Unlike allegory, typology requires a unique situational parallel, so that, properly speaking, Samson is not a type of Christ, but "Samson sacrificing his life for God's people" is a type of "Christ sacrificing his life for God's people." Nonetheless, in their love of discovering elaborate resemblances, many nineteenth-century exegetes frequently became allegorists without being aware of the fact. For example, when commentators took the incense of the levitical sacrifice as a prefiguration of Christ' s holiness, they used the incense allegorically to symbolize an abstract quality something which exists throughout all time, and not a unique event or act. Such mixture of allegorical images with a primarily typological scheme also occurs in Flemish painting.
Last modified December 2001