Types and Antitypes.

A type (or typology) is anything in the Old Testament that prefigures (speaks of, ahead of time) the New. It could be a person, object, place, or ceremony, that points to a reality in the New Testament.

For example, Melchizedek is a type of Christ (see Hebrews 7).

The Passover Lamb was also a type of Christ, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, OUR PASSOVER, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corin 5:7).

The antitype is what the type points to in the New Testament. So Jesus would be the antitype of the Passover Lamb (the Passover Lamb is discussed extensively in Exodus 12:1-28).


There are certain principles which govern the use of typology:

1) For anything to qualify as a type, it must have existed as a REAL thing in history, either a REAL person, place, ceremony etc.


2) The similarities between types and their antitypes are not TOTAL. Only SOME PARTS of the type’s life points to the antitype. Don’t try to apply EVERY aspect of the type’s life to the antitype. Stay with the comparison or similitude.

For example, the writer of Hebrews limits the comparison between Jesus and Isaac to the fact that Isaac was sacrificed (Heb 11:17-19, Gen 22:1-19). Only Isaac’s sacrifice pointed to Christ (i.e. how Jesus would be offered on the altar of sin, and “received” back to life), not his entire life.


3) The antitype is usually superior or greater than the type. The type is a shadow (metaphor), the antitype is the reality.

Hebrews 10:1-4 (NKJV)

1 For the law, having a SHADOW of the good things to come, and NOT THE VERY IMAGE of the things, can NEVER with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach PERFECT. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a REMINDER of sins EVERY YEAR. 4 For it is NOT POSSIBLE that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

The blood of animal sacrifices (under the Old Testament) could never take away sins. They never made anyone perfect. They rather point to the blood of Jesus, which perfects once and for all, “For by one offering He has PERFECTED FOREVER those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10:14).

The Old Testament (the type) needed a yearly atonement for sins. The offering of Jesus (the reality) perfects forever. The antitype is therefore greater than the type.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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