George Dion Dragas|
University of Durham
The Church in St. Maximus' Mystagogy
The Problem and the Orthodox Perspective
From "Theology", no 1, 1985
Chapter 8 : The Bible as the Eikon of Man and the Church (11)
Previously, St. Maximus showed how man, composed of body, soul and mind, is an eikon of the Church understood as a liturgical community in a specific place, i.e. consisting of laity (Temple), clergy (The Holy Place) and the divine grace (The Altar). Here he draws two similar eikonic parallels between man and the Bible by saying that the body-soul composition of the former corresponds to the OT-NT canon, or to the historical letter - mind (or purpose of the letter) of the latter's composition. This means that as the body is mortal and the soul immortal, so the letter of the Bible is corruptible, but the spirit incorruptible. Also, as man through philosophy masters the flesh, so the Bible, understood spiritually, can be seen as a circumcision of her letter. What Paul says about the outer man (who is corruptible) and the inner (who is incorruptible) could also be said of the Bible. The more the letter of the Bible withdraws, the more its truth shines. The more the shadows of the temporary worship pass away, the more the luminous effluent and shadowless truth of the faith enters in. As man is man because of his rational and noetic soul, whereby he is called image and likeness of God, likewise the mind of the biblical grace is in fact what makes the Bible to be the Bible.
11. Cf. Mystagogy ch. 6