Saturday, September 5, 2009

David's Digest: Introduction to Type and Antitype (Typology) in the Bible

This is just an introduction to a large topic, but I wanted to take a moment and talk about it briefly in hopes it might benefit someone as it did me when I first learned about it.

There are two elements of the Bible called "type" and "antitype" (together referred to as "typology"). Types, or shadows, are spiritual "pictures" shown in the Bible that represent concepts or persons. The fulfillment of a type is referred to as its "antitype." Some have been fulfilled, perhaps in multiple ways (or layers) over time, and some have not. Also, a type may not represent an antitype completely, and the picture may only go so far; and there can be multiple types for one antitype.

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines type and antitype as follows:

type:
A sign; a symbol; a figure of something to come; as, Abraham's sacrifice and the paschal lamb, were types of Christ. To this word is opposed antitype. Christ, in this case, is the antitype.

antitype:
A figure corresponding to another figure; that of which the type is the pattern or representation. Thus the paschal lamb, in scripture, is the type of which Christ is the antitype. An antitype then, is something which is formed according to a model or pattern, and bearing strong features of resemblance to it.

The following are just a very few, brief examples:

Type

Antitype

Egypt

The world, its systems and culture

God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt.

God separating unto Himself a specific people; the people of God leaving the world (including its systems and culture) to worship God; the salvation of God's chosen from the bondage of sin and the world

Angel of death passing by those households in Egypt with blood on the door posts

Christ's blood saving His chosen from eternal destruction

Noah saved in the Ark

Salvation in Christ

Ark of the Covenant

Christ, His humanity (ark made of wood) and His deity (gold); as Christ's blood for propitiation (blood sprinkled on mercy seat for propitiation)

Sun – too bright to behold its glory; brings life; is the light of the world

Christ, the Son – too bright to behold His glory; brings life; is the Light of the world

Israel of the Bible (physical Israel) – God's chosen people on earth

Spiritual Israel – God's chosen people who are or will be in heaven

Moses – the deliverer of God's chosen people (physical Israel)

Christ – the deliverer of God's chosen people (spiritual Israel)

Joshua – brought God's chosen people (physical Israel) into the promised land

Christ – brings God's chosen people (spiritual Israel) into the Promised Land (heaven)

High priest for Israel and all of his duties

Christ in His office as spiritual High Priest of His people

David – King of Israel; savior of His people against their enemies; shepherd; the least of his brothers

Christ – King of spiritual Israel (and over all); Savior of His people against spiritual enemies; Shepherd of His people; clothed in servanthood and humility

Saul – enemy of David

Antichrist – enemy of Christ (who is the antitype of David)

Goliath – enemy of David and God's people

Antichrist/Satan – enemy of Christ and God's people

The animals slain, and skins clothing for Adam and Eve after the fall

Christ's sacrifice with blood, and the clothing of righteousness for His people

The 12 tribes of Israel (12 is the number of completion) – all of God's chosen people at the time

All of God's spiritual chosen people (His elect, throughout time)

High priest entering the Holy of Holies with the names of the 12 tribes (God's chosen people), and only them, written on the stones put on the shoulders of the ephod (Ex 28:11-12) on behalf of those with whose names he enters (and thus on behalf of only them)

Christ entering the Holy Place with the names of His chosen people, and only them, on behalf of those with whose names He enters (and thus on behalf of only them)

The paschal lamb during Passover

Christ as the sacrificial Lamb

Marriage of a man and a woman

The union of Christ and His bride (the Church)

A woman taking a man's last name upon marriage, forsaking her own name for his. Keeping her name or any part of it is not forsaking herself to her husband completely

A Christian taking the name of Christ, forsaking their own name for His. Their forsaking of themselves must be totally

Jonah – in the belly of the whale for three days and nights (Jonah 1:17); vomited out from the belly of the fish after that (Jonah 2:10)

Christ – in the grave for three days and nights; resurrected out from the grave after that (Matthew 12:40)

Christ raising Lazarus – he was dead, He gives him life, calls him forth, Lazarus is now able (now that he's alive) to respond and does so

The beginnings of salvation – the person Christ will call is dead in his sins, He gives him spiritual life (regeneration), calls him forth to Himself, and the person is now able (now that he's alive spiritually) to respond and does so

God's people, when most were rebellious, although there were a some righteous, like Joshua and Caleb, or the remnant gathered by God (Jer 23:3; Jer 31:7) after His judgment against wicked Israel (Jer 1-23:2), or His true disciples while He was here on earth vs. the religious leaders of the day

Professing Christians, who are mostly rebels (Matt 7:21-23), although there are some righteous (true Christians), who are the remnant/elect of God, the true spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom 9:6-8; Gal 4:22-31)

Sabbath day rest

Resting alone in Christ's righteousness (working on the Sabbath breaks this “antitype,” in essence claiming our works are our righteousness); eternal rest with Christ in heaven


Learning about type and shadow in the Bible really opened it up to me, especially the Old Testament. I believe the Old Testament events truly happened; but I believe just about everything in it also is some sort of type, mostly of Christ as the anittype. Hebrews talks quite a bit about Christ as the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament types. It's a beautiful work of wisdom by the Holy Spirit that paints such glories and wonderful pictures of our Saviour and His essence, characteristics, offices, etc.

If you have never heard of type and antitype in the Bible, I really hope you will spend some time learning about them. Here are a couple of starting points:
Also, here are a set of sermons from our teacher, so you can get a better idea of typology. The teachings aren't about type and antitype, but they use them extensively. Plus, the sermons are spiritually edifying: Darkness and Light, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


We are very thankful to the Lord for His gift of His word, preserved in our language through heavy persecutions; and we thank Him for granting us this understanding of type and shadow that He put in there to help us understand Him and His glory better.

-- David

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi David and Susan,

I really appreciate your blog and all the interesting, insightful, clever, and sincere posts. It is a real blessing for me and my family and we always look forward to the next post.

David's Digest is always a favorite, aside from the "Goat Milk" video. That was a classic. Thank you for sharing a little of your studies with us lurkers:)

Kris

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Kris,

Thanks for saying hi. We always pray the Lord glorifies Himself through us in whatever way He might.

Thanks again,

-- David

Bill Peck said...

Thanks David and Susan, really appreciate the time and effort to post this!

Bill

Manette said...

David, thank you very much for this lesson. I have never really understood the type/antitype/ typology language. You have made it very clear. I do plan to continue this topic with the suggestions you have given.
Again, thank you so much.
Manette

David and Susan Sifford said...

Thanks Bill.

Hi Manette, it's a pretty big topic as there is much type and shadow in the Bible. I hope the links I gave will just be starting places for you. May God guide your studies.

-- David

ChrisW said...

Hi Siffords,

Just wanted to let you know that your blog is a blessing to me. I admire and appreciate what you're doing, and most of all how you're seeking to magnify and glorify the LORD in all that you say and do... please, keep it up for the sake of the kingdom.

Your brother in Christ,
Chris
PS. If you're ever down in the Liberty Hill, TX area, I would really enjoy meeting you.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Chris,

Indeed, may God be glorified. Thanks for saying hello.

-- David