Interpretation of God's Writings
God has revealed Himself through events and teaching that has been written into forms of literature that are common to the cultures of the ages. As we have different kinds of literature in our modern world, so also the Bible reflects God's teaching through different kinds of literature from the days of its writing. Our task in understanding that literature involves the process of, not only translating the literature from its original language, but also interpreting the meaning and style of the literature from past cultures.
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.