New International Version

Romans 2:1-29

God’s Righteous Judgment

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”2:6 Psalm 62:12; Prov. 24:12 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(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. 15They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

The Jews and the Law

17Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”2:24 Isaiah 52:5 (see Septuagint); Ezek. 36:20,22

25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the2:27 Or who, by means of a written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

28A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

New International Reader’s Version

Romans 2:1-29

God Judges Fairly

1If you judge someone else, you have no excuse for it. When you judge another person, you are judging yourself. You do the same things you blame others for doing. 2We know that when God judges those who do evil things, he judges fairly. 3Though you are only a human being, you judge others. But you yourself do the same things. So how do you think you will escape when God judges you? 4Do you disrespect God’s great kindness and favor? Do you disrespect God when he is patient with you? Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is meant to turn you away from your sins?

5But you are stubborn. In your heart you are not sorry for your sins. You are storing up anger against yourself. The day of God’s anger is coming. Then his way of judging fairly will be shown. 6God “will pay back each person in keeping with what they have done.” (Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12) 7God will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good. They want glory, honor, and life that never ends. 8But there are others who only look out for themselves. They don’t accept the truth. They go astray. God will pour out his great anger on them. 9There will be trouble and suffering for everyone who does evil. That is meant first for the Jews. It is also meant for the Gentiles. 10But there will be glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good. That is meant first for the Jews. It is also meant for the Gentiles. 11God treats everyone the same.

12Some people do not know God’s law when they sin. They will not be judged by the law when they die. Others do know God’s law when they sin. They will be judged by the law. 13Hearing the law does not make a person right with God. People are considered to be right with God only when they obey the law. 14Gentiles 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. 15They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts. The way their minds judge them proves this fact. Sometimes their thoughts find them guilty. At other times their thoughts find them not guilty. 16This will happen on the day God appoints Jesus Christ to judge people’s secret thoughts. That’s part of my good news.

The Jews and the Law

17Suppose you call yourself a Jew. You trust in the law. You brag that you know God. 18You know what God wants. You agree with what is best because the law teaches you. 19You think you know so much more than the people you teach. You think you’re helping blind people. You think you are a light for those in the dark. 20You think you can make foolish people wise. You act like you’re teaching little children. You think that the law gives you all knowledge and truth. 21You claim to teach others, but you don’t even teach yourself! You preach against stealing. But you steal! 22You say that people should not commit adultery. But you commit adultery! You hate statues of gods. But you rob temples! 23You brag about the law. But when you break it, you rob God of his honor! 24It is written, “The Gentiles say evil things against God’s name because of you.” (Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22)

25Circumcision has value if you obey the law. But if you break the law, it is just as if you hadn’t been circumcised. 26And sometimes those who aren’t circumcised do what the law requires. Won’t God accept them as if they had been circumcised? 27Many are not circumcised physically, but they obey the law. They will prove that you are guilty. You are breaking the law, even though you have the written law and are circumcised.

28A person is not a Jew if they are a Jew only on the outside. And circumcision is more than just something done to the outside of a man’s body. 29No, a person is a Jew only if they are a Jew on the inside. And true circumcision means that the heart has been circumcised by the Holy Spirit. The person whose heart has been circumcised does more than obey the written law. The praise that matters for that kind of person does not come from other people. It comes from God.