It would seem that some of those false teachers at Corinth that had caused some much trouble there had come forward with letters of recommendation from other brethren and/or churches that lent credence to their positions, while claiming that Paul was falsely promoting himself as a spiritual authority that had no basis in reality. He responds in verses 2-4 by saying that the brethren at Corinth are his letter of recommendation “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” The transformation of their hearts and their lives (not to mention the spiritual gifts given them by the Spirit) served as their own testament to the fact that Paul was “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God (2 Corinthians 1:1).”
Paul’s points in verses 4-11 are that it was not anything in himself or his brethren that made a difference, but the sufficiency given by God as ministers of the new covenant. The old covenant (the law of Moses , which was deficient only because of man’s sins) was the ministry of condemnation (because man could not uphold the law). But the end of the old covenant is marked by the removal of the veil (which also could allude to the veil of the temple), which is removed through Christ, revealing the glory of the Lord (verses 14-18).
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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