2 Corinthians 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Servants of the New Agreement
3 Are we starting to ·brag about [praise; commend] ourselves again? Do we need letters of ·introduction [recommendation] to you or from you, like some other people [C Paul’s opponents evidently carried letters of reference (perhaps from Jerusalem)]? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone [C the changed lives of the Corinthians prove Paul’s credibility as an apostle of Jesus Christ]. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ ·sent through us [delivered by us; or produced by us; the result of our ministry]. This letter is not written with ink but ·with [by] the Spirit of the living God. It is not written on stone tablets [C the law of Moses was written on stone tablets; Ex. 24:12; 32:16] but on human hearts [L hearts of flesh; Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 11:19; 36:26].
4 We can say this, because through Christ we ·feel certain before God [have confidence in God’s presence; or can trust in God]. 5 We are not saying that we ·can do this work ourselves [L are able/competent/adequate to consider anything as from ourselves]. ·It is God who makes us able to do all that we do [L But our ability/competence/adequacy is from God]. 6 He made us ·able [adequate; competent] to be servants of a new ·agreement from himself to his people [covenant; Jer. 31:31–34; Luke 22:20]. This new ·agreement [covenant] is not ·a written law [L of the letter], but it is of the Spirit. The ·written law [L letter] brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
7 The ·law [or old system; L ministry] that brought death was ·written in words [L engraved with letters] on stone. It came with ·God’s glory [L glory], which made Moses’ face so ·bright [glorious] that the ·Israelites [L children of Israel] could not ·continue to look [gaze] at it. But that glory ·later disappeared [was fading; or was made ineffective (by the veil on his face)]. 8 So ·surely [L will not…?] the ·new way that brings [L ministry of] the Spirit has even more glory. 9 [L For] If the ·law that judged people guilty of sin [L ministry of condemnation] had glory, surely the ·new way that makes people right with God [L ministry of righteousness] has much greater glory. 10 For that which had glory [C the law] ·really loses its glory [L has no glory] when it is compared to the much greater glory [C the new way through the Spirit]. 11 [L For] If that which ·disappeared [faded; was made ineffective; C the law; v. 7] came with glory, then that which ·continues forever [remains; abides; C the new way through the Spirit] has much greater glory.
12 We have this hope, so we ·are very bold [or speak with boldness/confidence]. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a ·covering [veil] over his face so the ·Israelites [L children of Israel] would not see it [Ex. 34:29–35]. The glory was ·disappearing [fading; or made ineffective], and Moses did not want them to see it end. 14 But their minds were ·closed [stubborn; hardened], and even today that same ·covering [veil] ·hides the meaning [L remains] when they read the old ·agreement [covenant]. That covering is ·taken away [L not lifted, because it is removed] only through Christ. 15 Even today, when they read ·the law of Moses [L Moses], there is a ·covering over [L veil laying upon] their ·minds [hearts]. 16 But when a person ·changes and follows [L turns to] the Lord, that ·covering [veil] is taken away [Ex. 34:34]. 17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 ·Our faces, then, are not covered [L With an unveiled face…]. We all ·show [reflect; or behold; or contemplate] the Lord’s glory, and we are being ·changed [transformed] ·to be like him [L into the same image]. This change in us ·brings ever greater glory [or is from one degree of glory to another; L is from glory to glory], which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.