(page 93 of Standard Edition)
Typology as Prophecy
The symbols of apocalyptic prophecies, such as those found in
Daniel and Revelation, have one single fulfillment. For example, the
he-goat found its fulfillment in Greece, a singular kingdom (Dan.
8:21). After all, the text came right out and named it for us! How much
clearer could it be?
Typology, however, focuses on actual persons, events, or institutions of
the Old Testament that are founded in a historical reality but that point
forward to greater reality in the future. The use of typology as a method
of interpretation goes back to Jesus and the New Testament writers, and
is even found in the Old Testament itself. The only guide to recognizing a
type and antitype is when an inspired writer of Scripture identifies them.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1–13. To what events in history does Paul refer as he
admonishes the Corinthian church? How does this relate to us today?
Paul refers back to the historical reality of the Exodus and develops a
typology based on the experience of the ancient Hebrews in the wilder-
ness. In this way, Paul shows that God, who inspired Moses to record
these events, intended that “these things became our examples” (1 Cor.
10:6, NKJV), thereby admonishing spiritual Israel to endure temptation
as we live in the last days.
Read the passages below and write down each type and antitype ful-
fillment, as described by Jesus and the New Testament writers.
John 3:14, 15
In each case, Jesus and the New Testament writers apply the type and
antitype interpretation that allow the prophetic significance to stand out.
In this way, they point to a greater fulfillment of the historical reality.
Think about the earthly sanctuary service, which functioned as a
type of the entire plan of salvation. What does this teach us about
the importance of the sanctuary message for us today?