Comments for Proud (Arrogance) vs Proud (Pleasure)

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Oct 04, 2015
Proud of Others
by: Anonymous

Hello Bob,

In researching this to try to understand your point of view, I discovered the following:

English language dictionaries' definitions and synonyms of "proud" include the positive meanings to be "pleased" or "to glory" or "boast of" or "be joyful" (and by extension, to "rejoice") in the accomplishments of or relationship to another, as well as the negative meaning of "arrogant". This shows that, at least in English, the words can be used interchangeably.

The Strong's definition you reference supports this positive or negative use in the Greek language, "kaúchema, kow'-khay-mah; from G2744; a boast (properly, the object; by implication, the act) IN A GOOD OR A BAD SENSE: —boasting, (whereof) to glory (of), glorying, rejoice(-ing)."

Furthermore, the noun form of this Greek word is used in the first part of II Corinthians 5:12 to express the positive act of "glorying" or "boasting in" or "being proud of" Paul and his fellow workers; and the verb form of the same word is being used in the negative sense in the second part of this same verse as those who are "glorying" or "boasting in" or "being proud of" "...appearance".

Therefore, I can see how several English translators chose to use "proud" or "boast" since the positive or negative meanings of these words in English are common, and the Greek word allows for a good or bad sense usage.

In doing some more research, I found that in traditional Hebrew thought, pride in one's self is shunned because our very existence is owed to our Creator, and our accomplishments are simply no more than what is required. And it is significant that in the Hebrew Tanakh, the word "proud" is only used in a negative sense. Still, being proud of others, like a son (i.e. the positive English sense), is not in focus in any of these verses.

To conclude, I would agree with you that "glorying" or "rejoicing" are likely better choices than "boasting" or "proud" because they avoid any confusion between the positive vs negative meanings of the latter two words (in English).

But isn't it just a little presumptuous to say people are "deceived" simply because they express the same thought using a less desirable English word?

In His love,

Reply from Watchman Bob:

Tom, I respect your research, and I don't want to quibble over words in a legalistic way or be presumptuous, as you suggest, about people's motives in using the word "proud." However, I will continue to caution others against using that term for a few reasons:

1) Pride is perhaps the most pervasive and subtle sin by which Satan takes our minds off Yahuah ("God") and focuses them on self.
2) What the terms "proud" or "pride" do not connote is as important as what they connote: they do not, in any way, connote total reliance on and submission to our Creator, which, after all, is what life in the Messiah is all about, isn't it? ("Apart from me, you can do nothing." - John 15:5).
3) As you mentioned, there are no positive references to pride in the Tanakh. But wasn't the "New Testament" also written by Jews from a Hebrew linguistic and religious mindset? So, to use the words "pride" and "proud" in a positive sense in the "New Testament" violates, on a very fundamental level, what Yahuah ("God") has communicated with His people throughout history concerning their attitude toward and relationship with Him.

"But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matthew 12:36)

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