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Romans 2:7-16

Context
2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but 1  wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition 2  and do not obey the truth but follow 3  unrighteousness. 2:9 There will be 4  affliction and distress on everyone 5  who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, 6  2:10 but 7  glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law 8  will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 9  2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, 10  who do not have the law, do by nature 11  the things required by the law, 12  these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They 13  show that the work of the law is written 14  in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend 15  them, 16  2:16 on the day when God will judge 17  the secrets of human hearts, 18  according to my gospel 19  through Christ Jesus.

1 tn This contrast is clearer and stronger in Greek than can be easily expressed in English.

2 tn Grk “those who [are] from selfish ambition.”

3 tn Grk “are persuaded by, obey.”

4 tn No verb is expressed in this verse, but the verb “to be” is implied by the Greek construction. Literally “suffering and distress on everyone…”

5 tn Grk “every soul of man.”

6 sn Paul uses the term Greek here and in v. 10 to refer to non-Jews, i.e., Gentiles.

7 tn Grk “but even,” to emphasize the contrast. The second word has been omitted since it is somewhat redundant in English idiom.

8 sn This is the first occurrence of law (nomos) in Romans. Exactly what Paul means by the term has been the subject of much scholarly debate. According to J. A. Fitzmyer (Romans [AB], 131-35; 305-6) there are at least four different senses: (1) figurative, as a “principle”; (2) generic, meaning “a law”; (3) as a reference to the OT or some part of the OT; and (4) as a reference to the Mosaic law. This last usage constitutes the majority of Paul’s references to “law” in Romans.

9 tn The Greek sentence expresses this contrast more succinctly than is possible in English. Grk “For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.”

10 sn Gentile is a NT term for a non-Jew.

11 tn Some (e.g. C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:135-37) take the phrase φύσει (fusei, “by nature”) to go with the preceding “do not have the law,” thus: “the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature,” that is, by virtue of not being born Jewish.

12 tn Grk “do by nature the things of the law.”

13 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was converted to a personal pronoun and, because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

14 tn Grk “show the work of the law [to be] written,” with the words in brackets implied by the Greek construction.

15 tn Or “excuse.”

16 tn Grk “their conscience bearing witness and between the thoughts accusing or also defending one another.”

17 tn The form of the Greek word is either present or future, but it is best to translate in future because of the context of future judgment.

18 tn Grk “of people.”

19 sn On my gospel cf. Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8.



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