Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Respect of Persons

rḗ - spekt ´: The phrase פנים נשׂא , nāsā' phānı̄m , means literally, "lift up the face," and, among other translations, is rendered indifferently "accept" or "respect the person" in the King James Version (contrast Proverbs 18:5 and Proverbs 24:23 ). As applied to a (prostrate) suppliant, the phrase means "receive him with favor," and is so used in 1 Samuel 25:35; Malachi 1:8 , Malachi 1:9 (compare Genesis 19:21 , etc.). By a shift in force the phrase came to mean "accept the person instead of the cause " or "show partiality" (Job 13:8 , Job 13:10 the American Standard Revised Version), and is so used commonly. A literal translation into Greek gave λαμβάνω πρόσωπον , lambánō prósōpon (Sirach 35:13 (32:16); Luke 20:21; Galatians 2:6 ), with the noun προσωπολημψία , prosōpolēmpsı́a , "face-taking" (Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1 ), rendered uniformly "respect of persons" in English Versions of the Bible. A noun προσωπολήμπτης , prosōpolḗmptēs , "respecter of persons," and a verb προσωπολημπτέω , prosōpolēmptéō , are found Acts 10:34; James 2:9 . God's judgment rests solely on the character of the man and will be influenced by no worldly (Ephesians 6:9 ) or national (Romans 2:11 ) considerations. See also ACCEPT .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Respect of Persons'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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