Christ, The Aim of Scripture

“The aim (skopos) of the inspired Scriptures is the mystery of Christ signified to us through a myriad of different kinds of things. Someone might liken it to a glittering and magnificent city, having not one image of the king, but many, and publicly displayed in every corner of the city . . . . Its aim, however, is not to provide us an account of the lives of the saints of old. Far from that. Rather it seeks to give us knowledge of the mystery [of Christ] through those things by which the word about him might become clear and true.” St. Cyril of Alexandria, Glaphyra (PG 69, 3o8c)

If our reading of the texts of the Scripture (both Old and New Testaments although this likely applies moreso to the Old Testament) only leads us to pious reflections about ourselves, society, the running of our lives etc then it is empty. If the Old Testament books read to us as a repository of moral code and purity laws or even ‘character studies’ then St. Cyril teaches that we have not understood the aim, the point, of Scripture. All Scripture points to Him Who is its fulfillment and the reading of the Church Fathers can help illumine our reading of these texts as they saw Christ present on every page.

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