A new algebraic test is developed to determine whether or not a two-variable (2-D) characteristic polynomial of a recursive linear shift invariant (LSI, discrete-time) system is “stable” (i.e., it does not vanish in the closed exterior of the unit bi-circle). The method is based on the original form of a unit-circle zero location test for one variable (1-D) polynomials with complex coefficients proposed by the author. The test requires the construction of a “table”, in the form of a sequence of centrosymmetric matrices or 2-D polynomials, that is obtained using a certain three-term recursion, and examination of the zero location with respect to the unit circle of a few associated 1-D polynomials. The minimal set necessary and sufficient conditions for 2-D stability involves one 1-D polynomial whose zeros must reside inside the unit circle (which may be examined before the table is constructed), and one symmetric 1-D polynomial (which becomes available after completing the table) that is required not to have zeros on the unit circle. A larger set of intermediate necessary conditions for stability (which may be examined during the table’s construction) are also given. The test compares favorably with Jury’s recently improved 2-D stability test in terms of complexity and munerical stability.