AN EXPLAINATION OF BIBLICAL TYPOLOGY
Typology is the method Christian students of the Bible use to understand the historical relationships between people and events recorded in Sacred Scripture. Typology guides the Biblical student to look at each event and person in salvation history as linked to what preceded in the Biblical record and linked to what will come, uniting the reader to the divine mystery of the progression of God's plan for the salvation of mankind. The word "typology" is taken from the Greek word "tupto", which means "to beat". In Greek this word can be used to refer to the imprint carved by a matrix. In using the typological approach to the study of the Bible one investigates and compares the similarities and the differences between events and the lives of individuals in the Biblical record of salvation history and how these individuals and events impress an imprint on the Biblical record that can be compared - one event to another or one individual to another.
This is not merely a "Christian" approach to understanding the unfolding history of Scripture. This same methodology was also used by the Old Testament prophets and by Jesus of Nazareth who not only compared His mission to the words of the prophet Isaiah repeatedly in the New Testament [see Luke 4:18-19 when He quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2] but He also compared Himself and His Passion to the mission and experiences of the Prophet Jonah. In addition, the Old Covenant Holy Days of Obligation are "types" that point to the Passion and Resurrection of the Christ as well as to His promised Second Advent. The Old Covenant feast of Passover is expressed typologically in the Eucharist. All the events of the Old Covenant feasts expressed in the liturgy of the chosen people made the people relive the past events of the Exodus experience in the present of each new generation of covenant believers just as our New Covenant Holy Days make us relive past events, placing them in the context of the present to each event is real and present for each generation. This included the sacrifice of the Lord on Calvary which is real and present in each and every Eucharistic celebration around the world at every hour of the day. Every liturgical event transcends time. In celebrating these past events we live them in the present and in the union of past and present we are oriented toward the future promises associated with the sequence of events. Both Eucharist and the Jewish Passover points toward the promised Communion of Saints at the end of time and prepares us for the fulfillment and completion of the history of man.
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