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How NT Writers Understand OT Texts

Here is an excellent study in types and typology.

G. K. Beale provides a crash course in Old Testament typology in his article, “Finding Christ in the Old Testament” (JETS, March 2020).

The focus of his essay is on understanding why New Testament writers were able to find meanings in Old Testament texts that don’t appear to be germane to the original context. He shows how the entire Old Testament has a forward-looking and ever-expanding sense to it, and that many Old Testament types and antitypes can be identified.

This suggests that, even as OT antitypes partially fulfill the types that precede them, still, there remains much to be fulfilled, which keeps the OT pointing forward to Christ and the NT.

Beale provides many helpful examples illustrating the typology of Scripture, together with sound guidelines for identifying and interpreting types and their antitypes. He also addresses the question of whether Christ may be found throughout the pages of the Old Testament, answering with a resounding “Yes!”

This is a very important article, and it can help us both in understanding how to interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New, and in seeing Christ throughout the OT; but it also strongly fortifies our understanding of divine inspiration and the sovereign work of God in giving the Scriptures to His people.

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