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 doesn't 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 goal 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?

What is Pride?

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

  • First, it's 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 as pride?  Which one do you think best describes the idea or answers 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 a concordance, the word pride occurs:

  • 49 times in the King James Bible, with only 3 of these occurrences in the New Testament.
  • 69 times in the New International Version but only 8 occurrences in the New Testament.

In the King James Bible Old Testament it's translated from 3 Hebrew words. Understanding these words will help us see the biblical answer to the question - What is pride?

The three words 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 generally means “glory”.  Besides pride, it's also translated as beauty, ornament, and distinction. 

The word represents "beauty," in the sense of the characteristic enhancing one's appearance.  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 and emphasizes the rank of the persons or things so modified.  In another related nuance, tip'eret (or tip'arah) is used of God, to emphasize His rank, renown, and inherent "beauty":  

This word also represents the "honor" of a nation, in the sense of its position before God.  Finally, it represents a raising of oneself to a high rank in one's own eyes.

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.  It's 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, it signifies a man of great learning. 

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".  The meaning of ga'on is close to that of "glory."  Related to "majesty" is the word ga'on attributed to nature as something mighty, luxuriant, rich, and thick.

The majority of the uses of ga'on are negative in that they connote human "pride" as an antonym for humility (see Proverbs 16:18).  Proverbs puts ga'on together with

  • arrogance
  • evil behavior
  • perverse speech. 

Some other nouns are related to ga'on:

  • Ge'ah occurs once to mean "pride"
  • Ga'awah, which is found 19 times, also means "pride"
  • Ge'ut appears 8 times and refers to "majesty" 

(adapted 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're translated from the 2 Greek words shown below.

Greek Word



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.

Greek Word



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