Talk:Typology (theology)

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Question: Origen?[edit]

The article says The system was Christianised by Origen, but the Epistle of Barnabas takes a more allegorical approach than Origen and was a hundred years earlier. The article also points to NT scriptures that indicate an alleogrical approach, so how can Origen be the one who brought it to Christianity? 08:24, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

This refers, fairly clearly I think, to the Jewish Alexandrian system mentioned in the preceding sentence. By all means expand, with references, but be careful to keep it clear what is referencing what. All that bit comes from Male. Johnbod 14:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


The intro of the article takes the position that the purpose of typology was the synthesizing of "discontinuities" between the Old and the New Testament. It seems that this is incorrect, at least as far as the origin of typology is concerned. Christain typology has its beginnings in St. Paul, who wrote before the New Testament canon was fixed (or even completed), and therefore could not have noticed any such "discontinuity". One could even say that Christian typology goes back to the teachings of Jesus himself—Cf. his reference to Jonah (Matthew 12:39-40, etc.). MishaPan (talk) 18:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The intro might be made less emphatic on this point, but "incorrect" is surely overstating matters. Paul's awareness of the issue of "discontinuity" is hardly dependent on a fixed written canon, as the quotation in the article demonstrates. Johnbod (talk) 19:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

there is no mention of the works and ideas of michael j gould.surely his works and ideas have somthing to do with typology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

The english "type" is from the greek "tupos", and the latin quoted is irrelevant. You can read my discussion of types here: and as you can see I am against the position explained above. Since Paul and Jesus both point to the Old Testament as foreshadowing the New, I don't see why this article should be left to downplay a perfectly valid exegetical tool. Mmlj4 (talk) 14:58, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I'll let you get on with it, but your first two paras, for one thing, seem clearly less accurate & useful than my last version. If they remain so they will not be there long. The passage from St Paul is certainly not the most "succinct" explanation of the fully developed theory; it is only really relevant to the reasons for the development of it. Johnbod (talk) 04:43, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

The Paul reference isn't mine -it was already in the article. I rarely edit out if possible, but the organization is valid and chronological as to the examples (so far as I know). As for the intro being "clearly less accurate", I must disagree. The original opening failed to take into account those who view the Old Testament as history as well as allegory / foreshadowing v. those who believe it is merely allegory or foreshadowing and not at all literal. Both may be typological theologians/scholars but they share far different views about the Bible. That much clearly needs to be established in the opening of this article and if it can be done in a better way go for it. That is what this process is all about. But not all typologists disagree with a literal interpretation of the Bible and clearly some typologists do not believe in a literal reading. The old intro did not account for this and engaged in far too many generalizations.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 04:51, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
St. Paul reference - I substituted an ESV translation.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 04:54, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
And "The Old Testament was seen by some, in places, as either a literal account as well as an allegory or a theological foreshadowing of the events of the New Testament, or merely non-literal, yet still an allegory or foreshadowing of the New Testament. In particular Christian typology tends to seek answers as to how the events of the Old Testament relates to the events of Christ's life" has fewer generalizations?! Johnbod (talk) 05:05, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Some theologians: literal+allegorial or foreshadowing; some theologians: non-lieteral +allegorial or foreshadowing. That is all it says. Apart from that I am very happy with the changes being made.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 03:26, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
  • On Jonah, I had combined the two passages on him to be the example discussed at length in the "origins & development" Section. I think this works better, but would not object to his example being in its own section up there. Maybe I'll try that. Johnbod (talk) 19:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Post-Biblical typology[edit]

Is this article limited to typology related to Jesus, or can it include post-biblical uses of typology, such as the way Puritans and African Americans both interpreted themselves as reenacting the the Exodus narrative? Aristophanes68 (talk) 02:04, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Does that exactly come under typology? Why just "Puritans and African Americans"? Metaphorical comparisons between the Bible & current or historical events are as old as Christianity - persecuted Early Christians & English Catholics saw themselves as re-enacting the sufferings of the Jews, Crusaders as repeating Israelite triumphs. For it to be typology, the purpose of the Biblical text being there, and the events it describes happening, should be considered to be, at least in part, to act as a fore-witness to the later event. Johnbod (talk) 02:14, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
It's not just Puritans and African slaves--they're just two examples most people are familiar with. From the sources I've read, it's common to talk about post-biblical "re-enactments" (such as the Puritans fleeing Egypt to run a scared errand in the wilderness) as being a form of typology. But it's no longer a fore-witness; it's now the case that all of history is reflecting the typology in reverse: it's now an after-witness, literally and anti-type. I don't have my sources here with me, but a quick websearch turned up two examples:
Aristophanes68 (talk) 02:45, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Quoting Wiki "Typology is also a theory of history, seeing the whole story of the Jewish and Christian peoples as shaped by God, with events within the story acting as symbols for later events - in this role God is often compared to a writer, using actual events instead of fiction to shape his narrative."

So why does this stop at the relationship between Jewish and Christian beliefs? Many in the field of Typology recognize earlier civilizations influence on both Christianity and Judaism. Example of such are as follows:

Satan, again it has been suggested Christian having derived mostly from embellished Jewish scriptures that in turn were a hybrid of embellished and corrupted in meaning Sumerian belief and culture as a result of their persecution by the Sumerians is thought to derive from such a corruption. Sataran: The patron god of the Sumerian city Der in ancient Mesopotamia. He is a divine judge and healer. In the latter capacity the snake god Nirah is his messenger. An ancient Sumerian snake-deity, and the divine messenger of Sataran. Indeed the Ancient Greeks have the rod of Asclepius often mistaken for The Caduceus, it is associated with medicine and healing.

The story of Adam and Eve evolved from the Sumerian mother goddess Ninhursag and her lover Enki. Who she installed in her earthly paradise. To cut a long story short he got curious about 8 special plants and she got angry and bestowed 8 illnesses on him. Other gods asked he be spared so she created 8 goddesses to heal him, the goddess that healed his rib was Ninti. In Sumerian, "nin" means lady, and "ti" can mean either rib or life. So Ninti means either lady of the rib or lady of life.

"Unlike many other early religions, Judaism does not love the serpent, but nevertheless respects its high intelligence. In Genesis, written many generations after Nechushtan, The Bronze Serpent, lost his deified position, he is blamed for tempting Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It is clear that even then he was still admired for his wisdom: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made." (Genesis 3:1) This attitude continued into even later Jewish folklore and myth, and the Hebrew word often used to describe the snake is armumi, meaning cunning, crafty, and shrewd. The Genesis story of the Fall of Adam and Eve is a fine example of how the Bible sometimes described the early struggle between God and the other deities, and the war between Nechushtan and God ends with God's total victory." by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

“The Antichrist”. In historical terms this is thought to pertain to Antiochus IV 215 BC; died 164 BC. Who was a villain in the eyes of the Jews and their persecutor, they called him ‘the wicked’.

Traditionally the Antichrist was used to describe a collective, those which were against Judaism. It was not until Hippolytus c. 170-c. 236AD that this actually became viewed as a flesh and bones prophesy, he was the first to put forward such a view point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kinkspace (talkcontribs) 13:55, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Reference in the inanimate types section[edit]

The article makes the following statement: "The Showbread prepared in the Temple of Jerusalem is also seen as a type for Christ." I am curious on if the person who wrote this can provide a reference. Note that I agree with the statement and am not asking for it to be removed, but I have not seen the typology of showbread stated in this way before and would like to understand it. Cheers, Domichael (talk) 02:18, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

A simple google books search on the two terms produces a raft of references from various Christian points of view. It would be nice if someone could select a suitable one to use as a reference in the article. Johnbod (talk) 03:00, 30 June 2011 (UTC)