3 Are we starting again to recommend ourselves?+ Or do we, perhaps, like some men, need letters+ of recommendation to YOU or from YOU? 2 YOU yourselves are our letter,+ inscribed on our* hearts and known and being read by all mankind.+ 3 For YOU are shown to be a letter of Christ written by us as ministers,+ inscribed not with ink but with spirit+ of a living God, not on stone tablets,+ but on fleshly tablets, on hearts.*+ 4 Now through the Christ we have this sort of confidence+ toward God. 5 Not that we of ourselves are adequately qualified to reckon anything as issuing from ourselves,+ but our being adequately qualified* issues from God,+ 6 who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers* of a new covenant,+ not of a written code,*+ but of spirit;+ for the written code condemns+ to death, but the spirit makes alive.+ 7 Moreover, if the code which administers death+ and which was engraved* in letters in stones+ came about in a glory,+ so that the sons of Israel could not gaze intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face,+ [a glory] that was to be done away with, 8 why should not the administering of the spirit+ be much more with glory?+ 9 For if the code administering condemnation*+ was glorious,*+ much more does the administering of righteousness+ abound with glory.+ 10 In fact, even that which has once been made glorious has been stripped of glory in this respect,+ because of the glory that excels it.+ 11 For if that which was to be done away with was brought in with glory,+ much more would that which remains be with glory.+ 12 Therefore, as we have such a hope,+ we are using great freeness of speech, 13 and not doing as when Moses would put a veil+ upon his face, that the sons of Israel might not gaze intently at the end+ of that which was to be done away with. 14 But their mental powers were dulled.+ For to this present day the same veil remains unlifted at the reading of the old covenant,*+ because it is done away with by means of Christ.+ 15 In fact, down till today whenever Moses is read,+ a veil lies upon their hearts.+ 16 But when there is a turning to Jehovah,* the veil is taken away.+ 17 Now Jehovah* is the Spirit;+ and where the spirit+ of Jehovah*+ is, there is freedom.+ 18 And all of us,+ while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah,*+ are transformed+ into the same image+ from glory to glory,+ exactly as done by Jehovah*+ [the] Spirit.*
^ “Our,” P46ABCDVgSyh,p; א, “your.”
^ Or, “on tablets, on fleshly hearts.”
^ Lit., “the sufficiency of us.”
^ Or, “servants.” Gr., di·a·koʹnous; Lat., mi·niʹstros (from miʹnus, “less”); J22(Heb.), mesha·rethimʹ.
^ Lit., “of written character.” Gr., gramʹma·tos; Lat., litʹte·rae.
^ Or, “if the administering of death engraved.”
^ Or, “if the administering of condemnation.”
^ Lit., “was a glory.”
^ For a discussion of the expressions “The Old Testament” and “The New Testament,” see App 7E.
^ Or, “by Jehovah’s spirit.”