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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) “Therefore thou art inexcusable,” (dio anapologetos ei) “Wherefore thou art inexcusable,” or you can offer no rational or sensible excuse to avoid the judgment of God, Romans 1:20; Romans 1:32; Romans 3:19.

2) “0 man, whosoever thou art that judgest,” (0 anthrope pas ho krinon) “Whoever engages or indulges (in) judging,” or goes on judging. It appears that this chapter primarily concerns Jewish rejection of Divine truth and light, as Gentiles had particularly done in times past, Luke 13:1-5.

3) “For wherein thou judgest another,” (en ho gar krineis ton heteron) “For in whatever thou judgest the other,” the other of a different party, Gentiles and pagans of other times or places; Romans 2:3; James 4:12; John 7:24.

4) “Thou condemnest thyself,” (seauton katakrineis) “Thou condemnest thyself;” in doing evil, in spite of better and more knowledge, James 4:17; as David did himself, 2 Samuel 12:5; 2 Samuel 12:7.

5) “For thou that judgest doest the same things,” (ta gar auta prasseis ho krinon) “For while you are judging others you are practicing the same (kind of) things;” sinning against light, continually, Acts 7:51-53; The Jews also engaged in and embraced the Spirit of rebellion against all moral and ethical principles as Gentiles before and among them had done, which led them, as a people to reject Jesus Christ and His church truth, John 1:11-12; John 5:43; Matthew 7:12; John 8:9.

Verse 2

1) “But we are sure,” (oidamen de) “But we know,” are sure, or certain; our certainty of Divine judgment is based on Divine Revelation that is without, Psalms 119:160.

2) “That the judgment of God,” (hoti to krima tou theou) “That the judgment of God,” Divine judgment, executed against ungodliness, Romans 1:18.

3) “Is according to truth,” (estin kata aletheian) “Is or exists according to or on the basis of truth,” Psalms 19:9; John 5:30; John 8:16; Isaiah 42:3. God’s judgments square with truth and fact.

4) “Against them which commit such things,” (epi tous ta toiauta prassontas) “Upon those practicing such things;” Romans 14:11-12; Revelation 6:13-17; Revelation 15:4; Revelation 16:8; Revelation 19:2.


A few months after the baptism of several persons, a wicked young man took a sheep to the same place in the stream, and with fearful oaths swore he could baptize as well as the preacher. The shore of the stream was a very gradual slope, so there was no apprehension of danger from the deep water. Three of his comrades stood on the shore and witnessed his blasphemous performance. Taking the sheep in, and holding it by its fore feet, he pronounced the formula of baptism, and as he leaned over to immerse the sheep, the animal struck him with its hind feet, knocking him into deep water where he was drowned, while his comrades stood looking on. When asked why they did not try to save him, they were perfectly helpless and could not stir. Let not the tongue be given to blasphemy.



Mr. George Whale, the chairman of the Rationalist Press Association, fell dead last night after a ruthless attack on the dogmas of the Christian religion. “The light,” he said, “from some providential spirit or Holy Ghost is said to have guided the Church for some nineteen hundred years. It has not come, and when it does come I venture to suggest it will not have the dazzling effect of the light that fell on the apostle on his way to Damascus the light left him dazzled for the rest of his life.” Two hundred and seventeen guests present greeted his words with appreciative laughter. In a few moments there were only hushed whispers and awe-stricken faces. It was seen that Mr. Whale had collapsed in his chair, and in the instant of silence his strangled breathing was the only sound. Doctors rushed to his side, and he was carried from the room dying. The dinner was to have been followed by dancing, and at the moment Mr. Whale was being carried from the banqueting hall the orchestra could be heard tuning up their instruments in the next room. It was announced that the dance would be abandoned. Women in evening frocks. and men who were about to partner them in fox-trots stood about awkwardly. Although it was not officially announced that Mr. Whale was dead, the news spread from one group to another until the whole gathering slowly dispersed. --From the London Daily Express, May 5, 1925, and quoted in the Dawn, June, 1925, where the item is reproduced verbatim from the Daily Express.

Verse 3

1) “And thinkest thou this, 0 man,” (logize de touto) “And reasonest thou or dost thou reckon or calculate this (way) 0 man;” Do you count on impunity? Isaiah 28:15-18.

2) “That judgest them which do such things,” (ho krinon tous ta tolauta prassontas) “The one continually judging those practicing such things,” Matthew 7:2; Luke 12:47.

3) “And doest the same,” (kai poion auta) “And you are doing them,” the same things yourself, Malachi 1:6; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42.

4) “That thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (hoti su ekpheukse to krima tou theou) “That thou wilt escape the judgment of God?” Hebrews 9:27; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; 1 Peter 4:17; Judges 1:15.

Verse 4

1) “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness,” (e kataphroneis tou ploutou tes chrestotetos autou) “Or dost thou despise or take it lightly; or scorn it; Enemies of truth and righteousness, alternatively, either think they will escape judgment, or they tend to despise it, Proverbs 13:13; Luke 10:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; Hebrews 10:29; Romans 9:23; Romans 11:33; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 6:6.

2) “And forbearance and longsuffering “ (kai tes anoches kai tes makrothumias) “And the forbearance and the longsuffering,” do you take or esteem it lightly, as if it were nothing? This forbearance, patience, and longsuffering of a merciful God suspends judgment, in-patient waiting for the sinner to turn to repentance, La 3:22, 23; Isaiah 55:6-7; Romans 3:25; Romans 10:21.

3) “Not knowing that the goodness of God,” (agnoon hoti to Chreston tou theou) “Not knowing or recognizing that the kindness (goodness) of God;” No sinner could or would ever repent, except God took the initiative to convict, prick one’s heart with his Holy Spirit, and call to Salvation, John 6:44; John 16:8-11; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 7:11.

4) “Leadeth thee to repentance,” (eis metanoian se ager); “Leads thee to or toward repentance?” Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:11; This repentance is granted of God unto (with view to life), Acts 11:18; Acts 17:30-31; Acts 26:30. None must deny, ignore, despise, or take lightly God’s call to salvation and offer of pardon for and redemption from personal sin and defilement against God, Isaiah 55:7-9. The goodness of God draws to or toward repentance, but does not drive; it impels but does not compel or force to repentance.

Verse 5

1) “But after thy hardness,” (kata de ten skleroteta sou) “But according to thy hardness,” or thy callousness, obstinacy of will or volition, capacity of personal choice; Instead of yielding to God’s purpose and will, Hebrews 3:13; Hebrews 3:15.

2) “And impenitent heart,” (kai ametaneton kardian) “And impenitent or unrepentant heart,” alienated affections, affections turned away from God, holiness and truth, like Festus who said “go thy way,” or like Agrippa who said, “almost thou persuaded me to be a Christian,” Acts 24:25; Acts 26:28.

3) “Treasurest up unto thyself,” (thesaurizeis seautou) “Thou treasurest to or toward thyself,” like the rich barn builder, Luke 12:19-21; And like the rich man who despised God and prayed too late in hell, Luke 16:19-31; and the mighty Revelation 6:14-17.

4) “Wrath against the day of Wrath,” (orgen en hemera orges) “Wrath in a day of wrath,” Romans 1:18; One day the Day of Wrath and Vengeance shall fall, inexcusably, upon those who deny or take lightly this message, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 1 Peter 4:17-18.

5) “And revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” (kai apokalupseos dikaiokrisias tou theou) “And (of) revelation of righteous judgment of God,” Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-2. The Wrath of God is as pure, holy, just, and equitable as his former mercy. Judgment will be administered in absolute equity by the Judge of all the earth.

Verse 6

1) “Who will render to every man,” (hos apodosei hekasto) “Who will requite (give back) or pay dues to each person,” to dole out to each person what is judicially and equitably due him, to every man, without exception or partiality, Romans 14:11-12; Proverbs 24:12; Psalms 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10.

2) “According to his deeds,” (kata ta erga autou) “According to or based on his works, deeds in the flesh,” based on ones chosen course of conduct and action in life, 1 Corinthians 3:8. Rewards and retributions for saints and sinners shall be according to deeds done in the body; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Revelation 20:12-13.

The believer shall be saved eternally, and rewarded in judgment, according to his deeds, in the light of obedience to truth.

The impenitent, the unbeliever, shall be judged in hell for his unbelief, and the degree of his punishment shall be based on the deeds of his life, done in the body, as those deeds were related to morality and truth. This is a, maxim of moral and ethical truth presented alike in the Old and New Testaments.

Verse 7

1) “To them,” (tois men) “To the ones (those) on one hand,” He will render in contrast with rebellious rejectors of God—Suffer for Christ and God’s righteousness-have glory awaiting, Romans 8:18.

2) “Who by patient continuance in well doing,” (kath’ hupomonen ergou agathou) “Who by endurance of fin) good work,” meaning “life-work,” by steadfastness in well doing, perseverance, and upright living in the Work of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

3) “Seek for glory and honour and immortality,” (doksan kai Timen kai aphtharsian zetousin) “seeking glory and honor and incorruption,” that is to glorify the Lord, both now and in the future life, as revealed in obedient service and life to Jesus Christ, Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 3:21.

4) “Eternal life,” (zoen aionion) “life eternal,” Glory, honor, and immortality accompany and complement eternal life, which one receives when he is saved, just as the judgment and wrath of God accompany those who reject God, his righteousness, mercy, and announced judgment against sin, denying, and speaking lightly of Divine Love, Romans 1:18; Romans 1:31; John 12:25-26.

Verse 8

1) “But unto them that are contentious,” (tois de eks eritheias) “But to those on the other hand who are self-seeking, selfish, covetous, or greedy,” who contend against God and revealed truth, who are factious, following, pursuing, and practicing the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:20; Acts 7:51; Acts 16:5; Acts 16:32.

2) “And do not obey the truth,” (kai apeithousi te aietheia) “And who are disobeying the truth,” or are not giving heed to or not obeying the truth, or not persuaded of the truth; The idea conveyed is one of willful disbelief in God and rejection of revealed truth concerning Him, Hebrews 4:5; Matthew 23:37.

3) “But obey unrighteousness,” (peitomenois de te adikia) “But who are obeying or being persuaded in unrighteousness”; There is no neutrality toward God; Righteousness and truth—Disobedience to truth leads to practice of all kinds of evil upon which judgment falls, Romans 1:18.

4) “Indignation and Wrath,” (orge kai thumos) “Wrath and anger,” or indignation, fury, from which Divine judgment falls, will be rendered, accrued wrath, judgment fury, as Psalms 7:11-13; Hebrews 3:11; Hebrews 4:3; Revelation 11:18. Tho long delayed, it will fall.


When M. Arnold affirms that “there is an eternal Power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness”; and when the Psalmist exclaims that “the face of the Lord is against them that do evil,” they but set forth, in varied form the truth that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.” The wrath of God is being perpetually revealed -- 1. In the human conscience. What but the manifested power of conscience, as an actual revealer of the wrath of God from heaven, gave occasion to the Proverbs, that “the wicked trembleth at the shaking of a leaf,” and “fleeth when no man pursueth”? Why fled our first parents, but that conscience had already revealed a coming wrath? Why that whispering, pallid terror in those ten bronzed Bedouins in the Egyptian treasure-city? Why does that agitated man in the temple treasury so vehemently press those officials to take from him his thirty pieces of silver? And why when he finds that it cannot be recalled, does he hasten away to hang himself? Who knows not that conscience has compelled many a man to reveal secrets of iniquity, from whom no rack or torture could have extorted the disclosure? 2. In the general moral sentiments of mankind - those sentiments as they are exercised in reference to those who invade human rights. And hence the penal laws and all the instruments of punishment are but so many mediums, through which all wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. 3. In the general course of providence, or of God’s own administration of the universe in reference to men.


Verse 9

1) “Tribulation and anguish,” (thlipsis kai stenochoria)

Affliction, or trembling and anguish,” painful pressure of emotions, a conscious experience of the effects of Divine disfavor, disapproval, and judgment, Luke 16:23-25; Revelation 14:10-11.

2) “Upon every soul of man that doeth evil” (epi pasan psuchen anthropou tou katergazomenou to kakon) “On every soul of man continually working evil,” the great and the small, Revelation 6:14-17. This expresses an over flow of God’s wrath after goodness, and forbearance, and mercy had been long despised.

3) “To the Jew first, and also of the Gentile,” (loudaiou te proton kai Hellenos) “Both of Jew (in first priority) and of Greeks”; as the order of Salvation offer, so is the order of the revelation of retribution of punishment to those who reject the gospel, Romans 1:16; The Jew is put first because the written law was first given to him, so that he was “without excuse,” Romans 1:20; Romans 2:1. To the Gentile second, though with less knowledge, was yet without excuse, Matthew 11:22; 1 Peter 4:17-18. This indicates that the greater light one has and rejects it, the greater shall be his judgment.

Verse 10

1) “But glory, honor, and peace,” (doksa de kai Time kai eirene) “But glory, and honor, and peace,” instead of anguish. Obedience to God brings glory, honor, peace, and length of days to every believer, Proverbs 3:2; Proverbs 3:17; Ephesians 6:1-3.

2) “To every man that worketh good,” (Panti to ergazomeno to agatho) “To everyone working the good,” going on in good works, in obedience to the Law of God he is under, whether before, during, or after the Law Age. The way of Salvation has been the same in every age, but worship and service differ, Acts 10:43; Ephesians 3:21; Ephesians 2:10.

3) “To the Jew first, and also to the Greek,” (loudio te proton kai Helleni) “Both to the Jew firstly and (to) the Greek,” John 1:11-12; Matthew 11:28; During our Lord’s personal ministry and at Pentecost our Lord’s message and empowering were to the Jews first, but also to the Greeks and Gentiles, Matthew 4:13-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:36-43.

Verse 11

1) “For there is no,” (ou gar estin) “For there does not exist,” or “there exists not”—based on the Divine Law, Deuteronomy 10:17.

2) “Respect of persons with God,” (prosopolempsia Para to theo) “Respect of persons (or faces) with God,” for he is a God of truth, right, and equity, and to regard one as above or below another in his person would be an inequity, a sin, as regards ones personal worth to God, Acts 10:34; Romans 3:2-30; Romans 10:12-13.


A little black girl, eight years old, was setting the table, when a boy in the room said to her, “Mollie, do you pray?” The suddenness of the question confused her a little, but she said, “Yes, every night.” “Do you think God hears you?” the boy asked. She answered promptly, “I know He does.” “But do you think,” said he, trying to puzzle her, “that He hears your prayers as readily as those of white children?” For full three minutes the child kept on with her work; then she slowly said. “Master George, I pray into God’s ears, and not His eyes. My voice is just like any other little girl’s, and if I say what I ought to say, God does not stop to look at my skin.”

- Gray Adams,

Verse 12

1) “For as many as have sinned without law,” (hosoi gar anomos hemarton) “For as many as sinned without law,” not having the law of Moses, not under its jurisdiction.

2) “Shall also perish without law,” (anomos kai apolountai) “Will also perish without law,” Without being under the law of Moses. There is an eternal law, Divinely communicated to men and passed to all men, by word of mouth, nature, and conscience to render men without excuse for sinning and remaining under its condemnation, Romans 3:23; 1 Kings 8:4; 1 Kings 8:6; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Corinthians 9:21.

3) “And as many as have sinned in the law,” (kai hosoi en nomon hemarton) “And as many as sinned in the jurisdiction (or under law,” the reign of the law of Moses, with its types, shadows, object lessons and direct mandates, Romans 3:19.

4) “Shall be judged by the law,” (dia nomon krithesontai) “Will be judged through the law.” For even the law pointed to Christ as the Redeemer provided for and offering salvation to every sinner, every law-breaker. Those who rejected him, under the law, shall be judged as condemned for rejecting him in impenitence, Acts 17:30-31.

Verse 13

1) “For not the hearers of the law,” (ou gar hoi akroatai nomou) “For not those hearing the law,” who “hear and do not,” or fake themselves to be righteous believers when they are inwardly pious hypocrites; Matthew 15:7-14; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 23:3.

2) “Are just before God,” (dikaioi para (to] theo) “Are just with (in comparison with or alongside of) God,” or righteous before God; One may obey God in hearing his Word, but to stop there: 1) to neglect to repent, 2) to neglect to believe in or trust Jesus Christ, 3) to neglect to confess Christ does not make one just before him, Romans 10:16; Romans 4:4-5.

3) “But the doers of the law,” (All’ hoi poietai nomou) “But the doers of law,” those who do the moral, ethical, and religious teachings of the law; To do the law was an expression of righteousness; to “fake it” was an expression of hypocrisy, Mark 7:6-9; Galatians 5:6; James 1:22; Ephesians 2:10.

4) “Shall be justified,” Acquitted or declared to be acquitted from the penalty of eternal condemnation, because of their faith in and obedience to the Redeemer or Messiah as set forth in the law by types, shadows, and object lessons, etc., Matthew 7:21; James 1:22; James 1:25; 1 John 3:7. The doing of the deeds of the law never saved anyone, nor will the doing of the deeds of the law of Christ save anyone. All are saved at the point of belief or trust in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, after which they are to shew their faith in worship and service to Jesus Christ thru his church, Acts 10:43; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 10:12-13; Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:26; Mark 8:36-37; Matthew 28:1; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 3:21; Galatians 3:11.

Verse 14

1) “For when the Gentiles,” (hotan gar ethne) “For whenever, heathens, races, nations, or people,” those human families not of Jewish lineage.

2) “Which have not the law,” (ta me nomon echonta) “Which have hold or possess not law,” in a formal written manner, such as God gave to Israel, Exodus 20:1-13; Malachi 4:4.

3) “Do by nature the things contained in the law,” (phusei ta tou nomou poiosin) “do by nature the things of the law,” obeying a law they can not read or hear, by reason of their own nature of conscience, (the monitor of the Soul). These Gentiles are declared to have done righteous deeds enjoined in revelation of conscience and nature.

4) “These, having, not, the law,” (houtoi nomon me echontes) “These having, holding, or possessing not law,” without the external revelation such as Israel had been given.

5) “Are a law unto themselves,” (heautois eisin nomos) “Are a law to themselves,” and will be judged by that law of nature, the eternal principle of right and wrong, revealed in man’s conscience, by testimony of his fellowman, and in nature. The principles of the Ten Commandments are written in every man’s conscience.


Even when they wallow in sin as swine in the mire, there is a conscience within men which convicts of guilt and warns of judgment. Dethroned, but not exiled, she still asserts her claims, and fights for her kingdom in the soul; and resuming her lofty seat, with no more respect for sovereigns than beggars, she summons them to the bar, and thunders on their heads. Felix trembles; Herod turns pale, dreading in Christ the apparition of the Baptist; while Cain, fleeing from his brother’s grave, wanders away conscience-stricken into the gloomy depths of the solitudes of the unpeopled world. Like the ghost of a murdered man, conscience haunts the house that was once her dwelling, making her ominous voice heard at times even by the most hardened in iniquity. In her the rudest savage carries a God within him, who warns the guilty, and echoes those words of Scripture, “Depart from evil and do good.”

—T. Guthrie

Verse 15

1) “Which shew the work of the law,” (oitines enderknuntai to ergon tou nomou) “Inasmuch as they reveal or show the work of the law,” distinguishing between Vice and Virtue, right and wrong, in the conscience of Gentile heathens, 1 Corinthians 5:1.

2) “Written in their hearts,” (grapton en tais kardiais auton) “having been inscribed in their hearts,” the very seat of their emotions; even as in the believers heart, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3.

3) “Their conscience also bearing witness,” (summorturouses auton tes suneideseos) “their conscience witnessing symphonically, or in harmony with the law of the Lord,” Acts 24:25. From conscience convicted, Felix trembled. 1 Corinthians 5:1. Even Gentiles did not approve certain fornication; John 8:9; 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Corinthians 8:12.

4) “And their thoughts meanwhile,” (kai metazu ton logizmon) “And their thoughts between themselves,” or among themselves; even their reasonings were one with, and one of, another’s moral and ethical behavior; Genesis 6:5; Isaiah 55:7-8.

5) “Accusing or excusing one another,” (alleion Kategorounton he kai apologoumenon) “Accusing or excusing one another”; In this they exercised judgment regarding moral values and functions of a law of right and wrong. They are all (Gentiles and Jews) without excuse, wholly, fully. Romans 1:18; Romans 2:1; Romans 3:19.

Verse 16

1) “In the day when God shall judge,” (en he hemera krinei ho theos) “In the (what) day God judges;” the trinitarian, Elohim, one God is to judge all men after death, not to determine their salvation, but to issue just, fair, equitable rewards or degrees of retribution, Hebrews 9:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

2) “The secrets of men,” (ta krupta ton anthropon) “the hidden, suppressed, concealed, or covered up things of men,” even the secrets—as surely as other things, all things, every deed and idle word! How sobering should be this thought! Matthew 12:37-38; Ecclesiastes 12:14; All of men’s secrets are known of God, kept in store till the judgment h our, Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

3) “By Jesus Christ,” (dia Christou lesou) “through Jesus Christ,” as administrative judge on the throne, to whom God has committed all things, John 3:35; John 5:22; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

4) “According to my gospel,” (kata to euangelion mou) “According to or based upon my gospel,” which was the gospel of Jesus Christ that Paul possessed and which possessed him, Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

Verse 17


1) “Behold, thou art called a Jew,” (ei de su loudaios eponomaze) “But if thou art named or (identified as a Jew,” surnamed a Jew, if you glory in the name and privilege, nationally as Jews and religiously as Israelites; The term Jews seems to have been a type of national and racial-not religious surname, Matthew 2:2; Mark 7:3; Acts 18:2; Romans 3:29.

2) “And restest in the law,” (kai epanapaue nomon) “And restest on (the) law,” take comfort and refuge in having the law,” Romans 2:23; John 5:45; John 9:28-29. If you repose upon the dignity of having the revelation of God, why do you not live up to the light, he seems to be asking, Mark 7:3-9.

3) “And makest thy boast of God,” (kai kauchasai en theo) “And boasteth in God,” If he, is the object of your worship and you are the object of His Special Care (as you boast) of being the seed of Abraham, Matthew 3:9; Matthew 19:20; John 8:39-41; John 8:44; Romans 9:31-33.

Verse 18

1) “And knowest his will,” (kai ginoskeis to thelema) “And knowest or recognize the high and divine will of God,” as you Jews claim to do, to know his will out of, or from His Word, the Holy Scriptures, John 7:17.

2) “And approvest the things that are more excellent,” (kai dokimazeis ta diapheronta) “And approvest the excelling (Superior) things,” you sanction only the better moral and ethical things; and if you are able to discriminate meticulously between good and evil, right and wrong, moral discernment, but they said and “did not,” Matthew 23:2-3.

3) “Being instructed out of the law,” (Katechoumenos ek tou nomou) “being instructed (informed) out of the law,” and if you are enlightened on a higher level of knowledge, out of the law, as you claim to be, catechized, even drilled orally in a knowledge of the Will of God, as revealed in the Law of Moses, as they were, Romans 10:1-5. Academic, intellectual knowledge that does not submit to the Word and Will of God, regarding sin, condemnation, repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer, leaves Jews and Gentiles alike lost and condemned, as Paul had once been and as his Jewish brethren then (as a nation) remained, Luke 13:1-5; Romans 9:1-3.

Verse 19

1) “And art confident that thou thyself,” (pepoithas te seauton) “And having persuaded or convinced thyself,” Matthew 23:13; Matthew 23:15-16; Matthew 23:23-28. They were self-deceived, conceited, self-righteous, often referred to by Jesus as Jewish hypocrites.

2) “Art a guide of the blind,” (hodegon einai tuphlon) “to be, or that thou art, a guide-leader of Wind people,” not only boasting of your Jewish privileges but also setting yourself up as a teacher. The Jew is confident that the Gentiles should come to them for schooling regarding right and wrong. The term “blind” refers to the Gentiles who were considered by the Jews to be blind regarding truth. Luke 18:9.

3) “A light of them which art in darkness,” (phos ton en skotei) “A light of the ones in darkness,” the Gentiles, though the Jews had themselves rejected Christ, the true giver of light to those in darkness, Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:13-16; John 8:12.

Verse 20

1) “An instructor of the foolish,” (paideuten aphronon) “An instructor (a child trainer) of foolish people,” the ignorant, referring to the gentiles or heathen.

2) “A teacher of babes,” (didaskalon nepion) “A teacher of infants,” the ignorant, the low in Spiritual attainments, 1 Corinthians 1:27; Hebrews 5:12-13.

3) “Which hast the form of knowledge,” (echonta ten morphosin tes gnoseos) “Having, holding, or possessing the form, (outward appearance) of knowledge,” the oracles of God, and a form of godliness, 2 Timothy 3:5; Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12.

4) “And of the truth in the Law,” (kai tes aletheias en to nomo) “And of the truth (that is) in the law,” the embodiment of truth in the law which was given to Israel. Yet these who had the truth in prophecy under the law and types, shadows, and object lessons, did not recognize or accept the very person and embodiment of truth when it appeared in Jesus Christ, John 8:32; John 8:36; John 14:6; John 17:17.

Verse 21

1) “Thou therefore which teachest another,” (ho oun didaskon heteron) “The one therefore teaching another,” Among the Jews, as a teacher, presuming to be an example of righteousness and justice, yet their example of conduct was one of hypocrisy, Matthew 23:1-8; Matthew 6:1-2; Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:16.

2) “Teachest thou not thyself?” (seauton ou didaskeis): “Teachest thou not thyself,” also—do you practice what you preach? Does your character harmonize with your assumptions? This is Paul’s challenge of Jewish people who doted in the law to examine themselves, 1 Corinthians 13:5.

3) “Thou that preachest a man should not steal,” (ho kerusson me kleptein) “The one preaching one not to steal,” Matthew 23:3; Psalms 50:16-17.

4) “Dost thou steal?” (klepteis); “Do you steal?” like a kleptomaniac? Psalms 1-6. This is a series of rhetoric questions that actually affirms that the Jews preached one thing and practiced another, thus espoused contradictory moral and ethical values, Matthew 23:14-15; Matthew 23:24.


Apes will be imitating men: spiders have their webs, and wasps their honeycombs. Hypocrites will need to do something, that they may seem to be somebody; but, for want of an inward principle, they do nothing well; they amend one error with another, as Esau here (Genesis 28:1-22); and as Herod prevents perjury by murder. Thus, while they shun the sands, they rush upon rocks; and while they keep off the shallows, they fall into the whirlpool.



Ananias wished to have the credit of a complete sacrifice, and yet kept back part of it for himself -“professing cream and practicing skim milk,” as someone has said. The Register and Leader of Des Moines contains this item: -Wu Ting Fang, when he came to leave America, observed in his shrewd Chinese way that Americans profess higher ideals and fall farther short of realizing them than any other people in the world.”


Verse 22

1) “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery,” (ho legon me moicheuein) “The one saying (one is) not to commit adultery;" which was forbidden and condemned by the law, Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Jeremiah 7:9.

2) “Dost thou commit adultery” (moicheveis); “Do you commit adultery?” Even looking on a woman to or toward lusting with her is to commit adultery, Matthew 5:28; Such also comes out of the heart; Do you entertain and involve yourself in such? Paul inquires of the Jews, Matthew 15:19.

3) “Thou that abhorrest idols,” (ho Bdelussomenos ta eidola) “The one detesting the idols,” forbidden in the law, Exodus 20:4-5; Psalms 115:1-8. Idols were considered to pollute true worship and obedience to God, a thing to be abhorred, yet Jews were becoming economically involved with them, Acts 15:20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 John 5:21; Revelation 9:20.

4) “Dost thou commit sacrilege?” (hierouleis) “Do you commit sacrilege, or rob temples?” It was a pollution under the law to enter a heathen temple, but it appears that Jews had come prominently forward to public knowledge in stealing images and statues of monetary value from pagan temples, 1 Timothy 6:10.

Verse 23

1) “Thou that makest thy boast of the law,” (hos en nomo kauchasai) “who in (the) law boastest,” of knowing and having it, 1 Corinthians 4:7. If it be charity to build a storm cellar for a neighbor it is folly not to enter one ourselves.

2) “Through breaking the law,” (dia tes parabaseos tou nomou) “Through the breaking or transgression of the law,” which all (Jews and Gentiles) have done, 1 Kings 8:46; Romans 3:23.

3) “Dishonorest thou God?” (ton theon atimazeis) “Dost thou dishonor God?” Do you (not) dishonor God? This is a rhetoric question, really affirming that they were lawbreakers who dishonored God and needed to accept God’s mercy, pardon, forgiveness, and redemption, offered impartially to all men, Jews and Gentiles, Romans 10:12-13; Romans 1:16; Isaiah 53:4-6.

Verse 24

1) “For the name of God (to gar onoma tou theou) “For (because) the name of God,” the one true God, 1 Corinthians 8:6.

2) “Through you,” (di’ humas) “because of you,” because of your conduct, your manner of life before the Gentiles. Except one at least try to live up to his profession the World will not respect him, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

3) “Is blasphemed among the Gentiles,” (Blasphemeitai en tois ethnesin) “is blasphemed (spoken against) among the nations.” the Gentiles naturally treated with disrespect a 09d whose own chosen people treated his law lightly”. Psalms 74:9-10; Mark 3:28.

4) “As it is written,” (kathos gegraptai) “As it has been written,” referring to Biblical certifications of what he had said, showing that what he had said was not merely by his authority or his mere opinion, Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:20; Ezekiel 36:23; 2 Samuel 12:14.

Verse 25

1) “For circumcision verily profiteth,” (peritome men gar opheilei) “For indeed circumcision profits,” It gave assurance and advantage to the circumcised and uncircumcised that he was a member of the race which was heir of God’s land-grant promises.

2) “If thou keep the law,” (ean nomon prasses) “if thou practice (the) law,” to which you are honor-bound as Jews by covenant relation; Galatians 5:3. In this covenant they were debtors or under obligation to the law to keep and guard it, else they would be judged as a nation.

3) “But if thou be a breaker of the law,” (ean de para Bates nomou es) “But if thou art a transgressor (breaker) of (the) Law,” a person or people who does or do not abide by the moral and ethical precepts set forth in the law, and they were Romans 3:19; Romans 3:23.

4) “Thy circumcision is made uncircumcision,” (he peritome sou akrobustia gegonen) “Your circumcision has become (as) uncircumcision,” or you are to be Divinely judged as an uncircumcised person, as one who needs repentance, pardon, cleansing, and freedom from condemnation of law-breaking. The keeping of the law was a condition to national and personal blessings from God, never a condition to redemption or salvation of the soul from death. It was designed thru its religious worship and sacrifices to point men to Christ who would through their personal faith exercised remit their sins, Galatians 3:19; Galatians 3:22-26.

Verse 26

1) “Therefore if the uncircumcision,” lean oun he akrobustia) “If therefore the uncircumcision,” the Gentiles, the races apart from the Jews or National Israel, if those the Jews considered to be heathen

2) “Keep the righteousness of the law,” (ta dikaiomata tou nomou phulasse) “keep or guard the righteous ordinances of the law,” or do what is morally and ethically right, as required by the law; practical piety, the will to do God’s will, not perfect obedience, is in view here.

3) “Shall not his uncircumcision,” (ouch he akrobustia autou) “Shall not his uncircumcision State or condition,” as was that of Cornelius, though uncircumcised be accepted of God, 1 Corinthians 7:18-20.

4) “Be counted for righteousness?” (eis peritomen logisthesetai) “be computed, reckoned, calculated or counted for circumcision?” as was that of Cornelius. Though an uncircumcised Roman (Italian) who was not sinless, he feared God, worked righteousness, prayed to God always, gave much alms and desired to be saved, and God responded, took the initiative to instruct him what he should do to be saved, Acts 10:2; Acts 10:6; Acts 10:31; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 10:43; Acts 11:14.

Verse 27

1) “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law judge thee” (Kai krinei he A phuseos; akrobustia ton nomon telousa se) “Will not the physically (by nature) uncircumcised who carries out the law judge you?”; This is, in effect, an affirmative statement that those who keep or regard the law, actually condemn by their lives those who have the written law and the token of it, which is circumcision. The moral and ethical conduct of uncircumcised was of a higher plane than that of the circumcised, the Jews, and in such condemned the behavior of the Jews, Matthew 12:41-42.

2) “Who by the letter and circumcision,” (ton dia grammatos kai peritomes) “Who through the letter and circumcision,” or who have the correct form of the law and are circumcised; Those of Ninevah who as Gentile heathen repented at the preaching of Jonah, the uncircumcised, shall rise up in judgment as an example of God’s just condemnation on the Jews who lived impenitent, Luke 13:3-5; Matthew 12:41-42.

3) “Dost transgress the law,” (parabaten nomon) (exist as) a transgressor of (the) law?” in rejecting salvation that is taught to come to one “by faith,” even in the law, Acts 2:36-38; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:19-21; Romans 3:28; Romans 3:31; Romans 10:3-4.

Verse 28

1) “For he is not a Jew,” (ou gar loudaios estin) “For he is (exists) not a Jew;” not a nationally circumcised one that obeys or pleases God, the kind that God ordained him to be under the law.

2) “Which is one outwardly,” (ho en to phanero en sarki) “The one who is open or manifested in the flesh,” John 8:39; Romans 9:6. Flesh circumcision that outwardly marked one as a Jew (to be an Israelite), a keeper of God’s law, did not make one a Spiritual Israelite, a child of God; neither does baptism make one a child of God, Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 3:26.

3) “Nor is that circumcision,” (oude peritome) “Nor is that (factually) circumcision, or circumcision that counts for eternity;” It is faith in Jesus Christ that brings a new heart, makes one a new creature in Christ that counts, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:6.

4) “Which is outward in the flesh,” (he en to phanero en sarki) “Which is openly manifest or visible in (the) flesh,” for it avails nothing, Galatians 6:15. The outward law forms and deeds did not change the heart, or give Spiritual life to, or make circumcised, National Jews, true children of God or Spiritual seed of Abraham; to suppose that circumcision, observance of National feast and memorial days, and observance of the passover would merit Salvation for them was a chief fault of the Jews. Similarly many today err in thinking that they may and will be saved by outward conformity to religious forms: to be baptized, observe, the Lord’s Supper, pay tithes, etc. Romans 4:4-5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 5:1.

Verse 29

1) “But he is a Jew which is one inwardly,” (all’ ho en to krupto loudaios) “But the one is a Jew who is one in secret, in the new heart, inwardly,” the one who has believed and become a new creation in Jesus Christ, from his heart; Acts 15:9. It is they who shall see God, Matthew 5:8.

2) Circumcision is that of the heart,” (kai peritome kardias) “And true circumcision (is) exists of (the) heart,” for “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;” This is how man “obeys from the heart,” by trust, that he needs and accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior, Galatians 6:15; Romans 10:10; Romans 6:17.

3) “In the Spirit “ fen pneumati) “existing in the Spirit,” which quickens and indwells the believer, Romans 7:6; for it the Spirit that quickens to eternal life, gives Spiritual circumcision to believers, when they believe, John 3:3; John 3:5-6; John 6:63.

4) “And not in the letter,” (ou grammati) “Not in the letter,” form of the law, and the keeping of its ceremonies, on which most natural Jews depended-for salvation, 2 Corinthians 3:6.

5) “Whose praise is not of men “ (ou ho epainos ouk eks anthropon) “of whom the praise (is) not from, (out of) men, as it was so much under the law,” and so much desired by Pharisees, Matthew 6:2; John 12:43; Judges 1:11.

6) “But of God,” (all’ ek tou theou) “But out of, originating, from God,” Even true praise under the law was given, not by those who taught salvation thru the keeping of the law, but thru faith in the coming Redeemer. True believers Praise God for their Salvation, 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Romans 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/romans-2.html. 1985.
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