1Are we beginning to commend ourselves to you afresh -- as though we needed, like some others, tohave letters of commendation either to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, that everyone can read and understand; 3and it is plain that you are a letter from Christ, entrusted to our care, written not with ink but with theSpirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on the tablets of human hearts. 4Such is the confidence we have through Christ in facing God; 5it is not that we are so competent that we can claim any credit for ourselves; al our competence comesfrom God. 6He has given us the competence to be ministers of a new covenant, a covenant which is not of writtenletters, but of the Spirit; for the written letters kill, but the Spirit gives life. 7Now if the administering of death, engraved in letters on stone, occurred in such glory that the Israelitescould not look Moses steadily in the face, because of its glory, transitory though this glory was, 8how much more will the ministry of the Spirit occur in glory! 9For if it is glorious to administer condemnation, to administer saving justice is far richer in glory. 10Indeed, what was once considered glorious has lost al claim to glory, by contrast with the glory whichtranscends it. 11For if what was transitory had any glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts for ever. 12With a hope like this, we can speak with complete fearlessness; 13not like Moses who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites should not watch the end of what wastransitory. 14But their minds were closed; indeed, until this very day, the same veil remains over the reading of theOld Testament: it is not lifted, for only in Christ is it done away with. 15As it is, to this day, whenever Moses is read, their hearts are covered with a veil, 16and this veil wil not be taken away til they turn to the Lord. 17Now this Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And al of us, with our unveiled faces like mirrors reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformedinto the image that we reflect in brighter and brighter glory; this is the working of the Lord who is the Spirit.