Holman Bible Dictionary


Fairness and straightforwardness of conduct. The KJV frequently used honesty or cognates where modern translations use other words: honorable/honorably (Romans 13:13; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 13:18; 1 Peter 2:12); noble (Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17); dignity (1 Timothy 2:2); properly (1 Thessalonians 4:12). Men of “honest report” (Acts 6:3) are men of good standing (NRSV).

Someone in the right in a law case may be described as honest (Exodus 23:7 NIV). Isaiah lamented that “no one goes to law honestly” (Isaiah 59:4 NRSV). Honest or just balances, weights, and measures give fair and accurate measure (Leviticus 19:36; Deuteronomy 25:15; Proverbs 16:11). Job 31:6 prays God's judgment to be weighed in an honest balance so God can know the person's integrity. Scripture often refers to honest or right speech (Job 6:25; Proverbs 12:17; Proverbs 16:13; Proverbs 24:26). Those working on the Temple construction were known for their honest business dealings (2 Kings 12:15; 2 Kings 22:7).

Jacob claimed honesty (Genesis 30:33) but manipulated the breeding of Laban's flocks (Genesis 30:37-43). Jacob's sons repeatedly assured Joseph of their honesty (Genesis 42:11,Genesis 42:19,Genesis 42:31,Genesis 42:33-34), never guessing that their brother knew their deceptive natures all too well (Genesis 37:31-33).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HONESTY'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.