Romans 2 Living Bible (TLB)
2 “Well,” you may be saying, “what terrible people you have been talking about!” But wait a minute! You are just as bad. When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are talking about yourselves, for you do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in justice, will punish anyone who does such things as these. 3 Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and overlook you when you do them, too? 4 Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.
5 But no, you won’t listen; and so you are saving up terrible punishment for yourselves because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin; for there is going to come a day of wrath when God will be the just Judge of all the world. 6 He will give each one whatever his deeds deserve. 7 He will give eternal life to those who patiently do the will of God,[a] seeking for the unseen glory and honor and eternal life that he offers.* 8 But he will terribly punish those who fight against the truth of God and walk in evil ways—God’s anger will be poured out upon them. 9 There will be sorrow and suffering for Jews and Gentiles alike who keep on sinning. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who obey him,[b] whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 11 For God treats everyone the same.
12-15 He will punish sin wherever it is found. He will punish the heathen when they sin, even though they never had God’s written laws, for down in their hearts they know right from wrong. God’s laws are written within them; their own conscience accuses them, or sometimes excuses them. And God will punish the Jews for sinning because they have his written laws but don’t obey them. They know what is right but don’t do it. After all, salvation is not given to those who know what to do, unless they do it. 16 The day will surely come when at God’s command Jesus Christ will judge the secret lives of everyone, their inmost thoughts and motives; this is all part of God’s great plan, which I proclaim.
17 You Jews think all is well between yourselves and God because he gave his laws to you;[c] you brag that you are his special friends. 18 Yes, you know what he wants; you know right from wrong and favor the right because you have been taught his laws from earliest youth. 19 You are so sure of the way to God that you could point it out to a blind man. You think of yourselves as beacon lights, directing men who are lost in darkness to God. 20 You think that you can guide the simple and teach even children the affairs of God, for you really know his laws, which are full of all knowledge and truth.
21 Yes, you teach others—then why don’t you teach yourselves? You tell others not to steal—do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery—do you do it? You say “Don’t pray to idols” and then make money your god instead.[d]
23 You are so proud of knowing God’s laws, but you dishonor him by breaking them. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say that the world speaks evil of God because of you.
25 Being a Jew is worth something if you obey God’s laws; but if you don’t, then you are no better off than the heathen. 26 And if the heathen obey God’s laws, won’t God give them all the rights and honors he planned to give the Jews? 27 In fact, those heathen will be much better off[e] than you Jews who know so much about God and have his promises but don’t obey his laws.
28 For you are not real Jews just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the Jewish initiation ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a real Jew is anyone whose heart is right with God. For God is not looking for those who cut their bodies in actual body circumcision, but he is looking for those with changed hearts and minds. Whoever has that kind of change in his life will get his praise from God, even if not from you.
Romans 2 New International Version (NIV)
God’s Righteous Judgment
2 You, 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. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So 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? 4 Or 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?
5 But 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. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All 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. 13 For 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. 15 They 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.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
The Jews and the Law
17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”[b]
25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[c] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, 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.