This week, we continue our series on hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is simply how a person approaches a text in order to interpret it correctly.
In the first episode of this series, we looked at how to listen carefully to Scripture. Last week, we discussed how to carefully interpret Scripture. And now we will focus on the fifth principle of hermeneutics: Types and Antitypes.
What is a Type?
A type is the study of similarities connecting historical persons, events, or institutions. A type points to its antitype or its fulfillment. The antitype is always greater than the type. The type ends when the antitype comes. Think of a shadow versus the substance.
Where do we start?
A type is an analogy or likeness. The Bible shows us things that are like or similar to the things that will be. The Passover lamb in the Old Testament is like something else that is coming; it points to Christ the true sacrificial Lamb. The types are not enough in and of themselves, but they point to something else.
This thing, person, or event is something that happened in time and points to something that will happen in time.
For centuries, we have been prepared to understand that the Passover lamb was pointing us to the Lamb of God. The bronze serpent in the wilderness, the Tabernacle, and so many other types point us to Jesus Christ.
The Bible is one book of God’s overarching story of redemption. The Old Testament is not a separate book, but enriches and deepens the New.
The types are great, but the antitype is greater. The Tabernacle was great, but Christ is greater. The types were designed to be temporary. They no longer have any glory. All of these types are fulfilled in Christ. The Passover lamb is fulfilled; we no longer offer it. The high priest is fulfilled in Christ, the true High Priest; we no longer have an earthly high priest making physical sacrifices for our sins. Why? Because Christ, the antitype, died for our sins—once for all. He fulfilled our debt and the wrath of God against our sin.
The story of Scripture leads to, points to, and prepares us for the dawning of Light, the coming of our Redeemer. The work of Jesus is not too good to be true. It’s not a myth. It's true and we were being prepared for it all along.
Where do hermeneutic tools come from?
We aren’t making this up, but learning it from Scripture. When we read Paul, Peter, John, and James, we see them practicing hermeneutics—going back to the Old Testament and accurately interpreting what they’re reading.
God has given us tools and the greatest teacher, the Holy Spirit, in order to understand His truth in the Scripture. Don’t be careless with and don’t neglect these tools.
In this week's Supporter Episode, John Snyder and Teddy James talk about Scripture memorization.