INTERPRETIVE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM

It is the privilege and duty of every man (or single mom) to lead their family through the Scriptures in family worship. A basic knowledge of hermeneutics (the science and art of biblical interpretation) is helpful here. In my book, The King and His Kingdom, I lay out an acronym to remember principles (keys) of interpretation so that one may get the big picture:

COVENANTAL
HISTORICAL-
REDEMPTIVE
INDUCTIVE
SOLAIC
TYPOLOGICAL

Here, I will preview the last key.

TYPOLOGICAL

The ‘type’ is perhaps the least understood but most important concept in the hermeneutics of biblical prophecy.”1 This has led to two extremes. As Barnes noted, “Some will have types everywhere; and, therefore, others will allow them nowhere.”2 What is a type and what is its antitype? The impression left in the wax is a type, the signet ring is the antitype (1 Pet 3:21); the former is the shadow, the ladder the substance (Col 2:17). Types can be people, events, or institutions and they build from lesser to greater across Scripture. The whole Bible is one giant movement from type to antitype: exodus to greater exodus, old covenant to new covenant, Adam to Christ.

When we go down the line in Genesis we find that Adam is purposefully discernible in a few other people as well- Noah most clearly and closely, but David most importantly, until Christ comes. Not only that, but the conditions surrounding Adam are repeated over and over again. Moses who wrote about Adam used language that would have made his readers think of him as a priest, Eden as a temple, his relationship to God and creation as a covenant, etc. The fact is, by repetition the OT grabs our attention on what is important and ultimately who Christ will be and will do, or undo.

The Scriptures continually present an image of God serving as a prophet, a priest, or a king (or all three) for the sake of the glory of God, the temple of God, and the people he represents. These themes become clearer as humanity worsens and the fulfillment approaches.

CREATION

PROGRESSION

FIRSTHAND NEW CREATION

SECONDHAND NEW CREATION

CONSUMMATION

TEMPLE

Eden

Tabernacle/ Solomon’s
temple

Christ

Church

God + Lamb

+/ church + creation

IMAGE

Adam

Israel, David

Christ

Church

Christ + church


So, look for Christ, what He will be like or not be like, do or undo. As you fix your eyes on Christ you will be able to spot the patterns, the promises, and the obligations He came to fulfill. As you see above, everything is fulfilled by Christ firsthand, and then in us secondhand as we get grafted into union with Christ. What has begun fulfillment will then be completed when Christ returns. As you trace these themes and relate them to Christ and His work (His redemptive accomplishments for us and in us) you are doing the work of biblical theology.

Biblical theology is the work of tracing themes and relating them to Christ and His work which was/is His redemptive accomplishments for us and in us. What we see when we zoom out from Genesis to Revelation is Adam and Christ, creation and new creation, covenantal progression to new covenant, sin and righteousness, death and life, this age and the age to come. Scripture is headed from one to the other and we find ourselves the middle of already and not yet fulfillment. Using these “keys” should help you to unlock the mysteries of the King and His Kingdom.

1Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Edited by Walter A. Elwell

2Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes, Vol. 13, pg 182