St Cyril on the Priesthood of Christ and the Old Testament

Jonathan Douglas Hicks, PhD
University of Otago Alumnus
Missionary Candidate with the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders

Abstract: Cyril of Alexandria, renowned for his germinal work in the Christological controversy, was equally accomplished as a biblical exegete. A fully-orbed description of Cyril’s Christological and soteriological commitments necessarily engages the exegetical as well as the synthetic literature. One of the themes that has emerged in Cyrilline scholarship in relation to these commitments is his understanding of the priestly office of the Son of God. In this study, I draw attention to a difficulty in interpreting Cyril’s early position on the priesthood of the Son: if the Son is said to become priest only in the Incarnation, what is one to make of the priest-like ministry of the Son such as Cyril describes it in the Old Testament? I conclude by reflecting on what Cyril’s formulation of the doctrine gives us in terms of an account of the cause of the Son’s priesthood and its ongoing significance for the age to come.