Typology for the Old Testament

There are many who find typology helpful. I once had a professor come from WTS (West) to teach a class on the prophets who appeared to be inebriated with typology. Rightly so, typology is glorious. However, for this professor, typology only revealed pictures and shadows of realities fulfilled in the New Testament. For instance, a simple illustration is of the Davidic King (II Samuel 11). The great King David is a type of the greater King David, Jesus Christ. This is good as far as it goes. Biblical typology, however, does not always jump from Old to New; rather it stays in the Old. It is “operating already within the Old Testament.”[1] A helpful illustration comes from the “death by head wound” in the Old Testament. As Leithart illustrates:

Sisera, Abimelech, Goliath, Absalom-many of the enemies of God have their heads crushed. When a scene or event is repeated in this way, it is deliberate and theologically grounded. All these are types of the serpent, whose head[2] the Seed of the woman will crush (Genesis 3:15).

This form of thinking re-orients the mind to look deeper into the Old Covenant pages, before jumping to the gospels.


[1] Leithart, Peter. A House For My Name. pg. 34.

[2] Ibid. 34.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Hermeneutics, Peter Leithart. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Typology for the Old Testament

  1. JRM says:

    Do you really believe that typology “stays” in the OT? When will the seed of the woman crush the head of the serpent? In the Old Testament? Or isn’t your typology jumping into the New Testament? Can you read Genesis to Malachi as a story of promise and fulfillment?

  2. Pingback: The Preterist Blog ~ 100% Hyperpreterist Free » Blog Archive » What’s New at The PreteristSite

  3. Mike Bull says:

    Spot on, Uri. Another example of this would be the fulfilment of Joel 2 in the victory of Esther and Mordecai. This factor applies to many of the quotations of the prophets in the New Testament. The only reason the apostles can quote them is because the pattern is being repeated once again, ie, a new New Covenant and a new New Jerusalem.

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