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Types and Typology in the Bible


The Holy Bible is inspired by God, a Divine Author. 
Scripture scholar Scott Hahn, Ph.D., writes:

So when we read the Bible, we need to read it on two levels at once.   We read the Bible in a literal sense ... But we read it also in a spiritual sense, searching out what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us through the words  (see Catechism, nos. 115 -19).

We do this in imitation of Jesus, because this is the way He read the scriptures.  He referred to Jonah (Mt 12:39), Solomon (Mt 12:42), the temple (Jn 2:19), and the brazen serpent (Jn 3:14) as  “signs”  that prefigured Him.  We see in Luke’s gospel, as our Lord comforted the disciples on the road to Emmaus, that  “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them what referred to Him in all the scriptures” (Lk 24:27).  After this spiritual reading of the Old Testament, we are told, the disciples’ hearts burned within them.

What ignited this fire in their hearts ?   Through the scriptures, Jesus had initiated His disciples into a world that reached beyond their senses.  A good teacher, God introduced the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar.  Indeed, He had created the familiar with this end in mind, fashioning the persons and institutions that would best prepare us for the coming of Christ and the glories of His kingdom.

Learning to Type

The first Christians followed their Master in reading the Bible this way.  In the letter to the Hebrews, the Old Testament tabernacle and its rituals are described as  “types and shadows of heavenly realities”  (8:5), and the law as a  “shadow of the good things to come” (10:1).  Saint Peter, in turn, noted that Noah and his family  “were saved through water,”  and that  “this prefigured baptism, which saves you now”  (1 Pt 3:20-21).  Peter’s word translated as  “prefigured”  is actually the Greed word for  “typify,”  or  “make a type.”   The apostle Paul, for his part, described Adam as a  “type”  of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:14).

So what is a type ?   A type is a real person, place, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows something greater in the New Testament.  From  “type”  we get the word  “typology,”  the study of Christ’s foreshadowing in the Old Testament (see Catechism, 128-130). [Hail, Holy Queen, pages 22-23.]


Each of these beautiful aspects points to something else that is greater and beyond itself. 


The Old Testament (O.T.) is filled with types that prefigure the greater glory
 of God that is fully revealed in the New Covenant. These O.T. types find their perfection and completion in Jesus Christ, either in Himself or in someone or something that manifests His grace and glory in the New Covenant that He established.  So, it is in Jesus, who is God, that we can find the ultimate fulfillment of all these good things. 

Luke 24:27
“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he (Jesus) interpreted
to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.”

Adam, the father of all mankind, prefigures Jesus Christ, the New Adam
(1 Corinthians 15:45-49,  Romans 5:14-21

Noah and his family were saved from the flood, and this prefigured how those who are united to Jesus Christ would be saved from sin.  1 Peter 3:20-21.

Abraham and Isaac:  Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only
son Isaac, Genesis 22:16 God promised to make him the father of a great
nation, the Jewish people.  Jesus is greater than Abraham John 8:58

Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham Genesis 22:2  prefigured Jesus the Son of God.  and  Matthew 3:17

Isaac was going to be sacrificed. Genesis 22:2  This prefigured Jesus who was sacrificed. 

Moses: through whom the Law was given. Jesus refers to Moses’s law, but He expounds upon it and modifies it.  Matthew 5   John 5:45-46.

Luke 9:30-31
Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his [Jesus’] exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.”
NAB [Jesus’] added by DTB for clarification.

Moses who represents the Law and Elijah who represents the Prophets were types of Christ. Moses led the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in
Egypt in the Exodus to the promised land of Canaan. Jesus leads us in an
exodus from the bondage of slavery to sin to the promised land of heaven.

King David: the greatest king in the Old Covenant, and to whom God
promised there would always be a descendant on the throne. Jesus is the
King of Kings.  Revelation 17:14

Solomon had been the wisest man to have been born because God blessed him with special wisdom. He prefigure Christ who had infinite wisdom.  Matthew 12:42

Temple prefigured Christ.  John 2:19

Jonah: The great prophet who spent three days in the whale and through
whom God demonstrated his great mercy to those who repent and turn to
Him.  Jonah prefigured Jesus who is the Prophet who rose on the third day. Matthew 12:39-41



1.   Mary  In  The  Sacred  Scriptures
2.   Genesis  3:15
3.   Types  Of  Christ In  The  Old  Testament
– Christ is King, Son of David
4.   Satan  Verses  The  Woman  Types of Mary in the Old Testament
5.   Mary  -  The  New  Eve
6.   A  New  Creation
7.   Mary  Honored
8.   Ark  Of   The   Covenant
  Short article

Mary  is the Ark  of  the  New Covenant Longer, and fuller explanation


The best book by far explaining what the Bible teaches about typology and Mary is

Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God
by Scott Hahn, Ph.D















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