The Letter to the Romans
Chapter 2
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside, California

Romans[ 1 ] chapter 2 points up the hypocrisy of people who condemn others but commit the same or similar sins themselves. The second half of the chapter deals specifically with the guilt of the Jews (see chart ROMANS 2 OUTLINE).


    1. The guilty may condemn others but God's judgment is what counts (Ro 2:1-16).
    2. Jews guilty too (Ro 2:17-24).
    3. Circumcision profitable if the Law is kept
    (Ro 2:25-29).


2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Therefore you are inexcusable [therefore you have no excuse, defence, wherefore thou art without excuse, inexcusable].[ 2 ] At first glance, the beginning of this chapter with "O man, whoever you are" seems to mean anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, upon closer examination, it appears that Paul addresses Jews (see verses 10, 13, 17, 24, 28, 29). In Romans 1:18-22, he showed that Gentiles were without excuse (see note on Ro 1:20). Although not strictly identifying them, he now shows Jews are in the same lost condition. They too are without excuse.

O man, whoever you are who judge [O man, whosoever thou art, every one of you, that judgest, who judges, when you judge another].[ 3 ] Paul uses the identical expression, "O man" in verse 3. In verse 17, he becomes more specific with, "Indeed you are called a Jew." Will a Jewish man respond to Paul? Yes (see Ro 3:1). Paul will begin an imaginary conversation with a Jew as an effective teaching device.

At least some Jews were known to be judges of others (Mt 7:1, 2; Lu 6:37, 41; 18:9-14). They considered Gentiles vile and inferior. They criticized and judged them harshly. When they called them "sinners of the Gentiles" (Ga 2:15), they spoke the truth but Paul will show that Jews are sinners too. The Jews had many privileges (see Ro 3:1, 2). Did they think Gentiles should be condemned because they did not have as many advantages? They rated Gentiles as unworthy associates (Ac 10:28; 11:2, 3; compare Mt 9:11). Imagine their glee when they read Paul's condemnation of them in chapter 1 (see (Ro 1:18-32). His stinging words about Gentiles prepared Jewish minds for their own denunciation to follow.

For in whatever you judge another [for in, for wherein, for in that in which, thou judges another, judgest another, passing judgment upon him].[ 4 ]

You condemn yourself [thou condemnest thyself].[ 5 ] After pointing out the condemnatory nature of the Jews, Paul implies they were condemned on a similar basis as Gentiles. If underprivileged Gentiles were to be condemned (and they were; see Ro 1:18-32), what about the privileged Jews who were equally bad?

For you who judge practice the same things [because you, the judge, thou that judgest, doest, are doing, dost practice, the same things, the very same things].[ 6 ] Hard-hearted sinners deserve God's wrath (verse 5). Contentious and disobedient Jews as well as Gentiles earned their punishment (verses 8, 9). It is easy to rationalize or excuse one's own sinful behavior and, at the same time, condemn others. An example of this kind of mercurial thinking is seen in David's attitude after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed. When Nathan talked to him he angrily judged a rich man who stole a ewe lamb from a poor neighbor. By comparison, David was guilty of a worse sin (2Sa 12:1-7; compare Ro 14:22). At first he excused himself. However, when Nathan pointed his finger at him, he saw his error and quickly repented (see Ps 51).


2:2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

But we know [we know, now, and, we know, but we are sure].[ 7 ] OT history is replete with narratives of God's judgment against sin. These accounts were pretty well known by many of the Jews. Consider what happened to Adam and Eve, to Cain, the punishment of people in the flood, His displeasure at the tower of Babel, when the Israelites worshipped the golden calf and at the sins that led both to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Paul had previously reminded his readers of a fact that most should have known about.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Ro 1:18).

Gentiles had heard of God's dealings with sinful men. The Jews, however, had an inspired record of the terrible events.

That the judgment of God [God's judgment].[ 8 ]

Is according to truth [rightly falls].[ 9 ] In the Greek there is no article before "truth". This does not prove conclusively that God's judgment is done only in accordance with fact, done correctly and without partiality or bias. Nevertheless, this is true. His commandments are righteousness (Ps 119:172). His judgment is according to the truth of His revealed word (Joh 5:45; 12:48). In other words, God's judgment will not be misjudgment (see Mk 4:22, 24; Re 15:3).

For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity (Ps 98:9; compare Ac 17:31).

Against those who practice such things [against them, upon those, who do, that practice, which commit, such things].[ 10 ] Those who have done evil but have repented and been forgiven will not be judged as those who continue to practice such things. However, those who persist in sin will be judged accordingly (see list of "such things" in chart: 23 SINS OF THE GENTILES at Ro 1:29).


2:3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

And do you think this [do you suppose, and reckonest thou this, and thinkest thou this].[ 11 ] The Holy Spirit through Paul appeals to the Jew to ponder his own fate along with that of wicked Gentiles.

O man.[ 12 ] "O man" might apply to any person who judges but Paul is specifically addressing a Jew.

You who judge those practicing such things [that when you, who judgest, that you that judgest, them, those, that, which, do, practice, such things].[ 13 ]

And doing the same [and practisest, and yet do, and doest, and are doing, them, the same, yourself, thyself].[ 14 ]

That you will escape [you will, that thou shall, shalt, escape].[ 15 ] Basically, Jews were guilty of the same sins as Gentiles. The name of God was being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of the sins of the Jews (verses 21-24). As sons of Abraham, they thought they were special favorites of heaven and, as such, looked down upon Gentiles (Mt 3:8, 9). In fact, some of the Jews believed that Gentiles were bound for hell. At the same time, they also believed that it was impossible for Jews themselves to be eternally lost. It was written that:

Abraham sits before the gate of hell, and does not allow that any circumcised Israelite should enter there.[ 16 ]



    (Ro 2:3)

    1. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will
    be delivered (Pr 11:21).
    2. Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them" (Jer 11:11).


    (Ro 2:3)

    1. In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:8).
    2. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (Heb 2:3).
    3. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot? (Heb 10:29).
    4. Much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven (Heb 12:25).
    5. What will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1Pe 4:17).

The judgment of God.[ 17 ] "God is not mocked" (Ga 6:7). His judgment is as true as His righteousness (Ac 17:30, 31) and as certain as death (Heb 9:27).

For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things (1Jo 3:20).


2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?


    (Ro 2:1-8)

    1. He is self-condemned who practices what he condemns in others (Ro 2:1).
    2. Will be according to truth (Ro 2:2).
    3. God's kindness is not approval but leads
    to repentance (Ro 2:4).
    4. According to works (Ro 2:6).
    5. Wrath and indignation upon those who obey not the truth (Ro 2:8).
    (Coffman 58)

Or do you despise? [or do you presume upon, think so little of, despisest thou].[ 18 ] The Jews practiced evil even while God was so good to them. They continued in sin and seemed to expect God's goodness to continue in spite of their failure to repent. In this, they despised and thought lightly of His goodness. For example, they worshipped a golden calf soon after being divinely delivered from Egyptian bondage. That was a great sin (Ex 32:30; see note on Joh 19:11; compare Lu 20:47). In like manner, people today are guilty of great sins when they disdain, reject or neglect the gospel. To do so is to make light of that which cost God his Son. It is an affront to Divine mercy.


    (Ro 2:9-16)

    1. Greater privileges bring greater responsibility
    (Ro 2:9-11).
    2. God is no respecter of persons (Ro 2:11).
    3. Tempered by the light men have (Ro 2:14, 15).
    4. According to the gospel (Ro 2:16).
    5. Through Jesus Christ (Ro 2:16).
    (Coffman 59)

The riches of His goodness [the riches of his kindness].[ 19 ] God's wealth of kindness and goodness include His grace, forbearance, mercy, graciousness, slowness to anger, lovingkindness, truth and forgiveness (see Ex 34:6, 7; Ro 3:25; 11:22).


    (Ro 2:4)

    1. By kind and generous deeds, treasures are laid up in heaven (Mt 19:21; 25:34-40; Mk 10:21).
    2. Saved by gospel (Ro 1:16).
    3. Riches of His goodness (Ro 2:4).
    4. Riches of His grace (Eph 1:7; 2:7).
    5. His longsuffering (2Pe 3:9).

Forbearance [and forbearance].

And longsuffering [and patience]. [ 20 ] God, in His mercy, holds back His judgment. He defers and delays His wrath in order to lead men and women to repentance.

And patience, and longsuffering.[ 21 ] Peter uses "patience" or "longsuffering" with reference to God's delaying the day of judgment.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2Pe 3:9).

The great judgment day, though appointed by God (Ac 17:30, 31) may have been deferred in order to give sinners opportunity to repent. This in no way implies that the terrible day will never come (see 2Pe 3:10).

Not knowing [do you not know].[ 22 ] It is implied here that ignorance of the purpose of God's longsuffering is highly displeasing to him (see verse 5).

That the goodness of God [that God's kindness].[ 23 ] The goodness of God is an aspect of His righteousness, which is a major theme of the book of Romans (see note on Ro 1:17).

Leads you [leadeth thee, is meant to lead you].].[ 24 ] Paul uses the present tense to explain that God continues to lead by His goodness.[ 25 ] He continues to lead His people in this manner.

To repentance.[ 26 ] God's kindness and longsuffering toward sinners in the past were intended to lead men and women to repentance. His continued goodness is for the purpose of giving more people an opportunity to turn their hearts to Him. His patience in not immediately punishing sin should not be taken as acceptance of sin or pretermission.[ 27 ] To misapply His longsuffering in this way is to despise His goodness.


2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who "will render to each one according to his deeds": 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness-- indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

But in accordance with your hardness [but by, but after, but according to, thy, the, hard, hardness].[ 28 ] Stubbornness is a characteristic of many humans. Moses prayed for the obstinate calf-worshipping Israelites. He asked that God would:

Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin (De 9:27; compare 1Sa 15:23).

Among the hard-hearted, unrepentant Jews were those who left undone the weightier matters of the law (Mt 23:23; Lu 11:42; compare Ex 32:9; 33:3-5; Ac 7:51).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. Wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness (Ro 1:18).
    2. Treasure of wrath in the day of wrath (Ro 2:5).
    3. As surely as one neglects salvation in Christ, just that surely he will share the treasures of wrath
    (Heb 2:3).

And your impenitent heart [and impenitent, impenitence of your, heart].[ 29 ] These words apply in a remote and indirect sense to anyone with a hard heart such as "conceited Christians." It is implied verses 17, 22, 28, 29 that they apply primarily to the Jews.

You are storing up for yourself [treasurest up to, unto, thyself].[ 30 ] One may lay up for himself treasures in heaven by giving to the poor (see chart RICHES OF HIS GOODNESS at verse 4). He may store up wrath by stubbornly refusing to obey God (see chart TREASURES OF WRATH).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord
    (Mt 7:22).
    2. More tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom in the day of judgment (Mt 10:15; 11:22-24).
    3. Give account in the day of judgment (Mt 12:36).
    4. A day on which he will judge the world in righteousness (Ac 17:31).
    5. Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment (2Pe 2:9).

Wrath in the day of wrath [wrath on, against, in, the day of wrath].[ 31 ] Because of the riches of God's kindness, goodness, forbearance and longsuffering, sinners are given opportunity to store up a treasure (verse 4). After repentance they continue to receive God's mercy. By stubborn persistence in sin they store up a treasure of wrath. Gentiles deserved wrath because of this very thing (Ro 1:18). Sinful Jews deserved the same (Ro 2:8, 9). Faithful Christians are exempt from it but wayward ones are not (1Th 5:9; see chart THE DAY OF WRATH).


    (Ro 2:6)

    1. According to deeds (Ro 2:6; compare Ps 62:12;
    Pr 24:12).
    2. Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality
    (Ro 2:7).
    3. But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness-- indignation
    and wrath (Ro 2:8).
    4. But glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good (Ro 2:10).
    5. In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel (Ro 2:16).

And revelation [when will be revealed].[ 32 ] God's wrath will not be fully meted out until the judgment day (Mt 25:41). His righteous judgment will befall "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven:

And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2Th 1:7-9).

Of the righteous judgment of God [God's righteous judgment].[ 33 ] The great theme of God's righteousness in Romans is exemplified in His righteous judgment (see charts GOD'S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT A, B, C and D).

[2:6] Who will render [who shall, for he will, render, give to].[ 34 ] The verb "render" has eight objects as may be easily seen in familiar translations and even in the NIV. Some versions such as the RSV arrange the wording so that it is difficult to understand this (see chart EIGHT THINGS GOD WILL RENDER). The time for reward was announced by Jesus. It will be when "the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels" (Mt 16:27).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed (Ps 103:6).
    2. Honest weights and scales are the LORD'S; all the weights in the bag are His work
    (Pr 16:11).
    3. A just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me (Isa 45:21).
    4. The Lord is righteous . . . . Every morning He brings His justice to light; he never fails
    (Zep 3:5).
    5. With what judgment you judge, you will be judged (Mt 7:2).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few (Lu 12:47, 48).
    2. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me
    (Joh 5:30).
    3. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day (Joh 12:48).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. Appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness (Ac 17:31).
    2. The judgment of God is according to truth (Ro 2:2).
    3. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Ro 14:10).
    4. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2Co 5:10).
    5. Manifest evidence of God's righteous judgment
    (2Th 1:5).


    (Ro 2:5)

    1. And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2Th 1:7-9).
    2. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested" (Re 15:4).


    (Ro 2:6)

    1. Works of men: building tower of Babel (Ge 11:1-9).
    2. Works of human righteousness (Mt 15:9; Ro 10:3).
    3. Works of moral goodness: rich young ruler, Cornelius (Mt 19:16-22; Ac 10:1, 2).
    4. Works of Satan: especially lying and murder
    (Joh 8:44).
    5. Works of the law of Moses (Ro 3:20).
    6. Works of the flesh (Ga 5:19-21).
    7. Works of faith (1Th 1:3). (Coffman 68, 69)


    (Ro 2:7)

    1. Eternal life (Ro 2:7).
    2. Wrath (Ro 2:8).
    3. Indignation (Ro 2:8).
    4. Tribulation (Ro 2:9).
    5. Distress, anguish (Ro 2:9).
    6. Glory (Ro 2:10).
    7. Honor (Ro 2:10).
    8. Peace (Ro 2:10).

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works (Mt 16:27)

To every man [everyone, to each].[ 35 ] When God rewards men and women, there will be no exceptions. All will receive what is due.

According to his deeds [according to his works].[ 36 ]

Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work (Ps 62:12).

Why do "faith alone" supporters have trouble with this verse? Because it mentions works or deeds. They would rather it said faith alone. In order to remain somewhat consistent they are forced to say this means different degrees of rewards or punishments. It is wrong to read into these verses faith alone or works alone. Regardless of that issue, Jesus used works as the criteria for entrance into the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world (Mt 25:34-46). The principle of justification by faith (Ro 5:1) does not negate being judged according to works (see Jas 2:24).


    (Ro 2:6)

    1. Work out your salvation (Php 2:12).
    2. Justified by works, and not by faith only (Jas 2:24).
    3. I know your works, your labor, your patience
    (Re 2:2; compare Re 2:19).
    4. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead
    (Re 3:1; compare Re 3:8).
    5. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot (Re 3:15).

Abraham was justified by works (Jas 2:21). God commanded him to offer Isaac (Ge 22:2). Obeying God's command made Abraham's response a work of faith (Ro 10:17). Otherwise, it would have been murder, a work of Satan (see chart SEVEN CLASSES OF WORKS). When one obeys God out of faith he performs a work of faith. In Scripture, works of faith are never belittled, condemned or counted as useless (see 1Co 15:58; Ga 5:6; see chart WORKS AND SALVATION).

One verse used by "faith only" advocates is Titus 3:5:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is the "washing of regeneration." Peter taught that God saves us through that gentle act of submission (compare Ac 2:38; 22:16; 1Pe 3:21).


[2:7] Eternal life [life eternal, he will give eternal life].[ 37 ] Eternal life is conditional. Jesus promised it to those who do deeds of kindness and mercy "to one of the least of these" (Mt 25:45, 46). He also said:

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (Joh 3:36 NASB).

In the above quotation, the KJV has "believeth not" but see ASV, NEB and even Taylor's LBP). In heaven, entropy[ 38 ] will be suspended. In eternity, it seems that the second law of thermodynamics will no longer operate.[ 39 ]

To those who by patient continuance in doing good [to them that by patience, perseverance, in patient continuance, in well-doing, of good works].[ 40 ] Paul expands on the idea expressed in verse 6 that God "will render to each one according to his deeds." God's judgment is never presented in Scripture as being based upon faith without works. A Christian does not merit heaven simply by "doing good" but there is a definite connection. The Scripture is plain that God will "render" (verse 6) "eternal life" to those who persevere in doing good (verse 7). In Revelation 2:10, Jesus made a promise to those suffering extreme persecution. He said: "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Re 2:10).

Those who become unfaithful to Christ and "draw back" or "shrink back" need not expect the reward of eternal life (Heb 10:39).

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Ga 6:9; compare Re 3:11).

    WHAT ACTION? Seek for glory and honor.
    HOW? By perseverance in well-doing.
    THE REWARD? Eternal life.

Seek for [pursue].[ 41 ] The Greek verb for "seek" shows that God expects people to exert effort in order to be saved. On His part, salvation may be totally by grace but that does not negate the implications in this verse that He demands obedience to the gospel.


    (Ro 2:7-9)

    1. To those who by patient continuance in doing
    good seek for glory, honor and immortality . . .
    2. God will render eternal life to them.
    3. But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness . . .
    4. God will render indignation and wrath, tribulation and distress to them.

Glory.[ 42 ] The pre-incarnate condition of Christ was one of glory (Joh 17:5, 22). When He ascended He once again entered into His glory (Lu 24:26). In the future life, Christians too will enter glory.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17).

When all my labors and trials are o'er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
Will thru the ages be glory for me.

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me;
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.
(Charles H. Gabriel)

To behold the Lord in heaven will be glory for Christians (Joh 17:24; 1Pe 1:11, 12; 1Jo 3:1). Not only that but Christ:

Will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Php 3:21; see note on 1Co 15:42, 50).


    (Ro 2:7)

    1. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory (Ps 73:24).
    2. If indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Ro 8:17).
    3. The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:18).
    4. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3:4).


    (Ro 2:7)

    1. The salvation which is in Christ Jesus with
    eternal glory (2Ti 2:10).
    2. That the genuineness of your faith, being much
    more precious than gold that perishes, though it
    is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:7).
    3. A partaker of the glory that will be revealed
    (1Pe 5:1).

Honor [and honor].[ 43 ] Seeking for honor and glory from God is another way of saying seeking to go to heaven. In verse 7, Paul calls the outcome of that "eternal life."

And immortality [ and incorruption, incorruptibility].[ 44 ] Heavenly honor and glory will be eternal, immortal, righteous and with no decay or death (see note on 2Ti 1:10).


    (Ro 2:7)

    1. Eternal life . . . treasure in heaven
    (Mt 19:16, 21).
    2. Entrance into life (Mt 19:17).
    3. The kingdom of heaven, kingdom of God
    (Mt 19:23, 24).
    4. Glory, honor and immortality (Ro 2:7).
    5. Eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Heb 5:9; compare Mt 19:25).

[2:8] But to those who are self-seeking [but for, unto them that are factious, contentious, out of selfish ambition].[ 45 ] Being self-seeking or factious is a work of the flesh (Ga 5:20). Although this sin is not at all limited to the Jews, I wonder if Paul primarily had in mind factious Jews who refused to obey the gospel?

Selfishness is back of most sins (1Ti 6:10). For example, selfish pride is behind the teaching of false doctrine (1Ti 6:3, 4; compare Pr 21:24). Self-will is a major factor in unrighteousness in general (2Pe 2:9, 10). Some contemporary selfish and factious people argue in favor of immorality, humanism, atheism, the New Age, cultism and denominationalism. In contrast, Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Mt 5:5). "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Mt 5:9).

And do not obey the truth [and obey not, and are disobedient to, and disobedience to, the truth].[ 46 ] Those who do not obey the gospel do not obey the truth. For more on obedience see notes on Romans 1:5; 6:17; 16:26.


    (Ro 2:8)

    1. By one's own deceitful heart (Jer 17:9).
    2. Smooth words and flattering speech (Ro 16:18).
    3. By evil company (1Co 15:33).
    4. By a mixture of truth and error--"handling the word of God deceitfully" (2Co 4:2).


    (Ro 2:8)

    1. By self-conceit (Ga 6:3).
    2. Every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).
    3. By "empty words" Eph 5:6).
    4. Philosophy, empty deceit, basic principles of world (Col 2:8).
    5. By lust (Jas 1:14, 15).
    6. Sorcery (Re 18:23).

But obey unrighteousness [obey wickedness].[ 47 ] When Paul was writing about some who would believe a lie because they received not the love of the truth, he added,

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2Th 2:11, 12).

Notice that the selfishly-ambitious, factious self-seekers are the very ones persuaded to obey unrighteousness. Persuasion to sin comes through lust.

For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-- is not of the Father but is of the world (1Jo 2:16).

The three avenues of temptation divide into many sins (see charts 23 SINS OF THE GENTILES at Romans 1:29; PERSUADED TO BE UNRIGHTEOUS A and B).


Indignation [there will be, shall be, indignation].[ 48 ] After Hilkiah found the book of the law and Shaphan read it to king Josiah (then age 26), the king tore his clothes because the Jews had not been listening to the words of the book. He wept in contrition (2Ki 22:11, 19). He said:

Go, inquire of the LORD for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us (2Ki 22:13; compare verse 16).

He responded not only by tearing his clothes and weeping but by instituting many reforms.

God's wrath was again kindled against the unbelieving Jews in the first century (see 1Th 2:16). His wrath is against those who do not hearken to the words of the NT (see Ro 1:18; 2:5; Eph 5:6). According to the lexicons, wrath in the NT is not so enduring as anger (see note on Eph 4:26 where the difference in anger and wrath is explained; 2Th 1:7-9).

And wrath [wrath, and fury].[ 49 ] Not only is God's indignation against the unbelieving Jews but He will render dreadful punishment to Christians who plunge into sin and die in that condition.

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries (Heb 10:26, 27; compare 12:29; 2Th 1:8, 9; Heb 10:30; Re 14:10).

To Christians who were in danger of falling away, the Holy Spirit warned, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31).


[2:9] Tribulation [there will be, He will bring, affliction, anger].[ 50 ] The Greek word THLIPSIS tribulation was used to describe the calamities of war (Mt 24:21, 29; Mk 13:19, 24), the burden of poverty (2Co 8:12, 13), and of a woman in childbirth (Joh 16:21). Here, it is used of the trouble and retribution of future punishment.

And anguish [and distress].[ 51 ] To suffer eternal anguish is to be in a "tight spot" indeed. Anguish describes the grinding misery and hardship during a siege when people are shut up within a walled city. The Psalmist wrote of God's blessings of freedom from that as being in a large or broad place:

I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place (Ps 118:5).

When delivered from his enemies, David wrote:

He also brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me because He delighted in me (2Sa 22:20).

On every soul of man [for, upon, every human being, every person's soul]. [ 52 ] Because "the judgment of God is according to truth" (verse 2), there will be no misjudgments or exceptions to right judgment. Each and every person deserving God's wrath will receive it unless during his life on earth he finds refuge in Christ.

Who does evil [that works, worketh, doeth, who practices, evil].[ 53 ] Doing or working evil is a condition of condemnation. The Greek present tense verb does not describe one who has fallen into sin and then quickly repented. It speaks of one who keeps on doing evil. To be saved, one must repent of evil practices and do good. He must obey the gospel and practice faithful obedience to the will of Christ (Heb 5:8, 9; Re 2:10).

Of the Jew first and also of the Greek [the Jew, to the Jew, both of Jew, first, and also the Gentile, and of, to the, Greek].[ 54 ] Just as the gospel went first to the Jew (Ac 3:26; 9:20; 13:5, 14, 46; Ro 1:16), the punishment is first to the Jew for rejecting it. The Jews, with access to the OT Scriptures, had more "pounds"[ 55 ] of advantage in the knowledge of God than did the Gentiles (see Lu 19:16-19). Not only unbelieving Jews but anyone who hears the gospel and rejects it will be in a sad condition at last. Jesus implied as much when he said:

And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes (Lu 12:47).


[2:10] But glory, honor [but, but he will give, glory and honor]. God will render (verse 6) eternal life to those who seek for glory and honor and immortality (see notes on verse 7). He will render glory and honor and peace to every man who does good (verse 10; see chart EIGHT THINGS GOD WILL RENDER at verse 7). Incorruption or immortality is a characteristic of eternal life. So also is glory, honor and peace.

Peace [and peace]. [ 56 ] John prepared the people for Jesus who came "to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Lu 1:79; Lu 2:14; Eph 2:17). He is the Prince of peace (Isa 9:6). The good news of Christ is the "gospel of peace" (Ro 10:15). Justification by faith brings peace with God (Ro 5:1). Peace is more than the absence of hostility and enmity. It is blessed harmony with God. It is eternal contentment, rest and repose in heaven.


    (Ro 2:10)

    1. Those who have done good [the good things] unto the resurrection of life (Joh 5:29).
    2. Do good (Ro 2:10; 13:3; Ga 6:10; 1Pe 3:11).
    3. Prove what is good (Ro 12:2).
    4. Cleave to that which is good (Ro 12:9).
    5. Overcome evil with good (Ro 12:21).
    6. Follow after that which is good (1Th 5:15).
    7. Hold fast that which is good (1Th 5:21).
    8. Imitate that which is good (3Jo 11).

To everyone who works what is good [for every one, to every man, person, who does, that worketh, who practices the, good, good].[ 57 ] God will bless every person who works what is good.

To the Jew first and also to the Greek [ the Jew first and also the Gentile, both to Jew first and to Greek] (see note in one of the paragraphs above).


2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

For there is no partiality with God [for God shows no partiality, for there is no respect of persons, acceptance of persons, with God].[ 58 ] There is no preference, partiality or favoritism in the gospel call. It is for "whosoever" (Joh 3:16; Ac 2:21; 10:43; Ro 10:13; Re 22:17 KJV).

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him" (Ac 10:34, 35).

Elihu recognized the impartiality of God's judgment (Job 34:18, 19).

Is it fitting to say to a king, 'You are worthless,' and to nobles, 'You are wicked'? Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hands (Job 34:18, 19).

Moses declared that God does not show partiality:

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing (De 10:17, 18).

Moses instructed the judges:

You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it (De 1:17; compare Le 19:15; De 10:19; 16:19, 20; 24:17, 18; 2Ch 19:7; Ps 82:3; 103:6; Pr 16:11; 21:3; 24:23; Isa 45:21; 56:1; note on Ga 2:6).

In punishment as well as blessing there is no partiality with God. Christians also must be completely impartial. To show respect of persons is to commit sin (Jas 2:9).

Regardless of racial or personal advantages and disadvantages, God will somehow perform the seemingly impossible task of judging everyone fairly according to the word of Christ (Joh 12:48; Ga 6:7, 8). The immediate context implies that God is no respecter in blessing or punishing Jew or Greek (verses 9, 10).

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him (Ro 10:12)


    (Ro 2:11)

    1. According to ability and opportunity: For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required (Lu 12:48).
    2. According to truth (Ro 2:2; compare Isa 11:3-5): It will be done "right" (Ge 18:25).


2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

For as many as have sinned without law [all who, whoever, sins, without the Law]. sinned outside the pale[ 59 ] of the Law of Moses].
[ 60 ] These words are addressed to Jews. If Gentiles will be judged more leniently and mercifully than Jews, it will be because they did not have the Law of Moses.

Will also perish without law [shall perish, shall also perish, shall perish also, without the Law].[ 61 ] Since the word "Law" in this verse has no article before it in the Greek, some have erroneously concluded that it does not refer to the law of Moses[ 62 ] but to law in the abstract.[ 63 ] "The two principles of law and grace cannot exist together." Thayer correctly observed that in several passages "Law" without the Greek article can mean nothing other than the Law of Moses (compare Ro 3:27, 28; see charts LAW OF MOSES A, B and C [ABSENCE OF GREEK ARTICLE]). Indisputably, in the present context, ANOMOS without law does not mean without any law. The Gentiles had provincial law and the law of conscience. They did not have the Law of Moses but this will not excuse them in the judgment day (compare Ro 3:19; 5:13, 14).

Foy E. Wallace, Jr. explained how the NIV misconstrued Paul's "law of faith."

But the pattern of thought translators of the New International, in order to circumvent Paul's law of faith, changed Romans 3:27 to "on what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith" --hence, the principle of faith. The rewriting of the entire verse to serve the thought of faith only is too obvious to overlook. It will be noticeable to all who check other passages for comparison that they do not change the Romans 7:23 law of the mind to principle of the mind, nor the Romans 8:2 law of the Spirit to principle of the Spirit--nor the law of God and law of Christ to the principle of God and the principle of Christ--yet it is the same Greek word NOMAS in all of these references, plus dozens more, where no such changes were made.[ 64 ]

Wallace continued:

Faith is a mental action, a function of mind, a process of thinking, an exercise of the heart--therefore the principle of idea, of thought, or the principle of pleasure, or of enjoyment, would be meaningless.

Commenting on this verse, Whiteside said:

Faith is an act of the mind, or heart; and a person might as well talk about the principle of thinking, or the principle of joy, as to talk about the principle of belief. The intellectual giant Wallace remarked, "Such an expression as the principle of faith conveys no idea to the mind."[ 65 ]

And as many as have sinned in the law [and all who have sinned, and whoever sins, under law, the law].[ 66 ] Again, there is no article in the Greek, but "the law" clearly refers to the Law of Moses. Jews and converts to Judaism sinned under the Law of Moses, or in that Law.

Will be judged by the law [shall be condemned by law, the Law]. [ 67 ] The Law of Moses will be the basis for the judgment of the OT Jews.

[2:13] For not the hearers of the law [for it is not the hearers of the law, not those who hear the Law].[ 68 ] There is no article in the Greek with the word Law but it means the Mosaic Law just the same (see notes on verses 17, 25 and 3:20). Hearers are either keepers or violators of the Law. Violators of the Law will be judged as sinners. Keepers of the Law will be judged as righteous.

Are just in the sight of God [who are righteous before God].[ 69 ] Jews who attended synagogue and heard the Law explained regularly were not righteous in the sight of God for just listening to it (compare the parable of the two sons, Mt 21:28-30). The law of Christ is that through which sinners are now justified:

Since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith (Ro 3:30).

To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law (1Co 9:21).

But the doers of the law will be justified [but those who put into practice the law, it is those who obey the law, but by doing it that men shall be, who shall be, declared righteous, justified before God].[ 70 ] There were two ways to be justified: (1) Keep the Law perfectly. (2) Be forgiven through Christ. No human ever achieved the first (Ro 3:23). Therefore all must seek the second.


[2:14] For when Gentiles, who do not have the law [when Gentiles, the Gentiles, those of the nations, have not, which, that, have not, the law, have no law].[ 71 ] In the present context, Paul discusses the Mosaic Law. The Gentiles as a rule did not have it. The NEB is totally unjustified in rendering the phrase, "They have no law." Of course the Gentiles had law. They were a law unto themselves. They had the law of conscience. They also had civil law such as the code of Hammurabi.[ 72 ]

The Christians in Rome were more or less familiar with Roman law. Unless they were Gentiles, they had attended synagogue. Gentiles did not attend unless especially privileged. Thus most of them did not have the OT Law available for study and obedience. When Paul said the Gentiles "do not have the law" he meant that they did not have the Mosaic Law.

By nature do [do, practice, by nature].[ 73 ] Peter spoke of those in every nation who work righteousness (Ac 10:35; compare Ro 1:19; 2:15). Many of these were Gentiles.

The things of the Law [what the law requires, the things contained in the law].[ 74 ] It must be admitted that there has been much discussion as to whether the "Law" refers to the Mosaic Law or to law in general. Lightfoot, Vine and others argue for the latter meaning (see following paragraph). Thayer takes a strong position that it refers to the Mosaic Law. Without a doubt, Thayer is right. It is not claimed that the pre-Mosaic race possessed that Law.

These, although not having the law are a law to themselves [even though they do not have the law, these, having not the law, having no law, are, they are, a, the, law unto themselves].[ 75 ] The Gentiles did not have the Law of Moses but they were not totally without some kind of law. They were under the patriarchal law during the time when Jews were under the Law of Moses. Both Jews and Gentiles are now subject to the gospel (Mk 16:15, 16; Ac 17:31, 32) and are under "the perfect law of liberty" (Jas 1:25)

In the context of this passage the apostle argues that there are no people who do not have a law of some kind.[ 76 ]

[2:15] Who show the work of the law [they show which shew, in that they show, that what the law requires, the works of the Law].[ 77 ] Paul does not say Gentiles would be saved by keeping the law of nature or Moses' Law. His point is to show that both the Jews and Gentiles are lost without Christ. He does suggest the uncircumcision by nature will be reckoned for circumcision on behalf of Gentiles (see verses 26, 27).

Written in their hearts [is written on their hearts].[ 78 ] No one has God's will written on his heart who does not want to obey it (see Heb 10:16).

Their conscience also bearing witness [their conscience, while their conscience also, bears witness therewith].[ 79 ] The conscience educable. If one has the Law in his heart, he desires to obey it. His conscience bears witness with that Law.

And between themselves their thoughts accusing [their thoughts, and their thoughts, conflicting thoughts, and meanwhile, the mean while, accuse, are either accusing, one with another].[ 80 ] As one can see from the footnote, lexicographers differ on whether the thoughts condemn or excuse other thoughts or whether an individual condemns or excuses other persons. Either way, the persons are affected by the thoughts.

Or else excusing them [or perhaps excuse them, or else excusing, or defending, one another, themselves between themselves].[ 81 ] The unbelieving Jews are held before us in these verses (see verse 17). Refer back to "will also perish without law . . . will be judged by the law" (verse 12). These events will occur in the day when God shall judge the world. This is "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God" (verse 5). The unbelieving Jews as well as the Gentiles will then be judged (Mt 25:31, 32; Joh 5:28, 29).

That men and women should be judged by a higher law than civil law or national law was brought out forcefully in the trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, Germany after World War II. The Nazis argued that they were innocent of crime because they were simply obeying orders. The prosecutor[ 82 ] correctly argued there was a higher law than the transient and the provincial by which their crimes should be judged.

[2:16] In the day [on that day, in the day].[ 83 ] Verses 13 through 15 are within a parenthesis. Omitting the parenthesis for direct connection, we read:

And as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law . . . in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.[ 84 ]

While at Athens, Paul spoke of this very day.

Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Ac 17:31).

When God will judge [when God judges, God shall judge].[ 85 ] The gospel is that by which Paul received grace (Ro 1:5; compare Tit 2:11, 12). He now emphasizes it that by which men will be judged. He also indicates the certainty of universal judgment.

The secrets of men [the secret things of people].[ 86 ] Secrets of men are such things as private thoughts, words uttered inside one's car and imaginations of sinful assignations.

By Jesus Christ [by Christ Jesus].[ 87 ] God will judge the world but He will do so through the agency of His Son Jesus Christ.


    (Ro 2:16)

    1. God will judge by Christ (Ac 17:31).
    2. All authority given to Him (Mt 28:18).
    3. All judgment committed to Him (Joh 5:22).
    4. His word is basis of judgment (Joh 12:48).
    5. His commandment was "through your apostles" (2Pe 3:2; compare 1Co 14:37).


    (Ro 2:16)

    1. Received it from Jesus Christ (Ga 1:12).
    2. Was committed to his trust (1Ti 1:11).
    3. Preached it by divine commission (1Co 15:1;
    2Co 4:3; Ga 1:11; 2Ti 2:8).

According to my gospel [according to my glad tidings].[ 88 ] The gospel was committed to Paul (Ga 2:7). It was not his because he was its author. He said:

But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man (Ga 1:11).

Paul called the Father "my God" (Ro 1:8). In the same sense he called God's gospel "my gospel" (Ro 16:25; 2Ti 2:8).


2:17-20 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.

Indeed you are called a Jew [behold, but if thou, you who, call yourself, art called, but if thou bearest the name of, art named, a Jew].[ 89 ] Paul addresses a single individual (most likely hypothetical) who called himself a Jew. The word "Jew" properly denoted the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin (2Ki 16:6; 25:25). Judah was the more prominent. The name was adapted to include any Hebrew of any tribe. Jeremiah, who lived at the time of the Babylonian captivity, used the term several times (Jer 32:12; 34:9; 38:19; 40:11, 12; 41:3; 44:1; 52:28, 30). In the book of Esther, the word is found fifty times (more than in any other book). Hebrews were proud to be called Jews (see Lu 3:8; Joh 8:33, 39; 9:28).

And rest on the law [and restest, and rely in, upon, the Law]. [ 90 ] There is no article in the Greek but the context assures us "the law" is the Mosaic Law (see notes on verses 12, 13, 25; 3:20). The Jew gloried in that Law (verse 23; compare 9:4). He thought he had eternal life by relying upon Moses' Law (Joh 5:39). He set his hope on Moses (Joh 5:45).

And make your boast in God [and boast, and makest thy boast, and gloriest, of God, of your relation to God].[ 91 ] Although some Jews served for money, the one Paul addressed had been bragging about his relationship with God. He may have boasted that because God was in the midst of His people no harm would come to them (Mic 3:11). He may have boasted that he would by saved by the Law. that

[2:18] And know His will [and knowest the will].[ 92 ] The Jew's knowledge of God's will was probably more of a boast than a reality. Both testaments downplay self-brag about Scripture knowledge.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isa 5:21).

And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know (1Co 8:2).

And approve the things that are excellent [and approvest, discerningly approvest, what is, that which is, the things that are, more excellent, superior]. [ 93 ]

The Jew knew God's will, and mentally approved of the things in which God had instructed him out of the Law.[ 94 ]

It is not a bad thing to approve things excellent. In fact, it is a virtue (see Php 1:10).

Being instructed out of the law [because you are instructed, being taught, in the law].[ 95 ] The Jew had probably been taught the Law in synagogues, at home or in special meetings.

Paul continues to address an arrogant Jew. He does not ridicule him or use sarcasm. He simply states the Jew's strong points. Of course, without Christ, he would fail in every point.


[2:19] And are confident [and if you are sure, and art confident, and hast confidence, and consider].[ 96 ] The Jew was convinced he had the embodiment of the truth. In the synagogues, he had heard discussed the finer points of the Law and the oral traditions by learned men. These discussions would later be summed up in books called the Talmud.[ 97 ] The encyclopedic Talmud contains the Mishnah (oral tradition). It also contains the Gemera (commentary on the Mishnah).

That you yourself are a guide to the blind [that you, yourself to be, that thou thyself, art a leader of the blind].[ 98 ] The singular, reflexive pronoun suggests Paul is still speaking to a "particular" Jew (see verses 1, 3, 17). The Jew considered the Gentiles to be blind. Jesus, however, referred to ruling Jews as "blind leaders of the blind" (Mt 15:14; compare 2Co 3:14; 4:4). John pointed out that anyone who hates his brother walks in the darkness because the darkness "has blinded his eyes" (1Jo 2:11).

A light to those who are in darkness [and a light of them that are, which are, in darkness].[ 99 ] Many prophecies referred to the light of Christ and His gospel (see Ps 36:9; 37:6; Isa 35:5; 58:8; 60:1-3; 62:1, 2; Ac 26:18; 2Co 4:4, 6). The Jew must have thought the prophecies of the light referred only to Jews.

An instructor of the foolish [a corrector of the foolish].[ 100 ] The idolatrous Gentiles were foolish (Ro 1:22, 23; compare Jer 10:14, 15; 51:17, 18; Ac 17:29, 30). Throughout their history, Jews had been idolatrous until the days of Antiochus Epiphanes (168 BC). The hypothetical Jew to whom Paul is speaking was no idolater. In fact, to his credit, he taught against it.

[2:20] A teacher of babes [a teacher of children, the immature]. [ 101 ] The Jew regarded not only the young as "babes" but proselytes[ 102 ] also. Those converted from among the Gentiles were considered to be immature or novices.


    1. Has the right name.
    3. Knows the world "lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1Jo 5:19).
    2. Has the truth.
    4. Can teach the world!
    5. Is it humbly obeying the great commission?
    6. Or, like arrogant Jews, is it self-satisfied?

Having the form of knowledge [which hast the embodiment of knowledge].[ 103 ] The Jew had OT truth revealed in the Holy Scriptures (Ro 1:2). He recognized a form or pattern in the Law.[ 104 ] He also had the knowledge of God's power and divinity. Many Gentiles also had a respect for the one God. Knowledge of God was available to all through an understanding of "invisible things" (Ro 1:20; compare 2:14, 15).

And truth in the law [in the law and of the truth, and of truth, the truth, in the law].[ 105 ] The Law was the truth for the Jew to obey just as the gospel is truth for us to obey (2Pe 1:12). Would the Jew obey it? Paul is now ready to get personal. He will ask his Jewish friend about his obedience to some of the Ten Commandments.


[2:21] You, therefore, who teach another [thou, then, which, that, teachest others].[ 106 ] The scribes and Pharisees were teaching others and binding on them heavy and grievous burdens (Mt 23:3, 4). Jesus said of them, "They say, and do not do" (Mt 23:3; compare Lu 11:46).

Do you not teach yourself? [will you not, dost thou not, teach thyself, teachest thou not, thyself].? [ 107 ] Like charity, teaching begins at home. One who teaches others should first apply the teaching to himself (Ro 2:13).

He is a poor preacher that cannot preach better than he can practice, but he is a poorer preacher if he does not try hard to live up to his preaching.[ 108 ]

Adam Clarke gave an example from true life.

Rabbi Abun proposed a parable concerning a master who taught his disciples not to pervert justice, and yet did it himself; not to show respect of persons, and yet did it himself; not to receive bribes, and yet received them himself; not to take usury, and yet took it himself. The disciple replied:--Rabbi, thou teachest me not to take usury, and yet thou takest it thyself! Can that be lawful to thee which is forbidden to me? [ 109 ]

You who preach [while you preach, thou that preachest].[ 110 ] If a Jew taught the Law at all, he had to teach the basics. For example, one of the Ten Commandments was, "You shall not steal" (Ex 20:15; De 5:19; compare Le 19:11; Mt 19:18; Ro 13:9). The command against stealing forbade kidnapping or stealing a person (Ex 21:16). It forbade robbing or oppressing a neighbor and even withholding wages (Le 19:13). Jesus said they made the temple a den of thieves (Mt 21:13; Joh 2:16).

That a man should not steal, do you steal? [against stealing, not to steal, dost thou steal?]. The "Gentile" sin of stealing was practiced by some of the Jewish high priests. Josephus[ 111 ] remarked:

And such was the impudence and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that they had the hardiness to send their servants into the threshing-floors, to take away those tithes that were due the priests, insomuch that it fell out that the poorest sort of the priests died for want.

Some Jews were known to tolerate and consent to the immoral practices of others. Asaph wrote:

When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers (Ps 50:18).


2:22 You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

You who say [thou that sayest]. [ 112 ] Paul continues in the singular number with rhetorical questions to the unbelieving Jew.

"Do not commit adultery" do you commit adultery? [man a man, that one, must not, should not, commit adultery]. Adultery was not unknown among the Jews. For example, Eli's sons "

Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting (1Sa 2:22).

The sin of adultery was widely practiced by Jews prior to the Babylonian captivity (Jer 5:7; 9:2; 13:27; 23:10, 14; 29:23; compare De 12:31; Hos 4:2; 7:4; Mal 2:14; Mal 3:5). During Jesus' personal ministry, the Jews were "an evil and adulterous generation" (Mt 12:39; 16:4; Mk 8:38). The praying Pharisee implied that "the rest of men" were adulterers (Lu 18:11). They committed adultery in secret, by overt scheme (Joh 8:3-11) as well as by unscriptural divorce and remarriage (Mt 5:32; 19:9; Mk 10:11, 12; Lu 16:18).

The Talmud charges the crime of adultery upon the three most illustrious [ 113 ]Rabbins.[ 114 ]

Even their rabbins, when they came to a place, would exclaim, Who will be my wife for a day?[ 115 ]


You who abhor idols [thou that abhorrest, detest, idolatry, false gods].[ 116 ] It has been observed that after returning from captivity the Jews now longer worshipped idols. Paul acknowledges that the Jew whom he questions hated idolatry (see note on verse 9).

Do you rob temples? [dost thou rob temples, commit sacrilege?].[ 117 ] In explaining Exodus 22:28,[ 118 ] Josephus[ 119 ] wrote:

Let no one blaspheme those gods which other cities esteem such; nor may any one steal what belongs to strange temples, nor take away the gifts that are dedicated to any god.

In Ephesus, the town clerk exonerated Gaius and Aristarchus by saying they were "neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess" (Ac 19:37). Apparently, these two crimes were commonly known.[ 120 ] Paul hints that his hypothetical Jew may have been guilty of robbing temples.

Even though the Greek plainly denotes "despoiling temples," translators of the KJV opted for the general meaning "commit sacrilege." After all, how could Jews be guilty of robbing temples? Perhaps by literally plundering idol temples. They would have sinned by keeping any idolatrous materials around (De 12:2, 3; compare Ex 23:13; Jos 23:7).

Another way to "commit sacrilege" or "rob shrines" is to literally rob a temple. Jewish kings and others often took treasures from their own temple in order to bribe enemies. "Her priests have done violence to My Law and have profaned My holy things" (Eze 22:26). Some think the Jews "robbed temples" by their own fraudulent merchandising. They made the Jewish temple into "a den of robbers" (Mt 21:13; Mk 11:17; Lu 19:46; see Jer 7:11).

Many Jews made no distinction between the holy and unholy or common (Le 10:10; Eze 22:16; Mic 3:9-11; compare Eze 44:23). For example, at times, they disregarded the Sabbath (see Ne 13:15-18; Jer 17:27; Eze 20:13; 22:8). Some folk today cannot seem to differentiate between the holy and the profane. They regard everything as common. Some neglect the assembly around the Lord's table as if unimportant. Others teach that common activities such as washing dishes are worship!


During Paul's lifetime, the high priest Jonathan had a close friend named Doras. Felix bribed him to kill Jonathan. He murdered him in the temple by the hand of robbers with concealed daggers. Josephus commented:

They slew certain of their own enemies, and were subservient to other men for money; and slew others, not only in remote parts of the city, but in the temple itself also; for they had the boldness to murder men there, without thinking of the impiety of which they were guilty. And this seems to me to have been the reason why God, out of his hatred of these men's wickedness, rejected our city; and as for the temple, he no longer esteemed it sufficiently pure to inhabit therein, but brought the Romans upon us, and threw a fire upon the city to purge it; and brought upon us, our wives, and children, slavery, as desirous to make us wiser by our calamities.[ 121 ]


2:23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?

You who make your boast in the law [you who boast, thou that boastest, gloriest, makest thy boast, of the law, in law].[ 122 ] The hypothetical Jew had the Law of Moses. He knew accurately that it was given only to Jews (De 5:1-3). He regarded it with a special reverence. No doubt, he thought just reading it correctly would keep him out of hell.[ 123 ]

Whoever reads the Shema[ 124 ] with distinct pronunciation of its letters, Gehinnom[ 125 ] is cooled for him.[ 126 ]

When one reads the charges brought against Stephen he may detect Jewish pride in the Law (see Ac 6:13). The Jew boasted that the Law was from God to the Jews. However, for one to have the Law was not sufficient. He was not to transgress it.

Do you dishonor God? [dishonorest thou God, dost thou dishonour God?].[ 127 ] The hypothetical Jew may not have thought about it before but by disobedience to any part of the Law he dishonored the God who gave it. When religious people break the Law of Christ, they dishonor Him who gave it. Christians who were "once enlightened" and then fell away dishonored Christ Himself.

If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Heb 6:6).

What did the Jew's score-card look like? A "yes" answer to one or more of the above questions would prove he dishonored God by his transgressions. The next verse further explains how he may have dishonored Him.

Through breaking the law [by transgressing, through thy transgression of, the law].[ 128 ] The Jew had transgressed the Law. In effect, by his disobedience, he denied that of which he boasted (see note above).


2:24 For "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.

For "The name of God is blasphemed" [for, The name of God is slandered].[ 129 ] The sins and transgressions of the Jews provided ammunition for Gentiles to speak evil of God's people and, indirectly, of God Himself.

Among the Gentiles [among the nations].[ 130 ] The fact that Gentiles spoke against God because of the sins of Jews showed how base and contemptible some of the Jews really were.

Because of you [through you, on your account].[ 131 ] By using the Greek plural for "you" Paul implies Jews in general brought dishonor to God. Jewish false prophets were shamed among the Gentiles. They should have also been ashamed before God. When their predictions of failed, God said:

"Now therefore, what have I here," says the LORD, "That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them make them wail," says the LORD, "And My name is blasphemed continually every day" (Isa 52:5).

Therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence. 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten (Jer 23:39, 40; compare 1Co 5:1).

As it is written [even as, according as, it is written].[ 132 ] Several verses indicate the name of God is blasphemed because of the sins of His people both in the Mosaic and the church ages (see charts GOD'S NAME BLASPHEMED; GOD'S WAY BLASPHEMED).


    (Ro 2:24)

    1. My name is blasphemed continually every day
    (Isa 52:5).
    2. When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name-- when they said of them, "These are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land" (Eze 36:20).
    3. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst (Eze 36:23).


    (Ro 2:24)

    1. Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so
    that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed (1Ti 6:1).
    2. To be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed (Tit 2:5).
    3. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be
    blasphemed (2Pe 2:2).


2:25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

For circumcision [circumcision, circumcision indeed].[ 133 ] Circumcision was a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham (Ge 17:12). The Jews valued it as the mark that identified them as God's people. Some of the physically circumcised Jews were uncircumcised. That is, they had figurative foreskins on their hearts (Jer 4:4).

For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart (Jer 9:26).

They were "circumcised in their uncircumcision" (Jer 9:25 ASV). The Lord charged Edom, Egypt, Judah and the children of Ammon and Moab with the same duplicity.[ 134 ] Were physically circumcised Jews better spiritually than sincere, but uncircumcised, Gentiles?

Is indeed profitable [is of value, indeed, verily, profiteth, profits].[ 135 ] Paul will explain more advantages of being a Jew in Romans 3:1, 2. He covers the subject of circumcision in Romans 4:11, 12. In the present verse, Paul points here that circumcision was advantageous to the Jew only if he kept the Law. Many Jews did not agree. They over-rated the benefits of physical circumcision.[ 136 ]


    (Ro 2:25)

    1. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Mt 7:21).
    2. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother (Mt 12:50).
    3. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them (Joh 13:17).


    (Ro 2:25)

    1. But the doers of the Law will be justified (Ro 2:13).
    2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (Jas 1:22).
    3. He who does the will of God abides forever
    (1Jo 2:17).
    4. Blessed are those who do His commandments
    (Re 22:14).

If you keep the Law [if thou keep, obey, the law, be a doer of, practice, the Law].[ 137 ] Although there is no article in the Greek, "the law" is the Law of Moses (see charts LAW OF MOSES A, B and C [ABSENCE OF GREEK ARTICLE] at verse 12; notes on Ro 2:12, 13, 17; 3:20). A doer of the Law is one who practices the righteousness of the Law (Ro 2:26). That is, he fulfills it (verse 27; compare verse 13).

But if you are a breaker of the law [but if thou break, transgress, be a transgressor of, the Law, a law-transgressor].[ 138 ] Anyone who is not a doer of the Law is a transgressor of the Law.

Your circumcision has become uncircumcision [thy circumcision becomes, is become, is made, uncircumcision]. Circumcision, along with keeping the Law, gave the Jew a distinct advantage. However, without obedience and sincerity of heart, circumcision was an empty and useless thing. It was no better than uncircumcision.


2:26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?

Therefore, if an uncircumcised man [so, if, if therefore, the uncircumcision, the uncircumcised, a man who is uncircumcised].[ 139 ] Paul describes a righteous Gentile. Consider someone like Cornelius (see Ac 10:1, 2).

Keeps the righteous requirements of the law [keep the requirements, the precepts, the ordinances, the righteousness, of the Law].[ 140 ] Certain of the Gentiles kept various "requirements" or "ordinances" of the Law but if they remained uncircumcised they did not keep them all. Paul implies that God will make allowances for this omission.

Will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? [shall not his uncircumcision be regarded, reckoned, for circumcision?].[ 141 ] So far as I know, Gentiles were not commanded to be circumcised. God is able to count the uncircumcision of an otherwise righteous Gentile as circumcision.[ 142 ]


2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?

And will not the physically uncircumcised [he who by nature, then those who are, physically uncircumcised, and shall not uncircumcision, the uncircumcision, uncircumcision by nature, which is by nature].[ 143 ] The picture is of an uncircumcised Gentile.

If he fulfills the law [but keep, if it fulfil, yet keeps, fulfilling, the Law]. The person alluded to is God-fearing and upright in life.

Judge you [will, shall, condemn you, judge thee].[ 144 ] Imagine a righteous, but uncircumcised, Gentile like Cornelius (Ac 10:1, 2). Suppose he lived and died before the beginning of the church age. At the judgment day will he be saved? Contrast such a man with a circumcised Jew who had God's Law but did not live by it. These thoughts suggest the possibility that God just might overlook unspecified inconsistencies. There are many examples of His tolerance in Scripture (see chart GOD'S TOLERANCE).


    (Ro 2:27)

    1. Adulterers to be put to death; yet David was forgiven (see De 22:22; 2Sa 12:13).
    2. Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah and were not destroyed (see Jonah 3:4, 10).
    3. More tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment (Mt 11:22).
    4. More tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment (Mt 10:15; 11:24).
    5. He who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few
    (Lu 12:48).

Who even with your written code [who with letter, have the letter of the Law, with, by, the letter].].[ 145 ] The Jews possessed the inspired written OT Law. They had it but they transgressed it. The Gentiles did not have it. According to Romans 1, they were sinners too (compare Eph 2:12).

And circumcision. Circumcision was an important consideration to many Jews. However, if not backed up by a sincere heart and a righteous life it was a trivial pursuit.

Are a transgressor of the law [dost, but, break, art a law-transgressor, a transgressor of, the Law]. The acid test of God's approval had to do with His Law and obedience thereto.


2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly [for he is not a real Jew which is one outwardly].[ 146 ] Jesus said, "If you were Abraham's children, do the works of Abraham" (Joh 8:39). In the present verse, Paul is tugging at the heartstrings of his readers. He suggests that God is not pleased with mere external religion. In another place, he wrote, "For they are not all Israel who are of Israel" (Ro 9:6).

Nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh [neither that, neither is that, circumcision, true circumcision, something external and physical, which is outward in flesh]. The Holy Spirit does not recognize fleshly circumcision as a valid indicator of God's favor unless accompanied by the circumcision of the heart (see De 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4; Col 2:11).


[2:29] But he is a Jew who is one inwardly [he is, but he is, a Jew which is one, who is so, inwardly].[ 147 ] An OT Jew, in order to be pleasing to God, had to be circumcised not only in the flesh but in heart (see note above on Nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh).

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation (Ga 6:15).

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ (Col 2:11; compare Joh 8:39; Ro 9:6).

And circumcision is that of the heart [and real circumcision of the heart, is of, is a matter of, the heart].[ 148 ] Paul said Christians "are the circumcision" (Php 3:3). True baptism differs in several ways from circumcision but it is connected with circumcision of the heart (see notes on Col 2:11, 12).

In the Spirit [spiritual, in spirit].[ 149 ] Circumcision in the spirit describes the heart of a forgiven and dedicated Christian. When Paul said, "We should serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Ro 7:6), he alluded to the new life of the Christian after baptism (Ro 6:4; see note on 2Co 3:6).

Not in the letter [and not literal, not in letter, the letter, of the Law].[ 150 ] The oldness of the letter was the outward observance of the law of Moses. Paul did not teach that the letter was unimportant. Neither did Christ (see Mt 23:23). Paul does not even hint that people are not to be concerned about obeying the correct form of the doctrine of Christ (Ro 6:17; compare 2Jo 9).

Whose praise is not from men [his praise is not from men, of men, from people].[ 151 ] Christians look not to men but to God for commendation and approval.

But from God [but of God].

How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? (Joh 5:44; compare 12:26; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 10:18).


[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Versio n. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]DIO ANAPOLOGEETOS EI, Wherefore inexcusable thou art (Marshall 606); EI is second person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 299); [A negative, N euphonic, APOLOGEOMAI to speak oneself off, to defend as before a tribunal], without excuse, inexcusable, used of those who reject the revelation of God, the Jew who judges the Gentile (Vine 388; without excuse, inexcusable (Arndt 60); wherefore without excuse thou art (Lenski 130); therefore, you have no excuse (Williams).
[ 3 ]HOO ANTHROOPE PAS HO KRINOON, O man everyone judging (Marshall 606); KRINOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of KRINOO (Han 299); with the sense of condemning (Vincent 3.25); judge, pass judgment upon, express an opinion about, especially in an unfavorable judgement upon, criticize, find fault with, condemn (Arndt 452); in address, where the speaker either cannot or will not give the name, Luke 5:20; or where the writer addresses any and every reader, Romans 2:1, 3 (Thayer 46); one of you [from ANTHROOPE, usually generic, person, one of mankind] (Littrell); O man, everyone judging! (Lenski 130); whoever you are, who pose as a judge of others (Williams).
[ 4 ]EN HOO GAR KRINEIS TON HETERON, in what for thou judgest the other (Marshall 606); KRINEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of KRINOO (Han 299); for by this thou judgest the other (Lenski 130); for when you pass judgment on another (Williams).
[ 5 ]SEAUTON KATAKRINEIS, thyself thou condemnest (Marshall 606); KATAKRINEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of PRASSOO (Han 299); [strengthened form of KRINOO to judge], signifies to give judgment against, pass sentence upon; hence, condemn, implying the fact of a crime (Vine 214); condemn (Arndt 412); judge worthy of punishment, condemn (Thayer 332); thou art condemning thine own self (Lenski 130); you condemn yourself (Williams).
[ 6 ]TA GAR AUTA PRASSEIS HO KRINOON, for the same things thou practisest the [one] judging (Marshall 606); PRASSEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of PRASSOO; KRINOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of KRINOO (Han 299); mostly of actions that are not praiseworthy, do, commit (Arndt 698); commit, perpetrate (Thayer 535); for the same things thou art committing that judgest (Lenski 130); for you who pose as a judge are practicing the very same sins [literally, the same things] yourself (Williams).
[ 7 ]OIDAMEN DE HOTI, but we know that (Marshall 606; OIDAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 299); OIDAMEN followed by HOTI is not infrequently, so far as the sense is concerned, equivalent to it is well known, acknowledged (Thayer 174); the formula OIDAMEN HOTI is frequently used to introduce a well-known fact that is generally accepted (Arndt 556); OIDA suggests fullness of knowledge (Vine 628); and we know that (Lenski 130); now we know that (Williams).
[ 8 ]TO KRIMA TOU THEOU, the judgment of God (Marshall 606; Lenski 130); not the act but the contents of the judgment (Vincent 3.25); condemnatory sentence, penal judgment, sentence . . . with genitive of the one who pronounces judgment [God] (Thayer 360); the condemnation of God [that is pronounced by him] (Arndt 450); the result of the action signified by the verb KRINOO, to judge . . . of God's judgment upon men (Vine 611); God's judgment (Williams).
[ 9 ]ESTIN KATA ALEETHEIAN, is according to truth (Marshall 606); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 299); in accordance with fact, that is, [according to the context], without partiality, Thayer 26); is according with truth (Lenski 130); justly [Greek, God's judgment is in accordance with truth (reality)] (Williams).
[ 10 ]EPI TOUS TA TOIAUTA PRASSONTAS, on the [ones] practicing (Marshall 606); PRASSONTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of PRASSOO (Han 299); against those committing such things (Lenski 130); falls on those who practice such sins as these (Williams); see note on verse 1.
[ 11 ]LOGIZEE DE TOUTO, reckonest thou and this (Marshall 606); LOGIZEE is second person singular, present middle indicative of LOGIZOMAI (Han 299); imitating a process of reasoning (Vincent 3.25); suppose, judge, deem (Vine 930); suppose, deem, judge (Thayer 379); do you imagine that (Arndt 476); but art thou counting on this? (Lenski 130); And you, do you for once suppose? [aorist present] (Williams).
[ 12 ]O ANTHROOPE, O man (Marshall 606; Lenski 130); and you (Williams).
[ 13 ]HO KRINOON TOUS TA TOIAUTA PRASSONTAS, the judging the [ones] the such things practicing (Marshall 606); judging those committing such things (Lenski 130); who pose as a judge of those who practice such sins (Lenski 130).
[ 14 ]KAI POIOON AUTA, and doing them (Marshall 606); POIOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of POIEOO (Han 299); and yet doing them (Lenski 130); and yet continue doing the same yourself (Williams).
[ 15 ]HOTI SU EKPHEUXEE, that thou wilt escape (Marshall 606); EKPHEUXEE is second person singular, future middle indicative of EKPHEUGOO (Han 299); [EK out of, PHEUGOO, to flee], of the judgments of God (Vine 370); thou emphatic, opposed to Jewish self-conceit (Vincent 3.25); escape (Thayer 200; Arndt 247); that for thy part thou wilt escape (Lenski 130); suppose that you are going to escape (Williams).
[ 16 ]Akedah Jizehak (54.2) quoted by Coffman 58.
[ 17 ]TO KRIMA TOU THEOU, the judgment of God (Marshall 606; Lenski 130; Williams); see note on verse 2.
[ 18 ]EE . . . KATAPHRONEIS, or . . . despisest thou (Marshall 606); KATAPHRONEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of KATAPHRONEOO (Han 299); [KATA down, PHREN the mind], think down upon or against . . . think slightly of, despise (Vine 293); entertain wrong ideas about (Arndt 420); contemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, with genitive of the object (Thayer 338); art thou despising them? (Lenski 130); do you think so little? (Williams).
[ 19 ]TOU PLOUTON TEES CHREESTOTEETOS AUTOU, the riches of the kindness of him (Marshall 606); of spiritual and moral riches possessed by God [his kindness, graciousness] and exercised towards men (Vine 494, 968); goodness, kindness, generosity of God (Arndt 886); or the riches of his beneficence (Lenski 130); of the riches of God's kindness (Williams).
[ 20 ]KAI TEES ANOCHEES, and the forbearance (Marshall 606); forbearance, a delay of punishment (Vine 446); forbearance, clemency (Arndt 72); toleration, forbearance (Thayer 49); implies something temporary which will pass away under new conditions (Vincent 3.25; see Ro 3:25); and the patience (Lenski 130); forbearance (Williams).
[ 21 ]KAI TEES MAKROTHUMIAS, and the longsuffering (Marshall 606; Lenski 130); [MAKROS long, THUMOS temper], longsuffering (Vine 684); forbearance, patience of God (Arndt 488); patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs (Thayer 387); and patience (Williams).
[ 22 ]AGNOOON, not knowing (Marshall 606); the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGNOEOO (Han 299); know not (Vine 576); not know, be ignorant of (Arndt 11); be ignorant, not know (Thayer 8); in that thou dost not know. This very ignorance is contempt (Vincent 3.26); unaware (Lenski 130); not conscious (Williams).
[ 23 ]HOTI TO CHREESTON TOU THEOU, the kindness of God (Marshall 606); the kindliness or graciousness [of God] (Vine 494); kindness [of God] (Arndt 886); benignity, kindness (Thayer 672); that the benefit from God (Lenski 130); that His kindness (Williams).
[ 24 ]SE AGEI, thee leads (Marshall 606); AGEI is third person singular, present active indicative of AGOO (Han 299); bears, brings, carries, leads, metaphorically of the goodness of God (Vine 651, 752); leads (Arndt 14); leads, guides, directs (Thayer 9); continuous present: is leading all the while thou art despising (Vincent 3.26); is trying to lead thee (Lenski 130); is meant [implied in genitive present] to lead you (Williams).
[ 25 ]When the present tense is used to denote continued action attempted or desired it is called the Present of Incompleted Action or the Conative Present (Nunn 86).
[ 26 ]EIS METANOIAN, to repentance (Marshall 606; Lenski 130; Williams); [unto] after-thought, change of mind, repentance, of the mercy of God in giving repentance or leading men to it (Vine 952); [unto] a change of mind, repentance (Arndt 512); [from METANOIA a change of mind]. The goodness of God leads one to change his/her mind, and decide to obey the Lord [see 2Co 7:10, godly sorrow works repentance (Littrell).
[ 27 ]"Pretermission" is the act of letting something go by as if unnoticed.
[ 28 ]KATA DE TEEN SKLEEROTEETA SOU, but according to the hardness of thee (Marshall 606); [from SKELLOO to dry], hardness (Vine 524); hardness, obstinacy, stubbornness (Thayer 579); hardness [of heart], stubbornness, as a human characteristic (Arndt 756); well, in accord with thy hardness (Lenski 130); but in your stubbornness (Williams).
[ 29 ]KAI AMETANOEETON KARDIAN, and impenitent heart (Marshall 606); [A negative, METOO change, NOUS the mind], literally without change of mind, impenitent, unrepentant (Vine 580); admitting no change of mind [amendment], unrepentant, impenitent (Thayer 321); active voice, unrepentant (Vine 45); and unrepentant heart (Lenski 130); and impenitence of heart (Williams); see Leviticus 26:41; Numbers 27:14; Isaiah 63:10; Jeremiah 6:10, 11; 9:25, 26.
[ 30 ]THEESAURIZEIS SEAUTOO, treasurest for thyself (Marshall 606); THEESAURIZEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of THEESAURIZOO (Han 299); accumulatest; glancing back to riches (Vincent 3.26); metaphorically of storing up wrath (Vine 1164); metaphorically, so to live from day to day as to increase either the bitterness or the happiness of one's consequent lot (Thayer 290); stores up [plentifully] anger for oneself (Arndt 361); thou art [only] treasuring up for thyself (Lenski 130); you are storing up for yourself (Williams).
[ 31 ]ORGEEN EN HEEMERA ORGEES, wrath in a day of wrath (Marshall 606; Lenski 130); wrath or anger [ORGEE] is less sudden than THUMOS [wrath, not translated anger] and is more lasting (Vine 47, 48); the day on which the wrath of God will be made manifest in the punishment of the wicked (Thayer 452); this stored up wrath will break out EN HEEMERA ORGEES [in the day of wrath] (Arndt 579); wrath on the day of wrath (Williams); see 2 Peter 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Jude 6.
[ 32 ]KAI APOKALUPSEOOS, and of revelation (Marshall 606); used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all, manifestation, appearance (Thayer 62); in the eschatological sense of disclosure of secrets belonging to the last days (Arndt 92); and revelation (Lenski 130); will be uncovered (Williams).
[ 33 ]DIKAIOKRISIAS TOU THEOU, of a righteous judgment of God (Marshall 606); [combines the adjective DIKAIOS righteous with KRISIS, the two words which are used separately in 2Th 1:5] (Vine 611); righteous judgment (Thayer 148; Arndt 195); of God's righteous judgment (Lenski 130); when the justice of God's judgments (Williams).
[ 34 ]HOS APODOOSEI, who will requite (Marshall 606); APODOOSEI is third person singular, future active indicative of APODIDOOMI (Han 299); will give up or back, render (Vine 949, 950); recompense (Thayer 248); render, reward, recompense (Arndt 90); who will duly give (Lenski 146); He will pay (Williams).
[ 35 ]HEKASTOO, to each man (Marshall 606; Lenski 146); each one, every one (Arndt 236; each, every (Thayer 192); for when He finally judges [clause implied from context] everyone with exactness (Williams). (Williams).
[ 36 ]KATA TA ERGA AUTOU, according to the works of him (Marshall 606, 607); of the deeds of men, exhibiting a consistent moral character referred to collectively, in accordance with the deeds (Arndt 308); the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness (Thayer 248); according to his works (Lenski 146); for what he has done (Williams).
[ 37 ]ZOOEN AIOONION, life eternal (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); without end, eternal life, in the kingdom of God (Arndt 28); life real and genuine . . . a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body] and to last forever (Thayer 273); eternal life (Williams).
[ 38 ]Entropy is the tendency to randomness and decay.
[ 39 ]Basically, the second law of thermodynamics states that all things tend toward disorder. For example, heat flows from something hot to something cooler. All systems tend to proceed to a lower energy state.
[ 40 ]TOIS MEN KATH' HUPOMONEEN ERGOU AGATHOU, to the [ones] on one hand by endurance work of (in) good (Marshall 607); [HUPE under, MENOO to abide], active voice, persistence, perseverance in well-doing (Vine 840; perseverance in doing what is right (Arndt 846); with a genitive of the thing persevered in, steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the NT the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety, by even the greatest trials and sufferings (Thayer 644); to some according to endurance to his works (Lenski 146); to those who patiently continue doing good (Williams).
[ 41 ]ZEETOUSIN, seeking (Marshall 607); third person plural, present active indicative of ZEETEOO (Han 299); try to obtain, desire to possess (Arndt 339); seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after (Thayer 272); as seeking (Lenski 146); and striving for (Williams).
[ 42 ]DOXAN, glory (Marshall 607; Lenski 146; Williams); the honor resulting from good opinion . . . the state of blessedness into which believers are to enter hereafter through being brought into the likeness of Christ (Vine 483); brightness, splendor, radiance (Arndt 203); praise, honor, glory (Thayer 155).
[ 43 ]KAI TIMEEN, and honor (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); primarily a valuing, hence, objectively, the reward of patience in well-doing (Vine 560); the respect that one enjoys, honor as a possession, mostly of heavenly possessions (Arndt 817); honor appearing in the rewards of the future life (Thayer 624); honor (Williams); see 1 Peter 1:7.
[ 44 ]KAI APHTHARSIAN, and incorruption (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); [A negative, PHTHEIROO to destroy by means of corrupting], of a condition associated with glory and honor and life, including perhaps a moral significance (Vine 235, 236); incorruptibility, immortality as a quality of future life (Arndt 125); incorruption, perpetuity, of the body of man exempt from decay after the resurrection, of a blessed immortality (Thayer 88); and immortality (Williams).
[ 45 ]TOIS DE EX ERITHEIAS, to the [ones] on the other of self-seeking (Marshall 607); [from ERITHOS a hireling, hence the meaning to win followers], ambitious, self-seeking, rivalry; ERITHIAI is translated factions, strife, dissensions or selfish ambitions; self-will being an underlying idea in this word (Vine 398); literally of faction, intriguers, partisan agitators (Vincent 3.26); to some, as from self-seeking (Lenski 146); to the self-willed (Williams).
[ 46 ]KAI APEITHOUSI TE ALEETHEIA, and disobeying the truth (Marshall 607); APEITHOUSI is third person singular, future active indicative of APODIDOOMI (Han 299); with dative of the thing, disobey, be disobedient . . . in our literature the disobedience is always toward God or his ordinances. Since, in the view of the early Christians, the supreme disobedience was a refusal to believe the gospel, APEITHEOO may be restricted in some passages to the meaning disbelieve, be an unbeliever. This sense, though greatly disputed [it is not found outside our literature] seems most probable in Joh 3:36; Ac 14:2; 19:9; Ro 15:31, and only slightly less probable in Ro 2:8; 1Pe 2:8; 3:1, perhaps also verse 20; 4:17 (Arndt 82); refuse belief and obedience (Thayer 55); [A negative, PEITHOO to persuade, win over, passive, to be persuaded, to listen to, to obey], disobey, be disobedient (Vine 797); as well as disobeying the truth (Lenski 146); who are always resisting the right [ALEETHEIA here means right, not truth] (Williams); see note on Disobedient to parents at Romans 1:30; also 10:21; 15:31.
[ 47 ]PEITHOMENOIS DE TEE ADIKIA, obeying but unrighteousness (Marshall 607); PEITHOMENOIS is the present middle participle, dative plural masculine of PEITHOO (Han 299); be persuaded, listen to, obey [un-righteousness, iniquity] . . . the obedience suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion (Vine 796, 1185); as moreover obeying the unrighteousness (Lenski 146); and yielding to the wrong (Williams).
[ 48 ]ORGEE, wrath (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); God's [wrathful] purposes in judgment (Vine 47); but wrath (Williams); see notes on Romans 1:18; 2:5.
[ 49 ]KAI THUMOS, and anger (Marshall 607); hot anger, passion, the wrath of God (Vine 48, 1251); and indignation (Lenski 146); and fury (Williams).
[ 50 ]THLIPSIS, affliction (Marshall 607); primarily means a pressing, pressure, of future retribution, in the way of affliction (Vine 31); of distress brought about by outward circumstances, repay with affliction (Arndt 362); a pressing, pressing together, pressure . . . oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits (Thayer 291); tribulation (Lenski 146); crushing suffering (Williams).
[ 51 ]KAI STENOCHOORIA, and anguish (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); literally narrowness of place; metaphorically came to mean the distress arising from that condition, anguish (Vine 49); the dominant idea is constraint (Vincent 3.26); metaphorically dire calamity, extreme affliction (Thayer 587); and awful anguish (Williams).
[ 52 ]EPI PASAN PSUCHEEN ANTHROOPOU, on every soul of man (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); to every human soul (Williams).
[ 53 ]TOU KATERGAZOMENOU TO KAKON, working the evil (Marshall 607); KATERGAZOMENOU is the present middle participle, genitive singular masculine of KATERGAZOMAI (Han 299); that constantly doeth evil (Harrison 506); who practices doing evil (Williams); works out, achieves, effects [evil] by toil (Vine 1244); working out the base (Lenski 146); who practices doing evil (Williams); see 1 John 3:8.
[ 54 ]IOUDAIOU TE PROOTON KAI HELLEENOS, both of Jew firstly and of Greek (Marshall 607); first of all Jew as well as of Greek (Lenski 146); the Jew first and then the Greek (Williams).
[ 55 ]MNAS, literally, minas. A mina was worth about 100 days' wages or almost $20.
[ 56 ]EIREENEE, peace (Marshall 607; Lenski 156); the blessed state of devout and upright men after death (Thayer 182); and peace (Williams).
[ 57 ]ERGAZOMENOO TO AGATHON, working the good (Marshall 607; Lenski 146); ERGAZOMENOO is the present middle participle, dative singular masculine of ERGAZOMAI (Han 299); transitively, works [good], produces, performs, works "the good," the neuter adjective with the definite article signifies that which is good, literally "the good," as being morally honorable, pleasing to God, and therefore beneficial (Vine 493, 494, 1243); who practices doing good (Williams).
[ 58 ]OU GAR ESTIN PROSOOPOLEEMPSIA PARA TOO THEOO, not For is respect of persons with God (Marshall 607); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 299); [PROSOOPON a face or person, LAMBANOO to lay hold of], respect of persons, partiality, the fault of one who, when responsible to give judgment, has respect to the position, rank, popularity, or circumstances of men, instead of their intrinsic conditions, preferring the rich and powerful to those who are not so (Vine 851); for there is no respect of persons with God (Lenski 156); for their is no partiality in God's dealings (Williams); see Acts 15:9; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:1; 1 Peter 1:17.
[ 59 ]"Outside the pale of the Law" means outside its limits or extent.
[ 60 ]HOSOI GAR ANOMOOS HEEMARTON, for as many as without law sinned (Marshall 607); HEEMARTON is first person singular or third person plural, second aorist active indicative of HAMARTANOO (Han 299); the principle laid down is general, though apparently viewed with special reference to the law of Moses (Vincent 3.27); sinned in ignorance of the Mosaic law (Thayer 48); adverbial form of ANOMOS [A negative, NOMOS law], without law, in the absence of some specifically revealed law, like the law of Sinai (Vine 646); those who sinned without the law (Arndt 72); for as many as sinned without law (Lenski 156); all who sin without having the law (Williams).
[ 61 ]ANOMOOS KAI APOLOUNTAI, without law also will perish (Marshall 607); APOLOUNTAI is third person plural, future passive indicative of KRINOO (Han 299); perish, but not by sentence of the Mosaic law (Thayer 48); predicates that the absence of such a law will not prevent their doom (Vine 656); will also be lost without the law (Arndt 72); shall also perish without law (Lenski 156); will also perish apart from the law (Williams).
[ 62 ]For example, K. C. Moser (The Gist of Romans, comment on Ro 3:27), said, "The word 'law' is used, not in the sense of a code, but in the sense of principle. It is so translated by Goodspeed and others: "Then what becomes of our boasting? It is shut out. On what principle? What a man does? No, but whether a man has faith" (Goodspeed)." This erroneous idea was not new with Moser. Thayer wrote, "Some interpreters contend that NOMOS without the article, denotes not the law of Moses but law viewed as `a principle,' `abstract and universal;' compare Bishop Lightfoot on Galatians 2:19; also `Fresh Revision,' etc. page 99; Vaughan on Romans 2:23; especially Van Hengel on Romans 2:12; Gifford in the Speaker's Commentary on Romans page 41 and following (compare Cremer under the word). This distinction is contrary to usage . . . and to the context in such Pauline passages as the following: Romans 2:17, 25, 27; 7:1 (7); 13:8, 10; Galatians 3:17, 18, 23, 24 (compare Ro 2:12; 3:19; 5:13, 14), etc." (Thayer 428, emphasis supplied).
[ 63 ]"Abstract" as used here is the general quality [of law], law in general, not the Law of Moses nor any particular law viewed specifically and objectively.
[ 64 ]Wallace, Versions 688.
[ 65 ]Whiteside, Romans 92.
[ 66 ]EN NOMOO HEEMARTON, in (under) law sinned (Marshall 607); HEEMARTON is first person singular or third person plural, second aorist active indicative of HAMARTANOO (Han 299); under law, that is, within the sphere of (Vincent 3.27); literally, in law (Vine 646); the Mosaic law (Thayer 427); especially of the law which Moses received from God (Arndt 542); in connection with law (Lenski 156); and all who sin under the law (Williams).
[ 67 ]DIA NOMOU KRITHEESONTAI, through law will be judged (Marshall 607); KRITHEESONTAI is third person plural, future passive indicative of KRINOO (Han 299); the antithesis shall perish suggests a condemnatory judgment (Vincent 3.27); of law in general, a law (Vine 643); shall be judged by means of law (Lenski 156); will be judged by the law (Williams).
[ 68 ]OU GAR HOI AKROATAI NOMOU, not for the hearers of law (Marshall 607); [from AKROAOMAI, to listen]; like the Jews who heard it regularly in the synagogues . . . it brings out better than the participle OI AKOUNTES those that hear, the characteristic feature; those whose business is hearing (Vincent 3.27); hearers (Arndt 33); for not the hearers of the law (Lenski 156); for merely hearing the law read [literally, hearers] (Williams).
[ 69 ]DIKAIOI PARA [TOO] THEOO, [are] just with God (Marshall 607); righteous, a state of being right, or right conduct, judged whether by the Divine standard, or according to human standards, of what is right (Vine 613); acquitted, pronounced and treated as righteous (Arndt 197); are righteous with God (Lenski 156); does not make men upright with God (Williams).
[ 70 ]ALL' HOI POIEETAI NOMOU DIKAIOOTHEESONTAI, but the doers of law will be justified (Marshall 607); DIKAIOOTHEESONTAI is third person plural, future passive indicative of DIKAIOOO (Han 299); passive, [shall be judged] by God (Thayer 150); ideally the complete fulfillment of the law of God would provide a basis of justification in his sight (Vine 615); doers (Arndt 683); but the doers of law shall be declared righteous (Lenski 156); but men who practice the law will be recognized as upright (Williams).
[ 71 ]HOTAN GAR ETHNEE TA MEE NOMON MEE ECHONTES, For whenever nations not law having (Marshall 607); ECHONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural neuter of ECHOO (Han 299); here MEE negatives the possession of the law (Vincent 3.28); of law in general, a law, expressing a general principle relating to law (Vine 643); under law, that is, with knowledge of the law . . . they to whom the Mosaic law has not been made known (Thayer 428); for whenever Gentiles who do not have law (Lenski 160); Indeed, when heathen people who have no law (Williams).
[ 72 ]Hammurabi is identified by some as Amraphel (see Ge 14:1, 9; Zondervan 331).
[ 73 ]PHUSEI POIOOSIN, by nature do (Marshall 607); POIOOSIN is third person plural, present active subjunctive of POIEOO (Han 299); adverbially, by nature, the regular law or order of nature (Vine 775); guided by their natural sense of what is right and proper (Thayer 660); by nature perform (Lenski 160); instinctively do (Williams).
[ 74 ]TA TOU NOMOU, the things of the law (Marshall 607); note the article, the law; of the Mosaic law (Thayer 427, 428). things of the law (Lenski 160); what the law demands [Greek, the things of the law] (Williams).
[ 75 ]HOUTOI NOMON MEE ECHONTES HEATOIS EISIN NOMOS, these law not having to themselves are a law (Marshall 607); ECHONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ECHOO; EISIN is third person plural, present middle indicative of ENDEIKNUMI (Han 299); of a force or influence impelling to action (Vine 644); their natural knowledge takes the place of the Mosaic law (Thayer 428); these though not having law, are unto themselves law (Lenski 160); although they have no law they are a law to themselves (Williams).
[ 76 ]Zondervan 3.895.
[ 77 ]HOITINES ENDEIKNUNTAI TO ERGON TOU NOMOU, who show the work of the law (Marshall 607); ENDEIKNUNTAI is third person plural, present middle indicative of ENDEIKNUMI (Han 299); middle voice, shew forth, prove the work of the law (Vine 1033); note the article, the law; of the Mosaic law, and referring, according to the context, either to the volume of the law or to its contents (Thayer 427); such as demonstrate the work of the law (Lenski 160); for they show the deeds the law demands (Williams).
[ 78 ]GRAPTON EN TAIS KARDIAIS AUTON, written in the hearts of them (Marshall 607); [an adjective form of GRAPHOO to write], written in the heart, the sphere of Divine influence (Vine 537, 1253); written in their hearts (Lenski 160); are written on their hearts (Williams).
[ 79 ]SUMMARTUROUSEES AUTOON TEES SUNEIDEESEOOS, witnessing with of them the conscience=while their conscience witnesses with (Marshall 607, 608); SUMMARTUROUSEES is the present active participle, genitive singular feminine of SUMMARTUREOO (Han 299); the force of SUN with the verb is therewith, that is, with the prescript of the law, respecting the agreement or disagreement of the act with it (Vincent 3.28); bearing witness with [SUN], that process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former, and avoid the latter, bearing witness with God's law (Vine 220, 1238); their thoughts, their own thoughts [TOON LOGISMOON, reasonings, thoughts] . . . suggestive of evil intent, not of mere reasonings (Vine 578); their conscience joining in witness (Lenski 160); because their conscience will testify for them (Williams).
[ 80 ]KAI METAXU ALLEELOON TOON LOGISMOON KATEEGOROUNTOON, and between one another=among themselves the thoughts accusing=thoughts among themselves accuse (Marshall 608); the mutual relations and interchanges of individual thoughts (Vincent 3.28); one person with another, not one thought with another; it may be paraphrased, "their thoughts with one another, condemning or else excusing one another" (Vine 338); and in alternation with each other the reasonings making accusation (Lenski 160); and their inner [literally, thoughts in them] thoughts will either accuse (Williams).
[ 81 ]EE KAI APOLOGOUMENOON, or even excusing (Marshall 608); APOLOGOUMENOON is the present middle participle, genitive plural masculine of APOLOGEOMAI (Han 299); literally, speaking themselves off, hence, pleading for themselves, and so, in general defending, as before a tribunal; in Romans 2:15 means one excusing others [not themselves] . . . conscience provides a moral standard by which men judge one another (Vine 338); or also making defense (Lenski 160, 161); or defend them (Williams).
[ 82 ]The prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials was Robert Jackson.
[ 83 ]EN HEE HEEMERA, in what day (Marshall 608); the day on which (Arndt 347); with a day when (Lenski 161); on the day when (Williams); [R. Bultmann considers this a gloss].
[ 84 ]Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Versions 410.
[ 85 ]KRINEI HO THEOS, judges God (Marshall 608); KRINEI is third person singular, present active indicative of KRINOO (Han 299); of the judgment of God or of Jesus the Messiah, deciding between righteousness and unrighteousness of men, the inhabitants of the world (Thayer 361); condemn, punish (Arndt 452); God will judge (Lenski 151); God will judge (Williams); see Matthew 25:31, 41, 46; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 3:6; 14:10.
[ 86 ]TA KRUPTA TOON ANTHROOPOON, the hidden things of men (Marshall 608); [akin to KRUPTOO to hide ], neuter plural with the article, the secrets of men (Vine 1007); the things which men conceal, secret thoughts, feelings, desires (Thayer 362); secret thoughts, plans, purposes (Arndt 454); the secrets of men (Lenski 161); the secrets people have kept (Williams); see 1 Samuel 2:3; 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 21:2; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; Romans 8:27).
[ 87 ]DIA CHRISTOU IEESOU, through Christ Jesus (Marshall 608; Lenski 161); God judges, represented by Christ Jesus (Arndt 180); in passages where a subject expressly mentioned is said to do or to have done a thing by some person [Jesus Christ] or by some thing (Thayer 133); through Jesus Christ (Williams).
[ 88 ]KATA TO EUANGELION MOU, according to the gospel of me (Marshall 609); [according to my] good news of the basic facts of the death burial and resurrection of Christ, of the interpretation of these facts (Vine 497); his exposition of the gospel . . . of the author of the particular mode in which the subject-matter of the gospel is understood, as I expound it (Thayer 257); subjective genitive, the man who is commissioned to the preaching can be mentioned in the subjective genitive, God's good news to man, the gospel (Arndt 318); according to my gospel (Lenski 161); in accordance with the good news I preach (Williams).
[ 89 ]EI DE SU IOUDAIOS EPONOMAZEE, But if thou a Jew art named (Marshall 608); EPONOMAZEE is second person singular, present passive indicative of EPONOMAZOO (Han 299); surnamed (Vine 157); bearest the name of [a Jew], bringing out the value which attaches to the name Jew, the theocratic title of honor (Vincent 3.28); but thou, if thou addest to thyself the name Jew (Lenski 177); now if you call yourself a Jew (Williams).
[ 90 ]KAI EPANAPAUEE NOMOO, and restest on law (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); EPANAPAUEE is second person singular, present middle indicative of EPANAPAUOMAI (Han 299); thou restest with a blind trust in God thy Father and protector exclusively (Vincent 3.29); [EPI upon, ANA up, PAUOO to make to cease], middle voice, rest upon (Vine 961); and rely on law (Williams).
[ 91 ]KAI KAUCHASAI EN THEOO, and boastest in God (Marshall 608); KAUCHASAI is second person singular, present middle indicative of KAUCHAOMAI (Han 299); glory, boast (Vine 127); glory in the knowledge of God, intimacy with him, his favors, etc. (Thayer 342); and gloriest in God (Lenski 177); and boast about God (Williams).
[ 92 ]KAI GINOOSKEIS TO THELEEMA, and knowest the Will (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); GINOOSKEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of GINOOSKOO (Han 299); come to know, recognize, understand, or to understand completely, that which is willed, the will of God (Vine 627, 1228); became acquainted with the precepts of the Lord (Thayer 117); and understand His will (Williams).
[ 93 ]KAI DOKIMAZEIS TA DIAPHERONTA, and approvest the things excelling (Marshall 608); DOKIMAZEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of DOKIMAZOO; DIAPHERONTA is the present active participle, accusative plural neuter of DIAPHEROO (Han 300); and testest out the essentials (Lenski 177); can know the things that excel [this suits the context better than what is right] (Williams); may also mean the things which differ . . . thou doest test with nice discrimination, questions of casuistry (Vincent 3.29). Casuistry refers to cases of conscience, of right or wrong behavior, especially of false applications of legal or moral principles.
[ 94 ]Vine 63.
[ 95 ]KATEECHOUMENOS EK TOU NOMOU, being instructed out of the law (Marshall 608); KATEECHOUMENOS is the present passive participle, nominative singular masculine of KATEECHEOO (Han 300); systematically through catechetical and synagoguic instruction . . . the basis of the critical discrimination (Vincent 3.29); taught orally, informed, instructed (Vine 594); as being instructed from the Law (Lenski 177); and by being instructed in the law (Williams).
[ 96 ]PEPOITHAS SEAUTON, and having persuaded thyself (Marshall 608); PEPOITHAS is second person singular, second perfect active indicative of PEITHOO (Han 300); intransitively, have confidence, be confident (Vine 217); convinced, sure, certain (Arndt 639); have confidence, be confident (Thayer 497); and also confident of thyself (Lenski 177); and if you are sure that you are (Williams).
[ 97 ]The Talmud was collected and compiled in the early centuries AD. There are at least two: the Palestinian Talmud and the longer Babylonian Talmud.
[ 98 ]HODEEGON EINAI TUPHLOON, a guide to be of blind [persons] (Marshall 608); EINAI is the present active infinitive of EIMI (Han 300); a leader of the way, a guide [to the] metaphorically blind [from TUPH-, to burn, smoke; compare TUPHOS smoke] (Vine 126, 514); a guide for the blind (Arndt 553); to be a guide of men blind (Lenski 177); a guide to the blind (Williams); in figurative and sententious discourse . . . like one who is literally so called, or namely a teacher of the ignorant and inexperienced (Thayer 437). "Sententious" has to do with adages, terse moralistic expressions and short statements of truth or sentiments.
[ 99 ]PHOOS TOON EN SKOTEI, a light of the [ones] in darkness (Marshall 608); ironically of the guidance of man [in] intellectual darkness (Vine 260, 670); the Jew considers himself to be a bearer or bringer of [spiritual] light to [them that are in] religious and moral darkness (Arndt 757; 872); one in whom wisdom and spiritual purity shine forth, and who imparts the same to others (Thayer 662); light for those in darkness (Lenski 177); a light to those in darkness (Williams).
[ 100 ]PAIDEUTEEN APHRONOON, an instructor of foolish [persons] (Marshall 608); a teacher, preceptor, corrector [of those] without reason [A negative, PHREN the mind], "want of mental sanity and sobriety, a reckless and inconsiderate habit of mind" [Hort], or "lack of common-sense perception of the reality of things natural and spiritual . . . or the imprudent ordering of one's life in regard to salvation" [Vos] (Vine 233, 444); emphasizing the element of discipline or training (Vincent 3.29; instructor, teacher [of the] foolish, ignorant; sometimes the emphasis is upon the idea of correcting or disciplining (Arndt 127; 603); an instructor, preceptor, teacher [of the] senseless, foolish, stupid, [those] without reflection or intelligence [who] act rashly (Thayer 473); educator of men ignorant (Lenski 177); a tutor of the foolish (Williams). Although, according to Thayer, a synonym of "foolish" is "stupid," in my opinion, the NEB is offensive with "to train the stupid."
[ 101 ]DIDASKOON NEEPIOON, a teacher of infants (Marshall 608); DIDASKOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of DIDASKOO (Han 300); the term used by the Jews to designate proselytes or novices, Vincent 3.29; a teacher of those who are possessed merely of natural knowledge (Vine 85, 124); you are sure that you are [that is, can be] a teacher of the young (Arndt 191); one who is fitted to teach, or thinks himself so [of the] childish, untaught, unskilled, metaphorically (Thayer 144, 425); teacher of babes (Lenski 177); a teacher of the young (Williams).
[ 102 ]Gentiles who embraced the Jewish religion.
[ 103 ]ECHONTA TEEN MORPHOOSIN TEES GNOOSEOOS, having the form of knowledge (Marshall 608); ECHONTA is the present active participle, accusative singular masculine of ECHOO (Han 300); not mere appearance but the scheme, the correct embodiment of the lineaments of truth and knowledge in the law (Vincent 3.29); an image or impress, an outward semblance [of] knowledge, especially of spiritual truth (Vine 454, 631); the embodiment of knowledge (Arndt 528); the form befitting or truly expressing the fact, the very form [of] objective knowledge, what is known concerning divine things and human duties (Thayer 119, 419); having the genuine form of the knowledge (Lenski 177); since you have a knowledge [literally, form of knowledge] (Williams).
[ 104 ]Christians also are to "hold the pattern of sound words" (2Ti 1:13; compare Ex 25:40).
[ 105 ]KAI TEES ALEETHEIAS EN TOO NOMOO, and of the truth in the Law (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); [and of the] embodiment of knowledge and truth, truth in the book of the law (Arndt 35, 528); truth, The embodiment of which the Jews sought in the Mosaic law (Thayer 26); of the truth as formulated in the law (Williams).
[ 106 ]HO OUN DIDASKOON HETERON, the [one] teaching another (Marshall 608); DIDASKOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of DIDASKOO (Han 300); teach (Arndt 192); [if thou] as the one accordingly teaching another (Lenski 177); you who teach others (Williams).
[ 107 ]SEAUTON OU DIDASKEIS, thyself teachest thou not? (Marshall 608); DIDASKEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of DIDASKOO (Han 300); doest not teach thyself (Lenski 177); do you not teach yourself too? (Williams).
[ 108 ]Whiteside 60, 61.
[ 109 ]Bereshith Rabba 55.44, from Clarke 6.51, 52).
[ 110 ]HO KEERUSSOON, the [one] proclaiming (Marshall 608); KEERUSSOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of KERUSSOO (Han 300); preach against stealing (Arndt 431); publish, proclaim openly something which ought [not] to be done (Thayer 346); the one preaching (Lenski 177); you who preach (Williams).
[ 111 ]Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.8.
[ 112 ]HO LEGOON, the [one] saying (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); LEGOON is the present active participle, nominative singular, masculine of LEGOO (Han 300); exhort, advise, command (Thayer 375); order, command, direct, enjoin, recommend (Arndt 469); you who warn men (Williams).
[ 113 ]Rabbins are Rabbis. The term literally means masters.
[ 114 ]Vincent 3.29.
[ 115 ]Clarke 6.51.
[ 116 ]HO BDELUSSOMENOS TA EIDOOLA, the [one] detesting the idols (Marshall 608); BDELUSSOMENOS is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of BDELUSSOMAI (Han 300); [from BDEOO to stink], originally to turn away from a thing on account of the stench (Vincent 3.29); in middle voice to turn oneself away from [as if from a stench], hence, to detest [idols] (Vine 1, 572); the one abhorring idols (Lenski 177); you who shrink in horror [literally, feel physical repulsion] from idols (Williams).
[ 117 ]HIEROSULEIS, dost thou rob temples? (Marshall 608); second person singular, present active indicative of HIEROSULEOO (Han 300); [HIERON temple, SULAOO to despoil], rob temples [probably to be taken literally] (Arndt 373); rob a temple (Vine 973); "thou who abhorest idols and their contamination, dost yet not hesitate to plunder their shrines" (Thayer 300); robbest temples-- thou (Lenski 177); do you rob temples? (Williams).
[ 118 ]"You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people" (Ex 22:28).
[ 119 ]Josephus, Antiquities 4.8.10.
[ 120 ]Some think what was forbidden was the reviling of the judges (see certain footnotes on Ex 22:28).
[ 121 ]Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.5.
[ 122 ]HOS EN NOMOO KAUCHASAI, who in law boastest (Marshall 608); KAUCHASAI is second person singular, present middle indicative of KAUCHAOMAI (Han 300); the very one who gloriest in law (Lenski 177); you who boast about the law (Williams); singular relative pronoun, who boasts or glories (see note on Ro 2:17).
[ 123 ]The principal safeguard [from Gehinnom], however, is the study of Torah [the OT Scriptures, especially the Pentateuch]. "The fire of Gehinnom has no power over the disciples of the Sages. This may be reasoned from the salamander. If a person is anointed with the blood of a salamander, which originates in fire, he cannot be harmed by fire; how much more immune are the disciples of the Sages whose body is fire; as it is said, `Is not My word like a fire, saith the Lord?' (Jer 23:29). The fire of Gehinnom has no power over the sinners in Israel. This may be reasoned from the golden altar. If this altar, which was only covered with a plating of gold the thickness of a gold denarius, endured so many years and was not overcome by the fire upon it, how much more will the Israelites resist the fire who are filled, even the most empty of them, with the precepts [of the Torah] as a pomegranate is filled with seeds!' (Chagigah 27a; from Cohen 382).
[ 124 ]"Shema" is from the Hebrew SHEMA hear, the first word in Deuteronomy 6:4. The Shema, therefore, is the Jewish confession of faith consisting of Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41.
[ 125 ]Gehinnom, [from the Hebrew GE' HIMMOM], literally, valley of Hinnom], corresponds to Gehenna, place of misery, hell.
[ 126 ]Beracoth, "Benedictions" 15b, from Cohen 382.
[ 127 ]TON THEON ATIMAZEIS, God dishonorest thou? (Marshall 608); ATIMAZEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of ATIMAZOO (Han 300); dishonor, treat shamefully, insult, whether in word or deed (Vine 310); dishonor, insult, treat with contumely, whether in word, in deed or in thought (Thayer 83); dishonorest God (Lenski 177); dishonor God (Williams); dishonor, treat shamefully, insult (Arndt 120). Contumely is haughty and contemptuous rudeness, scornful insult.
[ 128 ]DIA TEES PARABASEOOS TOU NOMOU, through transgression of the law (Marshall 608); the primary sense of the preposition PARA is beside or by, with reference to a line or extended surface . . . going beyond, of the transgression of a command distinctly given (Vincent 3.30, 31); transgression of the law (Vine 1161); overstepping, transgression . . . the violation of the law (Arndt 611); disregarding, violating, transgression of the Mosaic law (Thayer 478); through the transgression of the Law (Lenski 177); by breaking it (Williams).
[ 129 ]TO GAR ONOMA TOU THEOU BLASPHEEMEITAI, for the name of God is blasphemed (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); BLASPHEEMEITAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of BLASPHEEMEOO (Han 300); of those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things (Vine 123); blasphemed God's name (Arndt 124); evil spoken of, reviled, railed at (Thayer 102); for the name of God is abused (Williams).
[ 130 ]EN TOIS ETHNESIN, among the Gentiles (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); among the heathen (Williams).
[ 131 ]DI HUMAS, because of you (Marshall 608; Lenski 177; Williams); second person plural personal pronoun, accusative case; on your account, that is, through your fault (Arndt 181).
[ 132 ]KATHOOS GEGRAPTAI, as it has been written (Marshall 608; Lenski 177); GEGRAPTAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 300); a formula for introducing quotations from the OT (Arndt 166); as the Scripture says (Williams).
[ 133 ]PERITOMEE GAR, circumcision For (Marshall 608); for circumcision (Lenski 194); now circumcision (Williams); the state of circumcision, the being circumcised; see note on 1 Corinthians 7:19.
[ 134 ]According to some, Arabians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites and Egyptians were circumcised. Babylonians, Assyrians, Canaanites and Philistines were not (Zondervan 172; see Jer 9:26).
[ 135 ]MEN OOPHELEI, indeed profits (Marshall 608, 609); OOPHELEI is third person singular, present active indicative of OOPHELEOO (Han 300); assists, gives advantage, benefits (Vine 890); [is] useful or advantageous, profits (Thayer 683); is of value (Arndt 900); profits (Lenski 194); benefits you (Williams).
[ 136 ]The following is from Everyman's Talmud: "The severities of Gehinnom may be mitigated, or even altogether escaped, by various means. Prominent among them is the fact that a person has undergone circumcision, unless he had been exceptionally wicked. `In the Hereafter Abraham will sit at the entrance of Gehinnom and will not allow any circumcised Israelite to descend into it. As for those who sinned unduly, what does he do to them? He removes the foreskin from children who had died before circumcision, places it upon them and sends them down to Gehinnom' (Gen. R. 48.8). `Israelites who are circumcised will not descend to Gehinnom. So that heretics and the sinners in Israel shall not say, "Inasmuch as we are circumcised we will not go down to Gehinnom," what does the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He sends an angel who extends the foreskin and they descend to Gehinnom' (Exodus R. 19.4). "The patriarch helps the release of those who had been condemned. `Passing through the valley of weeping' (Ps 54:6), that is, they who are sentenced for a time in Gehinnom; and Abraham our father comes and takes them out and receives them, with the exception of an Israelite who had intercourse with a gentile woman or disguised his circumcision for the purpose of concealing his identity'" (Erubin 19a; from Cohen 381).
[ 137 ]EAN NOMON PRASSEES, if law thou practisest (Marshall 609); PRASSEES is second person singular, present active subjunctive of PRASSOO (Han 300); [PRASSOO practice] stresses the process leading to the accomplishment (Vine 322); accomplish, perform, do, keep the Law (Thayer 535); observe the law (Arndt 698); if thou practice law (Lenski 194); only if you practice the law (Williams).
[ 138 ]EAN DE PARABATEES NOMOU EES, but if a transgressor of law thou art (Marshall 609); EES is second person singular, imperfect active indicative of EIMI (Han 300); literally and primarily, one who stands beside, then one who oversteps the prescribed limit, a transgressor (Vine 1162); transgressor (Arndt 612); a law-breaker (Thayer 479); but if thou be a transgressor of law (Lenski 194); but if you break the law (Williams); see verse 27.
[ 139 ]EAN OUN HEE AKROBUSTIA, if therefore the uncircumcision (Marshall 609); the physical state in contrast to the act of circumcision, Vine 184; by metonymy of the abstract for the concrete, [not] having the foreskin [removed], the Gentiles (Thayer, 151); thy circumcision (Lenski 194); so if the uncircumcised heathen man (Williams); see Romans 3:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 7:19; Ephesians 2:11, 12.
[ 140 ]DIKAIOOMATA TOU NOMOU PHULASSEE, the ordinances of the law keeps (Marshall 609); PHULASSEE is third person singular, present active subjunctive of PHULASSOO (Han 300); plural, appointments of God having the force of law, used of the Mosaic law (Thayer 151); the requirements of the law (Arndt 198); keep the righteous ordinances of the law (Lenski 194); observes the just demands of the law (Williams).
[ 141 ]OUCH HEE AKROBUSTIA AUTOU EIS PERITOMEEN LOGISTHEESETAI, not the uncircumcision of him for circumcision will be reckoned? (Marshall 609); LOGISTHEESETAI is third person singular, future passive indicative of LOGIZOMAI (Han 300); metaphorically, by a reckoning of characteristics or reasons, taken into account (Vine 930); shall not his foreskin be reckoned as circumcision? (Lenski 194); will he not be counted as though he were a Jew? [abstract for concrete terms] (Williams).
[ 142 ]Reasoning along this line has caused some to think that God, in some cases, might overlook His requirement to be baptized for the remission of sins. They ask, will He count the sincere, devoted, unimmersed as baptized and save them? There seems to be a hint here that His mercy might extend to them. However, no Christian has the right to deviate from the true Bible teaching on baptism or any other subject. Neither does he have a right to change God's word and go around saying that He will save the unbaptized or overlook those who neglect any NT command. He must teach only what is revealed in the gospel and leave the judging to God (see Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; Ro 2:25, 26; 8:4).
[ 143 ]KAI HEE EK PHUSEOOS AKROBUSTIA, and the by nature uncircumcision (Marshall 609); and shall not the foreskin due to nature (Lenski 194); who is physically uncircumcised (Williams).
[ 144 ]KAI KRINEI, and will judge (Marshall 609); third person singular, future active indicative of KRINOO (Han 300); the same as condemn (Thayer 361); the one who is physically uncircumcised will sit in judgment upon you (Arndt 452); judge thee (Lenski 194); condemn you (Williams).
[ 145 ]SE TON DIA GRAMMATOS, thee the through letter (Marshall 609); "the letter," the written code of the word of God, in contrast to the inward operation of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant (Vine 663); the written law of Moses (Thayer 120); of the literally correct form of the law (Arndt 165); despite written record (Lenski 194); who have the letter of the law (Williams).
[ 146 ]OU GAR HO EN TOO PHANEROO 'IOUDAIOS ESTIN, For not the in the open Jew he is (Marshall 609); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 300); literally in the open [manifest] (Vine 822); the open, public notice, the Jew who is one outwardly by reason of being circumcised (Arndt 852); for not the visible one is a Jew (Lenski 204); for the real Jew is not the man who is a Jew on the outside (Williams).
[ 147 ]ALL' HO EN TOO KRUPTOO 'IOUDAIOS, but the in the secret Jew [is] (Marshall 609); literally in [the] secret, or hidden ["part" being understood], is rendered "inwardly," said of a spiritual Jew, in contrast to the one who is merely naturally circumcised and so is one outwardly (Vine 600); the Jew who is one inwardly, not only by the outward sign of circumcision (Arndt 454); but the invisible Jew (Lenski 204); and real circumcision is not outward physical circumcision (Williams).
[ 148 ]KAI PERITOMEE KARDIAS, and circumcision [is] of heart (Marshall 609); used metaphorically and spiritually of believers with reference to the act [of circumcision] (Vine 184); of moral decisions, the moral life, of vices and virtues; figuratively, of spiritual circumcision (Arndt 404, 652); and circumcision of heart (Lenski 204); and real circumcision is heart-circumcision (Williams); see Jeremiah 9:25; Ezekiel 44:7, 9.
[ 149 ]EN PNEUMATI, in spirit (Marshall 609; Lenski 204); the significance as contrasted with the form, of words, or a rite (Vine 1076); effected by the Holy Spirit, opposed to GRAMMATI, the prescription of the written law (Thayer 522); in contrast to GRAMMA, which is the characteristic quality of God's older declaration of his will in the law (Arndt 667); a spiritual (Williams); see Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6, 8.
[ 150 ]OU GRAMMATI, not letter (Marshall 609); since the Jews so clave to the letter of the law that it not only became to them a mere letter but also a hindrance to true religion, Paul calls it GRAMMA in a disparaging sense, and contrasts it with TO PNEUMA, that is, the divine Spirit, whether operative in the Mosaic law [Ro 2:29], or in the gospel, by which Christians are governed [Ro 6:6; 2Co 3:6f] (Thayer 1121); "the letter," the written commandments of the Word of God, in contrast to the inward operation of the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant (Vine 673); not written record (Lenski 204); not a literal affair (Williams).
[ 151 ]HOU HO EPAINOS OUK EX ANTHROOPOON, of whom the praise [is] not from men (Marshall 609); of praise bestowed by God upon the Jew spiritually [Judah is equivalent to praise] (Vine 870); praise, approval, recognition (Arndt 281); he whose praise is not derived from men (Lenski 204); this man's praise [a play on meaning of Hebrew word for Jew, a praised one] originates not with men (Williams); see 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 10:18; 1 Peter 1:7.

Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside, California, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

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