The True Meaning of “No Respecter of Persons”

The often-quoted passage of “…God is no respecter of persons…” has been used to remind people that in the grand scheme of things, good or bad, they are equal to everyone else in Father Yah’s eyes.

Oh, really?

Acts 10:34 (KJV) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons…”

(ESV) Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism…”

(Literal) Having opened then Peter the mouth, he said “Upon truth, I understand that the God is not taking faces…”

Let’s break down the Greek word, prosópolémptés (taking faces). It is a compound of prosopon (face, surface, appearance, mask) and lambanó (with certainty, to take or receive). Prosopon can be further broken into two words, prós (going towards) and óps (eye, face). This word led to the words persona (Latin) and person (English), which both can mean a character. Even if we use the phrase “receiving characters” it still does not clarify its meaning. At first, I thought it meant “not taking people at face value,” but it did not jive with the next verse:

Acts 10:35 (KJV) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

(Literal) …but [rather] in every ethnic group, the [one who] fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him.

Since Peter was a Jew, we must search the OT for uses of the word face. Every noun and verb in Hebrew have active symbolic meanings. In this instance, the phrase “seek [insert noun or possessive pronoun] face,” which appears hundreds of times, means to pursue Yah’s (or someone’s) attention or favor. The whole of Acts 10 revealed that it was time to reach out to the righteous non-Jews, so that the promise made to Abraham could be fulfilled. See Genesis 12:3, Genesis 18:18, Genesis 22:18,Genesis 26:4, Genesis 28:14, Psalm 72:17, Acts 3:25, Galatians 3:8.

The favor of YHWH now also belongs to the Gentiles for as long as they seek His Will and do it.

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