Get the free app for more features and content.
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all men; 3and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

4Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.

7Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, 8will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? 9For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. 10Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. 11For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.

12Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Featured Resources

New Testament Letters: Historical Context

New Testament Letters: Historical Context

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters or epistles written by early Chris...

BibleProject

Introduction to 2 Corinthians

Introduction to 2 Corinthians

Dr. Cameron Lee introduces 2 Corinthians as a case study in church conflict a...

Fuller Studio

Piper and Charles on Scriptures They Turn to When Discouraged

Piper and Charles on Scriptures They Turn to Wh...

John Piper and H. B. Charles

The Gospel Coalition

New Testament Letters: Literary Context

New Testament Letters: Literary Context

In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders...

BibleProject

Overview: New Testament

Overview: New Testament

Watch our overview video on the New Testament. This video breaks down the lit...

BibleProject

Overview: 2 Corinthians

Overview: 2 Corinthians

Watch our overview video on 2 Corinthians, which breaks down the literary des...

BibleProject

Explore 2 Corinthians 3