I’m trying to finish up my chapter on 2 Cor 3-5, and one last bit of work is finalizing my stuff on 2 Cor 3:18, particularly how people work out the mirror metaphor. One bit I’m not clear on is Hafemann’s take on the passage from Paul, Moses and the History of Israel. This is my summary of his stuff as it stands, but I don’t think I’m getting his whole picture:
Hafemann argues strongly that the action of ‘seeing’ (as opposed to ‘reflecting’) based upon 3.13 is most determinative for Paul’s metaphor in 3.18 (409-411, esp. n.231 and n.239). As a basis of his argument, only Moses and Paul have had visible experiences of God’s presence—Moses on Sinai (276-283) and Paul on the way to Damascus (415-417). The use of the mirror metaphor means that the experience of the presence of God is indirect. He notes that Moses’ seeing glory was indirect in 409n231, where he points to his ‘chapter 2′, but I don’t know where to find it there. (My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that God’s glory reveals him, but it also hides him). But as it was indirect for the people, it was mediated through Moses before, and it is mediated now through Paul (409n231, 412n.241). While the implicit comparison between Paul and Moses is important to Paul’s discussion, to restrict the experience of all believers to this singular ministry of Paul is too limiting, even for the sake of the Corinthians. It does not take seriously enough the comparison between Moses and believers, which Hafemann himself notes (409-10). That is, even if you take Moses’ experience as indirect on the mountain, believers now have a similar access to God by turning to the Lord, with an unveiled heart.
By ‘indirectly’ does he mean by means of a mediator? If not, what does ‘indirectly’ mean? Who/what serves as the mirror in his system?
Also what is it specifically that believers ‘see’ (κατοπτριζόμενοι) since I don’t imagine he is referring to the literal vision of the ‘glory of God’? I think he clarifies this last question on page 416, where he says they encounter Christ, who is the glory of God.
Any responses would be much appreciated.