2 Cor 3:7-11

The Surpassing Glory of the New Covenant Ministry


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7 Now if the ministry that brings death by means of letters carved in stone was attended by glory, so that the sons of Israel were unable to gaze earnestly upon the face of Moses because of the glory of his face - [a glory] which was being rendered ineffectual -8 isn’t it then absolutely certain that the ministry that brings the Spirit is attended by glory? 9 For if the ministry that brings condemnation was attended by glory, how much more certainly must the ministry that brings righteousness abound in glory!’ 10 For indeed, in this respect, that which is glorious is not glorious at all, on account of the surpassing glory. 11 ‘For if that which is being set aside was attended by glory, how much more certainly will that which is permanent be attended by glory! 

Following the golden calf episode (Exodus 32), to which Paul alluded in the Letter of Tears, Moses returned to the summit of Mount Sinai to intercede for Israel (Exod 32:30-34:28). When he returned to the camp, carrying a second set of the stone tablets of the covenant, and having been granted his request to see YHWH’s glory (33:18-23), his face was shining:

29 And as Moyses was descending from the mountain, the two tablets also were in Moyses' hands. Now as he was descending from the mountain Moyses did not know that the appearance of his face was charged with glory (δεδόξασται ἡ ὄψις τοῦ χρώματος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ) while he was speaking to him. 30 And Aaron and all the elders of Israel saw Moyses, and the appearance of the skin of his face was charged with glory, and they were afraid to come near to him. 31 And Moyses called them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation turned to him. 32 And after these things all the sons of Israel drew near to him, and he commanded them all the things the Lord said to him on the mountain, Sina. (Exod 34:29-32 NETS)

While Moses was with Yahweh on Mount Sinai the first time, the people dismissed him with the words, 'As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him' (Exod 32:1 NIV). When he descended the mountain the second time, the glory of Moses' face provided an unmistakable sign of his authority as Yahweh's representative; [1] and as Newman observes, in 2 Cor 3:7ff 'Paul recognizes that Moses' reception of the law was attended by and thus legitimized by God's כבוד-δόξα'. [2] Though Moses subsequently veiled himself, Paul's choice of  ἀτενίζω ('look intently at, stare at') in vv. 7, 13 rather than, e.g., αὐγάζω ('see'), suggests that the apostle believed the people would catch a glimpse of the glory of Moses' face, and so be reminded of his legitimacy as Yahweh's spokesman, whenever he emerged from the Tent of Meeting after speaking with Yahweh. [3]

Paul's opponents have responded to the Letter of Tears, ridiculing his self-comparison with Moses, claiming that when it comes to appearance as a sign of divine authority it is they, not Paul, who exhibit Moses-like magnificence. Taking up the narrative at Exod 34:29, therefore, Paul argues that his own ministry is in fact attended (and, by implication, legitimized) by glory, and by a far greater glory than that of Moses.


εἰ δὲ ἡ διακονία τοῦ θανάτου ἐν γράμμασιν a ἐντετυπωμένη b λίθοις ἐγενήθη ἐν δόξῃ, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι ἀτενίσαι τοὺς υἱοὺς ἰσραὴλ εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον Μωὑσέως διὰ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ τὴν καταργουμένην, πῶς οὐχὶ μᾶλλον ἡ διακονία τοῦ πνεύματος ἔσται ἐν δόξῃ;

a γράμματι is read by B D*.c F G syp, probably by assimilation to the singular γράμματος of v. 6. [4]

b ἐν λίθοις is read by א2 D1 K L Ψ 104 365 1175 1241 1505 1881 2464 Majority Text lat Ambrosiaster; λίθοις is read by p46 א* A B C D* F G P 0243 6 33 81 630 1175 1739 Origen Epiphanius. Thrall notes that locative datives are rare, and ἐν λίθοις could be a scribal alteration.

‘Now if the ministry [5] that brings death [6] by means of [7] letters [8] carved on stone was attended by [9] glory, [10] so that the sons of Israel were unable to gaze intently at the face [11] of Moses because of  the glory of his face (which was being rendered ineffectual), [12] 8 then why should not more surely [13] the ministry that brings the Spirit be attended by glory?’

Justifying his claim to have been made competent by God for his new covenant ministry (3:5-6), Paul now takes up the Sinai narrative at Exod 34:29, arguing a fortiori : if the ministry that brings death by means of letters carved on stones [14] was attended by glory (δόξα), then surely even more certainly the ministry that brings the Spirit (which makes alive, v. 6) must also be attended by glory. In secular Greek, a person's δόξα is 'the opinion which others have of one' (LSJ s.v. II.1, generally in a positive sense; 'fame, recognition, renown, honour, prestige'; [15] also 'splendour', for example, of a king's royal robes.) [16] In the LXX, however, δόξα was commonly used to render the Hebrew כבוד. When used theologically, כבוד references God's visible presence, in association with manifestations of light and, by extension, God's 'presence and power' in the broader sense. [17] The sense of  the term δόξα, ‘brightness, splendour, radiance’, [18] was almost unknown in secular Greek, but is common in the translation Greek of LXX, and particularly of Isaiah. Brocklington comments,

[This] use of the word [δόξα], particularly in the New Testament, may well have its origin in the fondness shown for it by the Isaiah translator. In the use that he made of it a number of Hebrew words and their connotation were absorbed, chiefly words which were used to describe splendour, beauty and majesty. Gaining in this way more and more emphasis on external appearance, it was an appropriate portmanteau word to use in relation to the appearance of God in theophany. [19]

The phrase יהוה כבוד ('the glory of Yahweh'), a technical term in the OT and post-biblical Jewish tradition for the visible, mobile presence of God, [20] occurs about 30 times in the MT; the LXX always renders by δόξα κυρίου or δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ. When כבוד occurs with a personal pronoun referring to Yahweh, it is always translated by δόξα. [21]

The glory of Moses' face bore witness to the divine authority of his ministry and the commandments that he delivered. The appearance of the divine glory at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting also validated Aaron's priestly ministry (Lev 9:23; cf. Exod 40:34-35), but also signified imminent judgment (e.g. Num 14:10-23a; 16:19-50). Commenting on the appearance of the יהוה כבוד in the Pentateuchal Wilderness narratives Newman rightly states, 'The one constant throughout the passages is the seriousness of sin. When יהוה כבוד dramatically appears to warn of sin, it does so at the Tent of Meeting, the place of worship, to punish those who disobey the word of the legitimized leaders'. [22] In LXX Isaiah, however, the divine δόξα is closely associated with YHWH’s saving presence and power. For example, Isa 40:5 MT reads, ‘Then the glory of the Lord (יהוה כבוד) shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together’ (NRSV); the LXX, however, has all flesh see, not the glory per se, but ‘the salvation of God’ (τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ). Brocklington comments, ‘Since this is a revelation of the full majesty of God’s glory (or person) the translator seems to have been reluctant to speak of all flesh seeing it: all flesh may, however, be allowed to see the effect of God’s presence, the salvation of his people …’ [23] In LXX Isaiah, the divine δόξα describes the experience of epiphany.

If the visible manifestation of the divine presence attended Moses' ministry, which delivered the Law engraved on stones, resulting in death, Paul argues, how much more certainly must God's δόξα attend the ministry of the Spirit, which writes the Law on fleshly hearts, resulting in life (3:3, 6). Already, in 2:15-3:6, Paul has described his ministry as an epiphany procession and a participation in the Second Exodus. He ministers as an envoy of Christ, the Isaianic Servant. It is in this sense that Paul claims that his own ministry is attended by δόξα: all who encounter the apostle experience epiphany: those who are perishing experience a deadly fume, but those who are being saved experience a life-giving fragrance (2:15-16b). Given the Χριστοῦ εὐωδία metaphor of 2:15, the reader may perhaps conjecture already that the glory of Paul’s new covenant ministry is experienced through the apostle’s sufferings, which mediate an epiphany of the crucified Christ (cf. 4:10-11).

However, Paul intrudes into his simple a fortiori construction a further comment upon the Exodus narrative: Moses’ face shone with the divine glory, ‘so that the sons of Israel were unable to gaze intently (ἀτενίσαι) upon the face of Moses because of the δόξα of his face’. Now the Exodus narrative states that when the people saw Moses, they were afraid (34:30); but neither the MT nor the LXX, nor indeed the Targumim, say that they were unable to look directly at his shining face; [24] and the verb ἀτενίζω does not occur in the translation Greek of the LXX. Many interpreters suppose that Paul must be following a tradition preserved by Philo:

[Moses] descended with a countenance far more beautiful than when he ascended, so that those who saw him were filled with awe and amazement; nor even could their eyes continue to stand the dazzling brightness that flashed from him like the rays of the sun. [25]

But Paul's comment in vv. 12-13, that Moses wore a veil to prevent the people staring at the glory, implies that the people may well have stared, had he not worn the veil. Vv. 12-13 would then make sense only if the glory of Moses’ face was already beginning to fade when he came down from Sinai, was renewed whenever he spoke with the Lord, but soon faded away again after he left the Tent. Most English versions assume that Paul read the Exodus narrative this way; the NIV, for example, renders, 'so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was'. It is very doubtful, however, that the participle καταργουμένην should be understood in this way. The notion that the glory of Moses’ face was fading cannot be read out of the Exodus narrative, [26] and Targum Neofiti, Targum Onkelos and the Fragment Targum all agree that the splendour of Moses’ face was undiminished when he died. [27] Indeed, this was the usual Jewish tradition. [28] Paul was engaged in a fierce debate with his Jewish opponents, and it seems unlikely that he would have risked dependence upon an obscure tradition that could so easily have been dismissed as mere invention. [29]

The people of Israel were unable to gaze upon Moses’ face, Paul says, διὰ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ προσώπου αὐτου τὴν καταργουμένην. Two senses of the verb καταργέω must be considered: 'to cause something to lose its power or effectiveness, make powerless ', [30] and 'to cause something to come to an end or to be no longer in existence, abolish, set aside'. [31] The time reference of the attributive present passive participle καταργουμένην can only be determined from context; [32] hence three possible senses have been proposed: (a) 'though it is being set aside’ (cf. vv. 10-11); [33] (b) 'which was being brought to an end', i.e. was fading (the dominant interpretation); or (c) ‘which was being rendered ineffectual / powerless’. [34] The second option has been ruled out; the immediate context favours the third option. The divine glory present among the people on the face of Moses both endorsed Moses' ministry and represented the initial fulfilment of  Yahweh's key covenantal promise, that he would dwell among his people and be their God (Exod 19:5-6a; 25:8; 29:45f; cf. Lev. 26:11-13). [35] The purpose of the glory, therefore was salvific; yet, as Paul has already pointed out (1 Cor 10:5), God was not pleased with most of the Exodus generation, and their bodies were strewn across the desert. The problem was the hardness of their hearts: despite the visible presence of God among them, they rejected the authority of Moses and Aaron and disobeyed God. The implied agent of the verbal action of τὴν καταργουμένην is therefore the hardness of the people's hearts. [36]

Paul's understanding of the people's initial inability to gaze upon the face of Moses still requires an explanation. It is suggested that Paul understood the narrative as follows: when Moses returned from Sinai the second time, the people were unable to look steadily at the glory of Moses face because the epiphany filled them with fear and shame as they recalled the golden calf episode. This seems to be the understanding of the author of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and TReub 4:2 appears to be dependent on 2 Cor 3:7. Paul's a fortiori argument therefore runs as follows: If Moses' ministry of the letter written on stone tablets which, despite the salvific intent of the old covenant, actually kills was nevertheless attended by glory - despite the fact that the glory failed in its salvific intent because it was rendered ineffectual by the hardness of the people's hearts - how much more surely must the apostle's ministry of the Spirit, which writes the Law on tablets that are fleshly hearts (v. 3), achieving its salvific purpose, be attended by glory?


εἰ γὰρ τῇ a διακονίᾳ τῆς κατακρίσεως δόξα, πολλῷ μᾶλλον περισσεύει ἡ διακονία τῆς δικαιοσύνης b δόξῃ.

a ἡ διακονία is read by B D1 K L P 365 629c 1241 1881 Majority Text ar f vg bo, perhaps by assimilation to the preceding (vv. 7, 8) and following ἡ διακονία. [37] τῇ διακονίᾳ has the stronger attestation, being read by p46 א A C D* F G Ψ 0243 33 104 326 630 1175 1739 (b) sy sa Ambrosiaster Pelagius. 81 629* 1505 2464 omit the article.

b ἐν δοξῇ is read by  א2 D F G K L P Ψ 104 365 630 1175 1241 1505 1881c 2464 Majority Text latt, probably by assimilation to ἐν δοξῇ in 3:7, 8, 11. [38]

‘For if glory [attended] [39] the ministry that brings condemnation, [40] how much more certainly [41] must the ministry that brings righteousness [42] abound [43] in glory!’

Paul’s second a fortiori argument strengthens the first (γάρ). Moses’ ministry brought death because, through the commandments of the Law, it brought condemnation (κατάκρισις), and hence the prescribed sentence (κατάκριμα) for breaking the Law (cf. Rom 6:23; 7:7-10; Gal 3:10). Paul's new covenant ministry, however, brings not condemnation, but righteousness, δικαιοσύνη. The term δικαιοσύνη is common in the LXX, where in the vast majority of instances it renders the noun צדקה (about 135 instances) or forms of the verb צדק. From the earliest pre-exilic tradition צדקה was

a term that established the grounds for a harmonious relationship between parties in accordance with mutual obligations of just behaviour. Yahweh pledged his lasting faithfulness to Israel's welfare. Conversely, Israel pledged its loyalty to God (Deut. 6:25; 24:13; Ps. 106:31) … the reciprocal relationship between God and his people has always been a constitutive of the term and is fundamental to Israel's understanding of law and grace. [44]

The suffix -συνη indicates that like צדקה, δικαιοσύνη, which is derived from the adjective δίκαιος, 'upright, just' is an attribute or quality, [45] and Schrenk characterizes human δικαιοσύνη in the LXX as 'the observance of the will of God which is well-pleasing to him'. [46] Through Paul's new covenant ministry, believers receive a new heart on which the Spirit writes the Law, producing uprightness (3:3, 6), [47] as well as forgiveness of sins and the legal status of righteousness [48] before God (cf. 5:21). Paul is sure that his readers will see the force of his inference: if glory attended the Mosaic ministry, though it brought condemnation, then how much more must the apostolic  ministry, which brings right relationship with God, abound in glory! 


καὶ γὰρ οὐ δεδόξασται τὸ δεδοξασμένον ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει εἵνεκεν τῆς ὑπερβαλλούσης δόξης

‘For indeed, in this respect, [49] that which is glorious is not glorious at all, on account of the surpassing glory.’

Since the perfect of δοξάζω refers three times in Exod 34:29-35 LXX to Moses’ face, the neuter participle τὸ δεδοξασμένον (‘that which has been glorified’, ‘that which is glorious’) likely refers also to the glory of Moses’ face, but as a metonym for the glory of the old covenant ministry. The function of the verse is to strengthen (καὶ γάρ) v. 9b: [50] in view of the presuppositions of the preceding comparisons (that the ministry of the letter brings condemnation and death, but the ministry of the Spirit brings righteousness and life), it is inferred that the glory of the ministry of the Spirit is so overwhelming that the glory Moses’ ministry is totally eclipsed. Robertson aptly comments, ‘The moon makes a dim light after the sun rises … the Sun of Righteousness has thrown Moses in the shade’. [51]


εἰ γὰρ τὸ καταργούμενον διὰ δόξης, πολλῷ μᾶλλον τὸ μένον ἐν δόξῃ.

‘For if that which is being set aside [52] was attended [53] by [54] glory, how much more surely [55] will that which is permanent [56] be attended by [57] glory!’

Paul’s third and final a fortiori argument contrasts τὸ καταργούμενον, ‘that which is being set aside’ (i.e. the ministry of the old covenant; cf. Gal 3:24-25), [58] with τὸ μένον, ‘that which endures’. He contrasts his own new covenant ministry, a ministry in which, as Christ’s envoy, he leads God’s people in a new Exodus with the ministry of Moses, who led the original Exodus. The process of salvation that began in Egypt and reached its climax at Sinai, with the giving of the Law and the manifestation of the divine glory among the covenant people, first on the face of Moses and then in the Tabernacle, and which continues to the present day under the leadership of the Jewish priesthood, is finally in process of being set aside. It is being superseded by the (vastly superior) provisions of the new Exodus, with its new covenant (cf. Jer 23:7-8). [59] So Paul concludes his proof that his own ministry is attended by glory: if the temporary ministry of the old covenant was attended by a manifestation of the glory of God then, far more certainly, so also is the permanent ministry of the new covenant!

Paul does not specify here the precise nature of the surpassing glory of his new covenant ministry. However, the term πρόσωπον, in addition to the sense ‘face’, can also mean ‘person’, in the sense of one’s entire bodily presence, [60] and the term can also function as the semantic equivalent of the Latin persona, one’s social identity [61] (persona 'is not primarily what a human being is, but rather a role or status a human being has or maintains or undertakes or bears or assumes'). [62] In Roman society, one's external appearance identified one's social rank and status. Clothing marked social rank: [63]

Everyone dressed according to rank. Senators displayed on their togas the broad purple stripe, known as the lattus lavus. Equestrians donned a citizen toga with a narrow purple stripe, and they wore a characteristic gold ring to mark out their membership in the order. Even the lowly Freedman had an article of clothing that publicly proclaimed his rank in society: the pillius, a close-fitting felt cap shaped like half an egg that he wore upon manumission. [64]

Other external markers of status included eloquence, a fine voice and physical beauty. As Nguyen points out, ‘the superficial projections of prestige and beauty were especially important for sophists and the presentation and assessment of their persona.’ [65] Paul’s sophistic opponents could certainly be relied upon to attempt to ridicule the implied comparison of the apostle’s lowly πρόσωπον/persona with the god-like status projected by the splendour of Moses' πρόσωπον (cf. 10:10). As in the case of his triumphal procession metaphor (2:14), Paul is demanding that his addressees reflect carefully upon his words. Given, therefore, his role as Christ’s envoy (representing to them Christ’s bodily presence) and his self-description as the aroma of the Christ-sacrifice (2:15a), he evidently invites them to infer that the surpassing glory that attends his ministry, the visible markers of his apostolic persona, is seen in his righteous sufferings (cf. 1 Cor 4:9-13; Gal 6:17), a point he develops explicitly in 4:7-12. Christ's glory, his divine presence and saving power, is seen most clearly on the Cross.

[1] Durham, Exodus 465.

[2] Newman, Paul's Glory-Christology 233. Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 247, notes the choice of δοξάζειν throughout Exod 34:29-35 LXX, which 'naturally recalls the theme of the glory of God introduced earlier in 33:5, 16b, 19, and the thematic parallel in 33:13'.

[3] Van Kooten, Paul's Anthropology in Context 322. Van Kooten finds 'a striking inconsistency' in the Exodus narrative: In v. 33 Moses puts on the veil when he has finished speaking to the people, but in vv. 34-35 he puts on the veil 'as soon as he communicates with the Israelites'. However, v. 33 describes a unique event, Moses' meeting with the people on his return from Mount Sinai with the second set of stone tablets, whereas vv. 34-35 describe his subsequent, regular practice at the Tent of Meeting.

[4] Thrall, Second epistle to the Corinthians I 241 n 351.

[5] BDAG s.v. διακονία 1, ‘service rendered in an intermediary capacity’. διακονία is understood here as a mediatory agency between man and God; see J. N. Collins, The Mediatorial Aspect of Paul's Role As DIAKONOS, ABR 40 (1992) 34-44, and cf. the comment on διακονηθεῖσα ὑφ' ἡμῶν, 3:3.

[6] The genitive is probably objective, ‘the ministry that mediates death’, in contrast to ἡ διακονία τοῦ πνεύματος, ‘the ministry that mediates the Spirit’ (cf. 3:9, τῇ διακονίᾳ τῆς κατακρίσεως / ἡ διακονία τῆς δικαιοσύνης).

[7] BDAG s.v. ἐν 5.

[8] BDAG s.v. γράμμα 1.

[9] It seems best to supply ἐγενήθη, which with the prepositional phrase ἐν δόξῃ gives the literal sense, 'came with glory'.

[10] BDAG s.v. δόξα 1, ‘the condition of being bright or shining, brightness, splendor, radiance’. For ἐν + dative signalling ‘accompanying circumstances’, see MHT 241.

[11] BDAG s.v. πρόσωπον 1.

[12] BDAG s.v. καταργέω 2, 'to cause something to lose its power or effectiveness'; Danker notes that this sense is found ‘above all, in Paul and the writings dependent on him’.

[13] BDAG glosses εἰ ... πῶς οὐχὶ μᾶλλονs, 'if ... why should not more surely' (s.v. μᾶλλον 2b). In rhetorical questions that cal an assumption into question or reject it altogether, πῶς with a negative is glossed, 'most surely, most certainly'.

[14] As Hafemann points out (Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 298), the repetition of ‘tablets of stone’ (3:3, 7) is significant. The imagery of the stone tablets ‘provides a thread which ties the narrative of Exod. 32-34 together, as well as pointing to its climax in 34:29-35’; see 31:18; 32:15-16 (LXX); 32:19; 34:1-4. On both occasions of the giving of the tablets, the divine glory was visible on the mountain, and it was also visible on Moses’ face whenever eh spoke to the people as law-giver (Exod 34:34-35).

[15] BDAG s.v. δόξα 3.

[16] BDAG s.v. δόξα 2.

[17] HALOT s.v. כבוד B.

[18] BDAG s.v. δόξα 1.

[19] Brocklington, Greek Translation of Isaiah 31

[20] Newman, Paul's Glory-Christology 17-153.

[21] Newman, Paul's Glory-Christology 148.

[22] Newman, Paul's Glory-Christology 43.

[23] Brocklington, Greek Translation of Isaiah 30, emphasis his. He rightly concludes (32),’The evidence shows that [the translator’s] concern for salvation was never very far from the use of the noun δόξα or the verb δοξάζω.’

[24] Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 279.

[25] Vit. Mos. 2.70; cf. Pseudo-Philo, LAB 12.1, which claims that Moses' face shone brighter than the sun when he descended from Sinai with the first set of stone tablets (Exod 32:15ff).

[26] Thrall comments, 'With some degree of ingenuity it is just possible to detect the idea in Exod. 34.34-35:  Moses removed the veil when he entered to speak with the Lord, his face shone when he emerged from the tent, and he then put on the veil until he entered the tent once more; hence, it would seem that contact with Yahweh renews the radiance, and one might deduce that it fades when the contact is broken.  But the thought is implicit in the narrative only for those determined to see some disparaging element in it'; Thrall, Second epistle to the Corinthians I 243. Indeed, the perfect verb forms of the LXX (δεδόξασται, vv. 29, 35; ἦν δεδοξασμένη, v. 30) appear to portray the glory as permanent. (Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 247)

[27] Belleville, Reflections of Glory 28-30.

[28] Despite the arguments of Belleville (Reflections of Glory 77-79), the evidence for the existence of contrary traditions – that the glory faded - is at best weak; see Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 287-301.

[29] Of course, it could be postulated that Paul’s opponents held to such a tradition; but such an assumption is not needed, and would seriously weaken our reading of the text.

[30] BDAG s.v. καταργέω 2.

[31] BDAG s.v. καταργέω 3.

[32] Hays 1989:134, noting that the participle is attributive.

[33] E.g. Hays,  Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul 134f with 219 n 43.

[34] BDAG s.v. καταργέω 2, ‘to cause something to lose its power or effectiveness, invalidate, make powerless’. Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 310, translates 'which was being rendered inoperative (with special regard to the effects of such an action)', commenting, 'Like Paul's other use of the passive participle of καταργέω in 1 Cor. 2:6, here too that which is being rendered inoperative still exists (i.e. the glory on Moses' face), but that which  it would otherwise affect has been abolished'. However, though the veil is not mentioned until v. 13, Hafemann maintains that the implied subject of the passive participle is Moses' veil: by veiling himself when he was not speaking to the people, Moses averted their destruction (Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 310-13). 

[35] Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 226.

[36] Contra Hafemann, who argues that the implied agent is Moses' veil.

[37] Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament 509.

[38] Thrall, Second epistle to the Corinthians I 249 n 402.

[39] Supplying ἐγενήθη, as in v. 7.

[40] BDAG s.v. κατάκρισις, ‘a judicial verdict involving a penalty’.

[41] εἰ … πολλῷ μᾶλλον, ‘if … [then] how much more certainly’; BDAG s.v. μᾶλλον 2b.

[42] BDAG s.v. δικαιοσύνη 2, ‘quality or state of juridical correctness with focus on redemptive action’.

[43] BDAG s.v. περισσεύω 1aγ, ‘be extremely rich or abundant’.

[44] Childs, Isaiah 455-6.

[45] Burk, The Righteousness of God (Dikaiosune Theou) and Verbal Genitives: A Grammatical Clarification 351-354.

[46] Schrenk TDNT 2 196.

[47] BDAG s.v. δικαιοσύνη 3, ' he quality or characteristic of upright behavior'.

[48] BDAG s.v. δικαιοσύνη 2, 'quality or state of juridical correctness with focus on redemptive action'.

[49] BDAG s.v. μέρος 1c.

[50] ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει ('in this respect') refers back to v. 9b, 'how much more certainly must the ministry that brings righteousness abound in glory'.

[51] Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament s.v..

[52] τὸ καταργούμενον, cf. τὴν καταργουμένην, v. 7.

[53] Supplying the finite verb. Context seems to imply that the glory of Moses’ face is a metonymy for the old covenant.

[54] BDAG s.v. διά 3a.

[55] εἰ … πολλῷ μᾶλλον, BDAG s.v. μᾶλλον 2b, cf. v. 9.

[56] τὸ μένον, BDAG s.v. μένω 2b.

[57] BDAG s.v. ἐν 5b.

[58] The contrast with τὸ μένον requires the sense ‘being set aside’, rather than ‘being rendered ineffectual’, as in v. 7 (τὴν δόξαν … τὴν καταργουμένην), and in v. 13 (τὸ τέλος τοῦ καταργουμένου). Of course, the additional nuance that the Mosaic ministry is being rendered powerless (to save) can also be heard, and it may be inferred that it is for this reason that is being superseded. There is an underlying semantic coherence to Paul's uses of καταργέω: 'A study of καταργεῖν throughout the Pauline corpus, apart from 2 Cor. 3, ... presents a narrow semantic field for its meaning and a uniform context for its use. The consistency of this usage is striking. Indeed, Paul’s frequent and consistent use of καταργέω warrants its consideration as a Pauline terminus technicus to express the meaning of the coming and return of Christ in relationship to the structures of this world on the one hand, and its significance for the effects of those structures on the other. Καταργέω becomes for Paul a theological designation in which the turn of the ages is expressed in terms of what the gospel does and does not abolish and what does or does not continue to be effective or operate as a result. Paul’s characteristic use of the term therefore poses in itself the question of the continuity and discontinuity between this age and the age to come'. (Hafemann, Paul, Moses and the History of Israel 309)

[59] The variation in prepositions, διὰ δόξης … ἐν δόξῃ, is probably of no exegetical significance. In v. 7 Paul says that the Mosaic ministry came ἐν δόξῃ; and in 1 Cor 12:8-9 the phrases διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, ἐν τῷ ... πνεύματι are identical in sense; Bultmann, Der zweite Brief an die Korinther 86.

[60] BDAG s.v. πρόσωπον 2.

[61] Nguyen,  Christian Identity in Corinth 13-20.

[62] A. A. Long, Stoic Philosophers on Persons, Property-Ownership and Community 13, in Sorabji, ed.,  Aristotle and After 13; quoted by Nguyen, Christian Identity in Corinth 16.

[63] 'Roman law permeated Roman society and was an integral part of its social structures … Roman society was highly stratified through a system of rank and status, which was determined and maintained by Roman law … Additionally, with greater privileges given to those with an elite persona, the concept of persona should be regarded as an elite ideal. Therefore, the Roman hierarchy and Roman law promoted and protected the Roman traditional/ideal values and virtues of persona'; Nguyen, Christian Identity in Corinth 32-33.

[64] J. H. H. Hellerman, ΜΟΡΦΗ ΘΕΟΥ as a Signifier of Social Status in Philippians 2:6, JETS 52 (2009) 779-793, 793.

[65] Nguyen,  Christian Identity in Corinth 125.