Christology and hermeneutics in Philoxenus' commentary on John 1:14

Aryeh Kofsky, Serge Ruzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to outline some of Philoxenus' hermeneutical concerns deriving from his anti-Chalcedonian Christology and attested in the Commentary on the Prologue of John. Harmonization is the natural and traditional task of a biblical exegete: as an anti-Chalcedonian theologian Philoxenus discovers monophysite doctrines in Old Testament texts, and is keen on unearthing also the monophysite content of the non-Johannine New Testament writings. Aware of the inherent hermeneutical difficulty, and in line with his flamboyant personality, Philoxenus opts to assail head on the most problematic passages, suggesting two complementary - albeit somewhat contradictory - solutions. On the one hand he asserts that the Synoptic birth narratives and Pauline writings, primarily Romans 1:2-4, indeed contain references to the incarnation in its Philoxenian monophysite understanding. On the other hand, he allows for a measure of progress in the New Testament revelation, establishing the hermeneutical principle that since the Synoptic evangelists did not reveal the full content of the incarnation, it later became necessary for John to spell out the true incarnate nature of Christ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalOrientalia Christiana Periodica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Archaeology


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