Romans 2:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 2:13, NIV: "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."

Romans 2:13, ESV: "For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified."

Romans 2:13, KJV: "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

Romans 2:13, NASB: "for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified."

Romans 2:13, NLT: "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."

Romans 2:13, CSB: "For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

What does Romans 2:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some of Paul's Jewish readers had made the mistake of thinking that by simply being Jewish, they would be declared righteous by God and spared from His wrath for their sin. After all, they were under the law of Moses. Most Jewish people grew up listening to the books of the Law read aloud from the time they were infants. By definition, they were "hearers" of the law. They knew the words. They understood the big ideas. And they were part of the chosen people of Israel.

Paul argues that just being under the law and hearing it regularly was not enough to save anyone. Hearing the words of Moses's law could not making anyone righteous. In order to be declared righteous in God's eyes, one must obey the law. In fact, Paul will later point out that a person living under the law would have to obey the law perfectly, in every way, in order to be declared righteous by God. Nobody was able to do that until Jesus arrived.

This passage of Romans parallels the message of the book of Hebrews, which clarifies how the old covenant, including the law of Moses, was never meant to save man from sin. It was only meant to teach mankind, to prepare them to accept a Savior (Hebrews 10:1–10).