2 Corinthians 3:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

King James Bible
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Darby Bible Translation
who has also made us competent, [as] ministers of [the] new covenant; not of letter, but of spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens.

World English Bible
who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Young's Literal Translation
who also made us sufficient to be ministrants of a new covenant, not of letter, but of spirit; for the letter doth kill, and the spirit doth make alive.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Who hath made us able ministers - This is a more formal answer to the question, Who is sufficient for these things? προς ταυτα τις ἱκανος; 1 Corinthians 2:16. God, says the apostle, has made us able ministers; ἱκανωσεν ἡμας διακονους, he has made us sufficient for these things; for the reader will observe that he uses the same word in both places. We apostles execute, under the Divine influence, what God himself has devised. We are ministers of the new covenant; of this new dispensation of truth, light, and life, by Christ Jesus; a system which not only proves itself to have come from God, but necessarily implies that God himself by his own Spirit is a continual agent in it, ever bringing its mighty purposes to pass. On the words καινη διαθηκη, new covenant, see the Preface to the gospel of St. Matthew.

Not of the letter, but of the Spirit - The apostle does not mean here, as some have imagined, that he states himself to be a minister of the New Testament, in opposition to the Old; and that it is the Old Testament that kills, and the New that gives life; but that the New Testament gives the proper meaning of the Old; for the old covenant had its letter and its spirit, its literal and its spiritual meaning. The law was founded on the very supposition of the Gospel; and all its sacrifices, types, and ceremonies refer to the Gospel. The Jews rested in the letter, which not only afforded no means of life, but killed, by condemning every transgressor to death. They did not look at the spirit; did not endeavor to find out the spiritual meaning; and therefore they rejected Christ, who was the end of the law for justification; and so for redemption from death to every one that believes. The new covenant set all these spiritual things at once before their eyes, and showed them the end, object, and design of the law; and thus the apostles who preached it were ministers of that Spirit which gives life.

Every institution has its letter as well as its spirit, as every word must refer to something of which it is the sign or significator. The Gospel has both its letter and its spirit; and multitudes of professing Christians, by resting in the Letter, receive not the life which it is calculated to impart. Water, in baptism, is the letter that points out the purification of the soul; they who rest in this letter are without this purification; and dying in that state they die eternally. Bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, are the letter; the atoning efficacy of the death of Jesus, and the grace communicated by this to the soul of a believer, are the spirit. Multitudes rest in this letter, simply receiving these symbols, without reference to the atonement, or to their guilt; and thus lose the benefit of the atonement and the salvation of their souls. The whole Christian life is comprehended by our Lord under the letter, Follow me. Does not any one see that a man, taking up this letter only, and following Christ through Judea, Galilee, Samaria, etc., to the city, temple, villages, seacoast, mountains, etc., fulfilled no part of the spirit; and might, with all this following, lose his soul? Whereas the Spirit, viz. receive my doctrine, believe my sayings, look by faith for the fulfillment of my promises, imitate my example, would necessarily lead him to life eternal. It may be safely asserted that the Jews, in no period of their history, ever rested more in the letter of their law than the vast majority of Christians are doing in the letter of the Gospel. Unto multitudes of Christians Christ may truly say: Ye will not come unto me that ye may have life.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

hath.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation...

Matthew 13:52 Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder...

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

1 Corinthians 3:5,10 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man...

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings...

Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power.

Ephesians 4:11,12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers...

Colossians 1:25-29 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God...

1 Timothy 1:11,12 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust...

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put the brothers in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ...

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

the new.

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil not taken away in the reading of the old testament...

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 And he said to them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you...

Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Hebrews 8:6-10 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant...

Hebrews 9:15-20 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death...

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep...

*marg:

not.

Romans 2:27-29 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge you...

Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit...

for.

2 Corinthians 3:7,9 But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious...

Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 4:15 Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 7:9-11 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died...

Galatians 3:10-12,21 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written...

but the.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on...

giveth life. or, quickeneth.

John 5:21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so the Son vivifies whom he will.

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead...

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Ephesians 2:1,5 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh...

Library
Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Gospel Transcends Law.
Text: 2 Corinthians 3, 4-11. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Letter and the Spirit
(Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.) II COR. iii. 6. God, who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. When we look at the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for to-day one after the other, we do not see, perhaps, what they have to do with each other. But they have to do with each other. They agree with each other. They explain each other. They all three tell us what God is like, and what we are to believe
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Note F. Note from Bengel on Rom. I. 4.
According to the Spirit of Holiness. The word hagios, holy, when God is spoken of, not only denotes the blameless rectitude in action, but the very Godhead, or to speak more properly, the divinity, or excellence of the Divine nature. Hence hagiosune (the word here used) has a kind of middle sense between hagiotes, holiness, and hagiasmos, sanctification. Comp. Heb. xii. 10 (hagiotes or holiness), v. 14 (hagiasmos or sanctification). So that there are, as it were, three degrees: sanctification,
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
2 Tim. iii. 16.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." We told you that there was nothing more necessary to know than what our end is, and what the way is that leads to that end. We see the most part of men walking at random,--running an uncertain race,--because they do not propose unto themselves a certain scope to aim at, and whither to direct their whole course. According to men's particular
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Jeremiah 31:31
"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

Luke 22:20
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

John 6:63
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.

Romans 2:29
No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God.

Romans 7:6
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

1 Corinthians 3:5
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

1 Corinthians 11:25
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

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