1 Are we starting again to commend ourselves? We certainly do not need, as some do, letters of commendation to or from you, do we? 2You are our letter, written in our hearts, understood and read by everyone. 3 You clearly show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the Living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Now we have such confidence through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we of ourselves are capable of thinking that anything came from ourselves. On the contrary, our competence comes from God, 6 who indeed made us capable ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 Now if the ministry of death, which was carved in letters on stone tablets, produced such glory that the children of Israel could not look at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, a glory that was to be abolished, 8 will the ministry of the Spirit not be much more glorious? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, there is much greater glory in the ministry of righteousness. 10 Indeed, that which had been glorious does not now appear glorious because of the surpassingly greater glory. 11 For if that which was to be abolished seemed glorious, how much more glorious is that which remains.
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech, 13 unlike Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel would not stare at the end of that which was to be abolished. 14 On the contrary, their minds were closed, for even until this present day, the same veil remains unlifted during the reading of the old covenant, because that veil is abolished in Christ. 15 But until this very day, whenever Moses is read, a veil remains over their heart. 16 But whenever their heart 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 all of us who with unveiled faces contemplate the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Spirit of the Lord.