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?

  • The type and antitype are preordained -- that is, planned by God.
  • The type is to show the antitype.
  • The antitype is to be a fulfillment of the type.
  • It is safe when the Scripture somewhere says it is a type.


  • Romans 2:28, 17-29: Circumcision
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 and following: Cloud / sea / food / drink
  • Hebrews 4:1 (3:16 - 4:11): Wilderness / Sabbath
  • 1 Peter 2:5-10: Priesthood
  • Revelation 15:5 (Exodus 38:21): Tabernacle
  • Galatians 4:25: Mt. Sinai & Jerusalem
  • Hebrews 10:1-13: Sacrifice

A type may be a:

  • Person -- Romans 5:14 (Adam)
  • Event -- 1 Corinthians 10 (Wilderness experience in exodus from Egypt)
  • Thing -- Manna
  • Institution -- Leviticus 1-7 (offerings)
  • Ceremony -- 1 Corinthians 5:7 (unleavened bread)

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.

  1. Don't destroy the historical meaning.
  2. Don't try to find hidden meaning in words, but rather in the facts of the type.
  3. Don't extend yourself beyond that which is of spiritual and practical importance.