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The Whole Bible is About Jesus

August 23rd, 2010
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People who get the willies about the subject of typology may not like this, I think it is pretty well done. What do you think?

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Categories: Biblical Studies
  1. George
    August 23rd, 2010 at 19:44 | #1

    definitely got a point. It’s said in a helpful way insofar as the question is put simply.

    Who is the Bible about? — not _what_ is the Bible about.

    Of course, since I believe in the 4-fold exegesis, Jesus is only 1/4 the meaning. :)

    just kidding. anyway, obviously the Bible is about us too, but since Jesus is one of us and God, the whole coheres in His person.

  2. Andrew Grams
    August 23rd, 2010 at 19:56 | #2

    Very well done. A very timely PSA for all in the church.

  3. Helen
    August 24th, 2010 at 07:30 | #3

    The video seems to want to say that Jesus was the perfect person, where these
    people all failed. They were people God used, even in the midst of their
    imperfections, to bring forth the Messiah. Eg, Esther foiled Hamanns plot of
    destroying the Jews and thereby the promise. She was not just a failure.
    Typology sees Esther, as just a person who points us to Jesus.
    Unfortunately, this video is purely typology.

    • August 24th, 2010 at 08:09 | #4

      “just a person who points us to Jesus” — sounds pretty good to me!

      : )

  4. Bobby
    August 24th, 2010 at 08:35 | #5

    In an effort to understand other approaches to Scripture, I have a sincere question for those who have a problem with typology. How are the entire Hebrew Scriptures primarily about Jesus apart from typology?

  5. Richard
    August 24th, 2010 at 09:07 | #6

    This is Tim Keller–I recognize his voice. He is a terrific PCA minister in Manhattan who gets the Gospel right in both his wrting and his preaching.

  6. Bethany Kilcrease
    August 24th, 2010 at 09:27 | #7

    I give this video an A+! It’s great! :) I don’t know much about Tim Keller, but he gets it.

  7. August 24th, 2010 at 10:41 | #8

    Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

  8. August 24th, 2010 at 10:42 | #9


    Sounds pretty good to me, too.

  9. John Maxfield
    August 24th, 2010 at 10:49 | #10

    It’s a bit disappointing to see the characterization of “people who get the willies about typology”–basically characterizing them (us) as motivated by (mild) fear rather than simply seeking the best approach to the Old Testament, both its historical narratives and its prophecies. I’m convinced that over-typologizing (obviously there is typology in the Bible) is a turn from Luther’s and toward Calvin’s understanding of HOW (not whether or how much) the Old Testament preaches Christ. To read Luther on Genesis or the Psalms is in my view much more rewarding than reading Calvin, or, for that matter, the early church fathers (and their exegetical disciples today). Also, for Luther, though the whole Bible “pushes” (treibet) Christ, the historical narratives and the experience of the psalmists and prophets also tell the story of faith in Christ; therefore not just allegories, shadows, prophecies, and types but also the very historical lives of the patriarchs and others are all brimming with the doctrine of faith and the life of the church.

    • August 24th, 2010 at 10:58 | #11

      I think we have seen a pendulum of over-reaction swinging over to a point of view about Bible interpretation that we really never saw in Luther and the 16th/17th century. There is over-typologizing, but I think there is also a certain “hardening of the arteries” on these issues that set in, in our circles, in the thirties and forward. I think you and I both experienced this at the seminary we attended, to some extent. I am certainly not endorsing Calvin, who does tend to treat all OT characters as nearly “zombies” just mindlessly going through the motions totally unaware of the fact that there was a promise of the coming Messiah. What I’ve noticed though, as an over-reaction, is when a LCMS professor of OT can actually claim there is “nothing about Christ” in a historical narrative of the Scriptures. That’s a problem too.

    • August 24th, 2010 at 12:21 | #12

      By the way, John, “get the willies” doesn’t mean “fear,” or that was not my intention in using the words. I could have said “the heebie-jeebies” or something like that. There is, within Lutheranism itself, a much more broad understanding of Biblical exegesis and interpretation than you and I were led to believe when we were students at CTS Fort Wayne, by the professors like Doug Judisch and others.

  10. EGK
    August 24th, 2010 at 11:57 | #13

    I think we need to make sure we distinguish typology from allegory. Typology simply recognizes that God is in control of history, and that in certain events and people God is purposefully pointing to Christ. This would of necessity mean that some of these things would be clearer to us as we look back on these things than they would be to those who actually lived them. So the flood, the walking through the Red Sea (and Naaman’s washing in the Jordan) demonstrate that God uses water and word combined for His purposes when he sees fit, and we don’t need to be afraid to note this. And I have no real problem seeing Christ as reliving the history of Israel (and the entire human race) and getting it right where we got it wrong. We see a lot of this in our lectionary series, and I think it is helpful: Babel-Pentecost, Temptation in the Garden-Christ’s temptation, etc.

  11. John Maxfield
    August 24th, 2010 at 15:41 | #14


    In reply to the video I would only say that the OT is about Christ through-and-through but it is also about Christian believers, mirrors in which we are to see “us”–not as those-righteous-by-works (David defeats Goliath, Esther saves her people, etc.) but as those-righteous-by-faith and living in hope. Consider Luther’s powerful portrayal of Abraham in the Gen 22 narrative (see AE 4:91ff)–the narrative is not just a type and prophecy of Christ, it is also a vivid portrayal of the Christian struggling with death and receiving life. My problem with “over-typologizing” is simply that it can lead to fascination with how skilled the interpreter is in finding Christ’s life and death prefigured through historical events (better than allegory, which ignores or even denies the historical), all the while missing the spiritual comfort provided in the historical events themselves.

    • August 24th, 2010 at 16:06 | #15

      Very valid point, John, and thanks for sharing it. I regard it as a both/and, never an either/or.

      I think where the Evangelicals go wrong is when they look to the people as “models” of “behavior” but do not carefully tie it all back to the righteousness of faith, etc.

  12. John Maxfield
    August 24th, 2010 at 16:09 | #16

    Yes, you didn’t write about “typolophobes” (or whatever). (How does one make the smilie face?–All this is written with a smile on my face).

    To be sure, “getting the willies” is perhaps a great way of describing how I view some Lutheran exegesis today (not that the 30s and 40s was the golden age). I just don’t get a heebie-jeebie feeling from all the efforts to locate Christ in the OT through shadows and types, as patristic and medieval interpretation tended to, when Luther practiced and pointed us to a much richer understanding of how Christ and Christian faith, hope, and love are proclaimed in the OT.

  13. Helen
    August 24th, 2010 at 20:07 | #17

    The problem is that Jesus is the fulfiillment, of these stories/history, not a replacement or “better than,”—that is not the point.
    The point that I am making is that over and over again, Jesus just does the work, vocatio of of another.
    The point of the OT is God, through the lives of all these folks, brings the messiah to us. That faithfulness, and the fact that these people, lived by faith in Christ. The video lost all that.

  14. August 25th, 2010 at 14:15 | #18

    I’m a simple guy and this video is right up my alley.

    I truly believe that if things are nitpicked to death, that in the end, there will be nothing left to stand on.

    If one disagrees on one aspect of the theology of an individual does not mean they should be totally disregarded.

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