Why am I here?
I have found articles and messages from these sources are from people who know the same Christ I do.
- "A Biblical Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, on every page of Scripture, finds everywhere Christ." 
- Ancient Faith Radio 
I see Christ everywhere in the scriptures and am looking for a place to share what I see.
I am hoping that the Orthodox position on typology will welcome the sharing since I believe the images are consistent with Orthodoxy.
A very simple example
The shadows I see are hidden in double entendre, shadow and riddle. A single verse demonstrates all three:
In Genesis 2:21 the Hebrew words have multiple meanings. Sleep also means death, rib means limping and side, flesh means mankind, took means married, etc, I call these the double entendre. For a single example it is impossible to demonstrate intent, and the example can easily be ignored as a novelty. If you hang in there with me, you will see sufficient examples to know that I am not clever, but that God intended to speak to us in this fashion.
What I call shadows are words similar to 'rock' as Christ. There are rules concerning them and although they look like allegory, the rules constrain them even more so than the meaning of the double entendre is constrained. In this verse substituting Christ for Adam is a shadow substitution.
We now get: Gen 2:21 And God caused Christ to die and he died, and he married his limping side and redeemed mankind.
This is a riddle. The annoying thing about riddles is that you cannot discern the answer from the content of the riddle. You must first know the answer then apply it back to the riddle. The answer is always found in Christ. He is the light of the New Testament that reveals what is in the shadows of the Old. The "limping side" of Christ is the side with the bruised heel, it is his flesh that he married to the church.
We now see the shadow of Christ and the cross in Gen 2:21... and this isn't even the first mention of the cross.
Some of the early church fathers went down to the jot and tittle layer to see shadows of Christ, and reserved sharing them for only the most devout. The shadows are a reward for those who believe God is and is a rewarder of those who seek Him. They give great delight when discovered by meditating upon his law.
The shadows do not elevate the expositor, but instead humble Him as mysteries are unfolded in the light of Christ. They also humble him since is it through the childish silliness of riddles that he speaks. As adults we forget that he said he would speak in riddles:
- Prov 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
- 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings <02420> (riddles).
- Ps 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
- 4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying <02420> upon the harp.
I hope you will examine these closely to see if they are true. And I hope to find a place where I might submit many more for discussion.
Here are the rules for shadows:
They are discerned from the scriptures using the same hermeneutic:
- 1. Since God has said that not a jot or tittle will pass away, until one knows why each jot and tittle is there, a complete understanding has not been derived. (This keeps us humble)
- 2. Since man shall live "..by every word", a doctrine is not sound until it sums up and includes all that God has said about it. (This keeps us searching)
- 3. Since every word must be established by two or three witnesses, every shadow must have at least two supporting scripture witnesses. (This keeps us rigorous in methodology)
- 4. Since God's word is established forever, a shadow means the same thing everywhere is it used. So, since a donkey is a shadow of a prophet, everywhere there is a donkey, it is a shadow of a prophet. This rule alone makes the shadows humanly impossible to fabricate. (This keeps us an awe)
- 5. The riddle of Samson tells us Christ is the answer to all the riddles. If the shadow doesn't look like Christ, it isn't a good shadow. (This keeps us focussed)
- 6. And since we are to "let everyman be a liar and God be true", outside references are not required to solve the riddles and see the shadows. (This keeps us devoted)
A letter to Mark
This is a note I wrote to a friend to explain how I came to be able to see the shadows.
Twenty-six years ago I taught hermeneutics in seminars prior to teaching evangelism. Understanding the reasons for one’s faith is critical to a rational presentation of the gospel. After showing the methods for literal interpretation and emphasizing a clear and solid understanding of the authors’ intentions, I concluded with a statement, based in faith, that all scriptures spoke of Christ, and so we should look for him everywhere.
This simple assertion was based upon “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Lu 24:27 AV)
I believe that God has blessed that simple faith, and has blessed me richly by permitting me to see the outline, and perhaps some of the details of that sermon on the road to Emmaus.
I studied briefly with a rabbi, which experience I found most unsatisfactory. His methods were strange and his conclusions always wrong, since they missed the salvific message of Christ.
When I returned to my own studies, pictures of Christ popped out everywhere. I have since realized that I am using his methods, but applying them to the Old and New Testaments together, whereas he was blind to Christ since he would not look at the New Testament.
The first clear picture of Christ that I saw was in the story of Tamar in Gen 38. It is difficult to find meaning in the literal interpretation and the best interpreters are relegated to concluding that the narrative shows that Jesus was descended from some colorfully sinful people, or that “What goes around comes around”.
However, there are hints to a deeper meaning:
The name Timnath means "appointment" and Tamar met Judah before Timanth. It is appointed unto man, once to die, and Mary met God before Christ's appointed time.
Tamar was promised a goat, Mary was promised a scape goat, for he will save his people from their sin.
Both Tamar and Mary wanted an assurance of the promise.
Tamar was given the rod, and Mary was told "The power of God..." Tamar was given a signet ring, and Mary was told "He will be called the Son ..." In Numbers we find out that an empty vessel without bracelets is unclean. Tamar was given bracelets (was clean) and Mary was told "The Holy Ghost will come upon you (not unclean)
When they were discovered to be pregnant both were threatened. When the father was discovered, they both were honored.
Judah was told "There was no prostitute here" Joseph was told not to be afraid to take Mary.
Tamar had twins… Mary had the God-man.
The names of the twins means "Breaking forth" "rising sun" and Jesus was called "Dayspring"
Pharez was a usurping second son (in a long line) and Jesus was the second man who obtained the promise. (Adam being the first man, and he did not obtain the promise).
We immediately sense a picture of the birth of Christ.
Now what just happened?
Hearing, Seeing, Walking
The Jewish word ‘Torah’ is most commonly used to speak of the first five books of the Bible, however, the meaning is deeper than this. “Torah’ includes the full revelation of God. This is expressed in the ideas of hearing, seeing and walking.
When God met Israel at the mountain he first spoke to them, but they could not hear him. He showed them the works of his hand in the written law in the stone tablets, but they could not see him, so he “walked” among them as a pillar of smoke and fire.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans, tells the same story in different words. All men are without excuse because God has spoken to them (He is made manifest). He then has shown them the works of his hand (all creation testifies...). And now he walks among us as the Son.
These three witnesses testify for us or against us. When we are deaf, we cannot hear the voice of the Shepherd. We do not respond to our instinctive knowledge of God. When we are blind, we do not respond when our intellect has been engaged, and reason demands that we acknowledge God. We are lame, when we are unable to live as Christ would have us live because we are shackled with the chains of sin, or burdened with the yoke of the law of sin and death.
By sensing that in the story is a shadow of the birth of Christ, you have just experienced hearing. It is likely that you already hear His voice in many parts of the Bible, but that it is a distant voice that isn’t clear.
We sense that the parting waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan River, the cleft rock, the torn veil are all parts of the same picture of Christ, but the picture isn’t clear. This is hearing.
We notice that there is a strange pattern of inheritance among the Hebrews where the second son gets the inheritance and we know there is something hiding just beneath the surface that speaks of Christ. We observe that the pattern of the second wife being the loved, but can’t connect it to Christ. These are the muffled words of God, indiscernible in content, but recognizable by His voice.
At my age I am beginning to not hear so well. I find that it is helpful to my understanding if I look at the person speaking. This is no different for our spiritual nature. The muffled words of Christ become clear when we look at Him when he speaks.
When we engage our intellect, and examine to see if the word is true, then the words we heard become clear. I believe the methods I learned from the rabbi are intellectual exercises that permit us to see. The rabbi was unable to see Christ simply because he refused to look at Christ. He refuses to read the New Testament scriptures and apply the methods of seeing upon them.
I am writing this to you to share the wonderful gift this rabbi has given me. I know you share the same simple faith expressed above, that all the scriptures speak of Him. I hope I am able to communicate the gift in such a way that you too can experience the joy and delight of seeing our Lord in the shadows of the Old Testament.
As I became more comfortable with the hermeneutic, I discovered that every word helps paint the picture of Christ.
In scriptures the word 'sleep' is used for death. Rib also means 'limping' and 'side', 'took' also means 'married', 'flesh' means 'man', "closed up" also means "deliver".
Knowing that Adam is a shadow of Christ I substitute his name and Gen 2:21 now loosely reads:
- "And the Lord God caused death to fall upon Christ, and he died: and he married his limping side, and delivered mankind."
Anyone can verify the word substitutions from a Hebrew dictionary.
Initially, this seems like a very unlikely way to communicate. As adults, we are accustomed to filtering out the alternate meanings of words automatically, based on the context of the conversation. Children are unable to do this.
When I first started to teach myself Hebrew, I thought I would take a shortcut. I realized that the earliest Hebrew words didn't have vowels. Seeing that there were sometimes three, four or five identical words differing only by the vowels, I would only have to learn one third, fourth or fifth as many words if I simply learned them without the vowels.
This fortunate mistake put me in the same position that a child is in when he is first learning language. When he hears a word, he must consciously try to apply all the meanings of the words, with which he is aware, in order to make sense of what he is hearing.
We take great amusement in the products of childish mistakes in understanding when he has misapplied a meaning to a word. But we also reward those who are able to intentionally build these multiple meanings into phrases that can be understood in multiple ways. Bob Hope was famous for his double entendre.
It is important that we distinguish between what is called allegory, and what I and the author of Hebrews call shadows. The meaning of shadows is firmly attached to the same words used in the literal interpretation. Allegory has no rules and was invented by the Greeks to make their myths say something figuratively that they couldn't say literally. Allegory is used primarily by those who do not wish to believe the literal interpretation.
There is good allegory, though it is invention, it faithfully represents truth, though possibly, not from the passage being allegorized.
The interpreter of shadows has no such freedom. The raw material for meaning must come from the words themselves. A shadow does not exist, unless something real exists first. The Jewish interpreters have a saying: "The pashat never loses it's meaning." This is a good saying. It means that the literal meaning never disappears. There must have been a real Tamar for there to be a shadow of the birth of Christ in the Tamar narrative.
So unlike the Greeks who sought to change the essential message of the myths with allegory, the shadows must build upon what is already known about truth, not alter it.
Not totally foreign
The idea that Hebrew words have multiple meanings is not completely foreign to us. The Bible itself often tells us the meaning of someone's name. Some have found 'hidden' messages in long lists of names. Others are amused to discover that the word for 'wife' also means 'burning ember' and are delighted to embarrass the elderly sisters by announcing from the pulpit that when Adam first saw his wife he proclaimed "Hot stuff!".
All of this suggests that we have been hearing the muffled words of the Lord.
See if you can hear his voice if we remove some sayings from their context:
- "If you do right, won't you be lifted up?" - to Cain
- "Because of you, I will live" - Abram to Sarah
- "God will provide himself, the sacrifice" Abraham to Isaac
- "He was dead, but now he is alive" - Prodigal son
- "His love for the world, and betrayal because of riches, killed him and he became desolate" - parable of the sower paraphrase
- "Take these, and whatever account you have against them I will pay" - Good Samaritan
The reason that you can hear the muffled words in these sayings, is because of the double meaning of the words. The word 'because' in Hebrew and in English can be understood as "causative" or "emotive".
In the case of Abraham to Sarah, in the literal it means "the actions you take will save my life". But in the shadows it is understood as "my love for you motivates me to rise from the dead."
In the case of Abraham to Isaac: We hear in the literal "God will provide a sacrifice for himself." But in the shadows we hear "God will provide himself as the sacrifice."
Even without using the double meanings or words that sound alike, or are spelled alike, we can find multiple meanings in the words used. We must simply trust that we are hearing the voice of God, and then dig to see that it is true.
Gen 2:21 "And the Lord God caused death to fall upon Christ, and he died: and he married his limping side, and redeemed mankind."
Later I realized that there was yet another layer. What was the limping side of Christ? The answer is easy, it is the side with the bruised heel. And of course, he married the church.
But that wasn't really the question. What kind of communication is this "he married his limping side"? Observe that is is written as a riddle. It is child's play.
Would the Almighty God actually do something as silly as communicate with us in riddles? Would He bypass the precise systematic theologies of the learned and wise men and speak in the language of children? Would he expect us to "become as little children" to hear his word?
God speaks in riddles
God says he would. The word "dark sayings" in Hebrew is also the word for 'riddle':
- Nu 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches <02420>; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
- Ps 49:4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying <02420> upon the harp.
- Ps 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings <02420> of old:
- Pr 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings <02420>.
- Eze 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle <02420>, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
- Da 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences <02420>, shall stand up.
It is clear that God says He speaks in riddles. Why would we adults not believe it? When we learn to listen like children, we learn to discern the riddles.
Rules for riddles
God says that not one jot nor tittle will pass away from the law, so as a child I hear that every one of them must be important. And as an adult I realize that I don't fully understand scripture until I understand why every jot and tittle is there. This keeps me humble.
God says that man should live by "every word" that proceeds from his mouth. As a child I hear that I must understand every word. As an adult I reason that a doctrine is not sound until it sums up and includes every word God has spoken about it. This keeps me seeking.
God says that "every word shall be established by two or three witnesses". As a child I hear that every shadow must have other scriptures that confirm what they are. As an adult I reason that the shadows cannot be invented, but must be defined by the scriptures themselves. This keep my methods rigorous.
God says His word is established forever. As a child I hear that a shadow doen't change. So if a donkey is a prophet in one place, it must be a prophet in all places. As an adult I discern the impossibility of human invention to comply with this rule in all cases and in all scriptures. This keeps me in awe.
God says that we should "let all men be liars and God be true. As a child I hear that I can only trust God to teach the shadows, As an adult I discern that outside resources should not be used. Histories, cultures, and non-canonical books are off limits for helping to discern the shadows. they are word play and are self-contained and do not depend on the works of men. This keeps me devoted to the word of God. (I use a Hebrew dictionary because I am not fluent in Hebrew. I suspect this is OK)
The annoying thing about children's riddles is that there is insufficient information in the riddle to solve it. You must know the answer first. Then apply the answer back into the riddle.
The solution to all the riddles is given to us by Samson:
Samson came across a lion and killed it. When he returned to the carcass, bees had made a hive and produced honey in it. Samson created a riddle in order to confound his enemies. Now remember what we said. A riddle can't be solved unless you know something of the answer already.
So his enemies threatened his wife and she found out the riddle from him and told them.
Judges 14:12 14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. 18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.
You can find all kinds of bizarre interpretations for this from the literal-historical school, including that the Philistines must have slept with Delilah.
- Hint 1: What do you plow?
- Hint 2: What is a heifer used for?
You plow the earth, and a heifer is used for sacrifice.
So you turn over or plow the earthly with a sacrifice. Hmm, but the earthly is the literal and Christ is the sacrifice. Let’s try again: You turn over the literal using the Christ. There we go.
Christ is the key to unlocking the riddles. We must apply what we know of Christ to the literal, in order to uncover and solve the riddles. It is the birth of Christ that unlocked the riddle of Tamar.
This gives us the simplest rule of all concerning shadows: If the shadow doesn’t look like Christ, it is not a shadow of Christ.
An orthodox Christian site says:
"A Biblical Christian is the one who, wherever he looks, on every page of Scripture, finds everywhere Christ."
So let's look at difficult passages:
The story of Uzziah is said to be a problem because he is called Azariah in the second telling of the story. Leprosy is always a picture of sin. Incense is reminiscent of the sweet savor of the burnt offering, which itself commemorates that perfect devotion the Son had toward the Father.
So Uzziah who "did everything according to his Father" (knew no sin), through offering incense (perfect devotion) became leprous (made to be sin) and afterwards is known as Azariah, (the name of the high priest who confronted him) which indicates Christ was made to be high priest.
What looks like an error is actually a perfect picture of Christ.
Now take a look at the three women who were by the well. The first, Rebekah, was chosen by the Father. The second, Rachel, was called or wooed by the son (he kissed her). Now if you are hearing, your soul just leapt at the possibility that the third was gathered by the Spirit. And isn't that exactly what happened when the woman came to Christ at Sychar. But it is hidden in riddle. Sychar means "intoxicated" and is associated with the Spirit through the scene at Pentecost. (and seen also when Hannah prays in the temple). Jesus wasn't looking for a wife, but the Spirit gathered her into the bride. And the well is likely the same well for all three. (There is much more imagery around the well)
This shadow crosses thousands of years and languages and couldn't possibly have been known by the human authors without divine inspiration.
When I first saw the shadows, I saw them the way the rabbi would have if he had looked. First I saw the hints, then compared and contrasted, then saw the hidden meaning. But I have reverse engineered the process so that I can flush out the pictures without first seeing the hints.
- Identify possible double meanings for the words.
- Replace the known shadows.
- Identify the riddle.
- Solve the riddle.
This has allowed me to see Christ in places where he was least expected. The story of Japheth, the Levite with the concubine, and even the parables that we think we know so well. The servant who cooks the books, is the same role as the rich man and the brother of the prodigal, and each a picture of Christ as judge. In the shadows the judge dies indicating the end of judgment and the beginning of grace. Yes, and so Lazarus (or Eliezer in Hebrew) is Christ as priest.
The book of Matthew has sequential parallels that suggest an eschatology that is quite different than popular rapture myths. Job is the conversation between the Father and the Son...You must die, you are the son of man... why won't you hear my defense, I am innocent. Just the opposite of Jesus' conversation with Peter... You can't die, you are the Son of God.
I am no where near having unpacked the whole Bible. But I have seen the shadows in sufficient number and density to be confident that there is nearly a whole second Bible hidden in the double entendre. Had I said that at the start, one might think I was nuts. (and perhaps you do anyway)
However I hope by demonstrating the method and obtaining undocumented shadows of Christ from difficult passages, that at least I have persuaded you to look at the claim and perhaps try the hermeneutic for yourself.
It is a fantastic claim... a marvelously fantastic claim. It should not just be accepted (nor dismissed) but examined closely.
The bigger picture
I first saw isolated pictures of Christ, then narratives, then themes and finally I think I see which persons of the Godhead wrote which parts of the scriptures, and am beginning to see "personality" difference like one might observe between human authors.
So I am most anxious that others can see them for themselves and verify my hypotheses.
Here is my observation. Each person speaks with four voices :
I. Adam and all the Patriarchs tell of Christ (Father’s Testimony) The Father speaks primarily of the son. The father chooses a bride for his son.
- a. Noah - Judge (the flood)
- b. Adam to Methuselah - Priest (the sacrifices are central to Adam, Cain and Abel)
- c. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph - King (the land is central)
- d. Creation - Prophet (The Son having dominion is central)
II. Israel is called out to be a witness to all men. (Son’s testimony, Israel is called God's son) The son speaks primarily of his bride and his suffering. The Son calls his bride and woos her. Israel has four voices as the son:
- a. Priests (heavenly testimony of the heavenly)
- b. Judges (heavenly testimony of the earthly)
- c. Kings (earthly testimony of the earthly)
- d. Prophets. (earthly testimony of the heavenly)
III. The life of Christ (The Spirit’s testimony) The Son had emptied himself and was filled with the Spirit. The Son did not testify of himself. The Holy Spirit speak primarily of the Son and his bride becoming one and being fruitful. The Spirit gathers the bride to proclaim “Behold the Lamb of God!” He also speaks with four voices.
- a. Matthew (heavenly testimony of the heavenly)
- b. Mark-Peter (heavenly testimony of the earthly)
- c. Luke (earthly testimony of the earthly)
- d. John (earthly testimony of the heavenly)
IV. The epistles following the cross (Perhaps the testimony of the church)
Christ and his bride are fruitful and multiply. I am sure that the four voices must be here as well, I have not yet unpacked them. Although, the imagery all has the judge and the prophet dying at the cross, so there is a possibility that only the voices of Kings and Priests will be heard in the epistles.
I have tried to show you brief examples of what I am seeing.
I have been called a heretic for seeing Christ in the scriptures. This makes no sense to me.
I have been told that my salvation is in jeopardy. Yet I have drawn closer to God in seeing them, and have more confidence in His word than ever I had.
I have been told that it is dangerous, yet what is more dangerous than not reading the Bible and finding Christ there?
I hope you will take the time to examine my notes carefully and see if the shadows are really there for yourself. If they are invention, my notes are garbage. If they are real, I would think every Christian would want to see the shadows for themselves.
Your friend, Bob