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Romans 2:12-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

12 All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.[a] 14 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. 15 They show that the work of the law[b] is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them[c] 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

Jewish Violation of the Law

17 Now if[d] you call yourself a Jew, and rest in the law, boast in God, 18 know His will, and approve the things that are superior, being instructed from the law, 19 and if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in darkness, 20 an instructor of the ignorant, a teacher of the immature, having the full expression[e] of knowledge and truth in the law— 21 you then, who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who preach, “You must not steal”—do you steal? 22 You who say, “You must not commit adultery”—do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob their temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 For, as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.[f]

Circumcision of the Heart

25 For circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if an uncircumcised man keeps the law’s requirements, will his uncircumcision not be counted as circumcision? 27 A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter.[g] That man’s praise[h] is not from men but from God.


  1. Romans 2:13 Or will be justified or acquitted
  2. Romans 2:15 The code of conduct required by the law
  3. Romans 2:15 Internal debate, either in a person or among the pagan moralists
  4. Romans 2:17 Other mss read Look
  5. Romans 2:20 Or the embodiment
  6. Romans 2:24 Is 52:5
  7. Romans 2:29 Or heart—spiritually, not literally
  8. Romans 2:29 In Hb, the words Jew, Judah, and praise are related.

Romans 3:9-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Whole World Guilty before God

What then? Are we any better?[a] Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles[b] are all under sin,[c] 10 as it is written:[d]

There is no one righteous, not even one.


  1. Romans 3:9 Are we Jews any better than the Gentiles?
  2. Romans 3:9 Lit Greeks
  3. Romans 3:9 Under sin’s power or dominion
  4. Romans 3:10 Paul constructs this charge from a chain of OT quotations, mainly from the Psalms.

Romans 3:20-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

20 For no one will be justified[a] in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.

God’s Righteousness through Faith

21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets[b] 22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ,[c] to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the[d] glory of God.


  1. Romans 3:20 Or will be declared righteous, or will be acquitted
  2. Romans 3:21 When capitalized, the Law and the Prophets = OT
  3. Romans 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ
  4. Romans 3:23 Or and lack the

Romans 3:27-28 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Boasting Excluded

27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law?[a] By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law[b] of faith. 28 For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.


  1. Romans 3:27 Or what principle?
  2. Romans 3:27 Or a principle

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