2-corinthians 3:9


King James Version (KJV)

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

American King James Version (AKJV)

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

American Standard Version (ASV)

For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

For if the operation of the law, producing punishment, had its glory, how much greater will be the operation of the Spirit causing righteousness?

Webster's Revision

For if the ministration of condemnation was glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

World English Bible

For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

English Revised Version (ERV)

For if the ministration of condemnation is glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

Definitions for 2-corinthians 3:9

Doth - To do; to produce; make.
Ministration - Service.

Clarke's 2-corinthians 3:9 Bible Commentary

The ministration of condemnation - The law, which ascertained sin, and condemned it to just punishment.

The ministration of righteousness - The Gospel, the grand business of which was to proclaim the doctrine δικαιοσυνης, of justification; and to show how God could be just and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.

Exceed in glory - For great, glorious, and awful as the law may be, in its opposition to sin, which is a reproach to man, and a dishonor to God; and in its punishment of sin; yet it must be vastly exceeded by that system which, evidencing an equal abhorrence of sin, finds out a method to forgive it; to take away its guilt from the conscience, and remove all its infection from the soul. That this could be done the law pointed out by its blood of bulls and of goats: but every considerate mind must see that it was impossible for these to take away sin; it is the Gospel that does what the law signified; and forasmuch as the performance of a promise is greater than the promise itself, and the substance of a man is greater than the shadow projected by that substance; so is the Gospel of Jesus Christ greater than the law, with all its promises, types, ceremonies, and shadows.

Barnes's 2-corinthians 3:9 Bible Commentary

For if the ministration of condemnation - Of Moses in giving the Law, the effect of which is to produce condemnation. Law condemns the guilty; it does not save them. It denounces punishment; it contains no provisions of pardon. To pardon is to depart from the Law; and must be done under the operation of another system - since a law which contains a provision for the pardon of offenders, and permits them to escape, would be a burlesque in legislation. The tendency of the Mosaic institutions, therefore, was to produce a sense of condemnation. And so it will be found by all who attempt to be justified by the Law. It will tend to, and result in, their condemnation.

Be glory - Be glorious; or be glory itself - It was glorious as a manifestation of the holiness and justice of God; and glorious in the attending circumstances. No event in our world has been more magnificent in the circumstances of external majesty and splendor than the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

The ministration of righteousness - The gospel; the promulgation of the plan of mercy. It is called "the ministration of righteousness," in contradistinction from the Law of Moses, which was a "ministration of condemnation." The word "righteousness," however, does not exactly express the force of the original word. That word is δικαιοσύνης dikaiosunēs, and it stands directly opposed to the word κατακρισεως katakriseōs, "condemnation." It should be rendered 'the ministration of justification;' the plan by which God justifies people; see the note, Romans 1:17. The Law of Moses condemns; the gospel is the plan by which man is justified. And if that which condemns could be glorious, much more must that be by which people can be justified, acquitted, and saved. The superior glory of the gospel, therefore, consists in the fact that it is a scheme to justify and save lost sinners. And this glory consists:

(1) In the fact that it can be done when all law condemns.

(2) in the showing forth of the divine character while it is done, as just, and merciful, and benevolent in doing it - blending all his great and glorious attributes together - while the Law disclosed only one of His attributes - His justice.

(3) in the manner in which it is done. It is by the incarnation of the Son of God - a far more glorious manifestation of deity than was made on Mount Sinai. It is by the toils, and sufferings, and death of him who made the atonement, and by the circumstances of awful and imposing grandeur which attended his death, when the sun was darkened. and the rocks were rent - far more grand and awful scenes than occurred when the Law was given. It is by the resurrection and ascension of the Redeemer - scenes far more sublime than all the external glories of Sinai when the Law was given.

(4) in the effects, or results. The one condemns; the other justifies and saves. The effect of the one is seen in the convictions of conscience, in alarm, in a sense of guilt, in the conscious desert of condemnation, and in the apprehension of eternal punishment. The other is seen in sins forgiven; in peace of conscience; in the joy of pardon; in the hope of heaven; in comfort and triumph on the bed of death, and amidst the glories of heaven.

Wesley's 2-corinthians 3:9 Bible Commentary

3:9 The ministration of condemnation - Such the Mosaic dispensation proved to all the Jews who rejected the gospel whereas through the gospel (hence called the ministration of righteousness) God both imputed and imparted righteousness to all believers. But how can the moral law (which alone was engraven on stone) be the ministration of condemnation, if it requires no more than a sincere obedience, such as is proportioned to our infirm state? If this is sufficient to justify us, then the law ceases to be a ministration of condemnation. It becomes (flatly contrary to the apostle's doctrine) the ministration of righteousness.

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