Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil

Ancient Christian Wisdom

Christ_Agia_Sophia For the Church Fathers, the relationship between the Gospel of Christ and the Law of Moses could be likened to the distinction between the work of a trainer or a pedagogue on the one hand and the work of someone who initiates someone into a mystery or a mystagogue on the other. The first directs the body to do this or that. The second illumines the mind to see clearly what was formerly hidden. Thus, Saint Basil the Great would say that “as the law forbids evil deeds, the Gospel does so with well hidden passions” (Initium Morialum, PG 31.761). If we were to put it in contemporary language, we could say the law concentrates on modifying behavior for a God-pleasing way of life, whereas the Gospel focuses on cognition as behavior’s source. In this psychological context of behavior and cognition or patristic perspective of action and vision, Christ’s own…

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