Romans 2:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 2:27, NIV: "The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker."

Romans 2:27, ESV: "Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law."

Romans 2:27, KJV: "And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?"

Romans 2:27, NASB: "And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a violator of the Law?"

Romans 2:27, NLT: "In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God's law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God's law but don't obey it."

Romans 2:27, CSB: "A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who keeps the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision."

What does Romans 2:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has painted a picture of two men. One is Jewish and circumcised and under the law of Moses. He breaks the law. The other is Gentile, uncircumcised, but he keeps the law of Moses. He obeys it. In what would have been a deeply offensive shock to his Jewish readers, Paul said that circumcision is of no use to the Jewish lawbreaker. Worse, he suggested that a lack of physical circumcision is no hindrance to the Gentile law-keeper. The first will be regarded by God as if he were not circumcised and not Jewish; the second will be regarded as if he were circumcised and Jewish, even though he's not.

Now Paul concludes that the Gentile law-keeper will condemn the Jewish law-breaker, even though he has been given the law by God and has been circumcised. The only difference between them is whether they kept the law or not. Only later will Paul reveal that nobody, Jewish or Gentile, is able to keep the law, after all (Romans 3:10). All are sinners and must be forgiven for their sin in order to be saved from God's wrath (Romans 3:22–25).