hi-pok’-ri-si, hip’-o-krit (choneph, chaneph; hupokrisis, hupokrites):
(2) "Hypocrisy," "hypocrite" are frequent in the New Testament, chiefly in Christ’s discourses in the Gospels. The word hupokrisis (primarily, "an answer," "response") meant generally, in classical Greek, stageplaying, acting, the histrionic art; hence, it came to mean acting a part in life, etc. We find hupokrisis in this sense in 2 Macc 6:25, the Revised Version (British and American) "dissimulation," and hupokrinomai, "to pretend," "to feign," etc. Ecclesiasticus 1:29; 32:15; 33:2, translated "hypocrite"; 2 Macc 5:25, "pretending peace," the Revised Version (British and American) "playing the man of peace"; 6:21, the Revised Version (British and American) "to make as if." Hupokrites (literally, "an actor") is the Septuagint for chaneph (Job 34:30; 36:13), equivalent to bad, wicked, godless, which is perhaps included in some of our Lord’s uses of the words, e.g. Mt 23:27 f, "full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (compare 23:29 f; 24:51); but, in general, the meaning is acting a part, false, deceptive and deceived, formally and outwardly religious and good, but inwardly insincere and unrighteous; the hypocrite may come to deceive himself as well as others, but "the hypocrite’s hope shall perish" (Job 8:13 the King James Version). On no class did our Lord pronounce such severe condemnation as on the hypocrites of His day.