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Study by Type and Antitype
One final method of Biblical investigation must be mentioned at least briefly. In the Old Testament are many events which actually happened but which have significance above and beyond their original import. For example:
Exodus describes the institution of the Passover which involved the slaying of a lamb, the deliverance of the firstborn at night, and the deliverance of the rest of the people in the morning. The miracle would have been great in itself. But in 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul states, "Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us," indicating that God meant to make an informative picture of the Passover event. This conclusion is further corroborated by the Scriptural references to Jesus as "the Lamb of God."
A careful consideration of this Passover type and its symbols indicates a remarkable correspondency with what has been demonstrated in the application of the other four methods of study. Jesus (the lamb) dies. His death saves the firstborn (the church) during the night (the Christian Age). The rest of the world are saved in the morning (the 1,000 years) from the enslavement under sin (represented by Pharoahs enslavement of Israel).
This subject of typical/antitypical relationships opens whole new concepts in Bible study!
Five methods of Bible study have been briefly examined:
1. Study by complete topical investigation.
2. Study of symbolic versus literal statement.
3. Study of time-frame placement of Scripture.
4. Study considering large and small context.
5. Study of typical-antitypical relationships.
Any one of these methods is helpful. No one of these methods is complete. All taken together will result in Biblical interpretation entirely free from self-imposed prejudice, preference, etc. The Bible will become reasonable, consistent, adequate, and inspiring: The Word of God.
If the student will approach the Bible honestly, it will change his mind and his heart. It is well worth such an honest approach.
In short, it is too good not to be true.