Types, Antitypes, Signs, and Shadows, are Absolutely
Indispensable for proper Scriptural Interpretation.

A 'Type' is: A Biblical person, thing, action, event, ceremony, structure, furniture, color, or number, that prefigures an 'antitype' of the same in the New Testament.

A likeness must exist between the 'type', the Old Testament prefigurement, also called an 'archetype', and the 'antitype', the New Testament reality. The 'antitype' is always greater.
Both are independent of each other.

'Types' are explained in Rom 5:14 and Heb 9:9, as a figure, 1Cor 10:6 and 2Thess 3:9 and 2Pet 2:6, as examples, 1Cor 10:11 and Heb 11:19, as a type. Much of Heb 11 is devoted to Old Testament 'typology'.

The Exodus, Ex 12:37-42, is a 'type' of Jesus Christ's return from His flight to Egypt, Matt 2:21.
The manna in the desert, Ex 16:31, is a 'type' of its 'antitype' the Holy Eucharist, Matt 26:26.
The water from the rock which Moses struck in Ex 17:1-6, is a 'type' of the Blood of Christ.
Uzzah died a physical death by touching the Ark in 2Sam 6:7. That is a 'type' of dying a spiritual death by partaking of the Holy Eucharist unworthily as in 1Cor 11:27. The reality of dying a spiritual death is greater than the physical death of the 'type'.

The 'antitype' of the New Testament is vastly superior to its 'type' in the Old Testament.

Adam is a 'type' of Christ, as is Melchisedech, Moses, and King David.
'Types' are referred to in the following verses, sometimes under different wording:
Rom 5:14, 1Cor 10:2,6,11, Heb 3:1 to 4:11,11:19, 1Thes 1:7 (pattern), 1Pet 3:21 (counterpart),
1Pet 5:3 (pattern) (KJ - ensamples), Rev 21:1 to 22:5.

The New Testament reality is infinitely greater than the Old Testament prefigurement here.

A 'shadow' is an image cast by a person or object, as that person or object intercepts a light source. The dictionary defines a 'shadow' as, "an imperfect image or copy".
This is interesting as it shows the 'shadow' is far removed from its cause, and is therefore to be seen as vastly inferior to its 'antitype', the person or object which forms it.

A 'shadow' therefore could also be seen as a 'type', since it 'foreshadows', or prefigures an 'antitype'.


This brings us to some interesting conclusions and provides an important key to Bible understanding.

"Let no one, then, call you to account for what you eat or drink or in regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ."
Col 2:16-17

The Sabbath is but just a
shadow of the Sunday Mass.

The New Testament reality is greater than the Old Testament prefigurement.

"For we are sojourners before thee, and strangers, as were our fathers. Our days upon earth are as a 'shadow', and there is no stay." 1Chron 29:15

The short life on earth is the '
type' of the 'antitype' of eternal life promised to us after death.

Eve is a '
type' of her 'antitype', the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Eve was created without original sin.
If Blessed Mary had original sin as some say, then that would make her inferior to her '
type', Eve.

The New Testament reality is greater than the Old Testament prefigurement, not inferior to it.

Eve is the mother of all mankind, Gen 3:20. Her 'antitype', the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the Mother of GOD, John 1:1,14.

The Ark of the Covenant of the Old Testament contained within it, the Word of GOD written on stone tablets. It is a '
type' of the New Testament 'antitype', the New Ark of the Covenant, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who 'contained' within her womb, the Word of GOD incarnate.

The New Testament reality is greater than the Old Testament prefigurement.

The manna in the desert is infinitely inferior to the Holy Eucharist described in John 6:1-70.
If the Holy Eucharist were not the Body, Blood, Soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, then that would make the Old Testament prefigurement, the miraculous manna, superior to its 'anti

"Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these."
Hebrews 9:23
The context of this verse from 18-22 describes the animal blood sacrifices of the Old Testament. Verse 23 clearly teaches that "copies" of heavenly things is the "type" of the heavenly realities of a
better sacrifice. That "better" sacrifice could not be a symbol of the reality, but of the reality itself.

Never in Scripture does an Old Testament "type" point to a New Testament symbol.

The New Testament reality is far greater than the Old Testament prefigurement.

More examples of 'types' and 'antitypes'...

GOD created man in His image, Gen 1:27, and GOD was born in the image of man, Luke 2:7.

Noah's Ark and the flood, only 8 were saved through water, and Baptism, all potentially saved through water, 1Pet 3:20-21.

The tree of the forbidden fruit in Eden, Gen 3:6, which brought death to us all, and the tree of the cross which brought eternal life to us all, Acts 5:30.

Isaac carried the wood of the sacrifice on his back, Gen 22:6, and Jesus carried His cross on His back, John 19:17.

Moses is rescued by a handmaid, Ex 2:5 and Jesus is born by a handmaid, Luke 1:38.

Joshua got the better of the battle with Amalek as long as Moses kept his hands raised, Ex 17:8-13.
The figure of Moses is a '
type' of the cross. This is from the Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter XII.

Written by Bob Stanley, June 14, 1999
Updated December 3, 2003

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