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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

After its introduction on believing in Christ in accordance with Scripture, this chapter begins its treatment of biblical interpretation in the Christological controversies with methodological matters at stake in assessing early Christianity’s journey from biblical questions to scholastic answers. It then examines the era of the ancient ecumenical councils and select theologians of those times in their increasingly developed Christological scholasticism, with special attention to Christ’s suffering in their treatments of offering rules for reading Scripture rightly. Most influential is Cyril of Alexandria, whose exegetical arguments opposed Nestorius’ rejection of the Marian title Theotokos, a term symbolizing an exegetical method that seemed to Nestorius to insult God’s impassibility and that needed further clarification. It concludes by returning from John of Damascus’ intricate rules for biblical interpretation on Christ, after centuries of scholastic development, to the biblical questions that generated early Christian responses and continue to generate answers today.

Keywords: Christological controversies, scholastic, ecumenical councils, suffering, Cyril of Alexandria, Nestorius, Theotokos, Christological scholasticism, impassibility, John of Damascus

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