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The meaning of Respect Of Persons in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

re-spekt': The phrase nasa' phanim, 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 I Samuel 25:35; Malachi 1:8-9 (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 lambano prosopon (Sirach 35:13 (32:16); Luke 20:21; Galatians 2:6), with the noun prosopolempsia, "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 prosopolemptes, "respecter of persons," and a verb prosopolempteo, 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.

Burton Scott Easton


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