What is a “type”… an “image“?
Biblically, are the words “type” and “image” the same or not? If so, does it make a difference? Surprisingly, it does. Understanding the meaning of these words may help determine what God has planned for us from the beginning of time. It provides a glimpse of humanity’s destiny.
Type or Image?
To begin with, the word “type or pattern” is translated from the Greek word “typos” and Hebrew “tabniyth”. On the other hand, the word “image” is translated from the Greek word “iekon” and from the Hebrew word “tselem”. Even etymologically, the words are different from each other. Nonetheless, translation per se, as it is understood presently, may not necessarily reflect the true meaning of the word, see http://www.crivoice.org/terms/wordhebrew.html
Consequently, it is helpful to see the understanding of those living within that span of time. The definition of “type” is explained by Paul in Rom. 5:14 speaking of Genesis Adam:
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”.
And “pattern” in Exodus 25:9 “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
From the preceding, it is clear that the word “type/pattern” is understood to mean a precursor of “what is to come”, a prefigure of the future person or thing. In contrast, an “image” is a replica or a reflection of someone, at present, in the context of: humans are created in “the image of God” (Gen. 1:27); not futuristic like “type” but currently. See also http://biblehub.net/search.php?q=the+image+of+God
Note: Not only are humans an image now but also was man-Jesus at incarnation and even after resurrection, as in Col. 1:15, “an image of the invisible God”(Father). The Genesis Adam is a “type” of man-Jesus. Both are humans, with flesh-composed bodies at their beginning, and are “images” of an invisible God. Yet, there are differences between the two “images”, at creation.
Two Images at Creation and what became of them?
Notice, that when the Genesis-Adam was created, he “became a living being”, as in:
Gen. 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
He was created as flesh-composed and fully developed as an adult coming from the “dust of the ground”(earthy, not heavenly). He was without life at creation, dead. Then, he “became a living being” but only after the “breath of life” was breathed into his nostrils. Without that “breath of life”, that “living power” he would still be dead. In contrast, Jesus was YHVH/Creator before the “foundation of the world” (John 1:1) and “came from above”, heavenly and not earthy. Both appeared or began on earth as flesh. Both came about without contribution of sperm/egg from parents, see https://fact-s.net/2016/09/24/is-mary-perfect/.
Coming from above(not from “dust of the ground” like Genesis-Adam), YHVH/Creator incarnated alive as man-Jesus in the womb of Mary and did not need the “breath of life” be “breathed into his nostrils” at creation. He already had life in him when “conceived”, as He had life already as YHVH. Moreover, in the womb of a woman(Mary), Jesus still had to develop, like any human being, into full-term before he could be delivered as a newborn. He then became mature, learning the written words and reading the Tanach on the Sabbath.
Also, the Genesis Adam was later called “the first”, and Jesus Christ was called the “last Adam”, as in:
1 Cor. 15:45:“The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”.
Notice that the context of I Cor. 15 was the main difference between the first and last Adam, which is their composition and what happened after their creation. At creation, the “first Adam” had flesh-composed body that became alive after receiving the “breath of life”. There was a transformation from death to a “living being/soul”. While the human-Jesus was flesh-composed, the “last Adam” was a “quickening/life-giving spirit”, spirit-composed at this particular transformation. Remember that YHVH/Creator, at incarnation, had flesh-composed body as man-Jesus. Whereas, I Cor . 15:45 is clear that the “last Adam”, is “a life-giving spirit”. Paul must not be referring to man-Jesus after incarnation from YHVH as he was flesh-composed, not spirit-composed body.
So, when did man-Jesus become a “quickening/life-giving spirit”? When was this transformation, from incarnation as flesh-composed body, to “quickening spirit”? And when can Jesus be “life-giving “? The time of his spirit-composed creation must refer to his resurrection when his dead body was “quickened” to become “spirit-composed”. This process is similar to the transformation of humans at resurrection when at a “twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:51-53) they are “quickened” (I Cor. 15:36; Eph.2:5 ) to become spirit-bodies. This is the only time that man-Jesus could be a “quickening spirit”. And, became “life-giving”, as after resurrection, he received (Jn. 16:7) from the Father the “promised Holy Spirit of power” to be given to us, starting at Pentecost of that year (Acts 2). With this in mind, we can now fully appreciate what this verse mean.
Take-Home Message of I Cor. 15:45
The Genesis Adam is a “type” of the “anti-type” (the fulfillment), the incarnated YHVH, the man-Jesus, both flesh-composed. Genesis-Adam started without life and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and he became a “living being”. He would have remained “dead”(without life) were it not for YHVH/God breathing life into him. As flesh-composed, the Genesis Adam, aka first-Adam, could only give what comes out of his power as a human being. He could only “give” or perform what can come out of his “physical, flesh-composed, material and earthy body”. While man-Jesus at conception had life inherent in him as YHVH, the man-Jesus in the tomb was dead, as he gave up his spirit at the cross (John 19:30). Like the Genesis Adam when he was formed from “dust”, man-Jesus was also without life, an aftermath of crucifixion. God gave life to Genesis-Adam. Similarly, God(Father) resurrected Jesus to life to become the “last-Adam”, a “quickening spirit”. In a “twinkling of an eye”, his “broken body” (I Cor. 11:24) did not rot or decay (Acts 2:27. 13:37) as prophesied, but was resurrected with a spirit-composed body, reserved and made for him in heaven. With such composition, he received from the Father the promised “Holy Spirit” of power (Jn. 16:7). As a “life-giving spirit”, he then gave to humans this Holy Spirit of power to “overcome the flesh”(he who overcomes has eternal life, Rev .21:7). Those humans who are overcomers because of using this Holy Spirit of power will then manifest as “firstfruits”. Like Jesus, they will be given (at their resurrection) a “spirit-composed body” reserved in heaven for them. The “latter-fruits” will manifest themselves after the Millenium.
In essence, the Genesis-Adam, the first-Adam, is a “type” of the man-Jesus, the last-Adam. At their beginning they were both flesh-composed, and at finality of creating and development, they will be similar as spirit-composed, as Jesus did, being the first of the “firstfruits”. Even as such, they are still only “images” of God(the Father). Each person is unique, even with the same spirit-composition.
To become spirit-composed is the destiny of Adam and humanity, as an aggregate, as planned by God from “before the foundation of the world”. This is the message behind the “gospel of the kingdom of God”. The “spirit of man” that becomes the composite of that particular person through years of development, has to be resided by the Spirit of God at conversion for guidance towards “oneness” with God(the Father). With the Holy Spirit, not before, we then developed to “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit of power” expressed through our individual “works” of obedience. After death, being “overcomers”, not before, we will then receive, at resurrection, the promised immortal, spirit-composed body. All of those who will make up the eventual spirit-composed God-Kingdom, go through this process starting with Jesus, the “beginner/author/pioneer/initiator/designer”(Heb. 12:2).
This is an amazing gift that comes out of love and planned for from the beginning anchored on hope of the Father on the “man-Jesus(Ps. 8:1-9; Heb. 2:6; Job 7:17-21, 14:1-22).