Compare Translations for Romans 2:14

Romans 2:14 ASV
(for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
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Romans 2:14 BBE
For when the Gentiles without the law have a natural desire to do the things in the law, they are a law to themselves;
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Romans 2:14 CEB
Gentiles don't have the Law. But when they instinctively do what the Law requires they are a Law in themselves, though they don't have the Law.
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Romans 2:14 CJB
For whenever Gentiles, who have no Torah, do naturally what the Torah requires, then these, even though they don't have Torah, for themselves are Torah!
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Romans 2:14 RHE
For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves.
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Romans 2:14 ESV
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
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Romans 2:14 GW
For example, whenever non-Jews who don't have laws from God do by nature the things that Moses' Teachings contain, they are a law to themselves even though they don't have any laws from God.
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Romans 2:14 GNT
The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law.
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Romans 2:14 HNV
(for when Goyim who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
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Romans 2:14 CSB
So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law.
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Romans 2:14 KJV
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
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Romans 2:14 LEB
For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things of the law, these, [although they] do not have the law, are a law to themselves,
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Romans 2:14 NAS
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
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Romans 2:14 NCV
(Those who are not Jews do not have the law, but when they freely do what the law commands, they are the law for themselves. This is true even though they do not have the law.
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Romans 2:14 NIRV
Those who aren't Jews do not have the law. Sometimes they just naturally do what the law requires. They are a law for themselves. This is true even though they don't have the law.
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Romans 2:14 NIV
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,
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Romans 2:14 NKJV
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,
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Romans 2:14 NLT
Even when Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong.
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Romans 2:14 NRS
When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.
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Romans 2:14 RSV
When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
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Romans 2:14 DBY
For when [those of the] nations, which have no law, practise by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law to themselves;
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Romans 2:14 MSG
When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience.
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Romans 2:14 WBT
For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law to themselves.
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Romans 2:14 TMB
For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they, not having the law, are a law unto themselves,
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Romans 2:14 TNIV
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.
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Romans 2:14 TYN
For if the gentyls which have no lawe do of nature the thynges contayned in the lawe: then they havynge no lawe are a lawe vnto them selves
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Romans 2:14 WNT
For when Gentiles who have no Law obey by natural instinct the commands of the Law, they, without having a Law, are a Law to themselves;
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Romans 2:14 WEB
(for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
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Romans 2:14 WYC
For when heathen men that have not law, do naturally [do by kind] those things that be of the law, they not having such manner [of] law, be law to themselves,
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Romans 2:14 YLT
For, when nations that have not a law, by nature may do the things of the law, these not having a law -- to themselves are a law;
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Romans 2 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 2

The Jews could not be justified by the law of Moses, any more than the Gentiles by the law of nature. (1-16) The sins of the Jews confuted all their vain confidence in their outward privileges. (17-29)

Verses 1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, "treasuring up wrath." In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.

Verses 17-24 The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonour done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession. Many despise their more ignorant neighbours who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonour God, and cause his name to be blasphemed.

Verses 25-29 No forms, ordinances, or notions can profit, without regenerating grace, which will always lead to seeking an interest in the righteousness of God by faith. For he is no more a Christian now, than he was really a Jew of old, who is only one outwardly: neither is that baptism, which is outward in the flesh: but he is the real Christian, who is inwardly a true believer, with an obedient faith. And the true baptism is that of the heart, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; bringing a spiritual frame of mind, and a willing following of truth in its holy ways. Let us pray that we may be made real Christians, not outwardly, but inwardly; in the heart and spirit, not in the letter; baptized, not with water only, but with the Holy Ghost; and let our praise be, not of men, but of God.

Romans 2 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 2

Romans 2:1-29 . THE JEW UNDER LIKE CONDEMNATION WITH THE GENTILE.

From those without, the apostle now turns to those within the pale of revealed religion, the self-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of God's mercies, within which they deemed themselves secure, however inconsistent their life may be. Alas! what multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence, who occupy the corresponding position in the Christian Church!

4. the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance--that is, is designed and adapted to do so.

5. treasurest up unto thyself wrath against--rather "in."
the day of wrath--that is wrath to come on thee in the day of wrath. What an awful idea is here expressed--that the sinner himself is amassing, like hoarded treasure, an ever accumulating stock of divine wrath, to burst upon him in "the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God!" And this is said not of the reckless, but of those who boasted of their purity of faith and life.

7-10. To them who, &c.--The substance of these verses is that the final judgment will turn upon character alone.
by patient continuance in well-doing, &c.--Compare Luke 8:15 : "That on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience"; denoting the enduring and progressive character of the new life.

8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, &c.--referring to such keen and determined resistance to the Gospel as he himself had too painfully witnessed on the part of his own countrymen. (See Acts 13:44-46 , Acts 17:5 Acts 17:13 , Acts 18:6 Acts 18:12 ; and compare 1 Thessalonians 2:15 1 Thessalonians 2:16 ).
indignation and wrath--in the bosom of a sin-avenging God.

9. Tribulation and anguish--the effect of these in the sinner himself.

10. to the Jew first--first in perdition if unfaithful; but if obedient to the truth, first in salvation ( Romans 2:10 ).

12. For as many as have sinned--not "as many as have sinned at all," but, "as many as are found in sin" at the judgment of the great day (as the whole context shows).
without law--that is, without the advantage of a positive Revelation.
shall also perish without law--exempt from the charge of rejecting or disregarding it.
and as many as have sinned in the law--within the pale of a positive, written Revelation.
shall be judged by the law--tried and condemned by the higher standard of that written Revelation.

13-15. For not the hearers, &c.--As touching the Jews, in whose ears the written law is continually resounding, the condemnation of as many of them as are found sinners at the last involves no difficulty; but even as respects the heathen, who are strangers to the law in its positive and written form--since they show how deeply it is engraven on their moral nature, which witnesses within them for righteousness and against iniquity, accusing or condemning them according as they violate or obey its stern dictates--their condemnation also for all the sin in which they live and die will carry its dreadful echo in their own breasts.

15. their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing--that is, perhaps by turns doing both.

16. In the day, &c.--Here the unfinished statement of Romans 2:12 is resumed and closed.
shall judge the secrets of men--here specially referring to the unfathomed depths of hypocrisy in the self-righteous whom the apostle had to deal with. (See Ecclesiastes 12:14 , 1 Corinthians 4:5 ).
according to my gospel--to my teaching as a preacher of the Gospel.

17-24. Behold--"But if" is, beyond doubt, the true reading here. (It differs but in a single letter from the received reading, and the sense is the same).

18. approvest the things that are excellent--"triest the things that differ" (Margin). Both senses are good, and indeed the former is but the result of the latter action.

20. hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law--not being left, as the heathen are, to vague conjecture on divine things, but favored with definite and precise information from heaven.

22. thou that abhorrest idols--as the Jews did ever after their captivity, though bent on them before.
dost thou commit sacrilege?--not, as some excellent interpreters, "dost thou rob idol temples?" but more generally, as we take it, "dost thou profane holy things?" (as in Matthew 21:12 Matthew 21:13 , and in other ways).

24. as it is written--(See Isaiah 52:5 , Marginal reference).

25-29. For circumcision--that is, One's being within the covenant of which circumcision was the outward sign and seal.
verily profiteth, if thou keep the law--if the inward reality correspond to the outward sign.
but if, &c.--that is, "Otherwise, thou art no better than the uncircumcised heathen."

26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the . . . law, &c.--Two mistaken interpretations, we think, are given of these words: First, that the case here supposed is an impossible one, and put merely for illustration [HALDANE, CHALMERS, HODGE]; second that it is the case of the heathen who may and do please God when they act, as has been and is done, up to the light of nature [GROTIUS, OLSHAUSEN, &c.]. The first interpretation is, in our judgment, unnatural; the second, opposed to the apostle's own teaching. But the case here put is, we think, such as that of Cornelius ( Acts 10:1-48 ), who, though outside the external pale of God's covenant, yet having come to the knowledge of the truths contained in it, do manifest the grace of the covenant without the seal of it, and exemplify the character and walk of Abraham's children, though not called by the name of Abraham. Thus, this is but another way of announcing that God was about to show the insufficiency of the mere badge of the Abrahamic covenant, by calling from among the Gentiles a seed of Abraham that had never received the seal of circumcision and this interpretation is confirmed by all that follows.

28. he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, &c.--In other words, the name of "Jew" and the rite of "circumcision" were designed but as outward symbols of a separation from the irreligious and ungodly world unto holy devotedness in heart and life to the God of salvation. Where this is realized, the signs are full of significance; but where it is not, they are worse than useless.

Note, (1) It is a sad mark of depravity when all that is designed and fitted to melt only hardens the heart ( Romans 2:4 , and compare 2 Peter 3:9 , Ecclesiastes 8:11 ). (2) Amidst all the inequalities of religious opportunity measured out to men, and the mysterious bearing of this upon their character and destiny for eternity, the same great principles of judgment, in a form suited to their respective discipline, will be applied to all, and perfect equity will be seen to reign throughout every stage of the divine administration ( Romans 2:11-16 ). (3) "The law written on the heart" ( Romans 2:14 Romans 2:15 )--or the Ethics of Natural Theology--may be said to be the one deep foundation on which all revealed religion reposes; and where we have what we may call its other foundation--the Physics and Metaphysics of Natural Theology. The testimony of these two passages is to the theologian invaluable, while in the breast of every teachable Christian it wakens such deep echoes as are inexpressibly solemn and precious. (4) High religious professions are a fearful aggravation of the inconsistencies of such as make them ( Romans 2:17-24 ). See 2 Samuel 12:14 . (5) As no external privileges, or badge of discipleship, will shield the unholy from the wrath of God, so neither will the want of them shut out from the kingdom of heaven such as have experienced without them that change of heart which the seals of God's covenant were designed to mark. In the sight of the great Searcher of hearts, the Judge of quick and dead, the renovation of the character in heart and life is all in all. In view of this, have not all baptized, sacramented disciples of the Lord Jesus, who "profess that they know God, but in works deny Him," need to tremble--who, under the guise of friends, are "the enemies of the cross of Christ?"