Examine the concept of “typology” and discuss its influence on early Christian thought. Identify key specific examples of the utilization of “typology”.
Typology: is the study or systematic classification of types that have characteristics or traits in common.( Merriam-Webster 868) This system of groupings ,usually called types, the members of which are identified by postulating specified attributes that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive groupings set up to aid demonstration or inquiry by establishing a limited relationship among phenomena. A type may represent one kind of attribute or several and need include only those features that are significant for the problem at hand; because a type need deal with only one kind of attribute, typologies can be used for the study of variables and of transitional situations. “Typology in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis is a doctrine or theory concerning the relationship between the Old and New Testaments”. (Merriam-Webster 868) Perhaps the single most important concept for understanding early Christianity is typology. No idea, concept, or viewpoint so exercised control over every aspect of the Christianity view; in fact, it is no exaggeration to say that once you master the dynamics of typology, you can at some level understand any aspect of early Christian culture: art, architecture, theology, political theory, poetry, and more.
As Christianity quickly became a religion of the Greeks and the Romans, that is, a non-Jewish religion, certain tensions began to grow between the cultures that the Greeks and Roman Christians grew up with and the Jewish culture and faith that are at the foundation of the thought of Jesus of Nazareth. (White 115) Paul of Tarsus is the earliest person to try to bridge the gap between the Judaism of Jesus of Nazareth and the culture of the European Christians. The Old Testament could therefore be seen in places not as a literal account, but as an allegory, or...
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