I would offer the following working definition of typological interpretation: typological interpretation is canonical exegesis that observes divinely intended patterns of historical correspondence and escalation in significance in the events, people, or institutions of Israel, and these types are in the redemptive historical stream that flows through the Bible. Some exposition of aspects of this definition will perhaps be helpful, starting with the last part first: (1) the progress of revelation through salvation history as recorded in the Bible functions as banks of the stream for typological interpretation. Things that are outside the banks of this stream do not match the “type” of interpretations that qualify as valid typological readings. (2) Divine intention points to God’s sovereign, providential work in the drama of human history. (3) Typological interpretation of the Bible looks for the ways the human authors of the Bible have “read” God’s work in history, and it seeks to discern cues the human authors give as to how they have interpreted that work. (4) Typological interpretation then shapes the worldview of those who have learned interpretation from the biblical authors, and we who would learn from the biblical authors seek to interpret the world and our experiences in it in the same way that the biblical authors have. We seek to have our symbolic universe shaped by the symbolic universe portrayed in the Bible. We seek to build our interpretive framework after the pattern of the interpretive framework employed by the biblical authors. Our world is, as it were, read through the lens given to us by the Bible. ["Was Joseph a Type of the Messiah? Tracing the Typological Identification between Joseph, David, and Jesus," by James M. Hamilton (Vol. 12: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology Volume 12. 2008  )It's well-written and thus a bit dense. That's why I'm posting it, so you can mull and chew. Like I'm doing.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
In continuing to study for my lesson tonight on Exodus 30:1ff., I wanted to read something on typology. First place I turn (of course) is this excellent resource by my friend, Jim Hamilton. It in turn sends me to an article by him in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, where I find an expanded definition which I now share with you: