The Revised English Bible renders it this way:
Indeed, the glory that once was is now no glory at all; it is outshone by a still greater glory. For if what was to fade away had its glory, how much greater is the glory of what endures! With such a hope as this we speak out boldly; it is not for us to do as Moses did: he put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away. In any case their minds had become closed, for that same veil is there to this very day when the lesson is read from the old covenant; and it is never lifted, because only in Christ is it taken away. Indeed to this very day, every time the law of Moses is read, a veil lies over the mind of the hearer. But (as scripture says) "Whenever he turns to the Lord the veil is removed." Now the Lord of whom this passage speaks is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. And because for us there is no veil over the face, we all see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, and we are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory through the power of the Lord who is the Spirit.
Do we understand this last verse? We are being transformed into the glory of His likeness!
This passage is a comparison of the two covenants. This illustration may be helpful. When we see the full moon on a cloudless night, it is reflecting the glory of the sun. It is likely that the moon will reflect enough light that a person can see fairly clearly to make his way, even though it is nighttime. But once the sun is up, there is absolutely no comparison between the glory of the sun and the glory of the moon! As glorious as the moon looked, shining in its full glory during the dark of night, it is nothing at all compared to the full glory of the sun!
This illustrates the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant is the moon, bright enough to shine and containing enough reflective glory that, whenever Moses was in the presence of God, he came away with his face reflecting that glory. But that glory faded away! Soon, Moses' face was just like every other Israelite's face.
Paul desires to help us understand the greatness, the magnitude, of the difference between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant! The Old Covenant had a glory, but it was a fading one! God never intended it to last! But the New Covenant is so exceedingly great—it is like the difference between the sun in all of its strength and the moon! The glory of the sun does not fade away!
We need to look at some differences. Under the Old Covenant, Moses reflected the glory of God. That was wonderful, but it was external, temporary. It faded. Under the New Covenant, it is not just one person reflecting the glory of God but all Christians! It is not displayed outwardly on the face, but inwardly in their nature and character. It is a progressive transformation that increases until the Christian's character is transformed to be like the Lord's glorious character! And at the resurrection, his body will changed to conform to Christ's (I John 3:2).
Man's potential not to be a greater man. He is not going to be an angel. He is going to be God!
That is the image into which those of us having the Spirit of God are being transformed! For the Christian, it is the image of God after which he is being created—what we are going through this process for! We are moving through this process—through the creative power of God and our own choices—from the glory of man to the glory of God!
What does God create in this process? We understand that His purpose in creating is to create the character of God in us. But how is this done? What does God create that produces the character? (Character is actually the fruit of what God creates.)
God creates circumstances in which we receive the experience of being confronted with choices according to the will of God. He wants us to learn to react according to His will, according to His law. He wants us to experience, analyze, gain knowledge, deduce, understand, and finally decide to do the right thing. He puts us in circumstances to force the issue—to make us choose.
God's spiritual creation is still going on!