Theological Studies

Beginning on page 103 of the Old Testament is the following discussion in The Dake Annotated Reference Bible:

Biblical Types (Ex. 38:21)
The Bible is not as full of types as some would have us believe-that is, types that can be proved by Scripture. Some make nearly every person and event of the O.T. typical. Such a method of intepretation leads to confusion and a wrong understanding of the Word of God. Searching for hidden meaning in every passage and pressing the typical teaching so far imperils the literal teachings and soundness of many biblical truths.
Everything in Scripture intended as a divine type is confirmed by at least two or three plain statements in God's Word. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses" applies to this subject as much as any other doctrine of the Bible (Dt. 19:15; Mt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1). This work recognizes types as distinct from parables, symbols, allegories, riddles, and figurative statements otherwise. We deal with typology only as defined below, accepting only those types that harmonize with all the essential characteristics.

Definition of Biblical Types:
A type is a preordained representation wherein certain persons, events, and institutions of the O.T. stand for corresponding persons, events, and institutions of the N.T. Types are pictures or object lessons by which God has taught His redemptive plan. They are a shadow of things to come, not the image of those things (Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1). The Mosaic system, for example, was a kind of kindergarten in which God's people were trained in divine things and taught to look forward to the realities of things yet to come.

Five Greek Words Defined:
1. Tupos, translated print (Jn. 20:25); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14); form (Rom. 6:17); fashion (Acts 7:44); manner (Acts 23:25); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); ensample (2 Cor. 10:11; Phil. 3:17; 1Th. 1:7; 2 Th. 3:9; 1 Pet. 5:3); and example (2 Cor. 10:6; 1 Tim. 4:12).
2. Antitupon, translated like figure (1 Pet. 3:21) and figure (Heb. 9:24).
3. Hupodeigma, translated pattern (Heb. 9:23); ensample (2 Pet. 2:6); and example (Jn. 13:15; Heb. 4:11; 8:5; Jas. 5:10).
4. Parabole, translated figure in only two places, referring to types (Heb. 9:9; 11:19). This word is mostly limited to the parable or illustration in the N.T. Types are illustrations, but they are also the preordained shadow or likeness of things to come, while parables may be illustrations of something in the past, present, or future. Scriptural types and prophecy are the same in substance, differing only in form. This fact distinguishes between types, parables, symbols and other forms of human expression. See notes, Mt. 13:3, 11.
5. Skia, translated shadow three times, referring to types (Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1). The English word type best corresponds with skia because it means a shadow, a limited idea or likeness of the reality it foreshadows.

It is clear from the above scriptures that N.T. writers used the word type with some degree of freedom; yet they had one general idea in common, namely, that all types show a likeness existing between two persons, events, or institutions. The one resembles the other in some essential feature. In typology these two are called type and antitype, and the link that binds them is the correspondence or similarity of the one to the other. The type is the preordained shadow of the antitype. The type is the object lesson, the temporary and shadowy resemblance of some predicted person, event, or institution. The antitype is the fulfillment of that which has been predicted.

Six Essential Characteristics of Types:
1. There must be one or more points of resemblance between the type and the antitype (Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 10:1).
2. The type must be prophetic in all points of resemblance with the antitype. It must truly prefigure something to come (Jn. 3:14; Rom. 5:14; Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8:5; 9:23-24; 10:1; 1 Pet. 3:21).
3. The type is merely the shadow of the realities to come, not the realities typified (Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1).
4. The type is always earthly while the antitype could be earthly or heavenly (Heb. 8:5; 9:24; 1 Pet. 3:21).
5. Since both type and antitype must be preordained as part of the same plan of God, they cannot be chosen by man, picked out simply because certain details resemble some future truth (Rom. 5:14; Heb. 9:23-24; 10:1-21).
6. The only authority for types and their application is Scripture. More than a mere resemblance is needed to constitute a type. In true typology no meaning should be accepted without positive scriptural support. Historical events that bear some resemblance to N.T. truths should not be taken as true types unless substantiated by two or three plain passages proving a connection (2 Cor. 13:1). This would require at least a plain scripture on the antitype as well as the type.
A genuine type is a true figure or shadow of the reality to come-the antitype (Jn. 3:14; Rom. 5:14; Heb. 9:23-24; 10:1; 1 Pet. 3:21). Centuries or even millenniums may lie between them but the shadow is never lost and the figure is never destroyed. The fulfillment or reality always comes. Furthermore, a type has its own meaning apart from the antitype (Jn. 3:14 with Num. 21). The details of a type (as with parables, allegories, and symbols) are not to be stressed; nor are they to be interpreted apart from the antitype; only the intended truth should be emphasized.

Four Classes of Types
I. Typical Persons:
1. Adam was a type of Christ who was yet to come (Rom. 5:12-21; 2 Cor. 15:45-49).
2. Melchizedek was a type of the eternal priesthood of Christ (Gen. 14:18-24; Heb. 5:5-9; 6:20; 7:1-10, 17); a type of combined kingship and priesthood (Heb. 7:1-3 with Zech. 6:12-13); and a type of eternal existence (Heb. 7:3, 6 with Mic. 5:1-2; Jn. 1:1-3; Heb. 1:8).
3. Abraham offering up his only promised son was a type of God offering His only begotten Son (Gen. 22; Jn. 3:16; Heb. 11:17-19).
4. Isaac was a type of the resurrection of Christ (Gen. 22; Heb. 11:19).
5. Moses was a type of Christ as the prophet of God (Dt. 18:15-19; Acts 3:19-26), and of faithfulness (Heb. 3:1-6).
6. Aaron was a type of the high priesthood of Christ (Heb. 5:1-5).
7. Jonah was a type of the death, burial, descension (into the lower parts of the earth for three days), and resurrection of Christ (Jonah 2; Mt. 12:40; Eph.4:8-10).
II. Typical Events:
1. The flood was typical of baptism (1 Pet. 3:20-21).
2. Some of the events during Israel's wandering in the wilderness were typical of things Christians would face (2 Cor. 10:1-13).
3. The lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness was typical of the crucifixion of Christ and benefits of the cross to be realized by others (Jn. 3:14; Num. 21).
III. Typical Acts:
1. Smiting the rock as in Ex. 17 was typical of Christ being crucified or smitten for men (2 Cor. 10:4).
2. Smiting the rock the second time instead of speaking to it was typical of crucifying Christ afresh (Num. 20; 2 Cor. 10:4; Heb. 6:6).
3. Rejecting the chief cornerstone was typical of the rejection of Christ (Isa. 28:16; Mt. 21:42).
4. The many acts of the priests in the tabernacle worship were typical of various aspects of redemption through Christ: killing animals; shedding and sprinkling blood; burning incense; the showbread; lighting lamps; and the daily and yearly rituals were all typical acts, fulfilled in Christ and His redemptive work (Heb. 7:11-28; 8:1-6; 9:1-28; 10:1-22).
IV. Typical Institutions:
1. The whole Mosaic institution of offerings and worship was typical of things to come in the sacrifice and redemptive work of Christ and the worship of God in the true way (Ex. 12-13; 25:1 - 40:38; Heb. 7-10).
2. The Aaronic priesthood, the garments of the priests, and other aspects of the ministry of the law were typical of Christ and His redemptive work (Ex. 28-29; Heb. 7-10).
3. The sabbath for Israel was typical of the eternal rest in Christ and of that which is to come for all the redeemed (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-18; Dt. 5:15; Heb. 4).
4. The feasts of Israel were typical of various aspects of redemption through Christ (Ex. 12; Lev. 23; 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 5-10).
5. The temple and all the rituals of worship carried on in it were typical of the same things the tabernacle and its worship were typical of.
6. The tabernacle and temple, their compartments, and furniture were themselves typical of the heavenly tabernacle Christ entered into (Heb. 8:1-5; 9:1-10, 23-24).

Interpretation of Types:
1. Only the point or points of resemblance between the type and the antitype should be emphasized; they should not be used as the basis of other doctrines which they do not typify.
2. Types should be understood and interpreted only in the light of their antitypes.
3. Plain historical events should not be made typical simply because there are some points of resemblance between them and N.T. truths.
4. The type and the antitype must agree with each other as well as with all related scriptures.
5. The historical sense of Scripture or the literal meaning of the words telling of the type or antitype should never be destroyed.
6. All "hidden" meanings of the words should be avoided, for such explanation only leads to confusing interpretations.

How Much of the O.T. Is Typical?
That the above mentioned O.T. persons, events, acts, and institutions are types is proved by plain statements in the N.T. How much more, if any, of the O.T. is typical is speculation. Portions of the O.T. are typical only as the N.T. affirms them as such. Anything beyond this should be considered as illustration in teaching. Many applications can be taken from similarities between O.T. facts and N.T. truths; but to make these types and antitypes is not allowed by Scripture. True types meet all the above requirements on definition, essential characteristics, etc.
Biblical characters are often presented as types. While they make interesting studies, they aren't true biblical types, because they lack identification as such in the N.T. The life of Joseph compared to that of Christ is such an example. Not recognized as type and antitype in Scripture, the two lives nevertheless have many similarities and the facts about them make impressive illustrations.

Similarities Between Joseph and Christ:
1. Both were familiar with the shepherd's life (Gen. 37:2; Jn. 10)
2. Loved by Father (Gen. 37:2; Jn. 17:24)
3. Hated by brethren (Gen. 37:8; Jn. 15:25)
4. Brethren did not believe in them (Gen. 37:20; Jn. 7:5)
5. Rule rejected (Gen. 37:8; Jn. 19:15)
6. Envied (Gen. 37:11; Mk. 15:10)
7. Sayings observed (Gen. 37:11; Lk. 2:51)
8. Sent to brethren (Gen. 37:13; Lk. 20:13)
9. Went after brethren (Gen. 37:14; Jn. 1)
10. Brethren conspired against them (Gen. 37:18; Mt. 26:15)
11. Stripped (Gen. 37:23; Mt. 27:28)
12. Brethren sat down to watch them in sufferings (Gen. 37:25; Mt. 27:36)
13. Sold for money (Gen. 37:28; Mt. 26:15)
14. Under trial both went to Egypt (Gen. 37:36; Mt. 2:14-15)
15. The Lord was with them (Gen. 39:2; Jn. 16:32)
16. Fully trusted (Gen. 39:4-8; Jn. 3:35)
17. Men blessed for their sake (Gen. 39:5; Eph. 1:3)
18. Compassionate (Gen. 40:7; Lk. 23:17)
19. Servants (Gen 40:4; Lk. 22:27)
20. Both asked men to think of them (Gen. 40:14; 2 Cor. 11:24)
21. Anointed (Gen. 41:38; Acts 10:38)
22. Ruled own house (Gen. 41:40; Heb. 3)
23. Sovereigns (Gen. 41:44; Jn. 15:5)
24. Enemies bowing to (Gen. 41:43; Phil. 2:10)
25. Began great work at thirty years of age (Gen. 41:46; Lk. 3:23)
26. Men were told to obey both (Gen. 41:55; Jn. 2:5)
27. Opened storehouses (Gen. 41:56; Lk. 24:27-52)
28. Supplied all countries (Gen. 41:57; Rev. 5:9-10; 7:9-17)
29. Knew men (Gen. 42:7-8; Jn. 2:24-25)
30. Brethren knew them not (Gen. 42:8; Jn. 1:10)
31. Wept (Gen. 42:17; Jn. 11:35)
32. Met all needs (Gen. 42:25; Phil. 4:19)
33. Made themselves known to brethren (Gen. 45:1; Lk. 24:31)
34. Introduced selves (Gen. 44:3; Acts 9:5)
35. Invited men to come to them (Gen. 44:18; Mt. 11:28)
36. Discovered alive after thought dead (Gen. 44:26; Acts 25:19; Rev. 1)
37. Bought men (Gen. 47:23; 2 Cor. 6:20)
38. Comforted men (Gen. 50:19; Jn. 14:11)
39. Told men not to fear (Gen. 50:19; Mt. 14:27; 17:7; 28:10)
40. Forgave brethren and made promises to them in the end (Gen. 50:17-21; Lk. 24:47-51; Acts 1:8-14)

Examples of So-Called Types:
Eve, Rebekah, Ruth, and other women of the O.T. are sometimes taken to be types of the church and the bride of Christ, but these aren't substantiated in the N.T. The primary N.T. picture of the church is the body of Christ; as such, it is referred to as a man (Eph. 2:14-15; 4:13). See 2 Cor. 10:16; 12:12, 27; Eph. 1:21-22; Col. 1:18, 24. Regarding Christ's bride, Rev. 21:9-10 makes it plain that "the bride, the Lamb's wife" is "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." See Rev. 21:2, 9-10, notes.
Some attempt to prove the doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the fact that Noah's ark had three stories. They seek to prove the doctrine of the rapture before the tribulation by the fact that Enoch was translated before the flood, even though it was 669 years before the flood. Others, teaching about the bride of Christ, say He will not marry all the church, or that all in the church are not the bride, simply because Isaac did not marry all the family of Laban.
The objection to this method of interpretation is that it wrests the scriptures out of their natural and historical setting and intent. It destroys the simplicity of the Word of God, detracts from its trustworthiness and leads men to believe there is a hidden and mysterious meaning to every detail of Scripture. The safe way is to prove every doctrine with plainly related passages, and use any historical event or resembling detail as an illustration of some point in teaching. Innumerable applications can rightly be made apart from the authentic types and antitypes, but that is all they are--illustrations or applications.


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Backsliding