The meaning of "Type" -- a "stamp" or "impress" -- examples: a figure, pattern copy.
The meaning of "Antitype" -- answering the type -- the reality to which the type points. Sometimes it is used as a contrary type or dissimilar.
Was it understood as a type at the time of its occurrence?
No. The type has its own place and meaning independent of the prefigured meaning. See Numbers 21:5-9 compared to John 3:14-15.
The essence of a type is to be distinguished from its accessories.
We have to distinguish it as a type. If not, it is an illustration.
What is the authority for calling something a type?
A type may be a:
Rules for interpretation of types.
Compare the history (the type) with the general truth that both type and antitype embody.
Example: The Passover and Christ; Compare the deliverance by blood shed.
Expect agreement in several particulars, but not in all.
Let the interpretation of each part harmonize with the whole.
Example: Exodus 12:22: Blood applied -- hysop = faith; hysop was a weed and very common
Three things not to do in interpreting types.
- Don't destroy the historical meaning.
- Don't try to find hidden meaning in words, but rather in the facts of the type.
- Don't extend yourself beyond that which is of spiritual and practical importance.