A Few Notes on ‘Written on the Heart’ in 2 Corinthians 3

Reading ‘Paul and the Faithfulness of God’, I came to a short exposition on 2 Corinthians 3 – and I decided to pause and dig a bit deeper into it, specifically the theme of ‘written on the heart’.

– An interesting (but by no means exhaustive) chain of uses of the theme of ‘written on the heart’ can be traced through Deuteronomy 6, Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36. Roughly, each of those passages can be mapped as such:

(1) Deuteronomy 6 = slavery/exodus/Shema

(2) Jeremiah 31 = renewal of people covenant, noting Israel’s unfaithfulness in verse 32

(3) Ezekiel 36 = the vindication of Israel, and the new spirit, noting that Israel profaned God’s name among the nations

Finally, in 2 Corinthians 3, we have a few different things going on:

– the new covenant

– the fulfillment of various OT covenant promises, both of which occur within the context of Paul’s ministry to the Corinthian church and the life of the Corinthian church itself.

– the reflection and beholding of glory/Shema, which is an interesting use of temple-language in regards to the church

– said glory is revealed not in the physical temple, but in the new temple, the true temple, the people of God, unveiled by the spirit

– the rough conclusion of the chapter seems to in effect be that in the apostolic ministry of Paul, and in the life of the Corinthian church, we have the fullfillment and embodiment of the OT covenant promises.

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