2 Corinthians


4. The character of Paul's ministry, 3:1-6:13

ii] The glory of the new covenant


Paul now contrasts the administration of the covenant for the people of Israel with its administration by the apostles, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. One leads to death, the other life. Paul does this in defense of his apostolic authority which was being called into question by some members of the church in Corinth.


i] Context: See 3:1-6.


ii] Background: See 1:1-7.


iii] Structure: The glory of the new covenant:


The written Law brings death,

the Spirit brings life, Exodus 34:28-35:


New covenant ministry is far more glorious, v7-11:

The passage is structured around three conditional clauses:

ei de .... "yet if .... then ....", v7-8,

ei gar .... "for if .... then ....", v9,

ei gar "for if .... then ....", v11.

Paul uses a typical rabbinical method of argumentation, "if X is true, then Y is certainly true."

New covenant ministry is unveiled, v12-18:

opening statement, v12;

text reference, Ex.34:33b, 35, v13;

comments on the text, v14-15;

text reference, Ex.34:34a, v16;

comments on the text, v17-18, cf., Harris.


iv] Interpretation:

Paul tackles his subject by expounding Exodus 34:28-35. This is done in the form of a synagogue "midrash", or interpretative sermon, typical of the first century. The story concerns Moses and the giving of the law. When Moses came down from the mountain with the ten commandments, after his meeting with God, his face was still radiating. Because of the fear of the people, Moses covered his face when speaking with them, and only uncovered it again when speaking with the Lord. Unlike the administration of the covenant that leads to death, the glory of which is both fading and veiled, the administration that leads to life is eternal and unambiguous.


Is the New Covenant new? It is often argued that Paul is setting up a dichotomy between the old and new covenants, but it seems more likely that the dichotomy is between two ministries, or administrations, one of the Law and the other of the Spirit. In reality there is only one covenant, a covenant / agreement of grace first revealed to Abraham, a covenant which rests on the faithfulness of God and is appropriated through faith. Of course, throughout the expanse of Biblical history the covenant is renewed on numerous occasions before it finds its radical fulfillment in Christ, a fulfillment prompting the qualifier "new". The Sinai covenant, with its weight of law, is still, in substance, the Abrahamic covenant. The law, with its attached curse, both forces a reliance on grace/mercy and at the same time directs the child of God ethically (guides the fruit of faith) and eschatology (looks forward to a law written on the heart). So, the dichotomy lies with the covenant's administration. The Sinai covenant, administered under law, although glorious, is both fading, v7-11, and veiled, v12-18, unlike the full realization of the covenant in Christ, administered through the Spirit, which is both eternal and unambiguous.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 3:7

The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life, v7-18: i] The proposition is supported by an implication argument, v7-11. Paul begins his argument by establishing the superiority of the ministry of the gospel over the ministry of the law. Paul is using the word "ministry" here in the sense of "administration", and what he does is compare the administration of the covenant through the auspices of the Mosaic law and its Levitical administrators, and the administration of covenant through the auspices of the Spirit and his apostolic administrators. If the one that brings death comes with glory, how much more will the administration of the Spirit (exercised through Paul and his apostolic team), a ministry which brings life, come with greater glory?

de "now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument.

ei + ind. "if" - if, as is the case [the ministry of death in letters ............. (v8) then how will not rather the ministry of the spirit ......]. Introducing a conditional clause, 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true. The sentence covers verses 7 and 8, with the apodosis in the form of a question in v8; "if the ministry of death ...... came with glory ..... then (v8) how (pwV) will not the ministry of the Spirit be more (mallon) glorious?"

tou qanatou (oV) gen. "[the ministry] that brought death" - [the ministry] of death. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / of product, limiting "ministry"; "the ministry which produces death." Possibly verbal, subjective, or objective; "the ministry / administration (of the law) caused death" - a ministry which may be identified by its death-bringing quality. "Ministry" denotes the totality of the administration of the law as exercised by the priestly class. As such, the word "administration" may well convey the sense better - "the administration of the law" as compared with "the administration of the Spirit." Paul commences his exposition by describing Moses' ministry as one which brought death. These are strong words, particularly as the Jews saw Moses' ministry as life-giving. It was a ministry of death in that the Law carried with it a curse for disobedience, and due to sin, disobedience was inevitable. This doesn't mean that the Law is evil, since it is a divine gift and therefore good. The law's intention is to expose sin and drive the child of God to seek forgiveness through God's mercy, so that ultimately, through Christ, we "might live to God", Gal.2:19. These "letters on stone" which bring "death" came with "glory", although, as Paul puts it, a "fading" glory. The glory of the ministry of the Law would inevitably recede in the face of the glory of the ministry of the Spirit established through the person of Christ.

en + dat. "in [letters]" - in/on [letters]. The preposition is possibly local, expressing space, giving the sense "contained in letters" = "in writing", Weymouth, or instrumental, means, "by letters."

entetupwmenh (entupow) perf. pas. part. "which was engraved" - having been engraved [in stone]. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing manner; "carved in letters on stone", ESV, ie., The Sinai covenant / the ten commandments.

en doxh/ "[came] with glory" - [came] in/on glory. Here the preposition is adverbial, expressing manner, although "came", NIV, is probably better "inaugurated", REB. The divine glory, the shekinah glory is being referred to here.

w{ste + inf. "so that [... could not]" - that [the sons of israel are = were not able]. This construction forms a consecutive clause expressing result, as NIV.

atenisai (atenizw) aor. inf. "look steadily" - to gaze [into the face of moses]. The infinitive is complementary completing the sense of the verb "[not] able".

dia + acc. "because of" - because of, on account of. Introducing a causal clause, as NIV. The people were afraid because of the divine glory.

tou proswpou (on) gen. "its [glory]" - [the glory] of the fact [of him]. The genitive may be taken as subjective, or ablative, source/origin; "the glory radiating from his face."

thn katargoumenhn (katargew) perf. pas. part. "fading though it was" - a glory the fading. We are tempted to tread the participle as adverbial, concessive, "radiating glory, though fading", but the article indicates that it is adjectival, attributive, limiting "glory"; "a glory which is fading."


twV adv. "-" - then how. Interrogative adverb of manner.

estai (eimi) fut. "will" - Paul uses a future tense, from the perspective of the Sinai covenant and its fulfillment in Christ. He is not suggesting the the ministry of the Spirit still lies in the future; "how much greater must be the splendor of the dispensation of the Spirit?", Barclay.

ouci "not" - This negation in a question prompts a definite positive answer. If the law (administration of the law), which brings death, came with great glory, will not the Spirit (the administration of the Spirit = gospel ministry), which brings life, come with greater glory? It certainly will!

tou pneumatoV (a atoV) " of the Spirit" - [more / rather the ministry] of the spirit. The genitive is possibly adjectival, epexegetic, a "ministry" which is identified by its life-bringing qualities, "spirit / Spirit", although it is usually treated as verbal, subjective, "the ministry instituted by the Spirit." The genitive could also be ablative source/origin, "from the Spirit", even adverbial, reference / respect, so Long. Less likely, objective; "a ministry rendered to the Spirit", or "a ministry that bestowed the spirit which makes alive", Lenski. Zerwick actually proposes multiple senses: Subjective, Objective and Epexegetic.

mallon adv. "more" - more / rather. Either used here to express a contrast, "how shall not rather the ministry ...", or as NIV, a surpassing degree, "much more." The Spirit-empowered gospel of Christ, faithfully proclaimed, heard and accepted, gains for the believer right-standing before God; it gains for us life. As such, it is "a much more glorious thing", Phillips.

en doxh/ "be even [more] glorious" - be in glory. The preposition en is best treated as expressing association "will be with glory" = "will be accompanied by/with glory", Harris, although possibly the prepositional phrase expresses a state of being, BAGD 225b.


Contrasting the two kinds of ministries, or administrations, Paul further develops the point that the glory of the ministry of "righteousness" will outshine the glory of the ministry of "condemnation". The ministry of "condemnation" concerns the administration of the Law, along with its condemning curse. The ministry of "righteousness" concerns the administration of the Spirit (in practical terms, "the gospel") which justifies - ie., makes right with God (enlivens, gives life).

gar "-" - for. More reason than cause; explaining how the point made in v7 and 8 applies, a kind of "let me explain further, if ...."

ei "if" - Introducing a conditional clause, 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, there is/was glory in the administration of condemnation, then by how much more does the administration of righteousness abound in glory."

th/ diakonia/ (a) dat. "the ministry" - the administration. The dative is local, of sphere, "if there was glory in the sphere of the administration of condemnation", or reference / respect, "with respect to the administration of condemnation."

thV katakrisewV (iV ewV) gen. "that condemns / that brought condemnation" - of condemnation [is glorious]. The genitive may be treated as verbal, subjective, or adjectival, limiting "ministry", attributive, or epexegetic, or idiomatic / of product, "a ministry / administration which issues in condemnation." If the ministry / administration of the law, carrying as it did the curse for disobedience, enacting condemnation, has a degree of glory, then ......... "If the dispensation which ends in man's condemnation by God had its splendor, how much more ......", Barclay.

pollw/ mallon "how much more" - then much more / rather. The dative adjective pollw is adverbial, modal, expressing manner. The adverb mallon again expresses surpassing degree, so as NIV. See above for Paul's lesser to greater form of argumentation.

doxh/ (a) dat. "glorious" - [abounds the administration of righteousness] in glory. Again the dative is adverbial, modal, expressing manner; "how much more does the administration of righteousness abound with glory."

thV dikaiosunhV (h) gen. "righteousness" - of righteousness, justice. The genitive as above. The ministry of the gospel brings right-standing in the presence of God, ie., "righteousness" here is used in the sense of "justification"; "a verdict of acquittal in the divine judgement", Thrall / Barrett.


The glory associated with the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai does not compare with the revelation of God in the gospel, for the administration of the Law is a passing thing, whereas the administration of the Spirit will continue. Thus, the glory of the new supersedes the old.

kai gar "for" - and for. The kai is probably emphatic, while gar is again explanatory, supporting v9, "for indeed"; "for in fact", Zerwick.

en toutw/ tw/ merei "-" - in this part. This phrase possibly modifies the substantive participle giving the sense "that which has been partially glorified", Hering, although Harris argues that it is adverbial, modifying ou dedoxastai, giving the sense "in this matter / connection", and so refers back to that which abounds the more, v9; "indeed, in this respect, what was once glorious has lost its claim to glory."

to dedoxasmenon (doxazw) perf. pas. part. "what was glorious" - the thing having been glorified. The participle serves as a substantive, "the thing" being the administrative functions and functionaries of the Mosaic law, rather than Moses face; "what was endowed with glory", NAB.

ou dedoxastai (doxazw) perf. pas. "has no glory" - has not been glorified. An oxymoron; "what has had splendor has not had splendor", Furnish, giving the sense "what was at one time clothed in splendor is now divested of its splendor because of the new and surpassing splendor which has emerged", Barclay.

ei{neken + gen. "in comparison" - because of, on account of [the surpassing glory]. Expressing cause / reason; "on account of the splendor that wholly outshines it", Cassirer.


gar "and" - for. Explanatory as above. Paul's logic is that what fades (namely the ministry of death, v7, the ministry of condemnation, v9) is inferior to the ministry / administration which abides.

ei ....pollw/ mallon "if ... how much greater ..." - See v9.

to katargoumenon (katargew) perf. pas. part. "what was fading away / transitory" - the thing fading away, being made of no effect. The participle serves as a substantive. As above, that which fades away can be the shine on Moses' face (so Harris), or the administration of the law / covenant (so Thrall), or both. The administration of the law / the paraphernalia of the Sinai covenant, seems best - not the covenant itself, but the administration under which it operated, ie., the Sinai administration of the covenant. "What faded", Moffatt.

dia + gen. "[came] with [glory]" - came through / by means of [glory, how much more]. Possibly simply instrumental, expressing means, although the phrase dia doxhV is clearly elliptical with "came" assumed; "if what was fading came by means of glory" - is that divine glory, or Moses' glory? Plummer suggest that the two prepositional phrases here, dia doxhV and en doxh/ simply express "the difference between what passes and what abides." "If that which comes and soon passes away has somewhat glory, how much more must that which for ever abides be arrayed in glory", Plummer.

en doxh/ (a) dat. "is the glory" - [the thing remaining] in glory. The dative probably expresses manner, "with glory", possibly space / sphere; see v7.

to menon (menw) pres. part. "of that which lasts" - the thing remaining. The participle serves as a substantive. Note that there are no verbs in this verse, such that the participles serve to heighten contrast.


ii] The proposition is supported by reference to scripture, Ex.34:33-35, v12-18. Having established the superiority of the ministry / administration, of the covenant under the gospel, Paul now identifies the different approaches between the two administrations. On the basis of the superiority of gospel ministry, Paul and his apostolic team can be "very bold" in their ministry.

oun "therefore" - Drawing a logical conclusion. Given that the ministry / administration of the Spirit empowering gospel ministry for the realization of the covenant promises in Christ is to menon "the thing remaining", v11 (ie., is permanent), Paul therefore is able to play his part in the ministry of the Spirit with "confidence, in plain speech and with open behavior", Thrall. This claim by Paul stands in contrast to the criticisms made against him that he is less than open, obscure, weak, and driven by questionable motives.

econteV (ecw) pres. part. "since we have" - having. The participle is adverbial, probably causal, "because we have".

toiauthn pro. "such" - [a hope] of such a kind. Accusative direct object of the participle "having". The hope expressed in 3:11.

pollh/ parrhsia/ dat. "very bold" - [we act / behave] with much boldness, courage, freedom. The dative may be viewed as instrumental, "with open behavior", Belleville, Reflections of Glory, or as a dative of direct object after the verb "to act."


Paul notes that this was not the case with Moses who had to veil his face. Paul is making the point that he and his team can preach and teach with open and complete frankness. They have a brilliantly clear revelation from God. For this reason, they can be bold. He goes on to develop the idea of the revelational clarity of his gospel ministry.

kai ou "we are not" - and not. Elliptical; "we have not been like Moses", Barclay.

kaqaper "like [Moses]" - as, like [moses]. Comparative.

etiqei (tiqhmi) imperf. "who would put" - he was putting. The imperfect is durative / iterative, so "his habit was to place", Harris.

kalumma (a) "a veil" - a covering. Accusative direct object of the verb "to place." Paul's point is that the covering hides the glory, and continues to do so. The reality of the covenant, with its focus on divine grace, is veiled from those who stand under the Sinai covenant, under the law. For the Jewish / Christian nomists, the law has become an instrument for maintaining the covenant, maintaining grace, rather than an instrument to promote faith, and now serves to hide the true means of grace from their sight.

epi + acc. "over" - upon, on [the face of him]. Spacial.

proV to mh atenisai "to keep [the Israelites] from gazing / to prevent [the Israelites] from seeing" - toward the not to look at. This preposition with a [negated] articular infinitive usually forms a purpose clause "in order that" / hypothetical result, "so that". The purpose, or intended result, is unclear. See Harris for his 5 favorites! It is likely that the problem is simply one of expression, such that Paul is not making an obtuse point. Moses covered his face so that Israel could not see its radiant glory and he did this because they were afraid and unable to look at him. Paul maintains this thought, simply adding that it was a fading glory, a glory which does not compare with the glory now evident in the ministry of the Spirit; "to [in order to] keep the children of Israel from gazing at the last rays of a fading glory", Moffatt.

israhl "Israelites" - [the sons] of israel. "Israel" is assumed genitive, adjectival, relational.

eiV to teloV "while / the end" - to the end. "up to the end", Zerwick. This prepositional construction is adverbial, probably temporal. Not referring to the parousia, just the simple reality of a historical event. The veil remained until the glow left Moses' face; "until it finally disappeared", Barclay. Tradition had it that the glow remained through to his death.

tou katargoumenou (katargew) gen. pres. pas. part. "the radiance was fading away / of what was passing away" - of the thing fading away. The participle serves as a substantive, while the genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting / specifying the intended "end"; "the end of that which was being discontinued" = "the end of the fading splendor."


The synagogue practice of veiling the Torah and wearing a cover over the head, continues the image of the veiling of truth to the present day. In fact, the veil is over the mind. For those in the synagogue, listening to the reading of the scriptures, truth is hidden from them. Yet, the veil can be taken away. God reveals the truth of the gospel to those who "seek", "ask", "knock", "turn", (reach out to Jesus), v14-16.

alla "but" - but. Strong adversative.

epwrwqh (pwrow) aor. pas. "were made dull" - [the thoughts, mind of them] were hardened, made stubborn, dimmed. Paul now applies the image. Another veil covers the divine glory and this is placed over the Law and has confused and blinded the people. Synagogue practice of veiling the Torah and wearing a cover over the head continues the image of the veiling (hiding) of truth to the present day. In the preaching of the Law in the synagogue, a veil of unbelief remains. Only through the preaching and hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ is it possible for the veil of unbelief to be removed.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why their minds are dull.

acri + gen. "to [this day]" - until [the present day]. Temporal.

to auto "the same" - the same [veil remains]. Articular pronoun.

epi + dat. "when" - upon, on. Temporal use of the preposition; "when they read the old covenant."

thV palaiaV diaqhhV gen. "the old covenant" - [the reading] of the old covenant. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the reading", or verbal, objective. "The old covenant" being the Sinai covenant, the Law, the Torah.

mh anakaluptomenon (anakaluptw) pres. pas. part. "It has not been removed" - not being uncovered, unveiled. The function of this participle is somewhat unclear. It is probably an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main durative present tense verb "remain", although here a negated restatement; "the veil remains and is not taken away" - "it remains, unlifted, ...." An unlikely possibility is that it serves as a rare accusative absolute; "the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed that it is done away", RV margin, cf., Zerwick.

oJti "because" - that. The function of this conjunction is unclear. It may introduce an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what is not revealed, "it is not revealed that it is abolished in Christ", although a causal clause, "because", is more likely, as NIV.

en Cristw/ "in Christ" - Expressing sphere, incorporative union; "in union with Christ." "It is only when a person unites themselves with Christ", Cassirer, "becomes a Christian", Barclay.

katargeitai (katargew) pres. pas. "is it taken away" - it is being abolished. The word is used of the "fading away" of the divine glory in Moses face and in the dispensation of death, cf., 7, 11, 13, but it seems likely that its subject here is the "veil". Thrall suggests that Paul has in mind the temporary removal of the veil over the time Moses' face was glowing. For a believer this temporary state is ended, "is done away with", Cassirer.


alla "even" - but even. As a restatement of v14 the conjunction is best read as "indeed", NRSV.

e{wV "to [this day]" - until [today]. Temporal, expressing time up to.

hJnika a]n + subj. "when" - whenever [moses is being read]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause; "whenever Moses is read."

keitai (keimai) pres. "[a veil] covers [their hearts]" - [a veil] lies [on, over, upon the heart of them]. "There is still a veil over their minds", Phillips.


de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, here to a contrastive, as NIV.

hJnika .. ean + subj. "whenever" - whenever. Forming an indefinite temporal conditional clause; "whenever, as the case may be, ...., then [the veil is removed]"

epistreyh/ (epistrefw) aor. subj. "anyone turns" - turns back, returns. Impersonal = heart, Israel, any person ... Still using the Moses imagery, Paul reminds his readers that when Moses went before the Lord, the veil was taken away and he beheld the glory of the Lord and communed with him. So too may a person today come before the Lord and have the veil taken from them and thus know the living God. "Whenever anyone turns to the Lord" (for Moses, the Lord is the God of Israel, for Paul he is Jesus Christ) the veil of unbelief is removed and their eyes opened to gospel truth.

proV + acc. "to" - toward [the lord, the veil is taken away]. Expressing movement toward.


In the ministry of Paul and his apostolic team, the veil-lifting role is performed by the Spirit. So, Paul's ministry is marked by freedom of expression and action; he is "bold".

to pneuma "the Spirit" - [but/and the lord is] the spirit. The article is present, although often absent with a predicate, since Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit, not "a spirit". The Holy Spirit empowers the gospel so that it is no longer just mere words. He accompanies the preaching and lifts the veil of unbelief for those who turn to Christ in the hearing of the preached word. Another good reason why Paul is "very bold".

ou| "where" - [but/and] where. Local adverb.

kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - [the spirit] of lord is. The genitive is probably ablative, expressing source / origin, "the Spirit sent from the Lord", presumably "the Lord Jesus", but possibly adjectival, relational / possessive.

eleuqeria (a) "there is freedom" - there is freedom. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. "Where the Spirit is there is freedom." The Spirit frees us from law, sin and death. Given the context, Paul is obviously thinking of the Law. Believers are freed from the old covenantal law and its curse, in that they possess right-standing in the sight of God by means of a new covenantal law - "the righteousness that is by faith". The Spirit actively empowers the gospel to free the believer from the curse of the law, incorporating them in Christ and renewing them in the image of Christ (writes the law of God in our heart). Thus, we are freed from submission to the letter, from the legal keeping of regulations, and are released to serve the Lord through the indwelling power of the Spirit of Christ.


Having given the grounds for his boldness in ministry, Paul states how his words apply to all believers. All those who have turned to Christ have had the veil of unbelief lifted from them and through the enlightening ministry of the Holy Spirit, now see God face to face. This verse serves as the climax of the passage.

The main verb metamorfoumeqa, "are being transformed", is modified by two participial adverbial constructions, the first being instrumental, although not expressing means but rather, taking the dative, it expresses association, "with a face unveiled", and the second possibly temporal, "while fixing our gaze"; "and we - all of us - while beholding the mirrored glory of the Lord with a face that has been unveiled, are being transformed ....." The transformation is "into" (assumed) the same likeness, apo "from" glory eiV "to" glory, ie., the transformation is "into his very likeness, always moving on to greater and greater glory - and this is the work of the Lord who is the Spirit", Barclay.

hJmeiV de panteV "and we ..... all" - but/and we all. Emphatic by position.

anakekalummenw/ (anakaluptw) dat. perf. pas. part. "who with unveiled [faces]" - with [a face] having been unveiled, uncovered. The participle could be treated as adjectival limiting "face", "a face which is uncovered", but is more likely adverbial, as above. So, the dative is instrumental, of association / accompaniment, or possibly modal, expressing manner.

katoptrizomenoi (katoprizw) pres. mid. part. "reflect / contemplate" - seeing reflected in a mirror. The participle is adverbial, see note above. With this word Paul illustrates a face-to-face encounter with God, and if this is the case, both the NIV and TNIV translations are somewhat misleading. The reflection of the divine is viewed as in a distorted mirror, the type of mirror available in the first century. For us it is best understood as viewing through a cloudy, distorted piece of glass. Believers do not see "the immediate, beatific vision of the glory of the Lord, which is only enjoyed in heaven, but that manifestation of his glory which is made in his word and by his Spirit, whose office it is to glorify Christ by revealing him to us", Hodge. Looking through the looking-glass of the gospel, the believer doesn't actually see God, they see Jesus, the one in whom God becomes visible. In that vision the believer is transformed into the image of Jesus, albeit imperfectly, ie., we become increasingly glorious, in the sense of spiritually transformed through the renewing ministry of the Spirit, as opposed to Moses whose glory was outward and diminished over time. "They shall be changed..... from beauty into loveliness, and from light into the splendor of glory", 2 Baruch 101:3,7,10. "And all of us, with unveiled faces, looking at the glory of the Lord as in a (cloudy) mirror", Harris.

kuriou (oV) gen. "the [Lord's] glory" - [the glory] of the lord. The NIV takes the genitive as adjectival, possessive, although possible ablative, source/origin, "the glory radiating from the Lord."

metamorfoumeqa (metamorfow) pres. pas. "are being transformed" - are being changed into. Probably with the sense "transfigured". "The idea is that our essential being escalates from one degree of glory to the next, and so on, so that ultimately we shall be identical to Christ with respect to his humanity", Naylor. The statement "with respect to his humanity" is an understandable qualification. It seems somewhat bold to suggest that we will be transformed into the likeness of Christ's divinity, but then we will be transformed into the likeness of his resurrection-self, glorious as it is. So, it may not be wide of the mark to say that we will be divine-like, possibly even possessing life in our own right rather than derived as now. All this will soon be revealed! cf., 1Cor.15:48-49, 1Jn.3:2.

thn authn eikona "[into] his likeness" - the same image. Accusative direct object of the verb "being transformed." As of the image of a monarch on a nations coinage. "Same" = "that very image."

apo .... eiV "with ever increasing [glory]" - from [glory] to [glory]. This construction expresses progression - we are changed progressively into Christ's image, a spiritual progression undertaken by the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

kaqaper "which comes" - as, just as. This comparative conjunction kaqaper = kata + a{ + per takes the sense of "just as / like / in accord with those things [which come from the Lord]". The sense of this qualification is somewhat obscure. Naylor suggests that Paul is making the point that "when the Lord [who is] the Spirit exercises his sovereign power there must be renewal"; "- and that fittingly enough, seeing that everything is wrought by the Lord", Cassirer.

apo + gen. "from" - from. Expressing source / origin.

pnematoV "who is the Spirit" - [the lord], spirit. Genitive in apposition to "Lord", so NIV and Naylor above. The phrase "the Spirit of Christ" is sometimes used of the Holy Spirit, probably expressing source, in that Christ gives the Spirit (although note that the Western church holds that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son). The statement "the Lord who is the Spirit" is somewhat left-field. It is possible that kuriou "L/lord" takes the sense "sovereign" here such that the genitive is adjectival, attributive; "sovereign Spirit." Barnett treats the two genitives together as an example of Pauline short-talk (semantic density) and suggests that "Lord" means "the Lord Jesus" and "Spirit" means "the Holy Spirit". "The one who is the end of our transformation ("the Lord") is also its provider (through "the Spirit").


2 Corinthians Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]