"Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come". (Rom*5: 14)
Well this is interesting! I never would have thought looking over our guide would entail me writing so many blog posts; moreover, I never would have thought that asking three simple questions would lead to so many more of them. Although these blog posts on Sacred Scripture may seem unnecessary to some, I am beginning to understand that this overview of Scripture is like being shown how to use a compass, or more formally it is the foundation on which all other arguments or questions we ask will be guided with. For in all reality, without the ability to completely trust the validity of Sacred Scripture, the whole basis for the Christian religions fall apart. If you can't trust your map or GPS how can you expect to reach your target destination? Although I am not entirely sure, I think it is better for me to tackle Bible related questions before all else, because if those remain unanswered it would be futile for me to attempt to find the truth in other religious matters. So with that we have a general destination in mind. It is time we start walking on our journey; the adventure to find truth, reason, and faith has begun. Our first destination really isn't a destination at all, rather, it is the manner we must travel in order to leave this place of 'nescience'. The way being that of 'Typology'.
Biblical Typology- what is it, why use it, and how to see it in action?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines 'typology' itself as "a study of, or analysis, or classification based on types or categories"(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/typology). In light of this definition, I wonder what one would reasonably conclude 'Biblical Typology' is? Could Biblical Typology be the 'study of, analysis, or classification of Scripture based on types of categories? That sounds pretty reasonable to me, but let's turn to The Catechism of the Catholic Church and see what The Church has to say on this matter. " The Church... has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God's works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son" (128). So in essence the Church is teaching that the "Old Testament (OT) prepared the way for the New Testament (NT)" (Beginning Apologetics: How to Read Scripture, 9). Specifically though, the Old Testament, previews the reality of Christ, as is found in the New Testament. "As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New" (CCC,129).
As is stated quite well on catholicbasictrainning.com," There are many examples of typology in the Bible, all of which are interesting and relevant to our understanding of the Catholic faith. From a standpoint of pure apologetics, however, some are far more relevant than others". Some Catholic doctrine use Biblical typology as a large basis for their existence, the following being the Catholic doctrine that rely on Biblical typology the most: the concept of the Mary being the 'Queen Mother', Mary being the 'New Ark of the Covenant', the idea of a 'new Adam and a new Eve', Passover being a pre-figuration of the Eucharist, and finally Christ fulfilling the Davidic kingship. Fisheaters.com gives a great analysis of 'Biblical Typology', saying " Remember that the type (usually found in the Old Testament) is always inferior to the antitype (usually in the New Testament) that it prefigures: manna is inferior to the Eucharist; the Sabbath practices and sacrifices are inferior to the Mass; the Old Testament priesthood was inferior to the New; the Ark of the Covenant is inferior to Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, etc. The type has its own historical reality, but is intended by the Holy Ghost to also foreshadow what is to come (or what came), to indicate those things which are in eternal glory, etc".
Lastly, we may find quite often that "a number of non-Catholics complain about a typological reading of Scripture... saying that the original events should be understood simply as those events, and never be looked at as a “preview” of a New Testament reality."(http://www.catholicbasictraining.com/apologetics/coursetexts/1h.htm). This complete disregard for Biblical Typology is dangerous. Not only does it deny the biblical relation between persons, places, and events in scripture but it denies the very nature of Biblical Typology itself. Typology is necessary for a proper understanding of Scripture. " In Matthew 12"4- Jesus teaches that Jonah's three days in the belly of the great fish foreshadow Jesus' three days in the tomb. 'For Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth'"(Beginning Apologetics: How to Read the Bible, 9). Another example of Biblical Typology in action can be seen in John 3:14, when Christ mentions the relation between the bronze serpent of Numbers 21:9 and his own crucifixion. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up...". In 1 Peter 3:19-21 we find St. Peter pointing out how the great flood in the time of Noah anticipates Christian baptism, and in 1 Corinthians 10:4 we find St. Paul describing how the rock Moses struck in the book of Exodus is a 'type' of Jesus Christ.
Fisheaters.com has a great analysis for discovering the noticing the different 'types' and anti-types' found in Scripture, when it says, "The way to discover types and antitypes is to ask yourself:
P.S- If you would like to find more information on Biblical Typology I highly encourage you to check out the following article on the topic: www.catholicbible101.com/biblicaltypology
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