The Meaning of Tupos

The word in the original Greek is tupos, from which our word “type” derives. The word tupos comes from a verb that means “strike.” Tupos, however, did not take on the meaning “blow,” but rather the meaning of what is left by a blow, that is, “impression,” “imprint,” “statuette” (small work of sculpture). The word also takes on the meaning of the “mold” with which an impression, imprint, or statuette is made. Thus it can have the derivative sense of “pattern.”

The word tupos is found in the New Testament in these different senses. It is used to refer to the marks left in Jesus’ hands by the nails used at the crucifixion (John 20:25); to images of false gods (Acts 7:43); to the all-determining norm of the instruction that Paul gave (Rom. 6:17); to the pattern the church must follow and by which it is to be determined (Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:7; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Peter 5:3). When tupos is used in Romans 5:14 it has kept something of its original meaning. That Adam is called a tupos of Christ means that Adam and Christ are related as the mold in which a statuette is cast and the statuette itself. As a tupos of Christ, Adam is the “prefiguration” of Christ.


Versteeg, J. P. (2012-11-01). Adam in the New Testament: Mere Teaching Model or First Historical Man? (Kindle Locations 381-393). P&R Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Typology and Higher Form of Somatic Existence

Why does Paul, when asked about the nature of the resurrection body and after beginning to contrast the believer's dead body with his resurrection body, suddenly expand the comparison to include the creation body? Apparently his interest is to show that from the beginning, prior to the fall, a higher or different kind of body than the body of Adam, the psychical body, is in view. Adam, by virtue of creation (not because of sin), anticipates and points to another, higher form of somatic existence. The principle of typology enunciated in Romans 5:14 is present here, albeit somewhat differently: the creation body of Adam is "a type of the one to come." This suggestion of typology helps to illumine the use of Genesis 2:7 in 1 Cor 15:45, especially the addition in 1 Cor 15:45c


Life-Giving Spirit

...being thus closely and subjectively identified with the Risen Christ, the Spirit imparts to Christ the life-giving power which is peculiarly the Spirit’s own: the Second Adam became not only Πνεῦμα but πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν. This is of great importance for determining the relation to eschatology of the Christ-worked life in believers.19

The question why Paul, after having up to 1 Cor 15:43 (incl.) conducted his whole argument on the basis of a comparison between the body of sin and the body of the resurrection, substitutes from 1 Cor 15:44 on for the body of sin the normal body of creation is an interesting one, though very difficult to answer. The answer should not be sought in the direction of ascribing to him the view that the creation-body and the body of sin are qualitatively identical, in other words that the evil predicates of φθορά, ἀτιμία, ἀσθενεία, enumerated in 1 Cor 15:22 belong to the body in virtue of creation. Paul teaches too plainly elsewhere that these things came into the world through sin. The proper solution seems to be as follows: the Apostle was intent upon showing that in the plan of God from the outset provision was made for a higher kind of body (as pertaining to a higher state of existence generally). From the abnormal body of sin no inference could be drawn as to that effect. The abnormal and the eschatological are not so logically correlated that the one can be postulated from the other. But the world of creation and the world to come are thus correlated, the one pointing forward to the other; on the principle of typology the first Adam prefigures the last Adam, the psychical body the pneumatic body (cp. Rom. 5:14). The statement of 1 Cor 15:44b is not meant as an apodictic assertion, but as an argument: if there exists one kind of body, there exists the other kind also. This explains why the quotation (Gen. 2:7), which relates proximately to the psychical state only, is yet treated by Paul as proving both, and as therefore warranting the subjoined proposition: “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” The quotation proves this, because the “psychical” as such is typical of the pneumatic, the first creation of the second, the world that now is (if conceived without sin) of the aeon to come. This exegesis also disposes of the view that Paul meant to include vs. 1 Cor 15:45c in the quotation, the latter being taken from Gen. 1:27 (man’s creation in the image of God). On such a supposition Paul’s manner of handling the record would have to rest on the Philonic (and older) speculation of a two-fold creation, first of the ideal, then of the empirical man. According to this speculation the ideal man is created first, the empirical man afterwards, since Gen. 1 comes before Gen. 2. But Paul affirms the very opposite: not the pneumatic is first, the psychical is first. If there is reference at all in 1 Cor 15:46 to this Philonic philosophoumenon, it must be by way of pointed correction. Paul would mean to substitute for the sequence of the idealistic philosophy the sequence of historic unfolding; the categories of his thought are Jewish, not Hellenic: he reasons in forms of time, not of space.

Doubly Derivative Glory

God’s plan for the elect, then, is to move them from a position of protological and anticipatory glory to a position of eschatological and consummative glory by which they imitate and reflect climatically the divine glory. In this model, the glory that believers exhibit in their resurrection is doubly derivative. It originates with the Godhead, is mediated through Christ’s human nature, and then reflects off glorified images of Christ.


Typological Glory of Israel

This basic pattern of bearing God’s glory-image was recapitulated at a typological level for the nation of Israel. Like the protological son before them, the nation of Israel bore God’s glory as typological son (Exod 4:22; 28:2, 40; 40:34; Ps 3:3; Zech 2:5). As a type, the nation exhibited a form of the glory that anticipated the eschatological glory yet to be recovered and consummated.... Just as Adam lost the protological glory when he fell in the garden, so also this typological glory did not remain. The nation of Israel, after repeatedly breaking covenant, “fell” from glory and was exiled into Babylon. In climactic conclusion to God’s typological presence with the national image bearer, the glory of the Lord left the temple (Ezek 10:18; cf. 1 Sam 4:21).


God's Program of Transformation

The new creation is yet to come (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1; Isa 65:17ff), but it has also already come. God’s program of transformation is not entirely future. Those whom the Spirit has called, regenerated, and united to Christ experience the new man in the present time (Heb 12:22). They have been made alive together with him and seated in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 2:6). They rise to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). Having died to sin, they have been and are being renewed (2 Cor 4:16; Eph 4:23; Col 3:10). In a very real sense, believers already share in the glory of Christ and the hope of the glory to come, namely that which is inextricably linked with Christ’s return and the transformation, which ensues as a necessary entailment of that event. Still, the new man awaits a consummation. Believers do not yet outwardly manifest the glory they one day will manifest when they see their Savior face to face. For at that time they will be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:51–52).


Never Let Studying Defeat The Purpose of Studying

No one wants to be used, especially not your church. That precious blood-bought gift of God’s grace is not a platform for you to indulge your fancy for scholarship, nor a venue for you to cloister yourself off from the nitty-gritty of your calling. In fact, if your congregation starts to begrudge your study time (for example, if you hear things like “He spends all his time holed up in his office”), you will need to take a close look at your priorities. It may be that your congregation is serving a vital role in your own sanctification by calling into question the degree to which your study time is really in the service of Christ and his kingdom.