Bible Open on Seven Deadly Sins
The seven deadly sins are actually not explicitly listed in the Bible. Rather, theologians created the list of ultimate sins centuries later using the Bible as a guide.

Whether you’re a Christian or not, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the seven deadly sins. As a concept, the seven deadly sins are ubiquitous in Western culture. But what exactly are they, where did they come from, and why are they sins?

The modern list is as follows:

  1. Pride
  2. Greed
  3. Lust
  4. Envy
  5. Gluttony
  6. Wrath
  7. Sloth

Simply memorizing the list, however, is about as useful as memorizing Einstein’s famous formula: E = mc2. Without context, rote memorization won’t give you the nuance needed to understand their meaning.

For Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike, the idea of these ultimate sins dates back to Evagrius Ponticus (345–399 AD), a Christian monk who made a list of what he called evil thoughts. Interestingly, he listed eight of them. Translated from the original Greek, his list was as follows: Gluttony, Fornication, Avarice, Pride, Sadness, Wrath, Boasting, and Acedia.

Christian theologian John Cassian (360–435 AD) soon translated them into Latin, at which point they became part of the Catholic Church’s spiritual pietas (devotions). A century later, Pope Gregory I (540–604 AD), better known today as Saint Gregory the Great, reduced the list to seven by combining some sins and adding others– essentially creating what we know now as the seven deadly sins.

You may be surprised to learn that each sin has a greater meaning than what you might think just from the surface.

1. Pride

Pride has long been considered the most serious sin of the seven deadly sins because it is the one that perverts man’s dignity and moves him further from God. And at its most basic meaning, pride means that you lack humility and put yourself above anything and everything else, including God. Dante (1265–1321), the great author most famous for Dante’s Inferno, defined pride as “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbor.” The Book of Proverbs warns that “Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Benjamin Franklin considered pride the most egregious sin and the hardest sin to conquer.

2. Greed

Greed, or avarice, cupidity, or covetousness, is a sin as old as time. While most people think of greed as applying only to material things, especially money and wealth, it also applies to such things as the hoarding, theft, or robbery of essentials like food, water, land, or materials. Keeping essential items to yourself and denying them to those who need them more is the embodiment of greed.

3. Lust

Lust is primarily defined as an intense sexual desire that can lead to sexual immorality, like adultery– or even sexual violence. But lust can also be the want of other things beyond the sexual – it can be the excessive desire for power, money, authority, or pretty much anything else. Lust is a sin that can cause one to run over others in an attempt to sate their own out-of-control desires.

4. Envy

Envy likewise is similar to but different than greed and lust. While all three represent excessive desire, envy includes resenting those who have what you want and wish you had yourself. It is jealousy of others, that can lead to resentment of the individual who has the material items, appearance, or even personality traits that you don’t have. It can also manifest in jealousy of others’ successes- personal or career. God’s Tenth Commandment given to Moses addresses envy directly: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, his wife, his servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

5. Gluttony

Gluttony is the overindulgence of something to the point of waste. Most associated with an excessive desire for food, gluttony is considered a sin because it leads to withholding from the needy. Gluttony is a selfish impulse and was particularly in the pre-Industrial age when famine or war made food scarce. Italian philosopher Thomas Aquinas even outlined five different ways one might commit gluttony: eating too expensively, eating too daintily, eating too soon, eating too much, and eating too eagerly.

6. Wrath

Wrath has to do with uncontrolled feelings of anger, rage, and/or hatred directed at an individual or an entire group based on a perceived wrong or injustice committed by the object of your wrath. It generally also encompasses a desire for revenge. Wrath is a particularly self-destructive sin, as it can manifest as feelings of misanthropy, anger, and even self-harm or drug and alcohol abuse.

7. Sloth

Many think of sloth as a sin of laziness. And while that is partially true, the sin of sloth goes beyond simple lethargy. Sloth is a general indifference in anything, but particularly God. Sloth is the shirking of your duties and the habitual disinclination to exertion of any kind. In that sense, sloth can also be extended to failing to exercise and stay physically fit. British statesman Edmund Burke even described sloth as the failure of good men to act against evil.


It’s not hard to see why pride is considered to be the father of all sins and why it ranks number one on the list of seven deadly sins. The other six sins all come from the insistence on putting yourself and your wants and needs above those of anyone else. Still, all seven of these capital vices lead directly to even graver sins according to Christian tradition. And even removed from their Christian origin, recognizing and avoiding these seven negative personality traits can make you a better person and promote personal growth. And self-improvement is something we should all strive for.

35 comments

  1. preacher richard h. says:

    the 7 deadly sins,
    Describes the modern day Liberal Democrats and all the victim groups that make up that party.
    If only they could Let Go, n Let GOD.

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Richard – I was thinking the opposite. It appears more like one particular POTUS at the moment.

      How, specifically, do you see this as being an entire Democrat party? Specifics, please.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Apparently, Richard H. is confusing politics with religion. Regardless of our religions or political parties, we’re all Americans! And I’m nothing like a democrat, but I’ll probably vote for Biden in 2020 anyway, since there won’t be a good Republican running for president.

      1. kimberly says:

        a vote for Biden is a waste of your time. Vote for Trump

      2. Lionheart says:

        President Trump is the only way to go to get this beautiful nation back on track to where it should be. We are already seeing the best unemployment figures in 50 years. The economy is way better than Obamas ever was.

        🦁❤️

        1. kimberly says:

          on that we can agree with ever-increasing confidence. President Trump is a blessing this nation doesn’t deserve but sorely needs. Who else would give up his entire life to be servant to a nation of ingrates and do a good job of it? greater love has no man………….

  2. kimberly says:

    Jesus gave a new commandment which is essence says “love one another MORE than oneself” rather than “love one another AS oneself”. If kept in the spirit, the letter of the law defining sin with respect to one’s fellow man has no hold on a person. For example, if there is no hate, the commandment to not murder never comes into play for without hate, there can be no murder and one is free from the commandment in that murder becomes impossible.

    John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Kimberly – Where in the Bible does it say to love another MORE than oneself? I am most curious.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Kimberly, you must not have seen very many detective shows. People commit murders for far more reasons than hating someone. Sometimes even love has been the reason behind murder.

        1. Carl Elfstrom says:

          P.S. Hate and murder are not on the list of seven deadly sins. That doesn’t mean they aren’t wrong. Others have come up with lists of tenets to live by too. It all boils down to having a healthy, moral conscience, and being ethical.. Doing what is right simply because it’s the right thing to do. A healthy, moral conscience makes us know right from wrong. Doing bad things make us feel bad, and doing good things makes us feel good. Those of us who live within the boundaries of our consciences don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, we know. Everyone else should pick a list, and follow it. You’re doomed if you do’nt.

          1. kimerly says:

            Hebrews 9:27
            And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

        2. kimberly says:

          I hate detective shows. that kind of love is not love. don’t be obtuse.

          1. Carl Elfstrom says:

            There are those too who are incapable of original thought and lack imagination who can only quote others from a book that they think is revered by all, and keep quoting the same few writings over and over again, like a broken record, to justify everything under the sun. If they must quote others, why not expand their repertoires, to include the many brilliant quotes made throughout history, by the most brilliant minds. I know hundreds of them from many different sources, and will start including them in my comments on this blog, so that less fortunate people who can’t get past reading that one story book, full of fallicies, and indecent and immoral acts done by a hateful, vengeful god can memorize these quotes, and have more to choose from, so they’ll quit sounding like retards. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”Aristotle

          2. kimberly says:

            Carl…here’s some quotes for ya…..

            “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
            “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
            ““Words build bridges into unexplored regions.””
            ““The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ””

            by…..Adolf Hitler

          3. Lionheart says:

            Books and cleverness. There are more important things —friendship and bravery. – Hermione Granger (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

            It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but just as much to stand up to your friends. – Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

            We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. – Albus Dumbledore (The Goblet of Fire)

            🦁❤️

          4. kimberly says:

            Lion……….here’s some saying you might like……….

            ““Death is the solution to all problems. No man – no problem.””
            ““I believe in only one thing,the power of human will.””
            “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?”
            ““The only real power comes out of a long rifle.””

            by…………..Stalin

          5. Lionheart says:

            I like the one about the power of the human will.

            I can see you seem to be quite wrapped up in Stalin and Hitler for some reason. I think you’ll find there are better people to quote from, but that’s up to you.

            Alice In Wonderland has some great quotes.

            Thanks Kimberly

            🦁❤️

          6. Kimberly Pierre says:

            Lion……I usually quote from Buffy the vampire slayer. Stalin n Hitler seemed to be more your style

            ‘In every generation, there is a chosen one…’ …
            ‘Lie to me.’ …
            ‘You’re not ready for the big moments.’ …
            ‘Without passion, we’d truly be dead.’ …
            ‘Take all that away, and what’s left?’ …
            ‘Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood.’ …
            ‘Strong is fighting.’ …
            ‘It looks quiet down there.

          7. Lionheart says:

            Ouch! 🏹 That went straight to my heart ❤️. I do have one you know!

            Fortunately, my British upbringing and my mothers temperament, helps me to always see the funny side of life.

            I also subscribe to the philosophy of a wonderful book, no not the Bible, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of those agreements is to not take anything personally.

            Thank you though, for your light hearted comments. What is life if it cannot be fun?

            🦁❤️

      2. Lionheart says:

        Personally, I’m looking forward to her exposition on the topic of Pride, to correct us and put us all straight.

        🦁♥️

        1. kimberly says:

          The first example of Pride was when God assigned certain of His eternal Host to be caretakers of the Creation. It was pride that drove these beings to rebel. In simple words, they thought it beneath them to be “dinosaur herders”. Turns out, the purpose of the Creation was a test for just that. Many of those eternal Host failed that test and became the Devil and his demons. Once again, religion hides such things by the presumption that angels, the Devil and demons are created beings. But in reality, they came from a Kingdom of far greater permanence than the creation and they had no beginning, no origin and will face in the day of judgement what religion thinks how God once existed. Outer and complete darkness. Banished from the presence of God and from the Kingdom of God with its eternal light and life, and with such banishment, their infinite life will slowly dissipate. No beginning but an ending. All because of pride.

          1. Lionheart says:

            It really is a fascinating story Kimberly. I personally don’t believe it, but thank you. I guess only time will tell.

            🦁❤️

      3. kimberly says:

        There are several

        Matthew 5:39
        But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

        John 13:34
        A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU (Jesus loved the world more than himself and gave his life for it), that ye also love one another.

        John 15:13
        Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I’m sure that Jesus, and many other discarnate entities speak to schizophrenic orophets everyday, and tell them all kinds of new commandments to spread throughout the world, usually one person at a time. And the best person to start with is their psychiatrists. They really want to know Jesus’new commandments, and any other communications you receive.

  3. Rev. Brien says:

    Is it possible to have a meaningful discussion without badly quoting some book of short stories that was not even translated correctly? Are you a decent person because that is what you chose to be, or because some book tells you to be? I am just curious as to how many of you can be programmed.

    1. Howard Pippin says:

      You are a Rev.?

      1. Rev. Brien says:

        Yes. Most of the time I council people who think they need a crutch or some nicely wrapped religious or medical excuse to justify bad thinking. It truly pains me to see so many willing to stick their head in the sand over a book. The Bible, for example, is the most published and widely distributed book in history. It is by no means the only book of its’ kind but it is the most published. I will not debate the quality of the stories or the large amount of authors, or the questionable translations. I will debate what it is not. It is not a badge that allows you to completely ignore a human being because you do not agree with their life style. No book can do that. If you wish to behave like a bigot, then just say you are a bigot. Do not blame some book. It is not the words of some omnipotent being. Again, written by man, translated by man, published by man, distributed by man. I believe completely that people like to hide behind crutches in order to justify poor thinking.
        There now, did you get this sermon? Peace.

        1. Howard Pippin says:

          No Comment.

        2. kimberly says:

          the Bible was never meant to be taken as a manual for how to live. It was written as a witness against humanity. It will condemn mankind in the day of judgement. Because without condemnation, there can be no mercy to forgive. If one thinks he/she can live “by the book” and consequently be “saved” then one has failed in that endeavor. While written and compiled by men, it was inspired by God. The question is whether the Bible we know is in actuality the “books” that are mentioned. Its possible there is more but I doubt there is less by which humanity will be judged.

          Revelation 20:12
          And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the (resurrected) dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their (the dead’s) works.

          1. Howard Pippin says:

            Good post Kimberly.

  4. Mary Benoit says:

    Both Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are demonstrations of these traits. It shows how these crutches limit the joy of life

  5. Mary Benoit says:

    I watch science shows on TV. Among the themes are displays of technology to escape earth when it is too extreme for our human survival. Why not shift around and stop doing the things that are contributing to the climate change as extreme weather and rising tides.
    Why do we think that we should overcome god given barriers and abandon this planet when we must be better stewards of our home.
    Remember we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

    1. Kimberly Pierre says:

      Face reality…..mankind is mortal. There is nothing spiritual about that. Rom 7:14

  6. Carl Elfstrom says:

    But how can anyone live without chocolate?!

  7. Sarah says:

    Nah. Theft is the worst sin. As the paragraph from the amazing book “The Kite Runner” says:

    ‘There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life… you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a Father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness… there is no act more wretched than stealing.’

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