2 Corinthians 3
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Living Letters

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone.a 3It is clear that you are Christ’s letter,b producedc by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living Godd — not on stone tabletse but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.f

Paul’s Competence

4We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ. 5It is not that we are competent ing ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.h 6He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant,i not of the letter,j but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.

New Covenant Ministry

7Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory,k so that the Israelites were not able to look directly at Moses’ face because of the glory from his face — a fading glory — 8how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory. 10In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if what was fading awayl was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

12Therefore, having such a hope,m we use great boldness. 13We are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his facen so that the Israelites could not stare at the end of what was fading away, 14but their minds were closed.o, p For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant,q the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ.r 15Even to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, 16but whenever a person turnss to the Lord, the veil is removed.t 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror atu, v the glory of the Lordw and are being transformedx into the same imagey from glory to glory;z this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.aa


Footnotes:
a. 3:2 1Co 9:2
b. 3:3 Phm 13
c. 3:3 Lit ministered to
d. 3:3 Dt 5:26
e. 3:3 Ex 24:12
f. 3:3 Pr 3:3; 7:3; Jr 17:1; 31:33; Ezk 11:19; 36:26; Heb 8:10
g. 3:5 Lit from
h. 3:5 1Co 15:10
i. 3:6 Lk 22:20; Heb 7:22
j. 3:6 Rm 7:6
k. 3:7 Ex 34:29-35; Mk 10:37; Lk 9:32; Jn 17:24; 2Co 3:18; 2Pt 3:18
l. 3:11 Heb 2:14
m. 3:12 1Th 1:3
n. 3:13 Ex 34:33
o. 3:14 Lit their thoughts were hardened
p. 3:14 Mk 8:17; Heb 3:13
q. 3:14 Ac 13:15; 15:21; Heb 7:22
r. 3:14 Rm 16:7; 1Pt 5:14
s. 3:16 1Pt 2:25
t. 3:16 Ex 34:34
u. 3:18 Or are reflecting
v. 3:18 1Co 13:12
w. 3:18 Jn 17:24; 2Co 1:20; 4:4-6; 1Tm 1:11,17
x. 3:18 Mk 9:2
y. 3:18 Gn 1:27; 1Jn 3:2
z. 3:18 Progressive glorification or sanctification
aa. 3:18 Or from the Spirit of the Lord, or from the Lord, the Spirit
2 Corinthians 2
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