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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Respect of Persons

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(προσωποληψία , Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1; a later Greek word, found only in the New Test., and modelled after the use of שָׁעָה with פָּנַים ), partiality for individuals. God appointed that the judges should pronounce sentence without respect of persons (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 16:17; Deuteronomy 16:19). That they should consider neither the poor nor the rich, the weak nor the powerful, but should attend only to truth and justice. God has no respect of persons. The Jews complimented our Saviour that he told the truth, without respect of persons, without fear (Matthew 22:16; Isaiah 32:1-16). Jude (Isaiah 32:16), instead of the phrase "to have respect of persons," has "to admire persons."

Our English term respect seems to imply some kind of deference or submission to a party; but this is not always the proper meaning to be annexed to it in Scripture. When we read (Exodus 2:25) "God had respect to the children of Israel," it can only express his compas. sion and sympathy for them; when God had respect to the offering of Abel (Genesis 4:4), it imports to accept favorably, to notice with satisfaction. (Comp. 1 Kings 8:28; Numbers 16:15.)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Respect of Persons'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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