Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Acts 10:34

    Acts 10:34 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then Peter said, Truly, I see clearly that God is no respecter of persons:

    Webster's Revision

    And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    World English Bible

    Peter opened his mouth and said, "Truly I perceive that God doesn't show favoritism;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 10:34

    God is no respecter of persons - He does God esteem a Jew, because he is a Jew; nor does he detest a Gentile because he is a Gentile. It was a long and deeply rooted opinion among the Jews, that God never would extend his favor to the Gentiles; and that the descendants of Jacob only should enjoy his peculiar favor and benediction. Of this opinion was St. Peter, previously to the heavenly vision mentioned in this chapter. He was now convinced that God was no respecter of persons; that as all must stand before his judgment seat, to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, so no one nation, or people, or individual, could expect to find a more favorable decision than another who was precisely in the same moral state; for the phrase, respect of persons, is used in reference to unjust decisions in a court of justice, where, through favor, or interest, or bribe, a culprit is acquitted, and a righteous or innocent person condemned. See Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:16, Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:19. And as there is no iniquity (decisions contrary to equity) with God, so he could not shut out the pious prayers, sincere fasting, and benevolent alms-giving of Cornelius; because the very spring whence they proceeded was his own grace and mercy. Therefore he could not receive even a Jew into his favor (in preference to such a person) who had either abused his grace, or made a less godly use of it than this Gentile had done.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 10:34

    Then Peter opened his mouth - Began to speak, Matthew 5:2.

    Of a truth - Truly, evidently. That is, I have evidence here that God is no respecter of persons.

    Is no respecter of persons - The word used here denotes "the act of showing favor to one on account of rank, family, wealth, or partiality arising from any cause." It is explained in James 2:1-4. A judge is a respecter of persons when he favors one of the parties on account of private friendship, or because he is a man of rank, influence, or power, or because he belongs to the same political party, etc. The Jews supposed that they were especially favored by God. and that salvation was not extended to other nations, and that the fact of being a Jew entitled them to this favor. Peter here says that he had learned the error of this doctrine, and that a man is not to be accepted because he is a Jew, nor to be excluded because he is a Gentile. The barrier is broken down; the offer is made to all; God will save all on the same principle; not by external privileges or rank, but according to their character.

    The same doctrine is elsewhere explicitly stated in the New Testament, Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25. It may be observed here that this does not refer to the doctrine of divine sovereignty or election. It simply affirms that God will not save a man because he is a Jew, or because he is rich, or learned, or of elevated rank, or on account of external privileges; nor will he exclude a man because he is destitute of these privileges. But this does not affirm that he will not make a difference in their character, and then treat them according to their character, nor that he will not pardon whom he pleases. That is a different question. The interpretation of this passage should be limited strictly to the case in hand - to mean that God will not accept and save a man on account of external national rank and privileges. That he will not make a difference on other grounds is not affirmed here, nor anywhere in the Bible. Compare 1 Corinthians 4:7; Romans 12:6. It is worthy of remark further, that the most strenuous advocate for the doctrines of sovereignty and election - the apostle Paul - is also the one that labored most to establish the doctrine that God is no respecter of persons - that is, that there is no difference between the Jews and Gentiles in regard to the way of salvation; that God would not save a man because he was a Jew, nor destroy a man because he was a Gentile. Yet in regard to "the whole race viewed as lying on a level," he maintained that God has a right to exercise the prerogatives of a sovereign, and to have mercy on whom he will have mercy. The doctrine may be thus stated:

    (1) The barrier between the Jews and Gentiles was broken down.

    (2) all people thus were placed on a level none to be saved by external privileges, none to be lost by the lack of them.

    (3) all were guilty Romans 1-3, and none had a claim on God.

    (4) if any were saved, it would be by God showing mercy on such of this common mass as he chose. See Romans 3:22; Romans 10:12; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; compare with Romans 9; and Ephesians 1:

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 10:34

    10:34 I perceive of a truth - More clearly than ever, from such a concurrence of circumstances. That God is not a respecter of persons - Is not partial in his love. The words mean, in a particular sense, that he does not confine his love to one nation; in a general, that he is loving to every man, and willeth all men should be saved.