Catechetical Exegesis: Cyril of Jerusalem’s Use of Biblical Exegesis in His Catechetical Lectures

in Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity

Abstract

The present article will examine the catechetical exegesis found in the writings of Cyril of Jerusalem by focusing on his employment of biblical quotations and references to explain certain theological themes in the inaugural lections of his catechetical and mystagogical lectures. His use of the inaugural lection, which was read aloud prior to lecturing, probably stems from the normal praxis of ecclesial services. The article will examine the use of Isa 1:16 in the first catechetical lecture, 1Pet 1:13 in the first of the mystagogical lectures, and Rom 6:3–14 in the second mystagogical lecture. The question of the audience of the catechetical and mystagogical lectures will also be addressed. It is evident that Cyril’s audience would have required a certain facility with the Bible in order to understand the intensive use of biblical quotations in these lectures.

Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity

Hermeneutical, institutional and textual perspectives

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