Type and anti-type in the New Testament

The use of tupos and antitupos are the clearest examples of typology in the New Testament. They are a good starting point for developing typology as an approach for reading Scripture.

Type (tupos):

Adam a type of Christ:

Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type (tupos) of the one who was to come.  Romans 5:14

Tabernacle a type of Heaven:

They serve a copy (upodeigmati) and shadow (skia) of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern (tupos) that was shown you on the mountain.Hebrews 8:5 (see also Acts 7:44)

Wilderness generation experiences a type of warnings for the Church:

 “Now these things took place as examples (tupoi) for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.1 Corinthians 10:6

Anti-type (antitupos):

The flood a type of baptism:

Baptism, which corresponds to this (antitupon), now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ1 Peter 3:21

Tabernacle a type of Heaven:

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies (antitupa) of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” Hebrews 9:24

This last example is slightly strange as we would expect the holy places to be described as type, not anti-type.

These uses of type and antitype are explicit examples in understanding how to read the Old Testament in light of the New. There are many examples that don’t use the terms but use the methodology. For example, the comparison between the sacrificial system and the sacrifice of Jesus is conceptually typological in Hebrews 5-10, without formally using the term.

Drawn together, such examples set a framework and trajectory for interpreting the whole Bible as Christian Scripture.

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