Christ Types and Ancient Old Testament Figures
The previous blog post showed how Christ demonstrates the characteristics of many mythical deities of multiple civilizations. While the characteristics of mythical deities are often fanciful and not meant to be historical, those of Christ are what might be expected from a historical figure.
This short post shows how many ancient historical figures were actual “types” of Christ. That is, these historical figures illustrate many of the characteristics of Christ and are a foreshadowing.
The following figures are contained within the Old Testament. The books which contain the stories of these ancient figures are contained within the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which are known through radioactive dating to have been written before Christ.
Many Biblical figures foreshadow Christ in that they share many of his characteristics. We will go through some of these as explained in J. Warner Wallace’s book.
Moses as a Christ Type
- He escaped the death decree of a king (Pharoah), thereby avoiding certain death,
- He lived in Egypt as a child but later returned to his homeland
- His followers knew him to be humble and strong
- He was tempted while in the wilderness
- God confirmed him through various signs and miracles,
- He worked a miracle at the sea
- He miraculously fed thousands of people with bread (manna)
- He spoke God’s word and taught God’s law from a mountain
- He was a mediator between God and his people.
Joshua as a Christ Type
- His name means “God Saves.”
- He descended from a man named Joseph.
- He had an obscure beginning but rose to a place of honor
- God anointed him
- He was filled with God’s Spirit
- He led and shepherded his people
- He did for God’s people what Moses could not do
- He delivered God’s people from the enemies of God
- He promised rest and provided it.
Joseph as a Christ Type
- He was the special object of his father’s love (robe of many colors)
- He was underestimated and discounted by his own family
- He could resist temptation (Potifer’s wife)
- He fed bread to people to relieve their hunger
- He accurately foretold the future (coming seven years of famine)
- He was sold by someone he trusted for pieces of silver
- He was stripped of his robe and delivered to gentiles
- He stood before rulers in the assembly
- He was falsely accused
- His people did not recognize him (his brothers sold him into slavery)
King David as a Christ Type
- He was a descendant of Abraham and of the tribe of Judah
- He was born in the town of Bethlehem
- He burst onto the scene from an unlikely social position (the youngest son of a sheepherder)
- God anointed him to lead his people
- He was both shepherd and king
- He amazed the elders as a young man
- He spent time in the wilderness
- He had no place to lay his head
- His popularity angered the leaders of his time
- He was betrayed by those he served
- He trusted God in the face of adversity
Prophet Elisha as a Christ Type
- When translated from Hebrew, his name means “God is salvation.”
- His ministry started at the Jordan River
- He received the Spirit of his Father
- More disciples than his predecessors surrounded him
- God attested to him with miracles, signs, and wonders
- He raised a woman’s adult son from the grave
- He fed many people with just a few loaves and had more to spare
- He healed a leper
- He gave sight to the blind
- He fed the hungry
- He was betrayed for money
Prophet Jonah as a Christ Type
- He preached repentance to gentiles
- He knew that salvation belonged to the Lord
- He slept on the boat during a storm
- He acted, and the power of God calmed the storm
- He chose to sacrifice himself for others
- He spent three days in darkness and was thought to be dead
- After three days, he escaped death and taught for forty days.
Summary of Christ Types
The pagan mythologies share common characteristics with Christ that are broad and non-specific. For example, while several mythological deities have a virgin birth, this birth is much more stylized and strange than the simple birth of Christ.
The ancient Jewish historical figures were “types” of Christ, foreshadowing many of his attributes. The Jewish leaders and the common people deeply respected these ancient leaders and recognized their characteristics in Christ. This helped to verify that Christ was the Messiah.
Unfortunately, there were political reasons why the Jewish leaders did not want Christ to be the Messiah; the rest is history.