Someone recently challenged me on this passage to “prove” that Torah was abolished at the cross:
2 Corinthians 3: 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 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. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIV)
See how the New International Bible version changed it to suggest that “Christ” somehow removed the need for the entire “Old Covenant?” Other “Greek” Bible versions do the same thing! (The “Old Testament” reveals WHO God (YHWH) is and what He expected of His people. Anyone who accepts Him as their God is HIS people – and those who are His, ARE expected to obey the Divine Rules designed to set them apart from the world…)
Anyway, let’s take a look at this passage through the “Hebrew” as opposed to the “Greek” mindset:
2 Corinthians 3:12. Seeing therefore we have this hope, we the more, speak with boldness; 13. And are not like Moshe, who threw a veil over his face that the children of Israel might not behold the termination of that (condemnation) which was abolished. 14. But they were blinded in their understanding because until this day, when the Ancient Covenant is read, the same veil rests upon them; nor is it manifest (to them), that it (condemnation) is abolished by the Mashiyach.
15. And to this day, when Moshe is read, a veil is thrown upon their hearts. 16. But when any of them is turned to Master YHWH, the veil is taken from him[*]. 17. Now Master YHWH Himself is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of Master YHWH is, there is freedom. 18. And we all, with uncovered faces, behold as in a mirror the glory of Master YHWH; and are transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, as by Master YHWH the Spirit. (Aramaic English New Testament/AENT)
Let’s put on our thinking caps and view this through the Hebrew, instead of the “Greek” mindset:
First, the context of this passage marked by the asterisk (*) does NOT suggest that Torah “blinds”; nor does the reading of the “Renewed Covenant” bring Grace. The context is that in each, one must “turn to Master YHWH with their hearts” to remove the veil.
Secondly, in verses 16 through 18, the use of the word “Lord” in the Greek versions makes it look as if it is referring to “Christ” (Messiah). However, the Aramaic actually uses the term “MarYah” meaning “Master YHWH” (the Father)!
Rather than people constantly turning to “Jesus” as the deciding factor (i.e., insisting he removed the need for Torah - the first five Books of the Bible that contain YHWH’s original Divine Instructions, designed to show us how to “be holy” - along with the rest of the “Old” Testament, people need to start viewing YHWH ELOHIM as our ancestors KNEW Him during the 4,000 years BEFORE Messiah ever came onto the scene. (YHWH handed down all kinds of instructions to mankind in Genesis 1 and throughout the rest of the Torah.)
If they would only STUDY the “Old Testament” in context, they would eventually discover that the “New” Testament” was NOT to show that “Jesus came to bring grace and abolish His Father’s Divine Instruction in Righteousness,’ with no other responsibilities besides “believing in Jesus.”
The “Hebrew context” (which began some 2,000 years ago, when men began to translate and MIS-translate the original manuscripts), reveals that YHWH sent His Messiah to return His people onto HIS Path of holiness, without all the additions and changes that men had begun to teach each other.
Yeshua’s task was to do His Father's will and NOT his own; that he would do everything His Father commanded, and then to martyr himself and thus become our Redeemer who – as we all know - substituted his nephesh/soul for ours so that we could TRULY come to know and follow YHWH’s ways and be “set apart” (instead of only “lukewarm” in our religiosity spawned by our limited, human mindsets) and ultimately receive eternal life.
NOTHING suggests that Yeshua came to bring a new religion or “abolish” His Father’s Divine Instructions OR anything else in what we call the “Old Testament!”
Luke 4:43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."
Luke 8:1 And it happened after these things that Y'shua was going around in the cities and in the villages and was preaching and declaring the Kingdom of Elohim.
The bottom line is that Jews (who accept only the "Old Testament" while vehemently denying Yeshua's sacrifice on the stake) and Gentiles (who cling to the erroneous "Jesus abolished all that old stuff on the cross" and "it was only for the Jews" mindset) must learn to see “the whole picture” in context, instead of using prayers or certain passages (often taken out of context) to pretend that God doesn’t mind “opinions” or outright Scripture twisting to make us feel good.
Throughout the Gospels we see Yeshua giving Glory to the Father, and teaching men to turn hearts unto YHWH. It was never about himself; it was about the whole concept of ADONAI/ELOHIM God, and how to please Him so that we could learn to be holy and set apart, and thus gain eternal life instead of risking eternal separation from God.
It's heartbreaking to see the damage mankind has done to the Bible throughout the ages! Scripture reveals in several places that this would happen:
Ezekiel 22:26 Her pastors/priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them."
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of ADONAI is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
28:4 Those who abandon Torah praise the wicked, but those who keep Torah fight them.
James 3:15 For this wisdom comes not down from above; but is earthly, and from the devices of the soul, and from demons. 16. For where envy and disputation are, there also is confusion and everything wrong. 17. But the wisdom which is from above is perfect and full of peace, and mild and submissive, and full of compassion and of good fruits, and without partiality and without respect of persons.
People can argue all day long about how they have the truth...but this gets us nowhere! In the end, there is only one truth - and that is YHWH's Truth! If we don’t adhere to it, then WHOM are we truly worshiping?