Number Symbolism in Cyril of Alexandria’s Interpretation of Scripture

Number Symbolism in Cyril of Alexandria’s Interpretation of Scripture

Jonathan Morgan
Indiana Wesleyan University
 
Abstract: Cyril of Alexandria’s exegesis of Scripture has been the focus of recent scholarship. This is a welcome development since the majority of his literary output is commentaries and other exegetical writings. Cyril is a keen observer of details in the biblical text, and assumes that nothing in Scripture is superfluous. In this essay, I explore the way Cyril interprets numbers in Scripture as signposts indicating deeper theological realities. This interpretive method is called number symbolism. Understanding Cyril’s use of number symbolism sheds light on his exegesis of Scripture and the core principles of his theological vision.