Richard Kendall Soulen holds that the major error of early Christians’ interpretation of the state of the Jewish faith in relation to Christianity is in their “flattening” of history. In this view, the Jewish faith is superseded by the Christian faith because of Christ’s rejection by the Jews and the establishment of the church. While the church fathers have received much generalized criticism due to apparent supersessionist tendencies in their exegesis, Michael Azar’s recent scholarship on Origen of Alexandria demonstrates that a closer examination of patristic exegesis is warranted. This article builds on the work of Azar by drawing attention to the interpretation of Hos 1–3 in the exegetical work of Hilary of Poitiers and Cyril of Alexandria. Both Hilary and Cyril treat Hosea’s relationship with Gomer as a synecdoche for the openness of God’s promises to all people and not as evidence that God has abandoned the Jews for the church. In light of their exegesis of Hosea, and following Azar’s work on Origen, I argue that the interpretive practice of viewing salvation history as non-linear reveals a more complex interpretive tendency in the first several centuries of the church than generalizations about supersessionism allow.

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