2 Corinthians 3:7
New International Version
Now 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,

New Living Translation
The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.

English Standard Version
Now 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,

Berean Study Bible
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,

Berean Literal Bible
Now if the ministry of death, having been engraved in letters on stones, was produced in glory, so as for the sons of Israel not to be able to look intently into the face of Moses, on account of the glory of his face which is fading,

New American Standard Bible
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,

King James Bible
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

Christian Standard Bible
Now if the ministry that brought death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to gaze steadily at Moses's face because of its glory, which was set aside,

Contemporary English Version
The Law of Moses brought only the promise of death, even though it was carved on stones and given in a wonderful way. Still the Law made Moses' face shine so brightly the people of Israel could not look at it, even though it was a fading glory.

Good News Translation
The Law was carved in letters on stone tablets, and God's glory appeared when it was given. Even though the brightness on Moses' face was fading, it was so strong that the people of Israel could not keep their eyes fixed on him. If the Law, which brings death when it is in force, came with such glory,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to look directly at Moses' face because of the glory from his face--a fading glory--

International Standard Version
Now if the ministry of death that was inscribed in letters of stone came with such glory that the people of Israel could not gaze on Moses' face (because the glory was fading away from it),

NET Bible
But if the ministry that produced death--carved in letters on stone tablets--came with glory, so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory which was made ineffective),

New Heart English Bible
But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if the ministry of death in The Scripture carved in stone was with glory, so that the children of Israel were not able to gaze at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face ( that which has been canceled ),

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The ministry that brought death was inscribed on stone. Yet, it came with such glory that the people of Israel couldn't look at Moses' face. His face was shining with glory, even though that glory was fading.

New American Standard 1977
But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if the ministry of death in the letter engraved in stones was glorious, so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance which glory was to fade away,

King James 2000 Bible
But if the ministry of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

American King James Version
But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

American Standard Version
But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now if the ministration of death, engraven with letters upon stones, was glorious; so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which is made void:

Darby Bible Translation
(But if the ministry of death, in letters, graven in stones, began with glory, so that the children of Israel could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, on account of the glory of his face, [a glory] which is annulled;

English Revised Version
But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which glory was passing away:

Webster's Bible Translation
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away;

Weymouth New Testament
If, however, the service that proclaims death--its code being engraved in writing upon stones--came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily on the face of Moses because of the brightness of his face--a vanishing brightness;

World English Bible
But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away:

Young's Literal Translation
and if the ministration of the death, in letters, engraved in stones, came in glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to look stedfastly to the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face -- which was being made useless,
Study Bible
The Glory of the New Covenant
6And 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. 7Now 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, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?…
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.

Exodus 34:29
And when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was unaware that his face had become radiant from speaking with the LORD.

Exodus 34:30
Aaron and all the Israelites looked at Moses, and behold, his face was radiant. And they were afraid to approach him.

Romans 4:15
because the Law brings wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

Romans 5:20
The law came in so that the trespass would increase; but where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

Romans 7:5
For when we lived according to the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the Law were at work in our bodies, bearing fruit for death.

2 Corinthians 3:3
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.

2 Corinthians 3:8
will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:9
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry of righteousness!

2 Corinthians 3:13
We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away.

Galatians 3:10
All who rely on works of the Law are under a curse. For it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

Galatians 3:21
Is the Law, then, opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come from the Law.

Hebrews 3:3
For Jesus has been counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.

Hebrews 12:18
For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom, and storm;

Treasury of Scripture

But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

the ministration.

2 Corinthians 3:6,9
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life…

Romans 7:10
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

written.

2 Corinthians 3:3
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.

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 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.

was.

Deuteronomy 4:8
And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Nehemiah 9:13
Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

Psalm 19:7,8
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…

that.

Exodus 34:29-35
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him…

Luke 9:29-31
And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering…

Acts 6:15
And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

which.

2 Corinthians 3:10,11,14
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth…

Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

1 Corinthians 13:10
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.







Lexicon
Now
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

if
Εἰ (Ei)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

the
(hē)
Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

ministry
διακονία (diakonia)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1248: Waiting at table; in a wider sense: service, ministration. From diakonos; attendance; figuratively aid, service.

of death,
θανάτου (thanatou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2288: Death, physical or spiritual. From thnesko; death.

which was engraved
ἐντετυπωμένη (entetypōmenē)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1795: To engrave, imprint. From en and a derivative of tupos; to enstamp, i.e. Engrave.

in
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.

letters
γράμμασιν (grammasin)
Noun - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 1121: From grapho; a writing, i.e. A letter, note, epistle, book, etc. plural learning.

on stone,
λίθοις (lithois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3037: A stone; met: of Jesus as the chief stone in a building. Apparently a primary word; a stone.

came
ἐγενήθη (egenēthē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

with
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.

{such} glory
δόξῃ (doxē)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1391: From the base of dokeo; glory, in a wide application.

that
ὥστε (hōste)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 5620: So that, therefore, so then, so as to. From hos and te; so too, i.e. Thus therefore.

the
τοὺς (tous)
Article - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Israelites
Ἰσραὴλ (Israēl)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2474: Of Hebrew origin; Israel, the adopted name of Jacob, including his descendants.

could
δύνασθαι (dynasthai)
Verb - Present Infinitive Middle or Passive
Strong's Greek 1410: (a) I am powerful, have (the) power, (b) I am able, I can. Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible.

not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

gaze
ἀτενίσαι (atenisai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 816: To direct my gaze, look steadily. From a compound of a and teino; to gaze intently.

at
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

the
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

face
πρόσωπον (prosōpon)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4383: From pros and ops; the front, i.e. The countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication, presence, person.

of Moses
Μωϋσέως (Mōuseōs)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3475: Or Moses, or Mouses of Hebrew origin; Moseus, Moses, or Mouses, the Hebrew lawgiver.

because of
διὰ (dia)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

[its]
προσώπου (prosōpou)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4383: From pros and ops; the front, i.e. The countenance, aspect, appearance, surface; by implication, presence, person.

fleeting
καταργουμένην (katargoumenēn)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2673: From kata and argeo; to be entirely idle, literally or figuratively.

glory,
δόξαν (doxan)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1391: From the base of dokeo; glory, in a wide application.
(7) But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious.--More accurately, engraved in a writing (i.e., in a written formula) upon stones. The word for "writing" is the same as the "letter" of the preceding verse, and the whole might, perhaps, be best translated, if the ministration of death in the letter, engraved upon stones, was glorious. The English version, by using the two participles, creates a false antithesis between "written" and "engraved," and misses the sequence of thought indicated by the continued use of the word for "letter" or "writing." For "was glorious," more accurately, came into being with glory. The thoughts of the Apostle have travelled to the record of the circumstances connected with the giving of the Law as the foundation of the first covenant, and of them he proceeds to speak fully. We can almost picture him to ourselves as taking up his LXX. version of the Law, and reproducing its very words and thoughts.

So that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold . . .--The narrative in Exodus 34:29-35 records that when Moses came down from the mount with the second tables of stone, "the skin of his face shone," and the "people were afraid to draw nigh unto him." The English version--that "till Moses had done speaking with them he put a vail on his face," and that "when he went in before the Lord he took it off until he came out"--suggests the thought that he appeared to the people, after the first manifestation of the unconscious glory, as a veiled prophet. It is doubtful, however, whether this is the natural meaning of the Hebrew, and Exodus 34:35 repeats the statement that the Israelites saw the glory. The LXX., Vulgate, and most modern versions give, "When he ceased speaking he put a veil on his face." They saw the brightness, they shrank from it in awe, they were not allowed to watch it to the end and gaze on its disappearance. This was the sequence of facts that St. Paul had in his thoughts, and which he certainly found in the LXX.; and it is of this, accordingly, that he speaks. The children of Israel could not bear to look on the glory, even though it was perishing and evanescent. The English rendering, "which glory was to be done away," reads into the participle a gerundial force that does not properly belong to it; and it may be noted that it is the first of the great English versions that does so, the others giving, "which is made void," or "which is done away." It would be better expressed, perhaps, by, which was in the act of passing away. The Greek word is the same as that on which our translators have rung so many changes in 1Corinthians 13:8-11. It was a favourite word with St. Paul at this period of his life, occurring twenty-two times in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans, and three times only in his other Epistles.

It may be noted that the Vulgate rendering of Exodus 34:29, "ignorabat quod cornuta esset facies ejus" ("he knew not that his face was horned"), has given rise to the representations of Moses with horns, or rays of light taking the place of horns, as in Michael Angelo's statue in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli at Rome, and pictorial representations generally.

Verse 7. - The ministration of death. The ministration, that is, of the Law, of "the letter which killeth." St. Paul here begins one of the arguments a minori ad majus which are the very basis of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Written and engraven in stones; literally, engraved in letters on stones (Exodus 31:18). The reference shows that, in speaking of "the letter," St. Paul was only thinking of the Mosaic Law, and indeed specifically of the Decalogue. Was glorious; literally, occurred in glory, or, proved itself glorious. In itself the Law was "holy, just, and good" (Romans 7:12), and given "at the disposition of angels" (Acts 7:53); and its transitory glory was illustrated by the lustre which the face of Moses caught by reflection from his intercourse with God (Exodus 24:16). Could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses (Exodus 34:29, 30). St. Paul has been led quite incidentally into this digression in the course of defending himself by describing the nature of his ministry; but it bore very definitely on his general purpose, because his chief opponents were Judaists, whose one aim it was to bind upon the Church the yoke of Mosaism. That they could not "behold" the face of Moses is the hagadah, or traditional legend, derived from Exodus 34:30, which says that "they were afraid to draw nigh to him. The reader may recall the beautiful lines of Cardinal Newman-

"Lord l grant me this abiding grace -
Thy words and saints to know;
To pierce the veil on Moses' face,
Although his words be slow."
Because of the glory of his countenance. This circumstance is so often alluded to as to have become identified with the conception of Moses. The Hebrew words for "a ray of light" and "a horn" are identical; hence, instead of saying that his face was "irradiated," the Vulgate says, Cornnta erat ejus facies; and even in our version of Habakkuk 3:4 we find "And he had horns [i.e. 'rays of light'] coming out of his hand." To this is due the mediaeval symbol of Moses with horns, as in the matchless statue by Michael Angelo. Which glory was to be done away. The Greek might be expressed by "the glory - the evanescing glory - of his countenance." It was not "to be done away," but from the first moment they saw it it began to vanish. The verb "to do away," implying annulment, and the being abrogated as invalid, is a characteristic word in this group cf Epistles, in which it occurs twenty-two times. This illustrates the prominence in St. Paul's thoughts of the fact that the Law was now "antiquated" and "near its obliteration" (comp. Hebrews 8:13). But in dwelling on the brief and transient character of this radiance, St. Paul seizes on a point which (naturally) is not dwelt upon in Exodus 34. 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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Alphabetical: as at because brought But came could death engraved face fading glory his if in intently Israel Israelites it its letters look ministry Moses not Now of on so sons steadily stone stones that the though was which with

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the service of death written (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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