1 Am I beginning again to "recommend" myself? Or do I need, as some do, letters of commendation either to you or from you? 2 You are my letter, written on my heart, known and read by all men. 3 Since all can see that you are a letter of Christ transcribed by men, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts as tablets.
4 Such confidence I have through Christ before God. 5 Not that I am sufficient in myself to reach any conclusion in my own wisdom; but my sufficiency is from God. 6 It is he who has also made me sufficient as a minister of a new covenant; not of a letter but of a spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit makes alive.
7 If, however, the administration of death, written with letters and engraved on stones, began in glory, so that the children of Israel could not gaze steadily on the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face?? glory even then fading??8 how much more shall the ministry of the Spirit abide in glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, far more is the ministry of righteousness radiant in glory. 10 Indeed that which once was glorious has lost its glory, because of the glory which surpasses it. 11 For if that which was fading came in glory, far more will that which ever abides be glorious.
12 Therefore, cherishing such a hope, I use great freedom of speech. 13 I do not do as Moses did, who used to cover his face with a veil to keep the children of Israel from beholding the passing of a fading glory. 14 Nay, their minds were made dull; for to this very day, at the public reading of the Old Testament, the same veil rests thereon, because it is not revealed to them that in Christ the veil is taken away. 15 Yes, to this very day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their hearts; 16 but when their heart turns to our Lord the veil is stripped away. 17 (The Lord means the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord abides there is freedom.) 18 And we all, with unveiled faces, reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves continually being transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, as by the Lord, the Spirit.