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Romans 2

10But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

Jew has priority over the Gentile. Isn't that favoritism?

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    The Jew first, in time. And also, thereafter, the Gentile. This is a matter of precedence, not 'favour'.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 21, 2021 at 21:44

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The Jew first, in time.

And also, thereafter, the Gentile.

This is a matter of precedence, not 'favour'

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:28 KJV]

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The text was taken out of context, as it implies favoritism toward Jews in the New Covenant. However, the context shows the opposite is the case, and that favoritism is actually cancelled out explicitlly, by saying:

Romans 2:6-11 [God] will render to every man according to his works. 7 To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: 8 But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation. 9 Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek. 10 But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

As one can see, it cannot be favoritism if the Jews are both first to be rewarded and first to be punished. This paradox is, rather, a hyperbolic way of completely rejecting the notion of favoritism.

Hence, he ends with:

For there is no respect of persons with God.

If anything, it is a mockery of the idea that God shows favoritism toward Jews. After all, how could God show favoritism to people who reject both His Christ, and His Covenant, if indeed they do, simply because their father was Abraham? God in no way promised blessings to people who betray Him or sin or do not follow Him! This is a heretical and novel perversion of the blessings given to Abraham/Jacob, which implies that Jews, simply because of their genetic makeup, and not beacause of their heritage or faith, will escape the judgement of God, either for their sins, or their rejection of the Messiah and the Covenant — the Covenant that is more important than that of Moses, and the "prophet like [Moses]" who is more important than Moses.

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The verse in Rom 2:10 is simply talking about the Jews being asked first in time, and NOT given favoritism as V11 emphasizes.

Indeed, this has always been the case as per the appendix below.

APPENDIX - Israel open to all

  • The unfortunate story in Gen 38 about Judah and Tamar shows that a foreigner became the mother of the tribe of Judah.
  • When Jacob entered Egypt, his family numbered 75 people (Acts 7:14, Ex 1:5). Some of these were not direct descendants of Abraham such as the wives of the 12 patriarchs, notably Joseph’s own wife. 215 years and four generations later at the exodus, Israel’s army had over 600,000 men, excluding women and children, (Ex 12:37, Num 1:46, etc) suggesting a total population of several million people, requiring many additions. This included a significant mixed multitude (Ex 12:38) showing that Israel obviously consisted of many non-biological Jews had joined. (Note that it is biologically impossible for Israelite numbers to have grown from 75 to several million biologically without many outside additions.)
  • Moses married a Midianite (Ex 2:16-21) also known as a Cushite. Miriam and Aaron were severely reprimanded and punished for displaying racism (Num 12:1, 2)
  • Caleb, who represented and led the tribe of Judah was a Kennizite (Num 32:12).
  • Rahab was a Canaanite (Josh 2:1, 2, Matt 1:5)
  • Ruth was Moabite (Ruth 1:4 16, 17, Matt 1:5) – these last two make King David descended from foreigners (Ruth 4:13-16).
  • Uriah was a Hittite (2 Sam 11:3)
  • King David’s elite personal regiment was Gittite, Philistines (2 Sam 15:18-22, 1 Chron 18:17)
  • Isa 56:6, 7 - And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD to minister to Him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be His servants— all who keep the Sabbath without profaning it and who hold fast to My covenant—I will bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar, for My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” See also V3.
  • The Rechabites were Kenites (Jer 35:1-19)
  • Many other foreigners lived in Israel (1 Chron 22:2, 17, 2 Chron 30:25)
  • In Esther’s time “many of the people of the land became Jews” (Esther 8:17, 9:27)
  • Even in NT times, many Jewish synagogues were attended by godly gentiles converted to Judaism (Acts 13:16, 26, 16:14, 17:17)
  • Many Jewish proselytes came to worship in Jerusalem (John 20:20, Acts 2:9-11)
  • Jesus quotes Isa 56:7, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations”, Mark 11:17.
  • Further, biological Israelites could opt out of the covenant and be cut-off (Ex 30:33, 38, 31:14, Lev 7:20, 21, 25, 27).

Thus, it is abundantly clear that membership of Israel was always open to all and voluntary.

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Nations are very important - they are Gods ‘intent’. And - the Jews are Gods nation. He needed a ‘people’ (nation) in order to fulfil his purposes - and still does. Trouble is, first they put themselves under the Mosaic ‘ Law, and then kept ‘rejecting’ Him as their God.

The Jews have a covenant with their God. The Abrahamic covenant. But it is important to understand that the covenant is with the nation.

GENESIS 12:2 * “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.* 3 *I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” *

No other nation has this. To partake of Gods blessing, the other nations can only do so via Israel. This is clearly expressed in these verses. And, this covenant, like all of Gods covenants - is eternal!

And, the Jews have access to righteousness via this. Righteousness by or through believing in their God. This saved Lot! The only reason he was saved was through the righteousness he had under this covenant. But so do all people, all have access to, a path through which they can obtain righteousness. For both, it comes down to choice.

But, the. current state is that they (the nation) have rejected their Messiah. They nice again have taken themselves out from under this covenant, just as their forefathers did in the wilderness. But, this will change at some stage, it has to, in order to complete Gods plan.

(Because) The nation has a future. This was both promised, and prophesied. Torah promised them a King. And a saviour.

But, nevertheless, the Jews are not favoured. They were chosen not because they deserved to be, but because God needed a nation. That is, you need to discern between ‘people’ and ‘nations’

God loves all, Jesus died for the whole world. Everyone has access to the righteousness man needs for Life. Not one is favoured above another. But, when we look at nations, there is one that is Gods. Only one. And they are favoured, not because they deserved to be, but only because needed a nation.

When we consider nations, God only sees two groups - Jews and Gentiles. When we consider ‘man’ there are only two groups, the righteous and unrighteous. But importantly, Gods Love is unequivocally the same for both groups. Both can make Him their God.

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Theologians have viewed salvation history in the form of a chi, χ. In the Old Testament (Tanakh) is a narrowing down the the Messiah (the Christ). After Christs sacrificial death and resurrection, salvation spreads to the whole world. While the Jews had special favor, they also had more responsibility for what they were given. In the final judgment, there is no favoritism.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, ESV)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19–20, ESV)

Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” ... They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:21–26,42 ESV)

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (Rom. 9:4–8, ESV)

And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Luke 12:47–48, ESV)

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matt. 11:20–24, ESV)

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (1 Cor. 4:5, ESV)

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