Typology

Typology is something I am going to be using in many of my posts, so I am going to type this up once and link it whenever I use it.

What is Typology?

Mister Webster defines it thusly: 
"A doctrine of theological types; especially: one holding that things in Christian belief are prefigured or symbolized by things in the Old Testament."

St. Augustine talks about this mystery when He says,
"The New Testament is concealed in the old, and the Old is revealed in the New."

Michael Barber (in his book, Coming Soon, Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying its Lessons Today) describes typology this way,

"God is the Author of all history, which He fashioned for the salvation of the world. When humans write books, we use words to signify realities.... God "writes" the world as men write books - except, instead of using only words, He can use historical realities to signify other historical realities.
"An example is the Passover. There was once a real Passover in Egypt that saved Israel from real bondage - a Passover at which a real lamb was really slaughtered and eaten. This historic event prefigures another moment in history - the sacrifice of Christ as the true Passover Lab, who died to set us free from bondage to sin. As God makes historical events prefigure other events in salvation history, He reveals Himself as the Lord of History" 

Even Mark Twain has a relevant quote:
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme - a lot!"

This is the way that the early Church read and understood the happenings of the time. This is why you will find such radical and beautiful parallels such as Isaac and Jesus, Israel and the Church, and Marriage and Christ and the Church.

This is the tool that St. Paul uses when he writes to the Romans and the Corinthians, calling Jesus the new Adam. 
"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offsense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come...For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the of of the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many...." (Romans 5)

Adam is a Type for Jesus. Adam was the first man, and Jesus was the "Firstborn Son" of the Father. Adam sinned and all were affected by his choice, and Jesus chose not to sin, but instead to let Himself be killed, and all were affected by His choice. 
"So also it is written, 'the First man, Adam, became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. AS is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have born the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly." (1 Corinthains 15)

Hebrews 7 shows us how Melchizedek was a type of the Jesus as well.
"For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoiils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made the the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually." 
Matthew employs this tool as well, attempting to help the Jews see Jesus as the new Moses. He starts out the life of the Messiah with the tale of Herod slaughtering the male children, and a woman named Mary (or Mariam), held him close as they fled to the safety of Egypt. Moses, needing to lead the people, led them to a mountain and gathered the Law from God. Jesus starts His ministry by going to the mountain and delivering the Sermon on the Mount. Moses called 12 Princes to help him minister to the people, Jesus called 12 disciples When that became too much, Moses commissioned 72 elders. When Jesus declares the harvest if plentiful and the laborers few, He commissioned the 72. When Moses needed time alone, he went to the mountain to pray, taking only three of his closest from the 12, and there he beheld a portion of the glory of the Lord, and his face became radiant, causing his companions to tell him he needed to veil his visage. Jesus needed time alone and He takes His three closest friends, and He goes to the mountain, and there He is transfigured, and the radiance of His Glory shone from Him. The parallels continue throughout the rest of the gospels, and one day, I may attempt to talk about a few more of them.

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