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Typology - Christ in All the Scriptures

By Peter Pellerin, 12 February 2012 · 1,057 views

I have been reading this module over the past couple of days:
http://www.biblesupp...the-scriptures/

This module is truly a blessing if you have never read it.  

I have been blown alway thinking about all the types in the Old Testament and the remarkable evidence they are for the divine origin of the Bible.

When Israel was complaining in the wilderness in Numbers 21 God sent fiery serpents among the Israelites in Numbers 21 and many were dying.  Moses prayed for them an God offered a strange solution.  He told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and whoever looked at it would be healed.  This makes no sense until Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in John chapter 3.

The most obvious one is God asking Abraham to offer up is only (from God's perspective) son as a burnt offering as a type of God the Father offering up His only Son.

In the book of Ruth Jesus is pictured as our Kinsman redeemer.  


Jesus is our Passover.

The rock that followed them in the wilderness was Christ.  The first time Moses struck the rock as commanded.  The 2nd time God as Moses to speak to the rock but he struck the rock again and God was angry with him.  Possibly because he ruined the type?

God asked them to do so many things that seemed so strange apart from the knowledge we now have in light of the 1st advent.

There are too many types to mention in this short blog but I am at a loss for words to express what an incredible evidence these stories are for the divine origin of the Bible and of God's plan of redemption.

Does anyone recall any quotes that express this better than I can?

Blessings,
Peter





There are a couple of ideas that come to mind immediately especially since they are extensions the examples that you gave.

When it comes to Abraham sacrificing Isaac, don't forget that Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice on his back while going up the mountain(Genesis 22:6) even as Christ carried the wood (cross) on His back on the way to Golgotha. Isaac carried the wood voluntarily, and apparently allowed himself to be bound and placed upon the alter, unless you want to try to make a case that someone who could carry (approximately) 75-80 pounds of wood up even a small mountain could not successfully physically resist the efforts of someone about 100 years their senior. Isaac did it in response to his father's wish, and he trusted his father. Pretty strong type there.

Even the ram that God provided to be sacrificed in his place, caught by the horns in a bramble (one translation, I am told, but I have never been able to find it) puts it "as by a crown of thorns".

Remember that the reason that Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land was because when the people complained again towards the end of their time in the wilderness, he struck the rock a second time when he had been told merely to speak to it. (Numbers 20:1-12)

There was no need to smite the rock (which is, indeed, a type of Christ) a second time...there was no call to smite (crucify) Christ a second time, the first was sufficient to all need, past present and future. Moses misrepresented God when he did that, not only did it violate the type, but he represented God as angry when He wasn't.

There are many others not the lest of which is Melchizedek, both King (Prince) and Priest (See Hebrews for the Jesus as high Priest). Prince of Salem (Peace).

You might find these sites helpful, I don't necessarily indorse everything on them, IMO there is a tendency to go overboard stretching the scriptures to read more into it than is there in some of their examples :

http://www.christian...blical-typology

http://www.willingsh...nd%20Misc..html

http://www.bible-top...-of-Christ.html

Hopefully at least some of this will be useful.

Hopefully at least some of this will be useful.


Thanks Baunllaw,

I am reading them now. They are useful.

I am trying to find a way to get across how God had orchestrated these events ahead of time to typify the life and work of Christ as an evidence of the divine origin of the Bible.

How could we explain why God would ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac or ask Moses to make a brass serpent to put on a pole unless this was designed by Him to typify Christ? These events make no sense at all until Jesus came. Could the apostles have made up the life of Christ to fit with these types? If Christ was not who He claimed to be, could He have conspired to fulfill all these things?

I am not good at putting these thoughts in words, but I am blown away by these things. I do not see any other logical explanation but that these were of divine origin. Of course these things become clear to us when Jesus opens our eyes to comprehend the scriptures (Luke 24:45). These things would not necessarily convince a skeptic. I am more interested in getting these things across in a way that edified my brothers and sisters in Christ and strengthens their confidence in the scriptures.

Blessings,
Peter
The BC explanation of the Abraham Isaac scenario was simple Gen 22:12 He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

It is an extension of the first (though at the time unwritten) commandment if Abraham had withheld Isaac from God, he would be making of Isaac an idol (someone/something with a higher priority than God). That meaning still holds even in light of the typography.

The same is basically true with all of the types, we cannot understand them fully until we also understand the typology, but none the less they do have valid meaning aside from the typology.

The serpent was an exercise in faith. Those too proud to do something so worthless as to look to a brass serpent died from lack of faith.

A similar example is Naaman (see 2nd Kings chapter 5) where Naaman almost lost the opportunity to be cured of his leprosy because he could not believe that the task Elisha had assigned him for his cure wasn't noble or difficult enough.The healing was a matter of faith, not might, worth or wealth.

That is another typology by the way since many are offended because all they need to to be saved is believe in Christ rather than taking a pilgrimage or doing some feat of strength or faith.
I really have to stop replying as a break from my other studies. The last portion of my reply about the Abraham Isaac example wound up in the expository notes on Daniel I am preparing for my next quarter Sunday School lessons. :(

Genesis 22:16-18 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, (17) indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. (18) "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Because Abraham had passed the test of faith, among other blessings, the promised Redeemer would come through his line. (verse 18)

The episode has meaning beyond being a typology, but can be fully understood when the added meaning derived from the typology is also comprehended.

The author of Hebrews points out the degree of faith Abraham needed to pass the test.

Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; (18) it was he to whom it was said, "IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED." (19) He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

Abraham had been promised that his descendants were to be numbered through Isaac, but as yet Isaac had no offspring, God had promised him descendants more numerous than the sands of the sea or the stars of the sky, and was now asking him to sacrifice his son (and therefore the entire future of his line).
I really have to stop replying as a break from my other studies. The last portion of my reply about the Abraham Isaac example wound up in the expository notes on Daniel I am preparing for my next quarter Sunday School lessons. :(

Genesis 22:16-18 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, (17) indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. (18) "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Because Abraham had passed the test of faith, among other blessings, the promised Redeemer would come through his line. (verse 18)

The episode has meaning beyond being a typology, but can be fully understood when the added meaning derived from the typology is also comprehended.

The author of Hebrews points out the degree of faith Abraham needed to pass the test.

Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; (18) it was he to whom it was said, "IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED." (19) He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

Abraham had been promised that his descendants were to be numbered through Isaac, but as yet Isaac had no offspring, God had promised him descendants more numerous than the sands of the sea or the stars of the sky, and was now asking him to sacrifice his son (and therefore the entire future of his line).

.Abraham had been promised that his descendants were to be numbered through Isaac, but as yet Isaac had no offspring, God had promised him descendants more numerous than the sands of the sea or the stars of the sky, and was now asking him to sacrifice his son (and therefore the entire future of his line).


Right. Abraham had come to trust God so much from his previous experiences that He knew that if he sacrificed his son then God had a problem. God would have to raise Isaac from the dead or God would not be able to keep His promise.

I love the fact that we serve a God that makes and keeps His promises. We can be sure our our salvation!


Rom 4:16 (LHB)
16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end that the promise might be sure to all the descendents; not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Heb 6:16-19 (LHB)
16For men truly swear by one who is greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17In the same way God, desiring more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil;

Our hope is sure and steadfast! I love that. It is so sad that many teach that you can not be sure of your salvation. This teaching is not from God.


Col 2:2-3 (LHB)
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and into all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Praise God!
If God only wanted us to live right the Bible would be maybe 10-15 pages tops of rules and guidelines. But instead it is full of stories about how He has interacted with people.

Relationship, or call it fellowship if you like is what He wants with us, granted our sins interfere with and threaten that relationship, but He even provided (at great cost to Himself) a cure for that.

His love for us is amazing.
I found this quote in the teaching by R.A. Torrey - "A Summary of Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God". It expresses well what I have been searching for words to express concerning Biblical Typology.

But if the explicit prophecies are conclusive, the prophecies of types and symbols are even more conclusive... if you ask a thoroughgoing student of the Bible how much of the Old Testament is prophetic he will reply that the entire Old Testament is prophetic, that its personages are prophetic, and that its institutions, ceremonies, offerings, sacrifices and feasts are all prophetic. If you doubt his statement, and you have a perfect right to doubt it, he will sit down and take you through the whole Old Testament from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Malachi, and will show you everywhere unmistakeable foreshadowings of things to come. He will show you in Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David and Solomon, and also in every sacrifice and offering in the Tabernacle and every part of the Tabernacle, its outer court with its brazen altar of sacrifice, its Holy Place with its seven-branched candlesticks and tables with the loaves of shewbread upon it, in the golden altar of incense before the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, in the curtain itself, in the Ark of the covenant beyond the curtain, with its perfectly kept law overshadowed by the blood-sprinkled mercy seat, in its various coverings, in every sacrifice and offering, in its laws regarding cleansing, in its feasts and all its ceremonies, the most unmistakeable foreshadowings and types of Jesus Christ, His twofold nature, divine and human; His sinless character; His atoning death; and His resurrection and return. And as you go on you will encounter all the facts concerning Church and Jewish history. Now at first this will seem a happy coincidence, but as you go on, chapter after chapter and book after book, the theory of ‘happy coincidence’ is ruled out by the law of mathematical probability, and you are forced to see that it is intended. You will find every fundamental truth that was to be fully revealed in the New Testament prefigured in the types and symbols of the Old Testament. Now I submit to you that any book that has the power of putting into a legislation, which is intended in the first place to meet the immediate needs of the people then living, the clearest foreshadowings of happenings and truths not to be revealed for at least fifteen hundred years, must have for its author the only being in the Universe who knows the end from the beginning - and that is, God. R.A. Torrey
Thanks for posting your blog on this module. I just recently went through the book of Ruth and Nehemiah from a "typological" approach. I looked at this module on the book of Ruth. What is there is very interesting. What is amazing, is that there is so much more in the book of Ruth that could have been included in this module. I say this not to knock the module, please do not mis-understand me!! This module appears to be an overview of the topic, as large as the module is. This module may be a good place to "start" to study the Bible from a typological view. Particularly the Old Testament which seems to scare many people. Jesus said in John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. What scriptures was Jesus talking about? The Old Testament!

I love your quote of R. A. Torrey, it think it is spot on. This should be a wake up call to how we study the Bible.

Thanks for posting your blog on this module. I just recently went through the book of Ruth and Nehemiah from a "typological" approach. I looked at this module on the book of Ruth. What is there is very interesting. What is amazing, is that there is so much more in the book of Ruth that could have been included in this module. I say this not to knock the module, please do not mis-understand me!! This module appears to be an overview of the topic, as large as the module is. This module may be a good place to "start" to study the Bible from a typological view. Particularly the Old Testament which seems to scare many people. Jesus said in John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. What scriptures was Jesus talking about? The Old Testament! I love your quote of R. A. Torrey, it think it is spot on. This should be a wake up call to how we study the Bible.


You are right about the book of Ruth BH. It is an amazing little book. One of my favorite studies on this book was by Chuck Missler. He pointed out so many little typological details in the book that many miss. His stuff is not free :(. I am a proponent of both the typological approach of the the Old Testament and the literal fulfillment of the verbal prophecies. Some deny one of the other, but in doing so miss out on so much. Both approaches are confirmed by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

You are right about the book of Ruth BH. It is an amazing little book. One of my favorite studies on this book was by Chuck Missler. He pointed out so many little typological details in the book that many miss. His stuff is not free :(. I am a proponent of both the typological approach of the the Old Testament and the literal fulfillment of the verbal prophecies. Some deny one of the other, but in doing so miss out on so much. Both approaches are confirmed by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.


http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=549 has some of his sermons, and his podcasts are well worth listening to, those are free.

I must agree with you, typology is a valid and important approach to understanding scripture, and to spiritualize prophesy rather than understanding that there will be a literal fulfillment of prophesy is to risk putting yourself in a situation like that in Luke 19:41-44.

Prophesy was being very literally fulfilled in their presence but the people had no inkling that their day was upon them, and did not truely understand that this was the time of visitation by their long awaited Messiah.
Thanks for the link Braunllaw, there are a lot of good speakers on that site!

Here is another quote I found concerning typology by John Phillips:

The typology of the Old Testament is rich and varied. "Types" are simply divinely planned and recorded illustrations. ... Some say that the only legitimate types are those which are used as such in the New Testament. This view is obviously too narrow. Joseph is an outstanding type of Christ but is never so depicted in the New Testament. The ones which are discussed in the New Testament are samples. They are samples, however, of a whole species. Properly understood, Old Testament types are as accurate as mathematics. They are, indeed, a form of prophecy. Apart from typology some parts of the Old Testament would be virtually unintelligible, if not wholly irrelevant, to us today. John Phillips
Some rabbis sought to resolve apparent conflicts in scripture that show both a suffering servant who dies for the redemption of His people (Messiah ben Joseph) and a Messiah who restored the Davidic kingdom (Messiah ben David) put forth the theory of two Messiahs.

This site is a Presbyterian outreach to Jews http://www.chaim.org/rabbis.htm.

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 almost universally acknowledged by Christians as referring to the suffering servant, though many Jewish rabbis argue that Isaiah 52:-53;12 is actually speaking about Israel.

These links are also from the Chaim site:

To see why Isaiah 53 cannot refer to Israel, and who it must be, click here.
To learn about the curious idea of the Leper-Messiah click here.
To learn about the "Two-Messiah" theory of some rabbinic thinkers click here.
To see a list of resources for further study click here.

This link is to Action International Ministries. I don’t know much about them, except their mission statement and their “What we believe” statement from the site which are both (at least at first glance) within the pale of orthodoxy.

It is a fairly good (again, at first glance) a good exegesis of Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12. http://www.grebeweb....den/suffer.html

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