Typology was never a big deal until I came to Southwestern. My first research seminar was entirely typology-based. That’s when I felt like a fish out of the water, scrambling to get myself acquainted with this angle of approach. I can’t say that I’m entirely sold on typology being a method of research, but it is an interesting field, and also an important field for conservative theologians.

To immerse myself with typology, I began with Leonhard Goppelt’s Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New. In the introduction is J. Gerhard’s definition, to which Goppelt enthusiastically affirms: “Typology consists in the comparison of facts. Allegory is not concerned with the facts but with the words from which it draws out useful and hidden doctrine.” The sensus mysticus is being differentiated in the interpretation.

I think both allegory and typology can deal with facts.

Goppelt also makes some distinctions as to how types are to be studied:

Types exist primarily as the result of the general relationship between becoming and being, between history and spirit, as we can observe in nature and history. In the child, for example, the man is prefigured. “The truth of typological parallels is particularly clear where, from the external symbolical level of a historical sphere, an inner spiritual form of this organism emerges, like the Christian Kingdom of God emerging from the Jewish kingdom” (Tholuck, 5th ed., p. 31). Moreover, the Christological relationship only occasionally bears a resemblance: “This kind of typological relationship (the relationship between the OT saint in Psalm 69 and Jesus) receives its full significance only if those Old Testament saints, the same as the New Testament saints, are viewed as member of one and the same mystical Christ, who is present throughout history” (Tholuck, 2nd ed., p. 16).

Still chewing.

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