Favor shown to one person over another, particularly on the basis of external factors such as economic level or ethnic background. Old Testament law contains frequent warnings to avoid partiality in rendering legal decisions (Leviticus 19:15;
Deuteronomy 16:19). The theological grounding of this prohibition is God's character, for God shows no partiality (2 Chronicles 19:7). God's impartiality served as the basis for the early church's mission to the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-35;
Romans 2:9-11). James warned that showing partiality, particularly that based on economic distinctions, is incompatible with profession of faith in Jesus as Lord (Romans 2:1) and is sin (Romans 2:9).
Ephesians 6:9 warned slaveholders to be fair in treating their slaves, for God is impartial and thus not influenced by human distinctions between master and slave.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'PARTIALITY'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".