1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.4Such confidence we have through Christ before God.5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The greater glory of the new covenant
7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was,8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?9If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.11And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3
English Standard Version
Ministers of the New Covenant
1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? (Ac 18:27; 1Co 16:3; 2Co 5:12; 2Co 10:12; 2Co 11:4; 2Co 12:11)2You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. (1Co 9:2)3And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (Ex 24:12; Pr 3:3; Pr 7:3; Jer 17:1; Jer 31:33; Eze 11:19; Eze 36:26; Mt 16:16; Heb 8:10)4Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. (Eph 3:12)5Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, (1Co 15:10; Eph 2:8)6who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (Jer 31:31; Lu 22:20; Joh 6:63; Ro 2:27; Ro 8:2; 1Co 11:25; 2Co 3:14; 2Co 4:1; 2Co 5:18; Eph 3:7; Col 1:23; Col 1:25; 1Ti 1:12; Heb 8:8; Heb 8:13; Heb 9:15)7Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, (Ex 34:29; Ro 4:15; 2Co 3:9; 2Co 3:13)8will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?9For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. (2Co 3:7; 2Co 11:15; Heb 12:18)10Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it.11For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.12Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, (2Co 7:4; Eph 6:19)13not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. (2Co 3:7)14But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. (Mr 6:52; Ac 13:15; Ac 15:21; Ro 11:25; 2Co 3:6; 2Co 4:4)15Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.16But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (Ex 34:34; Isa 25:7; Ro 11:23)17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (Isa 61:1; Joh 8:32; Ga 4:6; Ga 5:1; Ga 5:13)18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (Ps 84:7; Joh 17:24; Ro 8:29; 1Co 13:12; 1Co 15:49; 2Co 4:4; 2Co 4:6; 1Ti 1:11)