A Fundamental Principle of Patristic Exegesis
si enim iuxta apostolum paulum christus dei uirtus est dei que sapientia; et qui nescitscripturas, nescit dei uirtutem eius que sapientiam, ignoratio scripturarum, ignoratio christi est.
If according to the Apostle Paul, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and he who does not know the Scriptures does not know the power of God and his wisdom, then ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.
If one does not know the Scriptures, then one does not know Christ because it is the Scriptures that tell us of him. Moreover, failure to see Christ in the Scriptures is a failure to read the Scriptures aright, since it is a book that speaks of him. How this principle was applied varied enormously, but with few exceptions, the fathers read the Scriptures as a book about Christ, and depended heavily upon Scriptural exegesis to form their Christology. Can we go further and say that this is not only a fundamental principle of patristic exegesis, but a fundamental principle of all properly Christian exegesis?