Cyril of Alexandria's Trinitarian Theology of Scripture by Matthew R. Crawford

By Matthew R. Crawford

Extra exegetical literature survives from the hand of Cyril of Alexandria than approximately the other Greek patristic writer, but this widespread physique of labor has scarcely obtained the measure of cognizance it merits. during this paintings, Matthew R. Crawford reconstructs the highbrow context that gave upward push to this literary output and highlights Cyril's Trinitarian theology, got as an inheritance from the fourth century, because the most vital defining issue. Cyril's appropriation of pro-Nicene Trinitarianism is clear in either one of his theology of revelation and his theology of exegesis, the 2 foci that include his doctrine of Scripture. Revelation, in his knowing, proceeds from the daddy, during the Son, and within the Spirit, following the order of Trinitarian relatives. furthermore, this development applies to the muse of Scripture in addition, insofar as proposal happens whilst the Son indwells human authors through the Spirit and speaks the phrases of the daddy. even though Cyril's interpretation of revelation may possibly for this reason be known as "Trinitarian," it's also resolutely Christological, because the divine and incarnate Son features because the crucial content material and mediator of all divine unveiling. such as this divine move in the direction of humanity in revelation is humanity's appropriation of divine lifestyles in line with the opposite pattern--in the Spirit, in the course of the Son, unto the daddy. utilized to exegesis, this Trinitarian trend means that the Spirit directs the reader of Scripture to a Christological interpretation of the textual content, wherein the believer beholds the incarnate Son, the exemplar of advantage and the best picture of the daddy, and consequently advances in either advantage and data. This strategy keeps till the ultimate eschatological imaginative and prescient while the categories and riddles of Scripture can be performed away with in gentle of the overpowering readability of the Christologically-mediated Trinitarian imaginative and prescient.

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In other words, the intra­Trinitarian relations imply the manner of Trinitarian operation, and in both cases there is a distinct and irreversible pattern of coordinating Father and Son. 49) spirit is inseparable from the person whose spirit it is.  For the latter purpose he uses another analogy, one that we have already seem him allude to in his debate with Nestorius. In his Five Tomes against Nestorius Cyril argues that the Spirit was the “power” by which the incarnate Son performed his miracles, though in that passage he did not anchor this principle with his Trinitarian axiom.

It is time now to return to the theme of revelation to see how ordered, inseparable operations relates to divine unveiling.  In this respect, his theology of revelation is not only traditional and conservative, but has also been profoundly transformed by his pro­Nicene heritage. Inseparable Operations and Revelation There are three passages that are particularly useful for demonstrating this more nuanced account of divine revelation.  Therefore this axiom should not be seen as a rigid schema forced onto the basic text of Scripture, but one that brings to fuller expression the glimpses of divine unveiling that appear scattered here and there throughout the written word.

As suggested by the Son’s manner of operation “by the Spirit,” the Spirit is the terminus of the progression through the hypostases implied by Cyril’s Trinitarian axiom, and can therefore be regarded as “the natural, living, and hypostatic operation of the divine substance,” in other words, the means by which the deity always acts in the created realm.  The Spirit proceeds “from the Father,” so Trinitarian agency, we might suppose, must also proceed in some sense from the Father “through” or “in” the Spirit.

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