Proud (Arrogance) vs Proud (Pleasure)

by Tom Volker
(Orange County California)

Though arrogant pride is condemned, the Scriptures also demonstrate a proud pleasure that is acceptable to our God.

2 Corinthians 1:12
For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

2 Corinthians 1:14
just as you also partially did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:12
We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.

Philippians 1:26
so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

2 Thessalonians 1:4
therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

It is therefore reasonable to say that God was proud of His Son when He said, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." Mark 1:11

It is also possible that He is proud of you for being obedient and willing to share this beautiful teaching on this website.

Thank you for your faithfulness,
Love in Him, Tom V.

Reply from Watchman Bob:


It's interesting that you would go to so much trouble to justify using a term ("proud") the Bible, correctly translated, condemns. To me, that just indicates how diabolically deceptive that evil spirit of pride is.

I am publishing your commentary because it is a perfect example of how deceitful Satan is - not that you are Satan, but you are deceived by him.

I don't know from which Bible version you are quoting, but the Greek word translated "proud" in the verses you quote is kauchema, which, according to Strong's dictionary/concordance, means "boast," "glory" or "rejoice," depending on the context. The King James Version translates it as "rejoice" in the verses you listed. And that is obviously, in light of all the negative things the Bible says about pride (Proverbs 6:16-17 calls it an abomination), how it is used in these verses.

Satan is subtle. He loves to deceive us by omitting, adding or changing a word of Scripture here and there. Giving pride a positive connotation is a prime example.

Yes, it is right for Yahuah ("God") to be proud and to boast, because He is the source of all that is good and it is for His glory (not ours) that we exist. So, I will be perfectly satisfied if, in the end, He will say of me, as He said of His Son, "With him, I am well pleased." But that's not because there is any innate goodness in me, as there was in His Son, but simply because I am saved by His grace and am a reflection of His goodness, not my own.

And, rather than being proud of myself, I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the "beautiful teaching" on this website and that it has been a blessing to you.

May Yahovah keep us humble.


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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Common English translations of Hebrew and Messianic terms used in this commentary:

Yehovah - the LORD or GOD
Yah - I Am (the short form         of Yehovah)
Elohim - God
El - God (the short form of         Elohim)
Adonai - my Lord or Master
Yeshua - Jesus
Followers of Yeshua - 
Messiah - Christ
Assembly of Followers of
     Yeshua - the Church
Antimessiah - Antichrist
BBM - Before the Birth of
     the Messiah (rather than
     BC or BCE)
ABM - After the Birth of the      Messiah (rather than AD
    or CE)

For a complete explanation of Hebrew terms used, go to Important Terms and Concepts.