Romans 2:17

Bearest the name (eponomazh). Present passive indicative in condition of first class of eponomazw, old word, to put a name upon (epi), only here in N.T. "Thou art surnamed Jew" (Lightfoot). Jew as opposed to Greek denoted nationality while Hebrew accented the idea of language. Restest upon the law (epanapauh nomwi). Late and rare double compound, in LXX and once in the Didache. In N.T. only here and Luke 10:6 which see. It means to lean upon, to refresh oneself back upon anything, here with locative case (nomwi). It is the picture of blind and mechanical reliance on the Mosaic law. Gloriest in God (kaucasai en qewi). Koin vernacular form for kaucai (kaucaesai, kaucasai) of kaucaomai as in verse Luke 23 ; 1 Corinthians 4:7 and katakaucasai in Romans 11:18 . The Jew gloried in God as a national asset and private prerogative ( 2 Corinthians 10:15 ; Galatians 6:13 ). Approvest the things that are excellent (dokimazei ta diaperonta). Originally, "Thou testest the things that differ," and then as a result comes the approval for the excellent things. As in Philippians 1:10 it is difficult to tell which stage of the process Paul has in mind. Instructed out of the law (kathcoumeno ek tou nomou). Present passive participle of kathcew, a rare verb to instruct, though occurring in the papyri for legal instruction. See on Luke 1:4 ; 1 Corinthians 14:19 . The Jew's "ethical discernment was the fruit of catechetical and synagogical instruction in the Old Testament" (Shedd).