Romans 2:1
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are that judge: for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you that judge do the same things.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerNewellParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Therefore.—The description just given of the state of one section of the human race contains implicitly the condemnation of the other; for it is equally applicable to both.

Wherein thou judgest another.—By the very act of sitting in judgment upon your fellow-man, you pass sentence upon yourself. You declare those acts to be criminal of which you are yourself guilty.

The words in the Greek, translated by “judge” and “condemn,” are related to each other much the same as the summing up of a judge is related to his verdict. In the first, sentence is in process of being passed, but there is still a possibility of acquittal; in the second, sentence has been definitely given in a sense adverse to the accused. “Another,” rather, strictly, the other, thy fellow, or neighbour.

Romans 2:1. Therefore, &c. — The apostle, having shown that the Gentiles could not entertain the least hope of salvation, according to the tenor of the law of nature, which they violated, proceeds next to consider whether the law of Moses gave the Jews any better hope; an inquiry which he manages with great address. For, well knowing that on reading his description of the manners of the Greeks, the Jews would pronounce them worthy of damnation, he suddenly turns his discourse to the Jews, by telling them that they who passed such a judgment on the Gentiles were equally, yea, more guilty themselves, in that, with the advantage of the greater light of divine revelation, they were guilty of crimes as great as those he had charged on the Gentiles; and that therefore, by condemning the Gentiles, they virtually condemned themselves. Thou art inexcusable, O man — Seeing that knowledge without practice only increases guilt; whosoever thou art, that judgest — That censurest and condemnest; for wherein thou judgest another — Greek, τον ετερον, the other — Namely, the heathen, and pronouncest them worthy of condemnation and wrath; thou condemnest thyself — As deserving the same: for thou that judgest doest the same things. According to Josephus, quoted here by Dr. Whitby, the Jews of that age were notoriously guilty of most of the crimes imputed to the Greeks and Romans in the preceding chapter. “There was not,” observes he, “a nation under heaven more wicked than they were. What have you done,” says he, addressing them, “of all the good things required by our lawgiver? What have you not done of all those things which he pronounced accursed? So that,” adds he, “had the Romans delayed to come against these execrable persons, I believe either the earth would have swallowed them up, or a deluge would have swept away their city; or fire from heaven would have consumed it, as it did Sodom, for it brought forth a generation of men far more wicked than they who suffered such things. It was sport to them to force women: and they exercised and required unnatural lusts, and filled the whole city with impurities. They committed all kinds of wickedness, omitting none which ever came into the mind of man; esteeming the worst of evils to be good, and meeting with that reward of their iniquity which was proper, and a judgment worthy of God.” The apostle, Mr. Locke thinks, represents the Jews as inexcusable in judging the Gentiles, especially because the latter, with all the darkness that was on their minds, were not guilty of such a folly as to judge those who were not more faulty than themselves, but lived on friendly terms with them, without censure or separation, thinking as well of their condition as of their own. For he considers the judging, which Paul here speaks of, as referring to that aversion which the Jews generally had to the Gentiles, in consequence of which “the unconverted Jews could not bear with the thoughts of a Messiah that admitted the heathen equally with themselves into his kingdom; nor could the converted Jews be brought to admit them into their communion, as the people of God, now equally with themselves; so that they generally, both one and the other, judged them unworthy the favour of God, and incapable of becoming his people any other way than by circumcision, and an observance of the ritual law; the inexcusableness and absurdity of which the apostle shows in this chapter.”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.Therefore - Διὸ Dio. The force of this word here has been the subject of much discussion. The design of this and the following chapter is to show that the Jews were no less guilty that the Gentiles, and that they needed the benefit of the same salvation. This the apostle does by showing that they had greater light than the Gentiles; and yet that they did the same things. Still they were in the habit of accusing and condemning the Gentiles as wicked and abandoned; while they excused themselves on the ground that they possessed the Law and the oracles of God, and were his favorite people. The apostle here affirms that they were inexcusable in their sins, that they must be condemned in the sight of God, on the same ground on which they condemned the Gentiles; to wit, that they had light and yet committed wickedness. If the Gentiles were without excuse Romans 1:20 in their sins, much more would the Jew, who condemned them, be without excuse on the same ground. The word therefore, I suppose, refers not to any particular word in the previous chapter, or to any particular verse, but to the general considerations which were suggested by a view of the whole case. And its sense might be thus expressed. "Since you Jews condemn the Gentiles for their sins, on the ground that they have the means of knowing their duty, therefore, you who are far more favored than they, are entirely without an excuse for the same things."

Thou art inexcusable - This does not mean that they were inexcusable for judging others; but that they had no excuse for their sins before God; or that they were under condemnation for their crimes, and needed the benefits of another plan of justification. As the Gentiles whom they judged were condemned, and were without excuse Romans 1:20, so were the Jews who condemned them without excuse on the same principle; and in a still greater degree.

O man - This address is general to any man who should do this. But it is plain, from the connection, that he means especially the Jews. The use of this word is an instance of the apostle's skill in argument. If he had openly named the Jews here, it would have been likely to have excited opposition from them. He therefore approaches the subject gradually, affirms it of man in general, and then makes a particular application to the Jews. This he does not do, however, until he has advanced so far in the general principles of his argument that it would be impossible for them to evade his conclusions; and then he does it in the most tender, and kind, as well as convincing manner, Romans 2:17, etc.

Whosoever thou art that judgest - The word "judgest" (κρίνεις krineis) here is used in the sense of condemning. It is not a word of equal strength with what is rendered "condemnest" (κατακρίνεις katakrineis). It implies, however, that they were accustomed to express themselves freely and severely of the character and doom of the Gentiles. And from the New Testament, as well as from their own writings, there can be no doubt that such was the fact; that they regarded the entire Gentile world with abhorrence, considered them as shut out from the favor of God, and applied to them terms expressive of the utmost contempt. Compare Matthew 15:27.

For wherein - For in the "same thing." This implies that substantially the same crimes which were committed among the pagan were also committed among the Jews.

Thou judgest another - The meaning of this clearly is, "for the same thing for which you condemn the pagan, you condemn yourselves."

Thou that judgest - You Jews who condemn other nations.

Doest the same things - It is clearly implied here, that they were guilty of offences similar to those practiced by the Gentiles. It would not be a just principle of interpretation to press this declaration as implying that precisely the same offences, and to the same extent, were chargeable on them. Thus, they were not guilty, in the time of the apostle, of idolatry; but of the other crimes enumerated in the first chapter, the Jews might be guilty. The character of the nation, as given in the New Testament, is that they were "an evil and adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39; compare John 8:7); that they were a "generation of vipers" Matthew 3:7; Matthew 12:34; that; they were wicked Matthew 12:45; that they were sinful Mark 8:38; that they were proud, haughty, hypocritical, etc.; Matthew 23. If such was the character of the Jewish nation in general, there is no improbability in supposing that they practiced most of the crimes specified in Romans 1:On this verse we may remark,

(1) That people are prone to be severe judges of others.

(2) this is often, perhaps commonly, done when the accusers themselves are guilty of the same offences.

It often happens, too, that people are remarkably zealous in opposing those offences which they themselves secretly practice. A remarkable instance of this occurs in John 8:1, etc. Thus, David readily condemned the supposed act of injustice mentioned by Nathan; 2 Samuel 12:1-6. Thus, also kings and emperors have enacted severe laws against the very crimes which they have constantly committed themselves. Nero executed the laws of the Roman Empire against the very crimes which he was constantly committing; and it was a common practice for Roman masters to commit offences which they punished with death in their slaves. (See instances in Grotius on this place.)

(3) Remarkable zeal against sin may be no proof of innocence; compare Matthew 7:3. The zeal of persecutors, and often of pretended reformers, may be far from proof that they are free from the very offences which they are condemning in others. It may all be the work of the hypocrite to conceal some base design; or of the man who seeks to show his hostility to one kind of sin, in order to be a salvo to his conscience for committing some other.

(4) the heart is deceitful. When we judge others we should make it a rule to examine ourselves on that very point. Such an examination might greatly mitigate the severity of our judgment; or might turn the whole of our indignation against ourselves.

CHAPTER 2

Ro 2:1-29. The Jew under Like Condemnation with the Gentile.

From those without, the apostle now turns to those within the pale of revealed religion, the self-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of God's mercies, within which they deemed themselves secure, however inconsistent their life may be. Alas! what multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence, who occupy the corresponding position in the Christian Church!Romans 2:1-5 They that condemn sin in others, and are guilty of the

like themselves, cannot escape God’s judgment,

Romans 2:6-13 which will be according to every man’s deserts,

without distinction of Jew or Gentile.

Romans 2:14-16 The Gentiles are not left without a rule of conduct.

Romans 2:17-24 The Jew, who boasteth of greater light, is doubly

criminal in sinning against it,

Romans 2:25-29 nor will circumcision profit him, except he keep the law.

It is much disputed to whom the apostle directs his discourse in the beginning of this chapter. Some think that having discovered the sins of the Gentiles in the former chapter, he here useth a transition, and turneth himself to the Jews, and lays open their more secret wickedness and hypocrisy. But the particle therefore in the front of the chapter, doth seem to intimate, that this is inferred from what went before, and is a continuance of the same argument. It is of the Gentiles then that he is still discoursing, and he begins by name to deal with the Jews, Romans 2:17. Some think he speaks more particularly of such as were judges and magistrates amongst the Gentiles, who, though they made laws for to judge and punish others for such and such crimes, did yet commit the same themselves. Some think he intends more especially such as were philosophers, and men renowned for virtue, as Socrates, Aristides, Fabricius, Cato, Seneca, &c., which last, as is said, was well known to the apostle. These, in their speeches and writings, did censure the evil manners of others, and yet were as bad themselves. As Cato is said to have used extortion, prostituted his wife, and to have laid violent hands upon himself; and yet he was affirmed by Velleius to be homo virtuti simillimus, a most virtuous man. But the received opinion is, that the apostle in general doth tax all such as censure and find fault with others, and yet are guilty of the same things themselves.

Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: q.d. Thou art without all excuse, that dost assent and subscribe to the righteous judgment of God, that they who do such things as are mentioned in the foregoing chapter, are worthy of death, and yet doest the same thyself; if not openly, yet secretly and inwardly thou art guilty of the same or as great sins. Thou canst make no apology or pretence, why the sentence of death and condemnation, which is due to others, should not likewise pass upon thee.

For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; i.e. in that very thing, or by that very law, whereby thou censurest and condemnest others, thou pronouncest sentence against thyself; thy own mouth condemns thee in the person of another: see Matthew 7:3 21:40,41,45 Joh 8:4,9.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man,.... Some think, from the connection of these words with the preceding chapter, that the Gentiles are here meant; and particularly those among them who seemed to be virtuous, and took upon them to be the reprovers of others, and yet did the same things themselves, as Socrates, Cato, Seneca, and others; and therefore must be inexcusable, because they knew better, and would be thought to have been so; wherefore such could never be justified before God by their works, but might be justly condemned by him, nor shall they escape his righteous judgment. Others think the Jews are meant, who despised and condemned the Gentiles, and thought themselves to be righteous persons, and justified in the sight of God; and who, though they were secretly guilty of many abominable iniquities, yet were very severe upon the sins of others, and therefore inexcusable: others think that magistrates are designed, whether among Jews or Gentiles, who reprove and punish sin in others, and therefore must be supposed to know the law, and the nature of sin, and so are inexcusable and self-condemned when they do the same things; wherefore though they may pass with impunity among men, they shall not escape the judgment of God. Rather the words respect every man, of whatsoever nation, office, or place; and may be particularly applied to hypocrites, and seem designed to correct censoriousness, and hasty judging, and to throw confusion on such who value themselves on being the censurers and reprovers of others:

whosoever thou art that judgest; whether a Jew or a Gentile, a public magistrate or a private person:

for wherein thou judgest another; that is, in what case or instance; the Complutensian edition and the Arabic version read, "in" "or with what judgment thou judgest another"; See Gill on Matthew 7:2;

thou condemnest thyself; by judging them:

for thou that judgest dost the same things; art guilty of the same thing condemned in others, and therefore must be self-condemned.

Therefore {1} thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

(1) He convicts those who would seem to be exempt from the rest of men (because they reprehend other men's faults), and says that they are least of all to be excused, for if they were searched well and carefully (as God surely does) they themselves would be found guilty in those things which they reprehend and punish in others: so that in condemning others, they pronounce sentence against themselves.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 2:1.—ch. Romans 3:20. Having shown, ch. Romans 1:18-32, in the case of the Gentiles, that they were strangers to the δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ, Paul now, ch. 2–3:20, exhibits the same fact with reference to the Jews, and thus adduces the second half of the proof as to the universal necessity of justification by faith. Naturally the Apostle was chiefly concerned with this second half of the proof, as the ἀδικία of heathenism was in itself clear; but we see from ch. 2 that the detailed character of that delineation of Gentile wickedness was intended at the same time as a mirror for degenerate Judaism, to repress all Jewish conceit. Comp Mangold, p. 102.

Romans 2:1. Διό] refers back to the main tenor of the whole previous exposition (Romans 2:18-29), and that indeed in its more special aspect as setting forth the moral condition of heathenism in respect to its inexcusableness. This reference is confirmed by the fact, that ἀναπολόγητος εἶ is said with a manifest glancing back to Romans 1:20; it is laid down by Paul as it were as a finger-post for his διό. The reference assumed by Reiche, Fritzsche, Krehl, de Wette, and older writers, to the proposition in Romans 1:32, that the rightful demand of God adjudges death to the evil-doers; or to the cognizance of that verdict, in spite of which the Gentiles were so immoral (Philippi, Baur, Th. Schott, Hofmann, Mangold), has against it the fact that this thought formed only a subsidiary sentence in what went before; whereas here a new section begins, at the head of which Paul very naturally has placed a reference, even expressly marked by ἀναπολόγητος, to the entire section ending with Romans 1:32, over which he now throws once more a retrospective glance. The connection of ideas therefore is: “wherefore,” i.e. on account of that abomination of vice pointed out in Romans 2:18-29, “thou art inexcusable,” etc.; “for”—to exhibit now more exactly this “wherefore”—wherein thou judgest the other, thou condemnest thyself, because thou doest the same thing. In other words: before the mirror of this Gentile life of sin all excuse vanishes from thee, O man who judgest, for this mirror reflects thine own conduct, which thou thyself therefore condemnest by thy judgment. A deeply tragic de te narratur! into which the proud Jewish consciousness sees itself all of a sudden transferred. A proleptic use of διό (Tholuck) is not to be thought of; not even γάρ is so used in the N. T. (see on John 4:44), and διό neither in the N. T. nor elsewhere.

ὦ ἄνθρωπε πᾶς ὁ κρίνων] Just as Paul, Romans 1:18, designated the Gentiles by the general term ἀνθρώπων, and only brought forward the special reference to them in the progress of the discourse; so also he now designates the Jews, not as yet by name (see this first at Romans 2:17), but generally by the address ἄνθρωπε, which however already implies a trace of reproach (Romans 9:20; Luke 12:14; Plat. Prot. p. 330 D, Gorg. p. 452 B, and the passages in Wetstein, Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 164), while at the same time he makes it by his πᾶς ὁ κρίνων sufficiently apparent that he is no longer speaking of the class already delineated, but is turning now to the Jews contrasted with them; for the self-righteous judging respecting the Gentiles as rejected of God (Midr. Tillin f. 6, 3; Chetubb. f. 3, 2; and many other passages) was in fact a characteristic of the Jews. Hence all the more groundless is the hasty judgment, that this passage has nothing whatever to do with the contrast between Jews and Gentiles (Hofmann). Comp Romans 2:17 ff. And that it is the condemning κρίνειν which is meant, and not the moral capacity of judgment in general (Th. Schott) and its exercise (Hofmann) (comp on Matthew 7:9), follows from the subsequent κατακρίνεις more precisely defining its import. Consequently the quite general interpretation (Beza, Calovius, Benecke, Mehring, Luthardt, vom freien Willen, p. 416) seems untenable, as well as the reference to the Gentiles as the judging subjects (Th. Schott), or to all to whom Romans 1:32 applied (Hofmann), or even specially to Gentile authorities (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Cajetanus, Grotius).

Regarding the nominative as further ethical epexegesis of the vocative, see Bernhardy, p. 67, Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 123.

ἐν ᾧ] either instrumental: thereby, that, equivalent to ἐν τούτῳ ὅτι (Hofmann); or, still more closely corresponding to the τὰ γὰρ αὐτὰ πράσσεις: in which thing, in which point. Comp Romans 14:22. The temporal rendering: eodem tempore quo (Köllner, Reithmayr), arbitrarily obscures the moral identity, which Paul intended to bring out. The κατακρίνεις however is not facto condemnas. (Estius, van Hengel), but the judgment pronounced upon the other is a condemnatory judgment upon thyself, namely, because it applies to thine own conduct. On the contrast between ἕτερον and σεαυτόν comp Romans 2:21; 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 10:29; Galatians 6:4; Php 2:4.

τὰ αὐτά] the same sins and vices, not indeed according to all their several concrete manifestations, as previously described, but according to their essential moral categories; see Romans 2:17-24. Comp on the idea John 8:7.

ὁ κρίνων] with reproachful emphasis.Romans 2:1-16. The Apostle has now to prove that the righteousness of God is as necessary to the Jew as to the pagan; it is the Jew who is really addressed in this chapter from the beginning, though he is not named till Romans 2:9. In Romans 2:1-10 Paul explains the principle on which God judges all men, without distinction.Ch. Romans 2:1-16. Human sin, continued: Jews and Gentiles equal in guilt and peril: gradual approach to the Jewish question

1. Therefore] It is difficult to state the precise bearing of this word; the exact premiss to which it refers. It is, perhaps, best explained by a brief statement of the apparent general connexion here.

St Paul has described the great fact of Human Sin. He has done so in terms which point specially to heathendom, but not exclusively. Two points, the universality of sin, and the universality of conscience (v. 18, 32), are plainly meant to be true of all men, idolaters or not. But now, in our present verse, he has it in view to expose specially the state of Jewish sinners; but to do this by leading gradually up to the convincing point, which is not reached till Romans 2:16. Really, but not explicitly, therefore, he here addresses the Jew, as included in the previous condemnation, but as thinking himself all the while the “judge” of heathen sinners. In words, he addresses any self-constituted “judge;” while in fact he specially, though still not exclusively, addresses the Jew. And he addresses him as “inexcusable,” because of his sin, and because of his conscience, a conscience in his case peculiarly enlightened.

The “therefore” thus points mainly to the words just previous; to the fact of a knowledge of God’s penal statute against sin, while yet sin is committed and abetted.

doest the same things] The reference is doubtless to the passage from about Romans 1:26. External idolatry had vanished among the Jews since the captivity; but other forms of the subtle “worship of the creature” had taken its place; a gross immorality was far from rare; and sins of “strife, craft, and malignity,” were conspicuous.Romans 2:1. Διὸ, wherefore). Paul passes from the Gentiles to the Jews, as the whole of the following discourse clearly shows; and yet he does not use the transitive, but the illative particle, of which two the latter, as being the more powerful, absorbs the former. The Gentile does evil; the Jew does evil. Then in the 6th and following verses, he comprehends both, Jews and Gentiles.—ἀναπολόγητος, inexcusable.) Man seeks to defend himself.—ἄνθρωπε, O man) In ch. 1 he spoke of the Gentiles in the third person, but he deals with the Jew in the second person singular; even as the law itself deals with the Jew, not in the second, but in the third person singular; because it had no concern with any one but the Jew.—Comp. ch. Romans 3:19. But the apostle, who directs his discourse to Gentiles and Jews, addresses the Jew indeed in the second person singular, but calls him by the name [O man] common to all.—comp. ch. Romans 1:18; nor does he acknowledge the Jew, as such, Romans 2:17; Romans 2:28. The same difference between the third and second persons occurs again, Romans 2:14; Romans 2:17. It is a not dissimilar circumstance, that the Gentiles are put off [as to their condemnation] till the final judgment, Romans 2:16; but the Jews are threatened by the law with a present judgment also [besides the final one Romans 2:2.]—ὁ κρίνων, thou that judgest) being removed [i.e. wherein thou art distinguished] from those that have pleasure in evil-doers, Romans 1:32. Paul uses a weighty expression. The Jew esteems himself superior to the Greek, Romans 2:19, etc. Paul now calls that an act of judging, and by it opens up a way for himself, with a view to show the judgment of God. It is mere self-love in a man, that, in proportion as he thinks others worse than himself, he thinks the better of himself, Galatians 6:4. The figure paregmenon[21] occurs here; for κατακρίνεις follows.—Comp. ch. Romans 14:22-23; 1 Corinthians 4:3, etc., Romans 11:29, etc.; Jam 2:4.—ἓτερον, another) who is of no concern to thee; whose more open unrighteousness profits thee nothing; a heathen.

[21] A joining together of conjugate forms, or of simples and compounds, ex. gr. here, κρίνεις, κατακρίνεις.—ED.Verses 1-29. - (b) Those who judge others, not excepting the Jews. Here a new stage of the argument, in proof of the position propounded in Romans 1:18, begins, and is continued to the end of the chapter. The position to be proved is that all mankind is guilty before God (see note on ver. 18). So far this has been shown with regard to the mass of the heathen world; its general moral corruption, prevalent and condoned, having been pointed out finally as a glaring proof; the main point of the argument having been to trace this state of things to man's own fault, in that he had refused to retain and act on a knowledge of God originally imparted to him through nature and through conscience. From such refusal had ensued idolatry; thence, as a judicial consequence, profligacy; thence a general prevalence of abominable practices; and at last (in many at least) the "reprobate mind," lost to moral restraint, and approving of vice as well as practising it. Thus it is sufficiently proved that the heathen world, regarded as a whole, is under sin, and liable to the wrath of God. But the required proof that the whole of mankind is guilty is not yet complete. It might be said that there are many still who disapprove of all this wickedness, and sit in judgment on it, and who are, therefore, not themselves implicated in the guilt. To such persons the apostle now turns, his purpose being to show that their judging others does not exempt themselves, unless they can show that they are themselves sinless. All, he argues, are tainted with sin, and therefore implicated in the guilt of the human race, while the very fact of their judging others condemns them all the more. It is usually said by commentators that, the sin of the heathen world having been established in the first chapter, the second has reference exclusively to the Jews. But this is surely not so. The expressions, ἄνθρωπε and πᾶς ὁ κρίνων (vers. 1, 3), seem evidently to include all who judge others; and it is not till ver. 9 that any distinction between Jew and Gentile comes in. Nor would the argument have been complete without refutation of Gentile as well as Jewish judgers of others. For the philosophical schools especially claimed superiority to the mass of mankind, and would be likely to resent their own inclusion in the general condemnation. Notably the Stoics, whose philosophy was at that time, as well as that of the Epicureans, extensively professed by educated Romans. Seneca was a contemporary of St. Paul. The Stoics might be suitably designated as οἱ κρίνοντες: for they affected to look down from a position of calm philosophical superiority on those who followed their mere natural impulses, professing to be themselves guided by right reason, and superior to the passions of ordinary humanity. It was a home-thrust at them to ask - Are you, who thus judge others, as exempt as you profess to be from the vices you condemn? If the accounts that have come down to us of Seneca's own life be true, he certainly was not a paragon of virtue. Now, be it observed that the sort of people now addressed are not concluded to be sunk into all the depths of sin spoken of above; their very affecting to judge others implies, at any rate, theoretic approval of the right. Nor does St. Paul anywhere suggest that there is no difference between man and man with regard to moral worth before God; nay, in this very chapter he forcibly declares the moral excellence of some, without the Law as well as with the Law, and eternal life as its reward (vers. 7, 10, 14, 15). All he implies of necessity is that none whatever are so exempt from sin as to be in a position to judge others; and it is the judgment of others that he here especially attacks, as increasing, rather than exempting from, condemnation. For it involves in itself the sin of presumption, unless those that judge are sinless. But it may be said that the universal sinfulness of mankind is still not proved. For

(1) it is not actually demonstrated that all of those who judge "do the same things." The answer to this objection is, that this does not admit of rigid proof, and that therefore the apostle deems it enough to appeal to the consciences of the judgers themselves as to how the matter stands with them. But it may be said

(2) that the sinfulness of such persons as are spoken of in vers. 7, 10, 14, 15, 29-such, namely, as sincerely strive after good without setting themselves up as judges - is still unproved. So it is in this chapter; and, for logical completeness, the proof must be taken as implied. It was, we may suppose in the writer's mind, and afterwards, in ch. 7, where the inner consciousness of even the best is analyzed, the missing link of the argument is supplied. Verses 1, 2. - Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou doest (rather, dost practise; the word is πράσσεις, see Romans 1:32) the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit (or, practise, as before) such things. As has been observed above, the fact that πᾶς ὁ κρίνων "does the same things," is not proved; it is incapable of patent proof, and so the argument takes the form of an appeal to the consciences of such persons. "Porro quia ipsos interioris impuritatis insimulat, quae ut humanos oculos latet, redargui convincique nequeat humanis testimoniis, ad Dei judicium provocat, cui nec tenebrae ipsae sunt absconditae, et cujus sensu tangi peceatoribus, velint nolint, necesse est" (Calvin). On κατὰ ἀλήθειαν, in ver. 2, Calvin also remarks, "Veritas porro haec judicii in duobus consistit: quod sine personarum respectu delictum puniet, in quocunque deprehenderit homine; deinde quod externam speciem non moratur, nec opere ipso contentus est nisi a vera sinceri-tate animi prodeat." O man

General, but still with a general and slightly reproachful reference to the Jew.

Judgest (κρίνων)

With the sense of condemning.

Links
Romans 2:1 Interlinear
Romans 2:1 Parallel Texts


Romans 2:1 NIV
Romans 2:1 NLT
Romans 2:1 ESV
Romans 2:1 NASB
Romans 2:1 KJV

Romans 2:1 Bible Apps
Romans 2:1 Parallel
Romans 2:1 Biblia Paralela
Romans 2:1 Chinese Bible
Romans 2:1 French Bible
Romans 2:1 German Bible

Bible Hub






Romans 1:32
Top of Page
Top of Page