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St. Cyril of Alexandria, A New Testament Exegete


His Commentary on the Gospel of John


This study portrays Cyril of Alexandria as exegete and theologian through an examination of his Commentary on the Gospel John. It begins with an attempt to place Cyril and his commentary within their context. This work argues that Cyril wrote his Commentary on the Gospel of John early in his writing career, almost a decade before becoming bishop. Cyril’s commentary on the Johannine Gospel reveals his exegetical method and his strong Trinitarian theology. The commentary also focuses on the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0387-0
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 18,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 364
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0387-0
$47.86

This study portrays Cyril of Alexandria as exegete and theologian through an examination of his Commentary on the Gospel of John. It begins with an attempt to place Cyril and his commentary within their context. Cyril’s multifaceted personality becomes evident in the years before he became bishop. A Christian Egyptian and a citizen of the Roman Empire, raised in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria and trained as an ascetic in Scetis, a student of Scripture and rhetoric, Cyril became a writer, an exegete, and a reader in the Church of Alexandria. This work argues that Cyril wrote his Commentary early in his writing career, almost a decade before becoming bishop.

Cyril’s commentary on the Johannine Gospel reveals his exegetical method and his strong Trinitarian theology. Influenced by his rhetorical training, he begins with the literal meaning and then directs his readers to the deeper, spiritual, hidden, and enigmatic meaning of the text. Cyril’s spiritual interpretation aims to disclose the type of Christ and discover the deep and hidden meaning of scripture. The Trinity is the framework within which Cyril articulates his understanding of the Incarnation and redemption. The unity, oneness, and indivisibility of Christ are preserved at all times and under all conditions, not only within his own nature but also within the Trinity. The commentary also focuses the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.

Lois M. Farag was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She completed her undergraduate studies majoring in mathematics and pursued her graduate studies in the United States with an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. She taught at Loyola College in Maryland and at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is presently an Assistant Professor of Early Church History at Luther Seminary in Minnesota.

This study portrays Cyril of Alexandria as exegete and theologian through an examination of his Commentary on the Gospel of John. It begins with an attempt to place Cyril and his commentary within their context. Cyril’s multifaceted personality becomes evident in the years before he became bishop. A Christian Egyptian and a citizen of the Roman Empire, raised in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria and trained as an ascetic in Scetis, a student of Scripture and rhetoric, Cyril became a writer, an exegete, and a reader in the Church of Alexandria. This work argues that Cyril wrote his Commentary early in his writing career, almost a decade before becoming bishop.

Cyril’s commentary on the Johannine Gospel reveals his exegetical method and his strong Trinitarian theology. Influenced by his rhetorical training, he begins with the literal meaning and then directs his readers to the deeper, spiritual, hidden, and enigmatic meaning of the text. Cyril’s spiritual interpretation aims to disclose the type of Christ and discover the deep and hidden meaning of scripture. The Trinity is the framework within which Cyril articulates his understanding of the Incarnation and redemption. The unity, oneness, and indivisibility of Christ are preserved at all times and under all conditions, not only within his own nature but also within the Trinity. The commentary also focuses the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.

Lois M. Farag was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She completed her undergraduate studies majoring in mathematics and pursued her graduate studies in the United States with an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. She taught at Loyola College in Maryland and at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is presently an Assistant Professor of Early Church History at Luther Seminary in Minnesota.

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Contributor Biography

Lois Farag

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She completed her undergraduate studies majoring in mathematics and pursued her graduate studies in the United States with an M.Div. degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. She taught at Loyola College in Maryland and at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD. She is presently an Assistant Professor of Early Church History at Luther Seminary, MN.

  • Preface (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
  • Chapter 1 (page 21)
    • The Years before Cyril’s Episcopal Career (page 21)
      • The Early Years of Cyril of Alexandria (page 22)
      • Serapion the Wise (page 26)
      • Cyril’s Education in the Desert (page 32)
      • The Important Figures Residing in the Nitrian Desert at the Time of Cyril (page 36)
      • Cyril and the Position of Reader avnagnw,sthj (page 40)
      • The primary and secondary education of Cyril (page 50)
      • Study of Rhetoric (page 58)
      • Libraries in Alexandria (page 59)
      • The Alexandrian cultural milieu at the time of Cyril (page 61)
      • The Date of The Commentary on the Gospel of John (page 70)
      • Conclusion (page 77)
  • Chapter 2 (page 81)
    • The Trinity (page 81)
      • Theological background (page 84)
      • God (page 88)
      • Trinity (page 92)
      • Oneness of the Trinity (page 102)
      • The Father (page 111)
      • The Son (page 113)
      • The Holy Spirit (page 142)
      • Conclusion (page 154)
  • Chapter 3 (page 159)
    • Cyril’s Exegetical Method (page 159)
    • Part One: Literary Exegesis (page 159)
      • The Literary Aspect of Cyril’s The Commentary on the Gospel of John (page 164)
      • The Text as “Commentary” (page 165)
      • The Division of the Commentary (page 167)
      • The Division of the Gospel Text (page 168)
      • Grammar (page 176)
      • Geography (page 180)
      • Cyril and Greek culture (page 184)
      • Style (page 192)
      • Argumentation with Heretics (page 196)
      • Conclusion (page 205)
  • Chapter 4 (page 209)
    • Cyril’s Exegetical Method (page 209)
    • Part Two: Spiritual Exegesis (page 209)
      • Cyril’s Understanding of the Two-Fold Exegesis (page 210)
      • Arrangement and Invention (page 215)
      • Cyril’s use of the terms: tu,poj( pneumatiko,j( musth,rion( ai;nigma( kru,ptw( skiagra,foj( diaskope,w( ba,quj( shmei/on( eivkw,n( sch/ma( qewri,a( and qewre,w (page 233)
      • Cyril’s use of the Old Testament Themes in his New Testament Interpretation (page 253)
      • Conclusion (page 262)
  • Conclusion (page 265)
  • Appendix (page 273)
  • The Gospel of John (page 275)
  • Bibliography (page 327)
  • Index (page 355)
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