Figural reading is reemerging as an approach to theological interpretation of Scripture. As a result, biblical scholars are beginning to speak of figural reading where they once talked about typology. Typology has been a contentious matter among biblical scholars, and a firm definition of it has eluded them. For that very reason, scholars would be remiss to discard typology too quickly, before determining how to define it in the first place and how the typological debates might inform current discussions of figural reading. The debates concerning the definition of typology (a study of types) are essentially debates concerning how to define a type. This article defines a type broadly as ikonic mimēsis, which denotes a correspondence in both fact and significance between persons, events, institutions, and so on. Within this broad definition, (at least) three subcategories, each with its own characteristics, can be identified: Christological, tropological, and analogical types. By defining types broadly as ikonic mimēsis and by delineating three subcategories of types, this article establishes categories that will allow for a more transparent discussion concerning typology and its relationship to figural reading.

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