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Biblical Typology: Basic Principles of Interpretation Richard M. Davidson, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Biblical Typology: Basic Principles of Interpretation Richard M. Davidson, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biblical Typology: Basic Principles of Interpretation Richard M. Davidson, Ph.D.

2 Common reactions to typology 1. “Oh no!” -- Skepticism 2. “Give me more! – Enthusiasm 3. “What’s that?” -- Uncertainty

3 Importance of biblical typology Leonard Goppelt: typology “is the central and distinctive NT way of understanding the Gospel...it is the decisive interpretation of Jesus, the Gospel, and the Church.... According to its NT core typology is theologically constitutive for an understanding of the Gospel.” (TDNT 8:255).

4 Importance of biblical typology Robert M. Grant (church historian): “the New Testament method of interpreting the OT is generally that of typology.” E. Earle Ellis: “typological interpretation expresses most clearly the basic attitude of primitive Christianity toward the OT.”

5 Nature of biblical typology Mark W. Karlberg: “resolution of lingering differences of interpretation among evangelicals depends, to a large extent, on a proper assessment of the nature and function of Old Testament typology.”

6 Nature of biblical typology Traditional Understanding: Typology is the study of persons, events, or institutions which God has divinely designed to prefigure (point forward to) the eschatological (end time) fulfillment in Christ or the Gospel realities brought about by Christ.

7 Nature of biblical typology Post-critical Understanding: Typology is the retrospective recognition of parallel situations between OT and NT, based upon common human way of analogical thinking or the consistent activity of God in history, with little or no predictive element E.g.: Napoleon’s Battle of Waterloo

8 Nature of biblical typology How does one determine which view is correct? –Without imposing one’s definition upon the Biblical text –Allowing the definition to emerge from the text –Personal experience

9 Nature of biblical typology Key term: typos = English term “type” Typos appears 20 times in the NT Typos used in five NT passages where the NT writer is interpreting the OT, and labels his interpretation as typos (or antitypos) Here we can be sure typology exists, because the NT writer identifies it as such

10 Nature of biblical typology 5 passages about – typos! 1. Romans 5:14 Typos – The typos of Christ was Adam.

11 Nature of biblical typology 5 passages about – typos! 2. 1 Cor. 10:6, 11 Typoi – Exodus events are “types” of the church.

12 Nature of biblical typology 5 passages about – typos! 3. 1 Pet. 3:21 Antitypos – antitype (anti in Greek can also mean “corresponding to” – Therefore it is “corresponding to the type.”) Baptism is corresponding to the flood.

13 Nature of biblical typology 5 passages about – typos! 4. Heb. 8:5 Typos – referring to the earthly/heavenly sanctuary relationship.

14 Nature of biblical typology 5 passages about – typos! 5. Heb. 9:24 Antitypos - referring to the earthly/heavenly sanctuary relationship. The antitype is the fulfillment of the type.

15 Characteristics of Biblical Typology 1. Historical element –Historical realities: persons (Adam), events (Flood, Exodus), institutions (sanctuary) –Historical correspondence of basic contours between type and antitype –Intensification between type and antitype

16 Characteristics of Biblical Typology 2. Prophetic Element –Advance presentation or prefiguration –Divine design –“Must-needs-be” aspect (Greek dei and anagkē)

17 Characteristics of Biblical Typology 3. Christological/soteriological element –Not just bare historical realities, but salvific realities –Fulfilled in Christ or salvation realities brought about by Christ –Christ is the ultimate orientation point of types and their antitypical fulfillment

18 Characteristics of Biblical Typology 4. Ecclesiological element –Individual worshipers –Corporate community –Sacraments (Lord’s Supper or Baptism)

19 Characteristics of Biblical Typology 5. Eschatological element –Inaugurated (Christ’s First Advent) –Appropriated (era of the Church) –Consummated (“not yet”--Apocalyptic end time)

20 The Basic Elements of Biblical Typology: Illustrated by “Mr. Typos” 1.Typos and antitypos are historical realities. 2.The typos (hollow mold) isn’t the original, but based upon a previous design. Divine design. 3.The function of the typos is to be a mold that shapes the “end” product. Predictive element. 4.The basic contours of the typos and antitypos correspond. Can argue from type to antitype. 5.The antitypos (“end” product) transcends and is always greater than the typos. Intensification.

21 Definition of Biblical Typology Typology is the study of salvation historical realities (persons, events, or institutions) which God has divinely designed to prefigure (point forward to) the eschatological (“end product”) fulfillment in Christ or the Gospel realities brought about by Christ.

22 Hermeneutical Controls for Biblical Typology--1 Identifying the types: the prophetic control If the type is truly predictive (points forward) then one should recognize before the fulfillment that this is a type. E.g.: Moses – Deut. 18:18: God says: “I will raise up a Prophet like you [Moses].”

23 Case Study: Sanctuary Typology

24 The Heavenly Sanctuary Before Sin Jeremiah 17:12— “from the beginning” Ezekiel 28:14— “covering cherub on the holy mountain of God” Isaiah 14:13— “mount of the assembly”

25 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary Exodus 25:9 "According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

26 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary tynIb.T; tabnit: the pattern God says that He will show Moses on the mountain the tabnit for the sanctuary.

27 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern ( tabnit ) which was shown you on the mountain.” Exodus 25:40 The LXX translates tabnit here as typos which means “type” in our language.

28 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary tynIb.t; tabnit: the “pattern” It is a copy of the original that serves as a model for another copy.

29 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary Illustration: 2 Kings 16:10-11, the story of Ahaz. “Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and its pattern [tabnit], according to all its workmanship. Then Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus.”

30 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary This tabnit was a miniature model. It was used to make a copy of it in Jerusalem. This is the word that is used in Exodus 25:9, 40. Moses was told to make everything according to the tabnit. He saw on the mountain a miniature model of the heavenly sanctuary!

31 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary God presented Moses with a miniature model. “He presented before Moses a miniature model of the heavenly sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the mount. Moses wrote all the directions in a book, and read them to the most influential of the people.” (Spiritual Gifts Volume 4, page 5 )

32 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary Moses also saw the original heavenly sanctuary: PP 343 – “God presented before Moses in the mount a view of the heavenly sanctuary.”

33 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary Exodus 24:10 “and they [Moses and the 70 elders] saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.” Moses saw as much of the vastness and glory of the heavenly sanctuary as it was possible for him to grasp

34 The linkage between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary Ezekiel 1:26 and 10:1 indicates that God’s throne was made out of sapphire. Ezekiel 28:14 refers to the “stones of fire” in the heavenly sanctuary, one of which was no doubt sapphire (see v. 13). Maybe Moses on the mountain (Exod 24:10) is seeing one of the pavement stones in the heavenly temple.

35 Hermeneutical Controls for Biblical Typology--2 Extent of typological correspondence: Focus on the basic contours, not every minute detail of the type. How does one apply this to the sanctuary typology?

36 The “basic contours” of Sanctuary Typology Those features that are consistent with the different earthly sanctuaries are the “basic contours” that parallel the heavenly sanctuary

37 “Basic Contours” of Sanctuary typology Four main earthly OT sanctuaries/temples: 1. Mosaic tabernacle 2. Temple of Solomon 3. Second temple (built by Zerubbabel) 4. Ezekiel’s temple (described in Eze 40-48 but never built)

38 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology All OT sanctuaries had: 1. Three spheres of holy space – courtyard, holy place, most holy place

39 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology 2. Same proportions (not dimensions), with cube-shaped Most Holy Place.

40 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology 3. Same kinds (not number) of articles of furniture

41 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology 4. Same order of priests.

42 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology 5. Same kinds of sacrifices

43 The “basic contours” of sanctuary typology Hebrews 9:2-4 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the Holy Place; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; Heb 8:1-5: priests and sacrifices

44 Hermeneutical Controls for Biblical Typology--3 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types The basic ground-plan of NT eschatology : 1) Hebrews 1:1, 2 says that the “ last days ” started (the eschatological fulfillment began) at Jesus ’ first advent. He was “ the already ”, the inaugurated eschatology. This is “ D-Day. ”

45 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types The basic ground-plan of NT eschatology : 2)The Second Advent is the “ not yet ”, the consummated eschatology, the “ end ” (1 Pet 4:7; 1 Cor 15:24) This is V-E Day.

46 The basic groundwork of NT eschatology : 3) The time of “ tension ” between the “ already ” and the “ not yet. ” It is the time of appropriated eschatology in which we appropriate to ourselves what He has worked out by Him. This is the time of the church, where we live today. The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types

47 Sanctuary Typology: 1.Inauguration — Jesus is the antitypical temple (Matt 12:6; John 2:21). 2.Appropriation--the church is the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16, 17; 2 Cor 6:16). 3.Consummation—the heavenly temple/tabernacle is with men (Rev 21:3)

48 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types All sanctuary typology has its basic fulfillment in Christ. Our evangelical scholars usually stop at this foundational point. But it is also true that what happened in Jesus is to be fulfilled spiritually in us. We are the body of Christ, our bodies are the temples of God, we are to be His priests, we are to be the light of the world, etc.

49 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types Some non-SDA Christians understand appropriated sanctuary typology but almost all fail to take the third step—consummated sanctuary typology.. In Heaven there is a real heavenly sanctuary, which overarches all sanctuary typology. Sanctuary typology has a vertical dimension that has been there all along.

50 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types At the end of time, there will be the apocalyptic fulfillment of the sanctuary typology. The “tension” between earth and heaven, between the “already” and the “not yet,” will be resolved. We will enter God’s temple forever!

51 The three-phase NT fulfillment of the OT types The modality of these phases of NT fulfillment, based on the presence of Jesus: Inaugurated: literal and local Appropriated: spiritual and universal Consummated: glorious, final, universal, literal

52 Conclusion SDAs have the privilege to preach with joy the full orb of sanctuary typology. It is not only dealing with the “already” but it focuses on the appropriated (the time of the church now) and the “not yet” (God’s people united with Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary at the Second Advent and beyond).

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