2 Corinthians 3:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

New Living Translation
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

English Standard Version
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Berean Study Bible
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Berean Literal Bible
And we all having been unveiled in face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

New American Standard Bible
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

King James Bible
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

International Standard Version
As all of us reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, we are becoming more like him with ever-increasing glory by the Lord's Spirit.

NET Bible
And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

New Heart English Bible
But we all, with unveiled face looking as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But we all see the glory of THE LORD JEHOVAH with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, and we are changed into the image from glory to glory, as from THE LORD JEHOVAH, THE SPIRIT.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As all of us reflect the Lord's glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

New American Standard 1977
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore we all, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord with uncovered face, are transformed from glory to glory into the same likeness, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

King James 2000 Bible
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

American King James Version
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.

American Standard Version
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.

English Revised Version
But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Weymouth New Testament
And all of us, with unveiled faces, reflecting like bright mirrors the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same likeness, from one degree of radiant holiness to another, even as derived from the Lord the Spirit.

World English Bible
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
and we all, with unvailed face, the glory of the Lord beholding in a mirror, to the same image are being transformed, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Study Bible
The Glory of the New Covenant
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Cross References
Psalm 84:7
They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

John 17:22
I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one--

John 17:24
Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, that they may see the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:2
Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.
Treasury of Scripture

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.

with.

2 Corinthians 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face…

as in.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now …

James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to …

the glory.

2 Corinthians 4:4,6 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which …

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…

John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed …

are.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things …

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed …

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the …

Romans 13:14 But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for …

1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear …

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, …

Ephesians 4:22-24 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, …

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after …

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to …

2 Peter 1:5-9 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

from.

Romans 8:4,7 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk …

by the Spirit of the Lord. or, of the Lord the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, …

(18) But we all, with open face.--Better, And we all, with unveiled face.--The relation of this sentence to the foregoing is one of sequence and not of contrast, and it is obviously important to maintain in the English, as in the Greek, the continuity of allusive thought involved in the use of the same words as in 2Corinthians 3:14. "We," says the Apostle, after the parenthesis of 2Corinthians 3:17, "are free, and therefore we have no need to cover our faces, as slaves do before the presence of a great king. There is no veil over our hearts, and therefore none over the eyes with which we exercise our faculty of spiritual vision. We are as Moses was when he stood before the Lord with the veil withdrawn." If the Tallith were in use at this time in the synagogues of the Jews, there might also be a reference to the contrast between that ceremonial usage and the practice of Christian assemblies. (Comp. 1Corinthians 11:7; but see Note on 2Corinthians 3:15.)

Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.--The Greek participle which answers to the first five words belongs to a verb derived from the Greek for "mirror" (identical in meaning, though not in form, with that of 1Corinthians 13:12). The word is not a common word, and St. Paul obviously had some special reason for choosing it, instead of the more familiar words, "seeing," "beholding," "gazing stedfastly;" and it is accordingly important to ascertain its meaning. There is no doubt that the active voice signifies to "make a reflection in a mirror." There is as little doubt that the middle voice signifies to look at one's self in a mirror. Thus Socrates advised drunkards and the young to "look at themselves in a mirror," that they might learn the disturbing effects of passion (Diog. Laert. ii. 33; iii. 39). This meaning, however, is inapplicable here; and the writings of Philo, who in one passage (de Migr. Abrah. p. 403) uses it in this sense of the priests who saw their faces in the polished brass of the lavers of purification, supply an instance of its use with a more appropriate meaning. Paraphrasing the prayer of Moses in Exodus 33:18, he makes him say: "Let me not behold Thy form (idea) mirrored (using the very word which we find here) in any created thing, but in Thee, the very God" (2 Allegor. p. 79). And this is obviously the force of the word here. The sequence of thought is, it is believed, this:--St. Paul was about to contrast the veiled vision of Israel with the unveiled gaze of the disciples of Christ; but he remembers what he had said in 1Corinthians 13:12 as to the limitation of our present knowledge, and therefore, instead of using the more common word, which would convey the thought of a fuller knowledge, falls back upon the unusual word, which exactly expresses the same thought as that passage had expressed. "We behold the glory of the Lord, of the Jehovah of the Old Testament, but it is not, as yet, face to face, but as mirrored in the person of Christ." The following words, however, show that the word suggested yet another thought to him. When we see the sun as reflected in a polished mirror of brass or silver, the light illumines us: we are, as it were, transfigured by it and reflect its brightness. That this meaning lies in the word itself cannot, it is true, be proved, and it is, perhaps, hardly compatible with the other meaning which we have assigned to it; but it is perfectly conceivable that the word should suggest the fact, and the fact be looked on as a parable.

Are changed into the same image.--Literally, are being transfigured into the same image. The verb is the same (metemorphth) as that used in the account of our Lord's transfiguration in Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:2; and it may be noted that it is used of the transformation (a metamorphosis more wondrous than any poet had dreamt of) of the Christian into the likeness of Christ in the nearly contemporary passage (Romans 12:2). The thought is identical with that of Romans 8:29 : "Conformed to the likeness" (or image) "of His Son." We see God mirrored in Christ, who is "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15), and as we gaze, with our face unveiled, on that mirror, a change comes over us. The image of the old evil Adam-nature (1Corinthians 15:49) becomes less distinct, and the image of the new man, after the likeness of Christ, takes its place. We "faintly give back what we adore," and man, in his measure and degree, becomes, as he was meant to be at his creation, like Christ, "the image of the invisible God." Human thought has, we may well believe, never pictured what in simple phrase we describe as growth in grace, the stages of progressive sanctification, in the language of a nobler poetry.

From glory to glory.--This mode of expressing completeness is characteristic of St. Paul, as in Romans 1:17, "from faith to faith "; 2Corinthians 2:16, "of death to death." The thought conveyed is less that of passing from one stage of glory to another than the idea that this transfiguring process, which begins with glory, will find its consummation also in glory. The glory hereafter will be the crown of the glory here. The beatific vision will be possible only for those who have been thus transfigured. "We know that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1John 3:2).

Even as by the Spirit of the Lord.--The Greek presents the words in a form which admits of three possible renderings. (1) That of the English version; (2) that in the margin, "as of the Lord the Spirit"; (3) as of the Lord of the Spirit. The exceptional order in which the two words stand, which must be thought as adopted with a purpose, is in favour of (2) and (3) rather than of (1), and the fact that the writer had just dictated the words "the Lord is the Spirit" in favour of (2) rather than (3). The form of speech is encompassed with the same difficulties as before, but the leading thought is clear: "The process of transformation originates with the Lord (i.e., with Christ), but it is with Him, not 'after the flesh' as a mere teacher and prophet (2Corinthians 5:16), not as the mere giver of another code of ethics, another 'letter' or writing, but as a spiritual power and presence, working upon our spirits. In the more technical language of developed theology, it is through the Holy Spirit that the Lord, the Christ, makes His presence manifest to our human spirit." (Comp. Notes on John 14:22-26.)

Verse 18. - But we all. An appeal to personal experience in evidence of the freedom. With open face; rather, with unveiled face; as Moses himself spoke with God, whereas the Jews could not see even the reflected splendour on the face of Moses till he had shrouded it with a veil. Beholding as in a glass. This is at least as likely to be the true meaning as "reflecting as a mirror," which the Revised Version (following Chrysostom and others) has substituted for it. No other instance occurs in which the verb in the middle voice has the meaning of "reflecting," and the words, "With unveiled face," imply the image of "beholding." They are, in fact, a description of "the beatific vision." An additional reason for retaining the translation of our Authorized Version is that the verb is used in this sense by Philo ('Leg. Alleg.,' 3:33). The glory of the Lord. Namely, him who is "the Effulgence of God's glory" (Hebrews 1:2), the true Shechinah, "the Image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Are changed into the same image. The present tense implies a gradual transfiguration, a mystical and spiritual change which is produced in us while we contemplate Christ. From glory to glory. Our spiritual assimilation to Christ comes from his glory and issues in a glory like his (1 Corinthians 15:51; comp." from strength to strength," Psalm 84:7). (For the thought, comp. 1 John 3:2.) As by the Spirit of the Lord. This rendering (which is that of the Vulgate also) can hardly be correct. The natural meaning of the Greek is "as by the [or, from] the Lord the Spirit." Our change into glory comes from the Lord, who, as St. Paul has already explained, is the Spirit of which he has been speaking. No such abstract theological thought is here in his mind as that of the "hypostatic union," of the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is still referring to the contrast between the letter and the spirit, and his identification of this "spirit" in its highest sense with the quickening life which, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, we receive from Christ, and which is indeed identical with "the Spirit of Christ."



But we all with open face,.... We are not like Moses, who had a veil on his face; nor like the Jews, who have one on their hearts: "but we all"; not ministers and preachers of the Gospel only, but all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, greater or lesser believers, who are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and are converted to Christ: "with open face"; which may regard the object beheld, the glory of Christ unveiled, that has no veil on it, as Moses had on his face, when he delivered the law; or the persons beholding, who are rid of Jewish darkness; the veil of the ceremonial law, and of natural darkness and blindness of mind; and so clearly and fully, comparatively speaking,

beholding as in a glass; not of the law, but of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it; not with the eyes of their bodies, but with the eyes of their understandings, with the eye of faith; which sight is spiritual, delightful, and very endearing; throws a veil over all other objects, and makes souls long to be with Christ: the object beheld is

the glory of the Lord; Jesus Christ: not the glory of his human nature, which lies in its union to the Son of God, and in its names which it has by virtue of it; and in its being the curious workmanship of the Spirit of God, and so is pure and holy, and free from all sin; and was outwardly beautiful and glorious, and is so at the right hand of God, where we see him by faith, crowned with glory and honour; and shall behold him with the eyes of our bodies, and which will be fashioned like to his glorious body; but this sight and change are not yet: rather the glory of his divine nature is meant, which is essential and underived, the same with his Father's; is ineffable, and incomprehensible; it appears in the perfections he is possessed of, and in the worship given to him; it was manifested in the doctrines taught, and in the miracles wrought by him; there were some breakings forth of this glory in his state of humiliation, and were beheld by the apostles, and other believers, who saw his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father. Though the glory of Christ as Mediator, being full of grace and truth, seems to be chiefly designed; this he has from God, and had it from everlasting; this he gives to his people, and is what makes him so glorious, lovely, and desirable in their eye: and whilst this delightful object is beheld by them, they are

changed into the same image; there was a divine image in man, in his first creation; this image was defaced by sin, and a different one took place; now in regeneration another distinct from them both is stamped, and this is the image of Christ; he himself is formed in the soul, his grace is wrought there; so that it is no wonder there is a likeness between them; which lies in righteousness and holiness, and shows itself in acts of grace, and a discharge of duty. The gradual motion of the change into this image is expressed by this phrase,

from glory to glory: not from the glory of the law to the glory of the Gospel; or from the glory of Moses to the glory of Christ; rather from the glory that is in Christ, to a glory derived in believers from him; or which seems most agreeable, from one degree of grace to another, grace here being signified by glory; or from glory begun here to glory perfect hereafter; when this image will be completed, both in soul and body; and the saints will be as perfectly like to Christ, as they are capable of, and see him as he is: now the efficient cause of all this, "is the Spirit of the Lord". It is he that takes off the veil from the heart, that we may, with open face unveiled, behold all this glory; it is he that regenerates, stamps the image of Christ, and conforms the soul to his likeness; it is he that gradually carries on the work of grace upon the soul, increases faith, enlarges the views of the glory of Christ, and the spiritual light, knowledge, and experience of the saints, and will perfect all that which concerns them; will quicken their mortal bodies, and make them like to Christ; and will for ever rest as a spirit of glory on them, both in soul and body: some read these words,

by the Lord of the Spirit, and understand them of Christ, others read them, "by the Lord the Spirit", as they very well may be rendered; and so are a proof of the true and proper deity of the Holy Spirit, who is the one Jehovah with the Father and the Son. The ancient Jews owned this;

"the Spirit of the living God, (say (k) they,) , this is the Creator himself, from him all spirits are produced; blessed be he, and blessed be his name, because his name is he himself, for his name is Jehovah.''

(k) R. Moses Botril in Sepher Jetzirah, p. 40. Ed. Rittangel. 18. But we all—Christians, as contrasted with the Jews who have a veil on their hearts, answering to Moses' veil on his face. He does not resume reference to ministers till 2Co 4:1.

with open face—Translate, "with unveiled face" (the veil being removed at conversion): contrasted with "hid" (2Co 4:3).

as in a glass—in a mirror, namely, the Gospel which reflects the glory of God and Christ (2Co 4:4; 1Co 13:12; Jas 1:23, 25).

are changed into the same image—namely, the image of Christ's glory, spiritually now (Ro 8:29; 1Jo 3:3); an earnest of the bodily change hereafter (Php 3:21). However many they be, believers all reflect the same image of Christ more or less: a proof of the truth of Christianity.

from glory to glory—from one degree of glory to another. As Moses' face caught a reflection of God's glory from being in His presence, so believers are changed into His image by beholding Him.

even as, etc.—Just such a transformation "as" was to be expected from "the Lord the Spirit" (not as English Version, "the Spirit of the Lord") [Alford] (2Co 3:17): "who receives of the things of Christ, and shows them to us" (Joh 16:14; Ro 8:10, 11). (Compare as to hereafter, Ps 17:15; Re 22:4). 3:12-18 It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testament believers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that glorious Saviour, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outward institution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe, love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as possible. And the whole doctrine of Christ crucified, is made as plain as human language can make it. Those who lived under the law, had a veil upon their hearts. This veil is taken away by the doctrines of the Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is set at liberty to run the ways of God's commandments. They have light, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord. Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We should not rest contented without knowing the transforming power of the gospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to be like the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also.
Jump to Previous
Beholding Bright Changed Degree Face Faces Glass Glory Holiness Image Likeness Mirror Mirrors Open Radiant Reflect Reflecting Spirit Transformed Unveiled
Jump to Next
Beholding Bright Changed Degree Face Faces Glass Glory Holiness Image Likeness Mirror Mirrors Open Radiant Reflect Reflecting Spirit Transformed Unveiled
Links
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV

2 Corinthians 3:18 Biblia Paralela
2 Corinthians 3:18 Chinese Bible
2 Corinthians 3:18 French Bible
2 Corinthians 3:18 German Bible

Alphabetical: a all And are as beholding being But comes ever-increasing face faces from glory his image in into is just likeness Lord Lord's mirror of reflect same Spirit the to transformed unveiled we which who with

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all with unveiled face beholding (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
2 Corinthians 3:17
Top of Page
Top of Page