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1You have no defence, then, whoever you may be, when you sit in judgement -- for in judging others you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, are equally guilty.

2We all know that God's judgement on those who commit such crimes is just;

3and do you imagine -- you that pass judgement on the guilty while committing the same crimes yourself -- do you imagine that you, any more than they, will escape the judgement of God?

4Or do you despise his wealth of kindness and tolerance and patience, failing to see that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

5In the obstinate impenitence of your heart you are laying up for yourself a store of retribution against the day of retribution, when God's just judgement will be revealed,

6and he will pay everyone for what he has done.

7To those who pursue glory, honour, and immortality by steady persistence in well-doing, he will give eternal life;

8but the retribution of his wrath awaits those who are governed by selfish ambition, who refuse obedience to truth and take evil for their guide.

9There will be affliction and distress for every human being who is a wrongdoer, for the Jew first and for the Greek also;

10but for everyone who does right there will be glory, honour, and peace, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

11God has no favourites.

12Those who have sinned outside the pale of the law of Moses will perish outside the law, and all who have sinned under that law will be judged by it.

13None will be justified before God by hearing the law, but by doing it.

14When Gentiles who do not possess the law carry out its precepts by the light of nature, then, although they have no law, they are their own law;

15they show that what the law requires is inscribed on their hearts, and to this their conscience gives supporting witness, since their own thoughts argue the case, sometimes against them, sometimes even for them.

16So it will be on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of human hearts through Christ Jesus.

The Jews and their law

17BUT as for you who bear the name of Jew and rely on the law: you take pride in your God;

18you know his will; taught by the law, you know what really matters;

19you are confident that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those in darkness,

20an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of the immature, because you possess in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth.

21You teach others, then; do you not teach yourself? You proclaim, “Do not steal”; but are you yourself a thief?

22You say, “Do not commit adultery”; but are you an adulterer? You abominate false gods; but do you rob shrines?

23While you take pride in the law, you dishonour God by breaking it.

24As scripture says, “Because of you the name of God is profaned among the Gentiles.”

25Circumcision has value, provided you keep the law; but if you break the law, then your circumcision is as if it had never been.

26Equally, if an uncircumcised man keeps the precepts of the law, will he not count as circumcised?

27He may be physically uncircumcised, but by fulfilling the law he will pass judgement on you who break it, for all your written code and your circumcision.

28It is not externals that make a Jew, nor an external mark in the flesh that makes circumcision.

29The real Jew is one who is inwardly a Jew, and his circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; he receives his commendation not from men but from God.


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