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Teachings on the Tabernacle
Introduction to the Study of Typology - 2


The Typology of the Old Testament Fulfilled in the New.

Jesus: “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46)

 Further defining types and antitypes:

 The study of types in the Old Testament as fulfilled in antitypes in the New Testament is called “Typology.”

 A type may be defined as “A figure or ensample of something future and more or less prophetic, called the ‘Antitype.’” (Bullinger in Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, p. 768).

 “The preordained representative relation which certain persons, events and institutions of the Old Testament bear to corresponding persons, events and institutions in the New.” (Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 246.)

Paraphrasing Terry: “A type is a real, exalted happening in history which was divinely ordained by the omniscient God to be a prophetic picture of the good things which He purposed to bring to fruition in Christ Jesus.” (Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics) – Wayne Jackson, Christian Courier: Archives, Wed. Nov. 3, 1999 –

 “A type is a shadow cast on the pages of Old Testament history by a truth whose full embodiment or antitype is found in the New Testament revelation.” (Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 533.)

  Greek words used for types, shadows, figures, etc. and the meanings:

Tupos   of the things to come. (cf. Heb. 8:5, 10:1.) (basis of English word  “type.”) In Romans 5:14 where Paul declares that Adam “is a figure (tupos) of him that was to come, i.e. Christ.”
Skia   Shadow.” In Col. 2:17, certain elements of the Mosaic system are said to be “a shadow.”

 Copy,” and used in conjunction with “shadow” in

 Hebrews 8:5 (cf. Heb. 9:23.)




(compare our English “parable”) is found in Heb.9:9, where

 certain elements of the tabernacle are a “figure for the present

 time.” (cf Heb. 11:19)    




"Figure,” (KJV) or “Pattern” (ASV) in Hebrews 9:24, and “like figure” (KJV) or “true likeness (ASV) in I Peter 3:21.  This word, as used in the New Testament, denotes “that which corresponds to and fulfills ” the type; it is the reality which fulfills the prophetic picture.  The English word is:  “Antitype.”

There are  similarities and differences between types, prophecy and symbols . We usually think of prophecy as predictive spoken and written word. A type is prophecy also, but, rather than predicting by word, it predicts through graphic symbol and metaphor. 

A symbol is an object, event or institution, etc. that represents something else presently, which  can be a like object, event, institution, etc. or can be an abstract or spiritual idea.  We are all familiar with symbols, as our world, life and literature are full of them.

Edersheim in The Temple speaks of ceremonies, symbols and  types: “The sacrifices of the Old Testament were symbolical and typical.  An outward observance without any real inward meaning is only a ceremony.  But a rite which has a present spiritual meaning is a symbol; and if, besides, it also points to a future reality, conveying at the same time -- by anticipation -- the blessing that is yet to appear, it is a type.  Thus the Old Testament sacrifices were not only symbols, nor yet merely predictions by fact (as prophecy is a prediction by word), but they already conveyed to the believing Israelite the blessing that was to flow from the future reality to which they pointed. (Edersheim, The Temple, p. 106) 

Nature of types and antitypes: 

A type resembles the antitype which fulfills it. Spiritual good things (antitype) are represented by material good things (type) and spiritually impure things (antitype) by material impurity  (type).  An example of a spiritual good thing would be the tabernacle pointing to Christ. An example of a spiritually impure thing would be leprosy as a type of sin. Identical similarity is not required; in fact there are often contrasts rather than similarities.  If the type and antitype were identical, the type would not be a  type but the antitype itself. Types do not agree with the antitype in every point.  The antitype always possesses properties that are superior to the type. And the antitype is the truth of what is being taught by the type; the type only points to the truth.  We must not park in the type.  We must look to the reality the type points to -- the antitype.

A type is Divinely preordained as such.  God’s hand is seen in both the type and the antitype,  because in God’s Mind both exists at the same time, one fulfilling or making complete the other. The type foreshadows and points to the antitype that God, at the time the type is set forth, has already preordained will come to pass.

A type both symbolizes and predicts.  (See Edersheim’s description of a type under the comparison of symbols and types above.)  The ceremonial law had a symbolic element to the ancient Israelite; but it also had a predictive (prophetic) element which has more especial value. That is why we can believe that obedient Israelites in the Old Covenant were saved, awaiting the day that Christ would come to them in Abraham's bosom, preach to them and "lead captivity captive."  It is because the reality of Christ was pictured in the ceremonies that were typical of them.  And even though they did not understand the rites in light of Christ, nevertheless, they believed to the extent of the light that had been revealed to them.

Exercises to help you further understand: 

Read Heb. 10:11-18 and determine the type(s) and the antitype(s) in that passage.

Look up the New Testament passages where the first Adam is mentioned (Rom. 5:12-21 and I Cor.15:21, 22) and compared with the Second Adam, Christ. Take a few moments to contemplate the following: Which one is the type and which one is the antitype?  How are the first and second Adams compared? What are the similarities and what are the differences or contrasts? Which one is the greater?

 Then read below:

First (earthly) Adam:

First physical creation of man. 


Disobeyed God the Father.


 Dead spiritually because of sin.

 Caused mankind to lose the Spirit.

 Died physically and is still dead.

Was given dominion of the earth by God and forfeited it to Satan.

Thoroughly defeated.

Carried entire human race with him in the fall.

Succumbed to Satan’s temptations.

Became subject with entire human race to Satan’s power.

All who are in the old Adam are dead spiritually.

Second (heavenly) Adam (Christ)

First-born of many brethren (spiritual seed.)

 Never disobeyed God the Father.

 Was without sin.

 Spiritually alive.

 Restores Spirit to those who are His.

 Resurrected from the dead.

Won back inheritance of the earth for those in Him.

Victorious and triumphant.

Redeemed back to God all of the human race who will come to Him.

Overcame Satan in the wilderness and on the Cross.

.Reversed the works of Satan.

All who are in the New Adam are made alive spiritually and are "new creations."

The Three Tabernacles:

Old Testament Tabernacle: God’s dwelling place among His people in a portable tent. (Ex. 25:1-8) (Ex. 29:43-46) The Tabernacle later became the inner core of the Temple.

New Testament Tabernacle (Christ): God’s dwelling place in His Son and with His people through His Son.  (John 1:32, 1 Tim. 2:5)

New Testament Tabernacle in the Church Age:  God’s dwelling place in His people!  (John 14: 16, 17) (Col. 1:27)

The transition of God’s dwelling place from the Old to the New Covenant is that God dwelt among His people in the Old; He dwelt as a Person (Jesus Christ) and now dwells in His people (Holy Spirit) in the New.

Books to study on this subject:

The Tabernacle, M. R. deHaan, 1955, Lamplighter Books, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Tabernacle, Shadows of the Messiah,  David M. Levy, 1993, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., Bellmawr, NJ 08099.

The Law of the Offerings, Andrew Jukes, 1st Printing 1966, Kregel  Publications, P. O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, Alfred Edersheim, Reprinted, January 1985, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI.

The Symbols and Types, Kevin J. Conner, 1992, Ciy Bible Publishing, 9200 NE Fremnt, Portland, OR 97220. (This is mainly a reference book, listing many symbols and types in the Bible.)

See Tabernacle Links for websites to visit on this subject.

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