Circumcision And Soteriology In Cyril Of Alexandria’S Old Testament Commentaries

Perichoresis 12 (2):201-219 (2014)
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Cyril of Alexandria was a prolific biblical commentator who underscored the meaning and relevance of the Old Testament for Christian theology by employing a typological method of interpretation. His exegetical concern was to demonstrate that everything associated with the old covenant- people, events, commandments, institutions-were types and shadows foretelling the ‘mystery of Christ’. The key to understanding the types of the Old Testament is to recognize their soteriological fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Throughout his exegetical writings, Cyril draws particular attention to the Jewish rite of circumcision, showing how the physical operation signifies the saving work of Christ through the Spirit. Cyril does not interpret circumcision in a monolithic sense, but derives multiple soteriological meanings from it. Insofar as circumcision represents a variety of saving realities for Cyril, it helps us understand his complex, multi-faceted doctrine of salvation.



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