Over at the Word Matters podcast (episode 41), there is a great interview with Tom Schreiner on how he changed his view on Rom 2.14-15:
CEB: Gentiles don’t have the Law. But when they instinctively do what the Law requires they are a Law in themselves, though they don’t have the Law. They show the proof of the Law written on their hearts, and their consciences affirm it. Their conflicting thoughts will accuse them, or even make a defense for them.
CSB: So, when Gentiles, who do not by nature have the law, do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them.
Schreiner (see his 1998 Romans commentary in the BECNT series) formerly thought that this passage referred to Gentiles who performed a kind of natural law with a moral quality (CEB). Now, however, Schreiner believes that this refers to Christian Gentiles, who do not by nature possess the law, but nonetheless fulfil it (CSB).
I argue similarly in my own Romans commentary!
Now, if we could just get Tom to go back to his old position on dikaiosyne theou in Rom 1.17 that it refers God’s dynamic saving power (as he argued in his BECNT commentary) rather than a righteousness from God (which he argued in his 2001 Pauline theology.
See further on this subject of :
A. B. Caneday, “Judgment, Behavior, and Justification according to Paul’s Gospel in Romans 2”. Journal for the Study of Paul and his Letters 1:2 (2011), 153-192.
Simon J. Gathercole, “A Law unto Themselves: The Gentiles in Romans 2.14-15 Revisited”, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 85 (2002), 27-49.
Don’t forget to visit the Tom Schreiner Shrine of Exegetical Remembrance at SBTS.