2:1 1 Therefore 2 you are without excuse, 3 whoever you are, 4 when you judge someone else. 5 For on whatever grounds 6 you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2:2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth 7 against those who practice such things.
1 sn Rom 2:1-29 presents unusual difficulties for the interpreter. There have been several major approaches to the chapter and the group(s) it refers to: (1) Rom 2:14 refers to Gentile Christians, not Gentiles who obey the Jewish law. (2) Paul in Rom 2 is presenting a hypothetical viewpoint: If anyone could obey the law, that person would be justified, but no one can. (3) The reference to “the ones who do the law” in 2:13 are those who “do” the law in the right way, on the basis of faith, not according to Jewish legalism. (4) Rom 2:13 only speaks about Christians being judged in the future, along with such texts as Rom 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:10. (5) Paul’s material in Rom 2 is drawn heavily from Diaspora Judaism, so that the treatment of the law presented here cannot be harmonized with other things Paul says about the law elsewhere (E. P. Sanders, Paul, the Law, and the Jewish People, 123); another who sees Rom 2 as an example of Paul’s inconsistency in his treatment of the law is H. Räisänen, Paul and the Law [WUNT], 101-9. (6) The list of blessings and curses in Deut 27–30 provide the background for Rom 2; the Gentiles of 2:14 are Gentile Christians, but the condemnation of Jews in 2:17-24 addresses the failure of Jews as a nation to keep the law as a whole (A. Ito, “Romans 2: A Deuteronomistic Reading,” JSNT 59 : 21-37).
3 tn That is, “you have nothing to say in your own defense” (so translated by TCNT).
4 tn Grk “O man.”
5 tn Grk “Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone [of you] who judges.”
6 tn Grk “in/by (that) which.”
7 tn Or “based on truth.”