2 Corinthians 3:3
New International Version
You 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.

New Living Translation
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

English Standard Version
And 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.

Berean Study Bible
It is clear 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.

Berean Literal Bible
being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, having been ministered to by us, having been inscribed not in ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.

New American Standard Bible
being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for 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.

King James Bible
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Christian Standard Bible
You show that you are Christ's letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God--not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Contemporary English Version
You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God.

Good News Translation
It is clear that Christ himself wrote this letter and sent it by us. It is written, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, and not on stone tablets but on human hearts.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
It is clear that you are Christ's letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God--not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.

International Standard Version
You are demonstrating that you are the Messiah's letter, produced by our service, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

NET Bible
revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.

New Heart English Bible
being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For you know that you are a letter of The Messiah that is ministered by us, written not in ink, but by The Spirit of THE LIVING GOD, not in tablets of stone, but in tablets of hearts of flesh.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It's clear that you are Christ's letter, written as a result of our ministry. You are a letter written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, a letter written not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

New American Standard 1977
being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

King James 2000 Bible
Since you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.

American King James Version
For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

American Standard Version
being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Being manifested, that you are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, and written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.

Darby Bible Translation
being manifested to be Christ's epistle ministered by us, written, not with ink, but [the] Spirit of [the] living God; not on stone tables, but on fleshy tables of [the] heart.

English Revised Version
being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but on fleshly tables of the heart.

Weymouth New Testament
For all can see that you are a letter of Christ entrusted to our care, and written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the ever-living God--and not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts as tablets.

World English Bible
being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh.

Young's Literal Translation
manifested that ye are a letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in the tablets of stone, but in fleshy tablets of the heart,
Study Bible
Ministers of a New Covenant
2You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3It is clear 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 before God is ours through Christ.…
Cross References
Exodus 24:12
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, so that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction."

Exodus 31:18
When the LORD had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

Exodus 32:15
Then Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.

Psalm 40:8
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart."

Proverbs 3:3
Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 7:3
Tie them to your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Jeremiah 17:1
The sin of Judah is written with an iron stylus, engraved with a diamond point on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.

Jeremiah 31:33
"But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.

Ezekiel 11:19
And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh,

Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Matthew 16:16
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

1 Corinthians 3:5
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role.

2 Corinthians 3:6
And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at the face of Moses because of its fleeting glory,

Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds, and inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.

Treasury of Scripture

For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

the epistle.

Exodus 31:18
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Revelation 2:1,8,12,18
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; …

Revelation 3:1,7,14,22
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead…

ministered.

1 Corinthians 8:5-10
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) …

the living.

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

1 Samuel 17:26
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

not.

Exodus 24:12
And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Exodus 34:1
And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

but.

Psalm 40:8
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Jeremiah 31:33
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ezekiel 11:19
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:







Lexicon
It is clear
φανερούμενοι (phaneroumenoi)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5319: To make clear (visible, manifest), make known. From phaneros; to render apparent.

that
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

you are
ἐστὲ (este)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

a letter
ἐπιστολὴ (epistolē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1992: A letter, dispatch, epistle, message. From epistello; a written message.

from Christ,
Χριστοῦ (Christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

the result of our ministry,
διακονηθεῖσα (diakonētheisa)
Verb - Aorist Participle Passive - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1247: From diakonos; to be an attendant, i.e. Wait upon (figuratively) teacher; technically, to act as a Christian deacon.

written
ἐνγεγραμμένη (engegrammenē)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1449: To write, inscribe. From en and grapho; to 'engrave', i.e. Inscribe.

not
οὐ (ou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

with ink
μέλανι (melani)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3188: Ink. Neuter of melas as noun; ink.

but
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

with [the] Spirit
Πνεύματι (Pneumati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

of [the] living
ζῶντος (zōntos)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2198: To live, be alive. A primary verb; to live.

God,
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

not
οὐκ (ouk)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

on
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

tablets
πλαξὶν (plaxin)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 4109: A tablet, flat surface. From plasso; a moulding-board, i.e. Flat surface.

of stone
λιθίναις (lithinais)
Adjective - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3035: Made of stone. From lithos; stony, i.e. Made of stone.

but
ἀλλ’ (all’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

on
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

tablets
πλαξὶν (plaxin)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 4109: A tablet, flat surface. From plasso; a moulding-board, i.e. Flat surface.

of human
σαρκίναις (sarkinais)
Adjective - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 4560: Fleshly, consisting of flesh, carnal. From sarx; similar to flesh, i.e. soft.

hearts.
καρδίαις (kardiais)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2588: Prolonged from a primary kar; the heart, i.e. the thoughts or feelings; also the middle.
(3) Forasmuch, as ye are manifestly declared.--The metaphor appears to shift its ground from the subjective to the objective. It is not only as written in his heart, but as seen and known by others, that they (the Corinthians) are as a letter of commendation. They are as a letter which Christ had written as with the finger of God. That letter, he adds, was "ministered by us." He had been, that is, as the amanuensis of that letter, but Christ was the real writer.

Written not with ink.--Letters were usually written on papyrus, with a reed pen and with a black pigment (atramentum) used as ink. (Comp. 2John 1:12.) In contrast with this process, he speaks of the Epistle of Christ as written with the "Spirit of the living God." It is noteworthy that the Spirit takes here the place of the older "finger of God" in the history of the two tables of stone in Exodus 31:18. So a like substitution is found in comparing "If I with the finger of God cast out devils," in Luke 11:20, with "If I by the Spirit of God," in Matthew 12:28. Traces of the same thought are found in the hymn in the Ordination service, in which the Holy Spirit is addressed as "the finger of God's hand."

Not in tables of stone.--The thought of a letter written in the heart by the Spirit of God brings three memorable passages to St. Paul's memory:--(1) the "heart of flesh" of Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26-27; (2) the promise that the law should be written in the heart, which was to be the special characteristic of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33); and (3) the whole history of the circumstances of the first, or older, covenant; and, from this verse to the end of the chapter, thought follows rapidly on thought in manifold application of the images thus suggested.

But in fleshy tables of the heart.--The better MSS. give in tables (or, tablets), which are hearts of flesh, reproducing the words of Ezekiel 11:19. The thought of the letter begins to disappear, and that of a law written on tablets takes its place, as one picture succeeds another in a dissolving view.

Verse 3. - Manifestly declared. The fame and centrality of Corinth gave peculiar prominence to the fact of their conversion. The epistle of Christ ministered by us. The Corinthians are the epistle; it is written on the hearts of St. Paul and his companions; Christ was its Composer; they were its amanuenses and its conveyers. The development of the metaphor as a metaphor would be somewhat clumsy and intricate, but St. Paul only cares to shadow forth the essential fact which he wishes them to recognize. Not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; i.e. not with visible or perishable materials, but spiritual in its origin and character. The notion of "the finger of God" naturally recalled the notion of "the Spirit of God" (comp. Matthew 12:28 with Luke 11:20). Not in tables of stone. God's writing by means of the Spirit on the heart reminds him of another writing of God on the stone tablets of the Law, which he therefore introduces with no special regard to the congruity of the metaphor about "an epistle." But in fleshy tables of the heart. The overwhelming preponderance of manuscript authority supports the reading "but in fleshen tablets - hearts." St. Paul is thinking of Jeremiah 31:33, "I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;" and Ezekiel 11:22, "I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh." The tablets were not hard and fragile, but susceptible and receptive. Our letters of introduction are inward not outward, spiritual not material, permanent not perishable, legible to all not only by a few, written by Christ not by man. 3:1-11 Even the appearance of self-praise and courting human applause, is painful to the humble and spiritual mind. Nothing is more delightful to faithful ministers, or more to their praise, than the success of their ministry, as shown in the spirits and lives of those among whom they labour. The law of Christ was written in their hearts, and the love of Christ shed abroad there. Nor was it written in tables of stone, as the law of God given to Moses, but on the fleshy (not fleshly, as fleshliness denotes sensuality) tables of the heart, Eze 36:26. Their hearts were humbled and softened to receive this impression, by the new-creating power of the Holy Spirit. He ascribes all the glory to God. And remember, as our whole dependence is upon the Lord, so the whole glory belongs to him alone. The letter killeth: the letter of the law is the ministration of death; and if we rest only in the letter of the gospel, we shall not be the better for so doing: but the Holy Spirit gives life spiritual, and life eternal. The Old Testament dispensation was the ministration of death, but the New Testament of life. The law made known sin, and the wrath and curse of God; it showed us a God above us, and a God against us; but the gospel makes known grace, and Emmanuel, God with us. Therein the righteousness of God by faith is revealed; and this shows us that the just shall live by his faith; this makes known the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The gospel so much exceeds the law in glory, that it eclipses the glory of the legal dispensation. But even the New Testament will be a killing letter, if shown as a mere system or form, and without dependence on God the Holy Spirit, to give it a quickening power.
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