2 Corinthians 3:12 Commentary
Amplified: Since we have such [glorious] hope (such joyful and confident expectation), we speak very freely and openly and fearlessly. (Lockman)
ESV: Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, (ESV)
KJV: Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
NET: Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, (NET Bible)
NIV: Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: With this hope in our hearts we are quite frank and open in our ministry. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Having therefore such a hope, we use great freedom and boldness of speech, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Having, then, such hope, we use much freedom of speech,
|THEREFORE HAVING SUCH A HOPE, WE USE GREAT BOLDNESS IN OUR SPEECH: Echontes (PAPMPN) oun toiauten elpida polle parrhesia chrometha, (1PPMI): (We use: 2Co 4:2,3,13, Jn10:24 16:25,29 1Co 14:19 Col 4:4) (Boldness: 2Co 7:4 10:1 Ac 4:13,29-31 9:27,29 14:3 Eph 6:19,20 Php 1:20 1Th 2:2 1Ti 3:13)
A MORE GLORIOUS COVENANT
Keep the context of this chapter in mind - Paul is defending himself against accusations that he is a false teacher (see 2Co 3:1 2 3 4-note). As he defends himself by identifying himself with the New Covenant (2Co 3:5,6-note), he then launches into an explanation regarding the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant because (as inferred from the context) false teachers were promoting the Old Covenant as necessary for salvation.
Because of Paul's focus on the superiority of the New Covenant, John MacArthur has referred to 2Co 3:6-18 as a "shrunken version of the book of Hebrews", primarily because Hebrews repeatedly emphasizes that compared with the Old Covenant of Law the New Covenant of grace is a better covenant (He 7:22-note), with a better hope (He 7:19-note, He 8:6-note), better promises (He 8:6-note), a better sacrifice (He 9:23-note, He 12:24-note), a better possession (He 10:34-note), a better country (He 11:16-note), a better resurrection (He 11:35-note) and a better provision (He 11:40-note). As an aside, recall that in Hebrews the writer clearly teaches that salvation in the Old Testament was never based on keeping the Old Covenant laws and rituals and ceremonies, but instead was always based on Christ's death, burial and resurrection which provided the payment for [~redemption] the forgiveness (see aphesis and aphiemi) of OT saints which was given in a sense "on credit" (providing "retroactive redemption") to those who like Abram believed God (Ge 15:6, He 9:15-note where "He" refers to Christ, a truth also reiterated in Ro 3:25, 26-note, cp God's provision of the way of salvation in His protevangelium [first giving of the Gospel] in Ge 3:15 where "you...your" = Satan). See table below summarizing Paul's points of contrast between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant. (See related studies - New Covenant in the Old Testament; Why the New is Better; Abrahamic vs Old vs New)
The Bible in Basic English has a pithy paraphrase...
Having then such a hope,
Warren Wiersbe introduces this last section of chapter 3 reminding us that...
Therefore (3767) (oun) is a term of conclusion which should always prompt us to ask "What's it there for?" and thereby to encourage us to re-read the preceding context. In this case Paul arrives at his conclusion based upon the surpassing, never ending, permanent and irrevocable glory of the New Covenant based on grace not law or works. Recall that the false teachers in Corinth were attempting to discredit God's ministry of the Spirit and of righteousness (2Co 3:8,9-note) through His apostle. But Paul had a firm hold on the truth of the superiority of the New Covenant compared to the Old Covenant. His firm grasp of this glorious truth in turn "held him firm", and gave him a sure confidence on one hand to boldly proclaim the New Covenant Gospel of grace and on the other hand to irresistibly refute the false teachers who were trying to say one needed to adhere to the Old Covenant of Law (and works) in order to attain righteousness before and acceptance with God.
Having such a hope - The ESV, Amplified and NLT render it "Since we have such a hope." The UBS Handbook comments that when translating this passage into other languages...
Such a hope: An absolute assurance that every glorious promise of the New Covenant will come to pass. What a dramatic contrast with the Old Covenant which had no hope for it was a ministry of death (2Co 3:7-note), a ministry of condemnation (2Co 3:9-note), a letter which kills (2Co 3:6-note).
Suggestion - Take a moment and do a simple study on hope by observing the following passages and recording what each teaches about hope (and don't forget to check the context). I guarantee it will "buoy" up any soul's flagging hope! Acts 23:6, 24:15; 26:6, 7; 28:20; Ro 5:2-note, Ro 5:4,5-note, Ro 8:20, 21-note, Ro 8:24-note, Ro 12:12-note, Ro 15:4-note, Ro 15:13-note, 1Co 13:13, 2Co 1:7, 2Co 10:15, Ga 5:5, Ep 1:18-note, Ep 2:12-note; Ep 4:4-note; Php 1:20-note; Col 1:5-note, Col 1:23-note, Col 1:27-note; 1Th 1:3-note; 1Th 2:19-note; 1Th 4:13-note; 1Th 5:8-note; 2Th 2:16; 1Ti 1:1; Titus 1:2-note; Titus 2:13-note; Titus 3:7-note; Heb 3:6-note; He 6:11-note, He 6:18-note; He 7:19-note; He 10:23-note; 1Pe 1:3-note, 1Pe 1:21-note; 1Pe 3:15-note; 1Jn 3:3-note
Having (2192) (echo) means to possess and here in the present tense means Paul continually had a firm grasp on the hope found only in the New Covenant. Stated another way, the truth Paul possessed, possessed him and protected him against the lies of the false teachers and the fiery darts of the Wicked One (Ep 6:16KJV-note). Beloved, this is why it is so critical for you to make it your daily practice to get into the truth of God's Word so that it might "get into you" and fortify your faith (Ro 10:17-note) to fight the good fight of faith (1Ti 1:18, 6:12 so that you might also be able to declare 2Ti 4:7-note at the end of your short time on earth). You are drinking God's "pure milk" (1Pe 2:2-note) and eating His soul nourishing "bread" daily (Mt 4:4) daily...aren't you?
Such a hope - The Amplified has "such glorious hope, such joyful and confident expectation" which is a good description of how we feel when our eyes are fixed on Jesus, our minds are daily being renewed by His Word and we are filled with (controlled by) His Spirit. How is your "hope quotient" today?
Hope (1680)(elpis [word study]) is an absolute certainty of future good - in context of the New Covenant - the absolute, eternal forgiveness of sins as far as east is from west (Ps 103:12), abundant life now and eternal life in the future. Hope is the desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it (eg, our future resurrection bodies - read Ro 8:18, 19-note, Ro 8:20, 21-note Ro 8:22, 23-note Ro 8:24 25-note). In the OT there are several Hebrew words translated "hope" but each has the idea of inviting us to look ahead eagerly with confident expectation, the same idea conveyed by elpis. Each Hebrew word for "hope" calls for patience, reminding us that the fulfillment of our hope lies in the future ("hold on...the best is yet to come").
BIBLICAL HOPE IS
Ultimately for every believer the best which is yet to come is not a concept but a Person, "the Lord Jesus Christ, our Hope" (1Ti 1:1YLT). Indeed as Paul exhorts, may we each be living...
What are you fixing your hope on today? What you are looking (hoping) for will determine what you are living for.
Hope as the world typically defines it is a desire for some future occurrence of which one is not assured of attaining. The ancient world did not generally regard hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion. Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world. Philosophies were empty; traditions were disappearing; religions were powerless to help men face either life or death. People longed to pierce the veil and get some message of hope from the other side, but there is none outside of Christ.
Gabriel Marcel said,
A study of German concentration camp survivors found that those prisoners who were able to hold onto their sense of hope (‘things are going to get better’ or ‘we’re going to get out of here one day’) were much more likely to survive. Hope then was not optional but for these prisoners proved to be a matter of life and death.
Vincent writes that hope
Seneca, Rome's leading intellectual figure, tutor of the depraved emperor Nero (who forced Seneca to commit suicide!) and contemporary of Paul tragically defined hope as “an uncertain good”, the antithesis of Biblical hope! What a difference the new birth in Christ makes in one's temporal and eternal perspective.
The cynical editor H. L. Mencken also inaccurately defined hope as “a pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” His cynical definition does not even agree with the secular Webster's Collegiate dictionary which defines "Hope" much like the NT declaring that hope means "to cherish a desire with anticipation, desire with expectation of obtainment, expect with confidence."
Biblical hope is not "finger crossing", but is alive and certain because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Life without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
The book of Hebrews defines hope as that which gives "full assurance" (He 6:11-note). Thus we can have strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in future. The opposite of hope is despair, (hopelessness; a hopeless state; a destitution of hope or expectation) which is all that those without Christ as Savior can know, for Paul defines hope as "Christ Jesus, Who is our Hope" (1Ti 1:1). Recalling our Hope to mind is a sterling antidote for despair, according to the "prescription" of the psalmist who advocates preaching the following "sermon" to yourself when your hope ebbs low...
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
The venerable "prince of preachers", C H Spurgeon has some sage comments on this "self sermon"...
A HOPELESS END
Although the Old revealed spoke of the Hope of Israel and predicted His coming to save His people as well as Gentiles, there was no mention that the Messiah of hope would actually live within each member of His redeemed church. Paul explained that in the New Covenant, "God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col 1:27-note) The unsaved are born into the world but have "no hope and (are) without God in the world" (Ep 2:12-note, 1Th 4:13-note) and if they die without Christ, they will be hopeless forever! The Italian poet, Dante, in the Divine Comedy, put this inscription over the world of the dead: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here!” In other words, life without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
Jeremiah lamented that his "soul has been rejected from peace...(and) forgotten happiness" until he discovered the "secret" (Notice that he chooses to recall this truth to his minding which indicates that he had known it in the past -- this "dynamic of ready recall" is also vital to the sustenance of our spiritual lives, beloved. How often we need to recall what we know to be true about God and His dealings with us. As an aside, this is one of the great benefits of Scripture memorization - you are Memorizing His Word (see discussion) aren't you? Remember it is worth your investment of time and effort, for in contrast to the passing pleasures [He 11:25-note] of this passing world [1Jn 2:17-note], the only entity other than human souls which will not pass away is the Word of Truth [Ps 119:43-note, 2Co 6:7, Col 1:5-note, 2Ti 2:15-note, Jas 1:18-note]!). The passage below and Ps 42:5 might be a great place to begin memorizing, especially if you are a bit "hope deficient"...
For more discussion of the great Christian virtue of hope, one that is probably the least understood and appreciated (appropriated) of the great "triumvirate" faith, hope and love. Most Christians have a reasonably good comprehension of faith and love, but far fewer understand the soul satisfying significance of our blessed hope. If you are one of the latter group, let me encourage you to take a few days and work through at least some of the Scriptures that elaborate on our blessed hope. I can assure you that your soul will be satisfied and your spiritual "sight" will be stimulated to "straighten up" (Lk 21:28) and to begin looking for His appearing, a perspective which should radically impact your living and specifically your choices. As you study Biblical Hope you will come to realize that we are indeed living in a time when the return of our Blessed Hope is imminent...
For we through the Spirit, by faith,
We - Many commentators feel Paul is using the plural of himself, but one cannot be dogmatic.
Use (5530) (chraomai from chrao = to lend to) means to make use of, to employ, to make the most of. To behave toward someone in a certain way, in this case with boldness. The present tense speaks of Paul continually employing great boldness in his speech. Ultimately this bold speech is not Paul's strength or power but reflects the strengthening of his inner man by the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31 = filled with Spirit > speak with boldness).
Great Confidence - Not just confidence but even great confidence. Phillips paraphrases it "We are quite frank." NET Bible translates it "we employ great openness of speech." The New Jerusalem Bible emphasizes boldness in speech rendering it "we can speak with complete fearlessness." Do we as believers really believe we have nothing to conceal but every reason for expressing fearless candor and great freedom in speaking to the lost about the glorious good news in the New Covenant? As alluded to above, one of the "effects" of being filled with the Spirit (Ep 5:18-note) is "altered speech" (Ep 5:19-note) and specifically in the context of our conduct among the lost, boldness in proclamation of the Gospel (Acts 2:4, 4:8 4:31 32 33 Phillip in Acts 6:5 8 10 9:27 28 13:46 14:3 18:26 19:8 Ep 6:19 20-note)
Vincent comments on Paul's bold, open speech noting that
Confidence (3954)(parrhesia/parresia from pás = all + rhesis = speech, act of speaking) is literally all speech or speaking all things and thereby conveys the idea of freedom to say all. The basic idea in the word is freedom of speech, when the word flowed freely. It is that attitude of openness that stems from freedom and lack of fear ("shaking" fear - godly, reverential fear is always appropriate) means in essence the freedom to say all.
The Greeks used parrhesia of those who had the right to speak openly in the assembly. Other nuances of parrhesia include speaking with plainness, openness and confidence (Acts 2:29), speaking publicly or in the open (Jn 7:13, 11:54, 18:20) or even something done in public (Jn 7:26, Col 2:15-note)
Confidence - Boldness. Courage. Fearlessness in the face of danger. A state of mind marked by freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment. A trusting or reliance. An assurance of mind or firm belief in the integrity, stability or veracity of the truth and reality of the superiority and sufficiency and spiritually stabilizing impact in the New Covenant of grace.
John MacArthur says that Paul statement that we use great confidence...
Writing to the saints at Thessalonica Paul declared that...
In classical writings slaves did not have the privilege of bold speech before their master. How different is the speech of believers, who as bondservants of Christ, servants of the Most High God, possess all the privileges of a son or daughter in the family and can speak endearments openly even such intimate words "Abba" (Aramaic for "father" and like our English "Daddy" or "Papa")"! (Used by Jesus in Gethsemane - Mk 14:36 and used by believers - Ro 8:15-note Ga 4:6) The hope of the New Covenant far from constraining believers, liberated them and enabled them to speak openly and with complete confidence before God because of their exalted, eternal position in Christ, God's beloved Son.
2 Corinthians 3:13 Commentary
Amplified: Nor [do we act] like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze upon the finish of the vanishing [splendor which had been upon it]. (Lockman)
ESV: not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. (ESV)
KJV: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
NET: and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the result of the glory that was made ineffective. (NET Bible)
NIV: We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: We are not like Moses, who veiled his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing its fading glory. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Hand not even as Moses put a covering over his face to the end that the sons of Israel should not fix their gaze upon the termination of that which is passing away. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and are not as Moses, who was putting a veil upon his own face, for the sons of Israel not stedfastly to look to the end of that which is being made useless,
|AND ARE NOT LIKE MOSES, WHO USED TO PUT A VEIL OVER HIS FACE SO THAT THE SONS OF ISRAEL WOULD NOT LOOK INTENTLY AT THE END OF WHAT WAS FADING AWAY: kai ou kathaper Mouses etithei (3SIAI) kalumma epi to prosopon autou, pros to me atenisai (AAN) tous huious Israel eis to telos tou katargoumenou (PPPNSG): (Ex 34:33-35) (Would not: 2Co 3:18) (At the: Ro 10:4 Ga 3:23,24 Eph 2:14,15 Col 2:17 Heb 10:1-9)
Not like Moses alludes to the Old Testament description in Exodus where we read that...
Not like Moses - When Paul preaches the New Covenant, he doesn't put a veil over his face as Moses did when he was through speaking to the people. Every minister of the New Covenant (and we are all in some sense ministers, even if not formally preaching from a pulpit - our "pulpit" is wherever we find ourselves in our daily life) does not have to hide his face, for the glory of the Gospel will never grow dim or fade away. Paul needs no veil; he has nothing to hide.
Guzik explains that...
Put a veil - Paul uses the imperfect tense which vividly describes something which Moses did over and over -- he would take the veil off when speaking and put it back on when not speaking, and repeated these actions again and again.
Veil (2571) (kaluma from kalupto = cause something to be covered over and hence not visible) is literally a covering or veil but is used figuratively here to refer to something that functions as an impediment, hindrance, obstruction or obstacle.
This OT story conveys the picture that the Old Covenant was shadow rather substance; i.e., it was veiled in the sense that one could only get a glimpse of it (even as they could only glimpse the glory on Moses' face during the time the veil was removed). So in a sense the Old Covenant conceals, for even the prophets who wrote it did not fully comprehend the meaning (1Pe 1:10, 11, 12-note)
John MacArthur remarks that the Old Covenant...
Face (4383)(prosopon from prós = toward + ops = the eye or face) is literally the eye toward, the front part of one's head, the countenance (Latin ~ con = with + teneo = to hold, literally the contents of a body and then the outline which constitutes the whole figure, the face as expressing a person's character or mood).
One of the most notable uses of prosopon is found in the Septuagint translation of Numbers 6 in the famous Aaronic blessing...
Look intently (816) (atenizo from a = intensifies + teino = stretch, strain) means to fix one's gaze on something or stare at something (2Co 3:7-note, cp eyes "fixed on" Jesus in Lk 4:20). Gaze earnestly. Look straight at something. The sons of Israel could not look directly into Moses' face because of the intensity of the supernatural glory his skin reflected. Moses' face certainly would have made a "great endorsement" for beauty creams that promise to make your face radiant (but this of course would have been "false advertising" for the glory was from the from presiding in the presence of the Lord, not the putting of cream on one's face)!
Vincent comments that when one looks at Ex 34:30-35...
The end (5056) (telos) speaks of a consummation, a goal achieved, a result attained, or a realization. "The end" (to telos) is an idiom which serves as a marker of the conclusion to what has preceded, in this case the termination of the glory on Moses' face.
Wiersbe notes that...
It is interesting that "in rabbinic tradition the glory of Moses’ face was undiminished right up to the day of his death when he was 120 years old." (Harris) (As someone has quipped "Who wants to follow a leader who is losing his glory?")
Fading (2673)(katargeo [word study] from kata = intensifies meaning + argeo = to be idle or inactive from argos = ineffective, idle, inactive from a = without + érgon = work) literally means to reduce to inactivity. To cause something to come to an end. The present tense indicates the glory on Moses was continually fading which serves as prophetic picture of the temporary nature of the Old Covenant, the old "worn out" order.
F W Grant has beautifully stated
2 Corinthians 3:14 Commentary
Greek : alla eporothe (3SAPI) ta noemata auton. achri gar tes semeron hemeras to auto kalumma epi te anagnosei tes palaias diathekes menei (3SPAI) me anakaluptomenon (PPPNSN), oti en Christo katargeitai (3SPPI);
Amplified: In fact, their minds were grown hard and calloused [they had become dull and had lost the power of understanding]; for until this present day, when the Old Testament (the old covenant) is being read, that same veil still lies [on their hearts], not being lifted [to reveal] that in Christ it is made void and done away. (Lockman)
ESV: But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. (ESV)
KJV: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.
NET: But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. (NET Bible)
NIV: But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: But it was their minds really which were blinded, for even today when the old agreement is read to them there is still a veil over their minds - though the veil has actually been lifted by Christ. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But their minds were hardened, for to this very day the same covering remains at the reading of the testament whose usefulness is over, it not being revealed that it [the covering] is being done away in Christ. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: but their minds were hardened, for unto this day the same vail at the reading of the Old Covenant doth remain unwithdrawn -- which in Christ is being made useless--
|BUT THEIR MINDS WERE HARDENED: alla eporothe (3SAPI) ta noemata auton): (2Co 4:3,4 Ps 69:23 Isa 6:10 26:10, 11, 12 42:18, 19, 20 44:18 56:10 59:10 Jer 5:21 Ezek 12:2 Mt 6:23 13:11,13, 14, 15 Jn 9:39 40 41 12:40 Ac 28:26,27 Ro 11:7, 8, 9, 10,25)
But (alla) introduces a contrast.
The UBS Handbook notes that...
Minds hardened - This is another way of describing unbelief. The reason they did not understand the glory of the Old Covenant, God's intended purpose of the Law, was that they refused to believe! The martyr Stephen used great boldness in proclaiming to his Jewish audience that...
Jesus alluded to the hardness of the minds of His Jewish audience
MacArthur comments that...
Adam Clarke explains their minds were hardened...
Mind (3540)(noema from noéo = perceive in turn from noús = mind) is literally the result of the activity of the "nous" or mind, that part of man which thinks. Noema means that which is thought (a thought), perceived with the mind (a mental perception), understood, pondered, or considered.
BDAG divides noema into two main categories...
Paul uses noema again in the next chapter...
And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world (Satan --1Jn 5:19 Ep 2:2 Jn 12:31 14:30) has blinded the minds (noema) of the unbelieving (disbelieving, lacking in faith, not trusting) so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2Co 4:3, 4)
Were hardened (4456) (poroo from poros = small piece of stone, a kind of marble, and thence used of a callus on fractured bones; see related word porosis) means to make hard as stone and used figuratively to describe that which has become callous or insensitive to touch. The effect is to cause the person to have difficulty understanding or comprehending.
In the New Testament, poroo is used only in the spiritual sense referring to the devastating effect sin and unbelief exert on one's heart or mind. In this passage Paul describes the sons of Israel as possessed of a closed mind, mental obtuseness and intellectual blindness.
The aorist tense indicates that the hardening is a past completed action and the passive voice indicates the hardening is the effect of an "outside agent", in context the judicial hardening of the sons of Israel by God Who is perfectly just in all His ways (see below - Jn 12:40).
The writer of Hebrews uses a different verb skleruno (word study) (render stubborn, to make hard or stiff) to describe the same hard hearted problem of the Jews (Heb 3:8-note, He 3:15-note, He 4:7-note) and it is in the context of the danger of a persistently hard heart that he issues the exhortation in Hebrews 4:11-note and then explains (in a famous verse usually extracted from this context) that this Word of Truth is like a two-edged sword (He 4:12-note, He 4:13-note).
Friberg writes that poroo is a medical technical term (Hippocrates) cover with thick skin or callous; of body organs thicken.
Liddell Scott explains the literal meaning is "to petrify, turn into stone"
Porosis - 5x in 5v in NAS - Mark 6:52 Mk 8:17; John 12:40; Ro 11:7; 2Cor 3:14. The only use in the non-apocryphal Septuagint is Job 17:7 describing the "dimming" of one's eyes as a result of grief.
John quotes Isa 6:10-note (where it was actually issued as a command to the prophet Isaiah) giving an example of divine judicial hardening, the penalty for continual rejection God's Word of Truth and Life (see discussion)...
Barclay on the related word porosis explains that
A T Robertson notes that poroo
In Romans Paul in addressing the spiritual fate of the sons of Israel asks...
It is interesting to read a parallel description of Jesus' Jewish disciples where heart is substituted for mind...
Insensitiveness to Sin -- A little girl in London held up her broken wrist and said, “Look, Mommy, my hand is bent the wrong way!” There were no tears in her eyes. She felt no pain whatever. That was when she was four years old. When she was six, her parents noticed that she was walking with a limp. A doctor discovered that the girl had a fractured thigh. Still she felt no pain. The girl is now fourteen years old. She is careful now, but occasionally looks at blisters and burns on her hands and wonders, “How did this happen?” She is insensitive to pain! Medical specialists are baffled by the case. It is called ganglioneuropathy. There is another insensitiveness which is deadlier and more dangerous— insensitiveness to sin! Paul said of this malady: “Having their consciences seared as with a hot iron” (1Ti 4:2).
FOR UNTIL THIS VERY DAY AT THE READING OF THE OLD COVENANT THE SAME VEIL REMAINS UNLIFTED: achri gar tes semeron hemeras to auto kalumma epi te anagnosei tes palaias diathekes menei (3SPAI) me anakaluptomenon (PPPNSN):
The reading of the Old Covenant - As was and is still done in Jewish synagogues ("temples") around the world each Sabbath (cp Acts 13:14, 15).
Warren Wiersbe addresses the question of "Why did most of Israel reject her own Messiah?"...
Reading (320) (anagnosis from aná = emphatic, again + ginosko = know <> know again) means to read something written, especially public reading of Scripture as in the present context (cp Acts 13:15 1Ti 4:13 Neh 8:8)
Old (3820)(palaios from palai = in the past, long ago) antique, not recent, not new, old in the sense of worn out and decrepit. Palaios means in existence for a long time, and in a number of contexts conveys the sense of being obsolete, antiquated or outworn. Worn out from use is the idea in (Mt 9:16, 17 Mk 2:21, Lk 5:36) Palaios brings out the idea of “worn out”, the result of the wear and tear of time, the old as outworn and clearly is not something to be desired.
Palaios is a clear contrast with kainos (fresh) used in 2Co 3:6.
Covenant (1242)(diatheke from diatithemi = set out in order, dispose in a certain order <> from dia = two + tithemi = to place pictures that which is placed between two Thus, a covenant is something placed between two = thus an arrangement between two parties) literally conveys the idea of a testament, as in one's last will and testament.
The same veil - Clearly this is not the literal veil Moses wore. However even as Moses' veil prevented the sons of Israel from seeing the fading glory of the Old Covenant, so too today a figurative veil blinds the eyes of most Jews so that they cannot see "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2Co 4:6) in the New Covenant.
Adam Clarke feels that the unlifted veil is an allusion...
Remains unlifted - Even as the veil of Moses obstructed the view of the glory of his face (a picture of the glory of the Old Covenant), the Jews remain ignorant of the spiritual meaning and intention of their own law, which is like an impediment, hindrance, obstruction or obstacle so they cannot see the glorious truth of the New Covenant.
Unlifted literally reads "not (me = negation) uncovered (anakalupto = uncover)" a spiritual transaction that can only transpire when the "spiritual veil" is drawn back by the Holy Spirit Who opens their calloused hearts (cp spiritually circumcising their hearts - Ro 2:28, 29-note) to the truth of the Gospel of grace in the New Covenant (2Th 2:13, Acts 16:14, cp Jn 6:44).
Vincent comments on the same veil...
BECAUSE IT IS REMOVED IN CHRIST: hoti en Christo katargeitai (3SPPI): ( 2Co 4:6 Isa 25:7 Mt 16:17 Lk 18:31, 32, 33, 34 24:25, 26, 27, 44, 45, 46 Jn 8:12 Jn 12:46 Ac 16:14 26:18 Eph 1:17 18 19 20)
Because (hoti) is used to explain how the "veil" is "drawn back" from a "hardened mind".
NLT paraphrases this "And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ."
Removed in Christ - This is Paul's way of describing what happens when one believes in Christ -- the "veil" comes off the Word of God. That which they were not able to understand in their natural, unregenerate state (1Co 2:14) suddenly became understandable for they now had an indwelling Teacher, the Spirit of Christ, to teach them (Jer 31:33, 34, cp Jn 14:16 26, 15:16, 17, 26 16:7, 8; cp 1Jn 2:20 27). Paul amplifies the removal of the veil explaining in the next verse that this occurs when a person turns to the Lord. (2Co 3:16)
Removed (2673)(katargeo [word study] from kata = intensifies meaning + argeo = to be idle or inactive from argos = ineffective, idle, inactive from a = without + érgon = work) literally means to reduce to inactivity. To cause something to come to an end. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away (comes to an end).
In Christ - In the doctrines that teach about the good news found only in the truth about Christ. Only as the Jew came to be in Christ (by grace through faith) was the (spiritual) veil set aside. Paul reiterates this same truth using slightly different wording in 2Co 3:16.
Clarke comments that...
Matthew Henry writes that...