3 Are we beginning to recommend ourselves again? or do we want, as some folks do, letters of commendation to you or from you? 2 You are our letter, inscribed on our hearts, known and read by all men, 3 manifested to be a letter of Christ’s delivered by us, inscribed not in ink but in Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on heart-tablets of flesh. 4 But we have such assurance through the Christ toward God, 5 not that we are adequate of ourselves to count anything as from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 the same who made us adequate as servitors of a new covenant not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills but the spirit brings to life. 7 And if the service of death, in letters, imprinted in stones, came in glory so that the sons of Israel could not fix their eyes on Moses’s face because of that glory of his face which was being superseded, 8 how shall the service of the Spirit not be more greatly in glory? 9 * For if the service of condemnation is glory, much more surpassing in glory is the service of righteousness; 10 for the glorified is even gloryless in this aspect, on account of the glory that outdoes it. 11 For if what is superseded comes in glory, much more does what remains stand in glory. 12 So, having such a hope, we practice great frankness, 13 * and do not do as Moses did when he put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel should not set eyes on the end of what was being superseded; 14 but their senses became callous, for to this very day the same veil remains over the reading of the old covenant, not thrown back—because it is superseded in Christ, 15 but to this day when Moses is read a veil lies over their heart. 16 But when he returns to the Lord the veil is taken off. 17 And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Lord’s Spirit is, freedom is. 18 * But we all of us, viewing the reflection of the Lord’s glory with face freed from its veil, are transfigured into the same likeness, from glory into glory, as should be the case from the Lord’s Spirit.
^ 3:9 Var. has glory
^ 3:13 Lit. and not as Moses put
^ 3:18 Or mirroring the Lord’s glory