No. 6 (2021)

Does Romans 2:14 Refer to the Natural Law?

Published 2023-12-31

How to Cite

Leong, C. H. (2023). Does Romans 2:14 Refer to the Natural Law?. Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives in Religious Studies, (6), 57–74. Retrieved from


Whilst after decades of research, exegetes have all agree on the complexity of Paul’s line of thinking in Rom 2:14–16, the ITC in its 2009 document, In Search of a Universal Ethic, still in an oversimplified manner propagates the view that Rom 2:14 presupposes a theory/theology of the natural law. This article makes plain the major disagreements among Pauline exegetes whether such presupposition stands by reviewing some major contributions to the discussion by raising major questions regarding the issue of φύσει in those verses, the nature of the law mentioned by Paul, the identity of the people Paul calls “Gentiles.” This article offers a more nuanced understanding of Rom 2:14.

Keywords: Rom 2:14, ITC, Universal Ethic, Natural Law, φύσει, Gentiles