(NET) Romans 2:1 Therefore2 you are without excuse,3 whoever you are,4 when you judge someone else.5 For on whatever grounds6 you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth7 against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think,8 whoever you are, when you judge9 those who practice such things and yet do them yourself,10 that you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know11 that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness12 and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed!13
Notes:My Comments: I almost posted the last message along with this one in the same post. I think it is essential for anyone looking at Romans 1:24-32 to make sure they REALLY focus on this passage. For me, Paul draws the audience into a good "head-nodding" session on all "those" bad people - and then snaps them back to reality with the punchline here: you are "those bad people" so get off your high horse. It is good at this point to remember the verse at the end of the last post as well:
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:
2 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.
- Rom 2:14 refers to Gentile Christians, not Gentiles who obey the Jewish law.
- Paul in Rom 2 is presenting a hypothetical viewpoint: If anyone could obey the law, that person would be justified, but no one can.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
8 tn Grk “do you think this,” referring to the clause in v. 3b.
9 tn Grk “O man, the one who judges.”
10 tn Grk “and do them.” The other words are supplied to bring out the contrast implied in this clause.
11 tn Grk “being unaware.”
12 tn Grk “hardness.” Concerning this imagery, see Jer 4:4; Ezek 3:7; 1 En. 16:3.
13 tn Grk “in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.As opposed to the critic who questioned the authorship (and intellectual depth) of Romans 1:18-2:5; I think this is one of the most important sections of scripture. Here is a review of Paul's argument here - minus the details:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them . . . So people are without excuse. For although they knew God, did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened . . . Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity . . . They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions . . . And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done . . . Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth against those who practice such things. And do you think, whoever you are, when you judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed!Carl presents that Paul's points here are:
- that the people who do the things on "vice list" between 26 and 32 are wrong:
John 8:3 The experts in the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught committing adultery. They made her stand in front of them 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone to death such women. What then do you say?” 6 (Now they were asking this in an attempt to trap him, so that they could bring charges against him.) Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. 7 When they persisted in asking him, he stood up straight and replied, “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground. 9 Now when they heard this, they began to drift away one at a time, starting with the older ones, until Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up straight and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She replied, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”While Jesus, further making the point Paul made, reproved the crowd for judging and condemning the adulteress for her sin - He did not ignore her sin. He let her know it was sin, and that she needed to stop sinning
- those that approve and support those that do such things are worse:
Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Stumbling blocks are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”Approving of folks who sin is indeed causing them to sin further - it is indeed just the kind of "stumbling block" Jesus talked about here. Notice - again - that Jesus does not say to ignore sin. We are to rebuke our brother when they sin, and then forgive them
- those who judge others that do those things (while they do some/any of them themselves) are worst of all. That brings us back once more to:
Matthew 7:3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Appendix: This section is included in a textual issue one reader brought up
Next: 2:6-16 -- "God's Impartial Judgement"