New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:17 called a Jew. Even though the epistle was addressed specifically to the Christian believers at Rome (Romans 1:7), Paul has constructed it as a long doctrinal and apologetic tract, which could be used both to convert unbelievers (whether Jew or Gentile) and also to instruct believers in the basic doctrinal truths and practical consequences of their faith. In this particular section, he is primarily addressing non-Christians, especially Jews, while keeping in mind that both God-fearing Gentiles and pagan Gentiles, as well as Christian believers, might well be reading it or hearing it. However, He is immediately showing the self-righteous Jews, boasting in their status as God’s chosen people, that just being a Jew is not sufficient for salvation.