13:4


Big (literally or figuratively, in a very wide application): exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, (be) sore (afraid), strong, to years.

Rev 13:5

Let's See What the Bible Says About the Great Sin

1 Corinthians 4:6

Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.

What is pride?

This verse shows us that pride relies upon competition, and that it cannot exist without competition. It's always about you or me against another.

See also Galatians 6:4 and James 1:9-10

2 Corinthians 5:12

We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

What is pride?

From this verse we learn that You can be proud of someone else and still be in God’s will. When we are outside of God’s will we can boast in what is seen (the physical aspects of life) as opposed to the spiritual.

See also: 2 Corinthians 7:4, 2 Corinthians 8:24

Now Let's Look at Some Verses for the Word Proud

Luke 1:51

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

What is pride?

From this passage we see that pride is something in your heart. One can be conceited and never show it outwardly.

1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

What is pride?

Since it is not lovely to God, pride is evil.

The Point of This Lesson

Being proud of another's Christian walk is in alignment with God's Word

Pride in self is NOT in alignment with God's Word.

What is Pride?  Pride is SIN

I'm Finished with What is Pride? Return to Pride Bible Study Main Page

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For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.                  Romans 1:16 NLT