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2 Corinthians 3:7-11

Context
The Greater Glory of the Spirit’s Ministry

3:7 But if the ministry that produced death – carved in letters on stone tablets 1  – came with glory, so that the Israelites 2  could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face 3  (a glory 4  which was made ineffective), 5  3:8 how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be? 6  3:9 For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, 7  how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness 8  excel 9  in glory! 3:10 For indeed, what had been glorious now 10  has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it. 11  3:11 For if what was made ineffective 12  came with 13  glory, how much more has what remains 14  come in glory!

1 tn Grk “on stones”; but since this is clearly an allusion to the tablets of the Decalogue (see 2 Cor 3:3) the word “tablets” was supplied in the translation to make the connection clear.

2 tn Grk “so that the sons of Israel.”

3 sn The glory of his face. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the tablets of the Decalogue, the people were afraid to approach him because his face was so radiant (Exod 34:29-30).

4 tn The words “a glory” are not in the Greek text, but the reference to “glory” has been repeated from the previous clause for clarity.

5 tn Or “which was transitory.” Traditionally this phrase is translated as “which was fading away.” The verb καταργέω in the corpus Paulinum uniformly has the meaning “to render inoperative, ineffective”; the same nuance is appropriate here. The glory of Moses’ face was rendered ineffective by the veil Moses wore. For discussion of the meaning of this verb in this context, see S. J. Hafemann, Paul, Moses, and the History of Israel (WUNT 81), 301-13. A similar translation has been adopted in the two other occurrences of the verb in this paragraph in vv. 11 and 13.

6 tn Grk “how will not rather the ministry of the Spirit be with glory?”

7 tn Grk “the ministry of condemnation”; translated as an objective genitive, “the ministry that produced condemnation.”

8 tn Grk “the ministry of righteousness”; translated as an objective genitive, “the ministry that produces righteousness.”

9 tn Traditionally, “abound.”

10 tn Grk “in this case.”

11 tn The words “of what replaced it” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to clarify the meaning.

12 tn Or “what was fading away.” See note on “which was made ineffective” in v. 7.

13 tn Or “through” (διά, dia).

14 tn Or “what is permanent.”



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