Person, Personality



In the Apocrypha we have prosopon translated "person" (Judith 7:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "face"; Ecclesiasticus 10:5, etc.); the "accepting of persons" is condemned (The Wisdom of Solomon 6:7; Ecclesiasticus 4:22,27; 7:6; 20:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "by a foolish countenance"; 35:13; 42:1; "With him (God) is no respect of persons, Ecclesiasticus 35:12).


Personality is that which constitutes and characterizes a person. The word "person" (Latin, persona) is derived from the mask through which an actor spoke his part (persona). "From being applied to the mask, it came next to be applied to the actor, then to the character acted, then to any assumed character, then to anyone having any character or station"; lastly, it came to mean an individual, a feeling, thinking and acting being. For full personality there must be self-consciousness, with the capability of free thought and action--self-determination--hence, we speak of personal character, personal action, etc. A person is thus a responsible being, while an animal is not. Personality is distinctive of man. The personality is the unit of the entire rational being, perhaps most clearly represented by "the will"; it is that which is deepest in man, belonging, of course, not to the realm of space or the region of the visible, but existing as a spiritual reality in time, with a destiny beyond it. It is the substance (hupostasis) of the being, that which underlies all its manifestations; hence, the rendering "the express image of his person" in Heb 1:3 the King James Version. Hupostasis was employed by the early Greek Fathers to express what the Latins intended by persona; afterward prosopon was introduced.

Recent psychology has brought into prominence elements in the subconscious realm, the relation of which to the personality is obscure. There seems to be more in each individual than is normally expressed in the personal consciousness and action. The real, responsible personality, however, is something which is always being formed. The phenomenon of double personality is pathological, as truly the result of brain disease as is insanity.