Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Gerhard F. Hasel

Second Advisor

William G. Johnsson

Third Advisor

Hans K. LaRondelle


This dissertation seeks to ascertain the nature of biblical typology by allowing its conceptual structures to emerge from within Scripture through a semasiological analysis of the term τύπος and NT cognates and an exegetical investigation of NT hermeneutical τύπος passages.

In the first chapter the stage is set for the study with a survey of the twentieth century discussion of biblical typology, placed against the backdrop of a concise overview of typological interpretation in preceding centuries. Several leading trends emerge from the survey—the traditional understanding of biblical typology (with three main strands), a post-critical neo-typology (with two major traditions), and a historical-critical repudiation of typological interpretation.

It is determined that previous studies have to a greater or lesser degree failed to allow the scriptures of biblical typology to emerge from within Scripture. The present study seeks to remedy this methodological deficiency by formulating a procedure which utilizes the Greek word τύπος and biblical cognate--where employed in Scripture as hermeneutical term--as preliminary terminological indicators of the presence of typology.

The second chapter attempts a semasiological investigation of τύπος and NT cognates in order to (1) ascertain the overall semantic range of the terms up to and including NT times, (2) determine their breadth of signification in the twenty biblical occurrences, and (3) isolate the NT hermeneutical τύπος passages.

It is seen that τύπος has an astonishing wealth of significations and three basic meanings: (1) a Vorbild; (2) a Nachbild; and (3) a Vorbild which is simultaneously a Nachbild. The NT congnates of τύπος -- ἀντίτύπος, τυπικῶς and ὑποτύπωσις – are also found to be capable of the twofold Nachbild-Vorbild perspective. In the NT all of the basic meanings of τύπος are present, and in the majority of non-hermeneutical τύπος passages these terms denote a divinely derived Nachbild which serves as a stamping, determinative Vorbild.

The third chapter undertakes an exegetical analysis of the five NT hermeneutical τύπος passages with a view toward exposing the inherent τύπος structures. From the investigation of these passages five τύπος structures consistently emerge. There is an historical structure (including the elements of historically, correspondence, and progression) and four theological structure – (involving inaugurated/appropriated/consummated fulfillment aspects), the Christological-soteriological (in which Christ and salvific work are the ultimate orientation point of the τύπος/ἀντίτύπος), the ecclesiological (comprised of individual, corporate, and sacramental dimensions), and the prophetic (consisting of the aspects of prefiguration, divine design, and prospective/predictive devoir-être).

It is seen that the terms τύπος and cognates are amazingly well-suited to encompass the linear Nachbild-Vorbild dynamics involved in the τύπος structures. Since these terms are found to function hermeneutically in the NT hermeneutical passages, it is concluded that they may be taken as terminological indicators of the presence of typology in these passages and the emergent τύπος structures may be identified as typological structures.

Following the analysis of NT hermeneutical τύπος passages a relationship between typology and salvation history is posited in which the latter appears to provide a supra-structure within which the former operates. Biblical typology as a hermeneutical endeavor is then tentatively defined as the study of certain OT salvation-historical realities (person, events, institutions) which God specifically designed to correspond to, and be prospective/predictive prefigurations of, their ineluctable (devoir-être) and absolutely escalated eschatological fulfillment aspects (inaugurated/appropriated/consummated) within NT salvation history.

The conclusion summarizes the argument of the dissertation and the implications for the modern debate over the nature of biblical typology, indicates the limitations of the study, and suggests areas for further investigation.

Subject Area

Typology (Theology), Bible--Hermeneutics


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