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Romans 2:17

ESV But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God
NIV Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;
NASB But if you call yourself a Jew and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
CSB Now if you call yourself a Jew, and rely on the law, and boast in God,
NLT You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him.
KJV Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

What does Romans 2:17 mean?

Paul has just finished talking about God's judgment for Gentiles: people not under the requirements of the law of Moses. Now he turns the case he is making to the Jewish people who do live under the law.

This verse begins an if-then statement that will be concluded as this passage continues. Paul describes three specific good things that come with being Jewish. First, one who understands himself to be a Jew is a member of the nation of Israel, God's chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6). It is a high honor.

Second, such a person may "rely on the law." Though the law of Moses was a weighty thing for Israel, it was also a gift, the revelation of God's standards for how to live on earth. The law was given to Israel and no other nation.

Third, this person, a Jew who relies on the law, can also "boast in God." Paul is not describing selfish bragging. The Jewish people could rightly boast that the one true God was their God and they were His people. Their glory as a people was found in belonging to the glorious God.

The following verses will continue the "if" part of Paul's if-then statement.
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