Romans 2:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
For merely listening to the law doesn't make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.

English Standard Version
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

New American Standard Bible
for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

King James Bible
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.

International Standard Version
For it is not merely those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight. No, it is those who follow the Law, who will be justified.

NET Bible
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The hearers of The Written Law are not righteous ones before God, but the doers of The Written Law are justified.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
People who merely listen to laws from God don't have God's approval. Rather, people who do what those laws demand will have God's approval.

Jubilee Bible 2000
(for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified;

King James 2000 Bible
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

American King James Version
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

American Standard Version
for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Darby Bible Translation
(for not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

English Revised Version
for not the hearers of a law are just before God, but the doers of a law shall be justified:

Webster's Bible Translation
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Weymouth New Testament
It is not those that merely hear the Law read who are righteous in the sight of God, but it is those that obey the Law who will be pronounced righteous.

World English Bible
For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified

Young's Literal Translation
for not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be declared righteous: --
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, treasuring up wrath. In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - For not the hearers of Law are just before God, but the doers of Law shall be justified; In this verse, as in the previous one, νόμου is anarthrous according to the best-supported readings, though the Textus Receptus has τοῦ before it. It has, therefore, been rendered above simply as Law, not as either the law, or a law, as the same word will be below, whenever it stands by itself without either the article or any modifying genitive. Much has been written by commentators on the senses in which this word νόμος is to be understood, as used by St. Paul with or without the article. In an Appendix to the Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans in the 'Speaker's Commentary' will be found a summary of the views taken by critics of repute, with exhaustive references to the usage of the word in the Septuagint, in the New Testament generally, and in the writings of St. Paul. It has not been thought necessary in this Commentary to discuss further what has been so amply discussed already. It may suffice to state certain principles for the reader's guidance, which appear plainly to commend themselves to acceptance.

(1) νόμος, with the article prefixed, always means the Mosaic Law.

(2) Νόμος, without the article, may have, and often has, specific reference to the Mosaic Law; but, if so, the emission of the article is not arbitrary, but involves a difference of meaning. The article in Greek is prefixed to a word when the latter is intended to convey some definite idea already familiarized to the mind, and "the natural effect of its presence is to divert the thoughts from dwelling on the peculiar import of the word, and is adverse to its inherent notion standing out as a prominent point in the sense of the passage" (quoted from 'Grammar of the New Testament Dialect,' by T. S. Green, in Appendix to Introduction to Romans in the 'Speaker's Commentary '). Hence the omission of the article, where it might have been used, before a word has often the effect of emphasizing and drawing attention to the inherent notion of the word. We may take as an instance ver. 17 in this chapter, where the Textus Receptus has ἐπαναπαύῃ τῷ νόμῳ but where the preferable reading omits the article. In either case the Mosaic Law is referred to; but the omission of the article brings into prominence the principle of justification on which the Jew rested - viz. Law, which exacts entire obedience. In the following verse (the eighteenth), in the phrase, κατηχούμενος ἐκ τοῦ νόμου the article is inserted, the intention being simply to say that the Jew was instructed in the well-known Law of Moses. The same difference of meaning is intimated by the omission or insertion of the article in ver. 23 and elsewhere in other parts of the chapter and of the whole Epistle (see especially ch. 7.). The apostle, who, however spontaneous and unstudied might be his style of writing, by no means used phrases at random, would not surely have thus varied his expressions so often in one and the same sentence without intended significance.

(3) Νόμος without the article seems evidently in many passages to be used by St. Paul to denote law in the abstract, without any exclusive reference to the Mosaic Law at all, or to any particular code of law. Doubtless the Mosaic Law, in which he had been educated, and which he had painfully proved the impossibility of keeping perfectly, had been to him the grand embodiment and representative of law; but he had hence been led to an abstract conception, ever before his mind, of law as representing the principle of exaction of full obedience to requirements; and when he says, as he so often does, that by law no man can be justified, he means that none can be so on the principle of complete conformity being required to the behests of Divine righteousness, whether as revealed from Mount Sinai or through the human conscience, or in any other way; for by law is the knowledge of sin and consequent guilt, but not the power of avoiding sin. Those who ignore the distinction as above explained, saying, as some do, that νόμος, whether with or without the article, always means simply the Law of Moses, fail to enter into the depth and generality of the apostle's argument. The distinction will be observed in this translation throughout the Epistle (ὁ νόμος being translated "the Law," and νόμος "law"), and it will be found always to have a meaning. (For one instance in which it is hardly possible to suppose St. Paul to have omitted and inserted the article in the same sentence without a meaning, cf. Galatians 4:21.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For not the hearers of the law are just before God,.... The apostle here shows, that the Jews were justly condemned, notwithstanding their having and hearing of the law; since hearing without doing it, will never denominate persons righteous in the sight of God, however it might recommend them in the sight of men: regard seems to be had either to the first delivery of the law by Moses to the people of Israel, when he read it to them, and they hearkened to it, and promised obedience; or rather to the reading and hearing it every sabbath day; and may include a speculative knowledge of it, without a practical obedience to it; and which therefore must fall greatly short of entitling them to a justifying righteousness; since not these,

but the doers of the law, shall be justified; by whom are meant, not such who merely literally and externally fulfil the law, as they imagine; for the law is spiritual, and regards the inward as well as the outward man, and requires internal holiness, as well as external obedience; and the apostle is speaking of justification before God, who sees the heart, and not before men, who judge according to outward appearance: nor are such designed who are imperfect doers of the law; for the law requires a perfect obedience, and what is not perfect is not properly righteousness; nor does it, nor can it consider an imperfect righteousness as a perfect one; for it accuses of, pronounces guilty, curses, and condemns for every transgression of it. But such only can be intended, who are doers of it spiritually, internally, as well as externally, and that perfectly. Adam, in his state of innocence, was a perfect doer of the law; he sinning, and all his posterity in him, none of them are righteous, but all pass under a sentence of condemnation. The best of men, even believers in Christ, are not without sin in themselves; and when any of the saints are said to be perfect, it must be understood in a comparative sense, or as they are considered in Christ. There never was but one since Adam, and that is Christ, who has fulfilled, or could perfectly fulfil the law; the thing is impossible and impracticable for fallen man: hence these words must be understood either hypothetically, thus, not the hearers of the law, but if there were any perfect doers of it, they would be justified before God; or else of such persons who are considered in Christ, by whom the whole perfect righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them, and who may be reckoned as perfect doers of it in him, their substitute, surety, and representative.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13-15. For not the hearers, &c.—As touching the Jews, in whose ears the written law is continually resounding, the condemnation of as many of them as are found sinners at the last involves no difficulty; but even as respects the heathen, who are strangers to the law in its positive and written form—since they show how deeply it is engraven on their moral nature, which witnesses within them for righteousness and against iniquity, accusing or condemning them according as they violate or obey its stern dictates—their condemnation also for all the sin in which they live and die will carry its dreadful echo in their own breasts.

Romans 2:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Righteous Judgment
12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,…
Cross References
Jeremiah 11:6
The LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 7:24
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

John 13:17
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Romans 2:25
Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.

1 Corinthians 4:4
My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.

James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:25
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Treasury of Scripture

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

For not.

Romans 2:25 For circumcision truly profits, if you keep the law: but if you be …

Deuteronomy 4:1 Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, …

Deuteronomy 5:1 And Moses called all Israel, and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the …

Deuteronomy 6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well …

Deuteronomy 30:12-14 It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us …

Ezekiel 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which …

Ezekiel 33:30-33 Also, you son of man, the children of your people still are talking …

Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom …

Luke 8:21 And he answered and said to them, My mother and my brothers are these …

James 1:22-25 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…

1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does …

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness …

but the.

Romans 3:20,23 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified …

Romans 10:5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the …

Luke 10:25-29 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, …

Galatians 3:11,12 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is …

justified.

Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, …

Romans 4:2-5 For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; …

Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in your sight …

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than …

Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which …

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but …

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified …

James 2:21-25 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered …

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