Are we beginning to commend ourselves1 again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation2 to you or from you?
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.33
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,4 not on tablets of stone5 but on tablets of human hearts.64
Such confidence7 as this is ours through Christ before God.
Not that we are competent in ourselves8 to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.96
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant10--not of the letter11 but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.12
Now if the ministry that brought death,13 which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory,14 fading though it was,
will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
If the ministry that condemns men15 is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!1610
For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!