New International Version
And 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.
King James Bible
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Darby Bible Translation
But *we* all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.
World English Bible
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Young's Literal Translation
and we all, with unvailed face, the glory of the Lord beholding in a mirror, to the same image are being transformed, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
But we all, with open face - The Jews were not able to look on the face of Moses, the mediator of the old covenant, and therefore he was obliged to veil it; but all we Christians, with face uncovered, behold, as clearly as we can see our own natural face in a mirror, the glorious promises and privileges of the Gospel of Christ; and while we contemplate, we anticipate them by desire and hope, and apprehend them by faith, and are changed from the glory there represented to the enjoyment of the thing which is represented, even the glorious image - righteousness and true holiness - of the God of glory.
As by the Spirit of the Lord - By the energy of that Spirit of Christ which gives life and being to all the promises of the Gospel; and thus we are made partakers of the Divine nature and escape all the corruptions that are in the world. This appears to me to be the general sense of this verse: its peculiar terms may be more particularly explained.
The word κατοπτριζομενοι, catoptrizomenoi, acting on the doctrine of catoptries, which we translate beholding in a glass, comes from κατα, against, and οπτομαι, I look; and properly conveys the sense of looking into a mirror, or discerning by reflected light. Now as mirrors, among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, were made of highly polished metal, (see the note on 1 Corinthians 13:12), it would often happen, especially in strong light, that the face would be greatly illuminated by this strongly reflected light; and to this circumstance the apostle seems here to allude. So, by earnestly contemplating the Gospel of Jesus, and believing on him who is its Author, the soul becomes illuminated with his Divine splendor, for this sacred mirror reflects back on the believing soul the image of Him whose perfections it exhibits; and thus we see the glorious form after which our minds are to be fashioned; and by believing and receiving the influence of his Spirit, μεταμορφουμεθα, our form is changed, την αυτην εικονα, into the same image, which we behold there; and this is the image of God, lost by our fall, and now recovered and restored by Jesus Christ: for the shining of the face of God upon us, i.e. approbation, through Christ, is the cause of our transformation into the Divine image.
Dr. Whitby, in his notes on this chapters produces six instances in which the apostle shows the Gospel to be superior to the law; I shall transcribe them without farther illustration: -
1. The glory appearing on mount Sinai made the people afraid of death, saying: Let not God speak to us any more, lest we die; Exodus 20:19; Deuteronomy 18:16; and thus they received the spirit of bondage to fear, Romans 8:15. Whilst we have given to us the spirit of power, and love, and of a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7; and the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father! and to this difference the Epistle to the Hebrews alludes, Hebrews 12:18-24.
2. Moses, with all his glory, was only the minister of the law, written on tables of stone; the apostles are ministers of the Gospel, written on the hearts of believers. Moses gave the Jews only the letter that killeth; the apostles gave the Gospel, which is accompanied with the spirit that gives life.
3. The glory which Moses received at the giving of the law did more and more diminish, because his law was to vanish away; but the glory which is received from Christ is an increasing glory; the doctrine and the Divine influence remaining for ever.
4. The law was veiled under types and shadows; but the Gospel has scarcely any ceremonies; baptism and the Lord's Supper being all that can be properly called such: and Believe, Love, Obey, the great precepts of the Gospel, are delivered with the utmost perspicuity. And indeed the whole doctrine of Christ crucified is made as plain as human language can make it.
5. The Jews only saw the shining of the face of Moses through a veil; but we behold the glory of the Gospel of Christ, in the person of Christ our Lawgiver, with open face.
6. They saw it through a veil, which prevented the reflection or shining of it upon them; and so this glory shone only on the face of Moses, but not at all upon the people. Whereas the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ, shines as in a mirror which reflects the image upon Christian believers, so that they are transformed into the same image, deriving the glorious gifts and graces of the Spirit, with the Gospel, from Christ the Lord and Distributor of them, 1 Corinthians 12:5; and so, the glory which he had from the Father he has given to his genuine followers, John 17:22. It is, therefore, rather with true Christians as it was with Moses himself, concerning whom God speaks thus: With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord (την δοξαν Κυριου, the glory of the Lord) shall he behold; Numbers 12:8. For as he saw the glory of God apparently, so we with open face behold the glory of the Lord: as he, by seeing of this glory, was changed into the same likeness, and his face shone, or was δεδοξασμενη, made glorious; so we, beholding the glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:6, are changed into the same glory.
Thus we find that in every thing the Gospel has a decided superiority over the law and its institutions.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
by the Spirit of the Lord. or, of the Lord the Spirit.
LibraryTwelfth Sunday after Trinity Gospel Transcends Law.
Text: 2 Corinthians 3, 4-11. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 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 …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III
The Letter and the Spirit
Note F. Note from Bengel on Rom. I. 4.
The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one--
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
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