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2 Corinthians 3 New Century Version (NCV)

Servants of the New Agreement

Are we starting to brag about ourselves again? Do we need letters of introduction to you or from you, like some other people? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ sent through us. This letter is not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not written on stone tablets[a] but on human hearts.

We can say this, because through Christ we feel certain before God. We are not saying that we can do this work ourselves. It is God who makes us able to do all that we do. He made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people. This new agreement is not a written law, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

The law that brought death was written in words on stone. It came with God’s glory, which made Moses’ face so bright that the Israelites could not continue to look at it. But that glory later disappeared. So surely the new way that brings the Spirit has even more glory. If the law that judged people guilty of sin had glory, surely the new way that makes people right with God has much greater glory. 10 That old law had glory, but it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of this new way. 11 If that law which disappeared came with glory, then this new way which continues forever has much greater glory.

12 We have this hope, so we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a covering over his face so the Israelites would not see it. The glory was disappearing, and Moses did not want them to see it end. 14 But their minds were closed, and even today that same covering hides the meaning when they read the old agreement. That covering is taken away only through Christ. 15 Even today, when they read the law of Moses, there is a covering over their minds. 16 But when a person changes and follows the Lord, that covering is taken away. 17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:3 stone tablets Meaning the Law of Moses that was written on stone tablets (Exodus 24:12; 25:16).
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

2 Corinthians 3 New International Version (NIV)

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 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.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The Greater Glory of the New Covenant

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, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Or reflect
New International Version (NIV)

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