When Jesus used the word 'hypocrite', everybody knew He was referring to actors. In the Greek theatrical tradition of Jesus' day, the most common plays were tragedies in which the misfortunes of the main character stemmed from unrealised bad personality traits. The audience could see the tragedy developing although the character remained oblivious to his own faults. The word itself means ‘speaking from underneath a mask’. Not only could the audience not see the face of the actor, but the mask also prevented proper vision.
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