1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men. 3 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 carnal hearts.
4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves; but our competence is from God, 6 who 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.
7 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, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed it in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away came with glory, much more 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 keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of the radiance that was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, the same veil remains unlifted, because only in Christ is it removed. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But whenever a person 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, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.