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Romans 1:32--2:8

Context
1:32 Although they fully know 1  God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 2  they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 3 

The Condemnation of the Moralist

2:1 4 Therefore 5  you are without excuse, 6  whoever you are, 7  when you judge someone else. 8  For on whatever grounds 9  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 10  against those who practice such things. 2:3 And do you think, 11  whoever you are, when you judge 12  those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, 13  that you will escape God’s judgment? 2:4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know 14  that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 2:5 But because of your stubbornness 15  and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! 16  2:6 He 17  will reward 18  each one according to his works: 19  2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but 20  wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition 21  and do not obey the truth but follow 22  unrighteousness.

1 tn Grk “who, knowing…, not only do them but also approve…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

2 tn Grk “are worthy of death.”

3 sn “Vice lists” like vv. 28-32 can be found elsewhere in the NT in Matt 15:19; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Tim 1:9-10; and 1 Pet 4:3. An example from the intertestamental period can be found in Wis 14:25-26.

4 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 [1995]: 21-37).

5 tn Some interpreters (e.g., C. K. Barrett, Romans [HNTC], 43) connect the inferential Διό (dio, “therefore”) with 1:32a, treating 1:32b as a parenthetical comment by Paul.

6 tn That is, “you have nothing to say in your own defense” (so translated by TCNT).

7 tn Grk “O man.”

8 tn Grk “Therefore, you are without excuse, O man, everyone [of you] who judges.”

9 tn Grk “in/by (that) which.”

10 tn Or “based on truth.”

11 tn Grk “do you think this,” referring to the clause in v. 3b.

12 tn Grk “O man, the one who judges.”

13 tn Grk “and do them.” The other words are supplied to bring out the contrast implied in this clause.

14 tn Grk “being unaware.”

15 tn Grk “hardness.” Concerning this imagery, see Jer 4:4; Ezek 3:7; 1 En. 16:3.

16 tn Grk “in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”

17 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.

18 tn Or “will render,” “will recompense.” In this context Paul is setting up a hypothetical situation, not stating that salvation is by works.

19 sn A quotation from Ps 62:12; Prov 24:12; a close approximation to Matt 16:27.

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

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

22 tn Grk “are persuaded by, obey.”



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