How to study the Bible: Types and Shadows, Typology (videos)
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The Bible often presents itself as a difficult book for many to comprehend. Many argue whether certain passages are allegory or are to be taken literally. Once it is clear that the Bible is written in “types and shadows,” the strangeness of the Bible slowly melts away leaving the reader with a beautiful depiction of the Gospel message spread throughout the first pages of Genesis to the last closing promises of Revelation. Throughout the entire Bible we see the promise of Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah, who will redeem sinful man and woman from sin’s bondages and restore those who desire a relationship with God the Father through Himself.
The study of “types and shadows” is known as “Typology.” It is because of “Typology” that Christians today do not adhere to or follow the rules, commands and Levitical requirements found in the Old Testament. Typology shows us that the Old Testament has been fulfilled by the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, therefore there is no need to use memorials, sacrifices or offerings to try and atone for our sins. From the Old Testament sacrifices, covenants and feasts to the words uttered by prophets, the entire Old Testament points to the coming Messiah and that he would be an ultimate sacrifice that would die, once and for all, for the sins of mankind. Interestingly, the majority of the children of Israel did not recognize Him when He appeared; but rather a select, chosen few. Even today, the majority of orthodox Jews does not recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah come in the flesh and wait the arrival of another.
In Hebrews 1:1-4 New King James Version, Paul speaks about these types and shadows. The verses read, “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himselfpurged oursins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
The first verse states that God spoke to us in various times and in various ways through the prophets regarding the coming birth of Jesus Christ. The more one reads the Old Testament, then begins to comprehend and understand the New, the greater the revelation of Jesus Christ’s role in the Old is perceived. Rituals and events take on new meaning as the fullness of the Bible is made complete through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:11 expounds upon types and shadows by saying, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
You may see a video by “Proclaim His Word” that discusses how the Old Testament Tabernacle was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ in the video player to the left.